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Theoretical Question About Extra Terrestrials

 
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 11:23 am
@Ionus,


Quote:
What's eating you, Earth man?



transcript wrote:
'Good evening', it lowed and sat back heavily on its haunches,
'I am the main Dish of the Day. May I interest you in the parts
of my body?'

It harrumphed and gurgled a bit, wriggled its hind quarters in
to a more comfortable position and gazed peacefully at them.

Its gaze was met by looks of startled bewilderment from
Arthur and Trillian, a resigned shrug from Ford Prefect and
naked hunger from Zaphod Beeblebrox.

'Something off the shoulder perhaps?' suggested the animal,
'Braised in a white wine sauce?'

'Er, your shoulder?' said Arthur in a horrified whisper.

'But naturallymy shoulder, sir,' mooed the animal contentedly,
'nobody else's is mine to offer.'

Zaphod leapt to his feet and started prodding and feeling
the animal's shoulder appreciatively.

'Or the rump is very good,' murmured the animal. 'I've been
exercising it and eating plenty of grain, so there's a lot
of good meat there.'

It gave a mellow grunt, gurgled again and started to chew
the cud. It swallowed the cud again.

'Or a casselore of me perhaps?' it added.

'You mean this animal actually wants us to eat it?' whispered
Trillian to Ford.

'Me?' said Ford, with a glazed look in his eyes, 'I don't mean
anything.'

'That's absolutely horrible,' exclaimed Arthur, 'the most revolting
thing I've ever heard.'

'What's the problem Earthman?' said Zaphod, now transfering his
attention to the animal's enormous rump.

'I just don't want to eat an animal that's standing there
inviting me to,' said Arthur, 'It's heartless.'

'Better than eating an animal that doesn't want to be
eaten,' said Zaphod.

'That's not the point,' Arthur protested. Then he thought about it
for a moment. 'Alright,' he said, 'maybe it is the point. I don't
care, I'm not going to think about it now. I'll just ... er ... I
think I'll just have a green salad,' he muttered.

'May I urge you to consider my liver?' asked the animal,
'it must be very rich and tender by now, I've been force-feeding
myself for months.'

'A green salad,' said Arthur emphatically.

'A green salad?' said the animal, rolling his eyes disapprovingly
at Arthur.

'Are you going to tell me,' said Arthur, 'that I shouldn't have
green salad?'

'Well,' said the animal, 'I know many vegetables that are
very clear on that point. Which is why it was eventually
decided to cut through the whoile tangled problem and breed
an animal that actually wanted to be eaten and was capable of
saying so clearly and distinctly. And here I am.'

It managed a very slight bow.

'Glass of water please,' said Arthur.

'Look,' said Zaphod, 'we want to eat, we don't want to make
a meal of the issues. Four rare stakes please, and hurry.
We haven't eaten in five hundred and sevebty-six thousand
million years.'

The animal staggered to its feet. It gave a mellow gurgle.
'A very wise coice, sir, if I may say so. Very good,' it
said, 'I'll just nip off and shoot myself.'

He turned and gave a friendly wink to Arthur.
'Don't worry, sir,' he said, 'I'll be very humane.'

It waddled unhurriedly off to the kitchen.


0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 11:27 am
@failures art,
failures art wrote:

Let's say that one day and alien race was to discover our planet and begin taking humans and doing testing on us. They are doing testing on us so that the they could cure their diseases, know their detergents are safe, and that they can test erectile dysfunction pills. Many humans die and more are permanently injured.

Would the Aliens be ethically justified in their actions because they are a superior species?

Aliens
R
T


Why (even if they were a superior species) would that justify their actions? You would have to suppose the premise that might makes right. But there is no reason to suppose that is true, is there?
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 12:16 pm
@failures art,
I don't know if it has been asked, but shouldn't it be hypothetical question rather than theoretical question? A theory is based on evidence, of which there is really none for extra terrestrials--no matter how likely their existence may be. A hypothetical question follows the form of "let's say" or "what if" or any one of the other similar qualifiers.

But anyway, "what if" discussions on the nature of extra terrestrials are generally insipid since they are often based on fictional depictions of aliens. Everyone has some sort of image of an alien based on movie or book depictions that were provided by human creativity, not actual reality. Thus, I fail to see how any of this has any thing to do with philosophy.

