Forums - General Discussion - How Do You Value Lifeforms?

A general consensus is that humans are the most valuable lifeforms on Earth. This means that when faced between the options of saving humans or animals from say, a fire, most people will go for the humans first without a doubt, knowing that the human lives are more valuable. But what is it really that makes humans more valuable?

Some people use the "intelligence argument", claiming that humans are smarter than any other lifeforms and therefore deserve to have a longer life. This makes no sense to me. If intelligence equals value, doesn't that mean dolphins are more worth than mentally disabled humans? Should we really prioritise saving intelligent animals from death and deceases over some of our fellow humans just because they happen to be more intelligent than the human? No, I don't think so. We need a better argument.

What about the "impact argument", suggesting that the lifeforms that will have the greatest positive impact on other lifeforms should be prioritised? Using this argument, it makes perfect sense to go for the humans in a life saving scenario: The animals will care only for themselves in most cases. Either because they can't help make other's lives more comfortable, or bacause they don't want to. A human, on the other hand, is usually sympathetic by nature. Meaning that they can provide food for hundreds or even thousands of lifeforms throughout their lives. Not to mention how humans have massive impacts on close friends and relatives, which would probably backlash greatly if he/she suddenly died in said fire.

Even the impact argument suffers devastating counter arguments though. Let's say that there is a scenario where you will have to save either a dog which has been part of a family for many years and means a great deal to them, or you can save a homeless person who has no family, no friends and who will only be a burden to society for as long as he lives. Would the dog really be the ideal lifeform to save in this scenario? Can a dog really be more valuable than a human being? Again, I don't think so. If there is a scenario where a dog is worth more than a human being, we might as well start slaughtering humans in great isolated groups for provision, just like we do with animals.

 

So, how do we solve this issue? What is it that makes humans objectively more valuable than animals?

Make your opinion heard!



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The fact that we can make that choice and even discuss it I guess.

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kowenicki said:
The fact that we can make that choice and even discuss it I guess.


So, our intelligence?

Just like animals, babies can't discuss these issues though. So what is stopping us from using human babies for meat production? Sure, we are all (?) grossed out by the thought, but I really see no valid argument against it.



IIIIITHE1IIIII said:
kowenicki said:
The fact that we can make that choice and even discuss it I guess.


So, our intelligence?

Just like animals, babies can't discuss these issues though. So what is stopping us from using human babies for meat production? Sure, we are all (?) grossed out by the thought, but I really see no valid argument against it.


It isnt just intelligence though is it.  It could be about compassion, empathy and the greater good.



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We can relate to those who have feelings or thought processes similar to ours, so we are sympathetic to them. That's why we would also feel more sorry for a dying dog (with complex feelings somewhat similar to ours) than a pidgeon or some shit like that.

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IIIIITHE1IIIII said:

 Should we really prioritise saving intelligent animals from death and deceases over some of our fellow humans just because they happen to be more intelligent than the human? 

Yes. Perhaps with an exception for children that will one day be more self-aware than said dolphins. But yes.



kowenicki said:
IIIIITHE1IIIII said:
kowenicki said:
The fact that we can make that choice and even discuss it I guess.


So, our intelligence?

Just like animals, babies can't discuss these issues though. So what is stopping us from using human babies for meat production? Sure, we are all (?) grossed out by the thought, but I really see no valid argument against it.


It isnt just intelligence though is it.  It could be about compassion, empathy and the greater good.


And babies (and severely mentally disabled individuals) don't have any of that.



Soleron said:

IIIIITHE1IIIII said:

 Should we really prioritise saving intelligent animals from death and deceases over some of our fellow humans just because they happen to be more intelligent than the human? 

Yes. Perhaps with an exception for children that will one day be more self-aware than said dolphins. But yes.


Interesting. I guess intelligence/future potential intelligence = value, in your opinion?



kowenicki said:
...


It isnt just intelligence though is it.  It could be about compassion, empathy and the greater good.

Because those are somehow objective?

Empathy is a poor basis for decision making.



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IIIIITHE1IIIII said:
kowenicki said:
IIIIITHE1IIIII said:
kowenicki said:
The fact that we can make that choice and even discuss it I guess.


So, our intelligence?

Just like animals, babies can't discuss these issues though. So what is stopping us from using human babies for meat production? Sure, we are all (?) grossed out by the thought, but I really see no valid argument against it.


It isnt just intelligence though is it.  It could be about compassion, empathy and the greater good.


And babies (and other severely mentally disabled individuals) don't have any of that.

Babies dont have empathy?  I disagree.

Anyhow, stupid people and mentally disabled people, downs sufferers for instance, can be every bit as emotional and compassionate as higly intelligent people, perhaps more so.

We have a brain that was capable of evolving, other species didnt, we are as close to being the gatekeepers of the planet as you can be if you like it or not.  Intelligence is the product of that evolution and not the reason for it. 

Short answer... we won the right.

 



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