As to the last line "would the aliens be ethically justified in their actions because they are a superior race?"---this just seems like a hidden way to ask a racist question. Replace aliens with race or peoples and you generally have the situation of one group that is superior for some reason doing what they will because they are "superior" using that label as a means to rationalize unjust actions.

So to ask answer your question. No they would not be ethically justified. In the end, might does not make right.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 12:55 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus,

I think you are missing Art's point. This has nothing to do with racism. The Aliens would not be another "race" of humans-- they would be a completely different species. We would be animals to them.

Them eating us would not be like us eating Asians... it would be like us eating cows (which ironically, many of us do).

Art is making a valid point-- anyone who eats meat is a speciesist.

((I wonder why no one ever stands up for broccoli))
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 01:19 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theatetus wrote:
I don't know if it has been asked, but shouldn't it be hypothetical question rather than theoretical question? A theory is based on evidence, of which there is really none for extra terrestrials--no matter how likely their existence may be.

As I understand Failures Art, his story about the aliens is a thought experiment to test our theories of ethics. If his point had been about Aliens, you'd be right. But since his point is about us and our ethics, I think his use of the word "theoretical" is justified. After all, our sense of right and wrong is informed by evidence.
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 01:23 pm
@Thomas,
As I said, the thought experiment makes more senses if it had to do with different peoples and cultures rather than some sort of hypothetical what if scenario involving aliens considering the developed world pulls this **** on other cultures and peoples on a continual basis.

It just seems that the use of "alien" rather than "race" is just some sort of bullshit politically correctness that infects modern society.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Jul, 2010 01:38 pm
@Theaetetus,
In the very first post, he clearly uses the word "species". It is clear to me that the purpose of this thread was to challenge people's use of animals (i.e. other species) for food and research.

Everyone here is against the use of humans (of any race) for food or medical research. This is not an interesting issue to discuss.

Do you eat meat Theaetetus?
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 05:23 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:

As I said, the thought experiment makes more senses if it had to do with different peoples and cultures rather than some sort of hypothetical what if scenario involving aliens considering the developed world pulls this **** on other cultures and peoples on a continual basis.

I don't think you bothered to read the thread before posting.

Theaetetus wrote:

It just seems that the use of "alien" rather than "race" is just some sort of bullshit politically correctness that infects modern society.

I'm talking about animal testing and diet ethics in this thread, not race. You seem very interested in talking about race. Perhaps you should start a thread.

When I said alien, I meant alien. I'm talking about UFOs and other planets, not immigrants.

A
Read a thread first.
T
0 Replies
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 05:26 am
Any-body read Dune 1,2,3,4,5,6 & 7

Do not tell me 8
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Jul, 2010 08:38 pm
@Pepijn Sweep,
I read the first Dune and that was enough for me. I think my ex-husband read them all.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2010 08:16 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo wrote:

Excellent question. I suppose you mean would it be ethically justified for humans, unless we are talking about a trans-planetary ethical code which our alien "friends" might scoff at.

Scoff they might, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be plausible. We don't extend full moral status to animals because they don't share the attributes that we consider necessary to qualify for that status. In particular, we consider it necessary for a species to have some capacity for moral thought -- i.e. the species must have some capacity for distinguishing right from wrong. Dogs and lizards and ants, we're convinced, don't have that ability. Aliens, on the other hand, might. Granted, the aliens might have a different set of beliefs about right and wrong, but that just means that they (or we) might be mistaken.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Jul, 2010 08:30 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
Pepijn Sweep wrote:

Any-body read Dune 1,2,3,4,5,6 & 7

Do not tell me 8


6

What's with the 7 ?
0 Replies
 
CarbonSystem
 
  2  
Reply Tue 13 Jul, 2010 02:27 pm
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus wrote:

As I said, the thought experiment makes more senses if it had to do with different peoples and cultures rather than some sort of hypothetical what if scenario involving aliens considering the developed world pulls this **** on other cultures and peoples on a continual basis.

It just seems that the use of "alien" rather than "race" is just some sort of bullshit politically correctness that infects modern society.


It sure seems like that from one perspective. It's a good thing we have a group of people with many perspectives, or this question might irritate all of us as much as you.

Shoot, I don't even know if Al Sharpton coulda spun this thread into a race issue.
0 Replies
 
 

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