Poll: Which is it?
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View poll results: Which is it?
The first example is immoral, the second is not.
1 1%
The second example is immoral, the first is not.
19 19%
They are both moral.
61 61%
They are both immoral and should be stopped.
1 1%
They are both immoral, but necessary.
18 18%
Voters: 100.
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#1
Ok so here's a question that came up in my biology group today in class, and I just spent 45 minutes arguing with my mom about.

Take this example: A lion kills a gazelle in order to feed its pride. It is ripped up by the lion, and dies in pain. Is this immoral? Or is it just a continuation of nature, where the animal does what it can to survive and promote the well-being of its species?

Now, a scientist kills a rat in a lab in order to find the cure for a disease. The rat has this disease, brought on by the scientist, and dies in pain (though it was not in it for long). Is this immoral? Or is it just a continuation of nature, where the animal does what it can to survive and promote the well-being of its species?
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#2
the lion example isnt immoral because the lion has no concept of morality
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#3
What about if I eat another person?

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#4
Both are moral by my standards.

EDIT: I've seen a similar question about a guy and a ship. In one he throws luggage off and in the other he throws his wife off to survive.
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Last edited by RockGuitar92 at Jun 4, 2010,
#5
Quote by bellamy_morello
the lion example isnt immoral because the lion has no concept of morality


So even though the act is essentially the same, though on a different scale, the ability to know right from wrong makes it wrong? I don't really agree.

If the act is the same, for the same basic reasons, they should be the same on a moral level too.
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#6
i think they're both moral; however, animal testing for cosmetics (or anything else that's not directly related to survival) should be eliminated.
#7
it comes down to your definition of morality. i would argue its not immoral for the lion, any more than its immoral for humans to eat animals (w/o getting involved in discussions of how animals are treated, assuming we eat them as we did a thousand years ago). it is survival.

now whether this applies to the scientist is a different matter. all mice/rats used in scientific experiments have been bred for that purpose: that is why they exist. in the same way that a deer fulfills part of its function by feeding animals higher up on the food chain, the mouse satisfies its function by being tested on. otherwise that mouse would not exist...
#8
morality is decided by the rules of a given society. it is NOT immoral for a lion to kill a gazelle in any manner as that is how they have both been hard coded through genetics; survival of the fittest.

the second is also not immoral because while that rat is being killed on purpose, and it is being brought pain, by doing so it is helping us as a species prevent disease among ourselves. also note most lab animals are bred just for that purpose and have no greater purpose and are usually taken good care of until the time has come for testing.
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#9
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So even though the act is essentially the same, though on a different scale, the ability to know right from wrong makes it wrong? I don't really agree.

If the act is the same, for the same basic reasons, they should be the same on a moral level too.


i meant to say that because the lion cant tell right from wrong morality doesnt apply to the situation
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#10
First one is really absent from any moral judgment, since lions don't really have much ability/intelligence/knowledge to ethically reason.

Second one; depends on the intentions in my opinion. If the rat's suffering somehow helps the doctor cure a disease that will result in far less suffering by curing the people with that disease, it's moral.
#11
Quote by RockGuitar92
Both are moral by my standards.

EDIT: I've seen a similar question about a guy and a ship. In one he throws luggage off and in the other he throws his wife off to survive.


A guy is stranded out in the middle of nowhere with his wife and their luggage.


They've been lost for quite a bit and are beginning to starve with no sign of food around.

The man can either eat his luggage.

Or eat his wife.

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#12
Well the first example is nature (so I suppose its somewhat moral because they're animals but if they were humans it would be unacceptable) so you can't do anything about that though I would think the Lion would eat the Gazelle as well and not just do it for the fun of it (or pride as you said).

The second is immoral because you can't kill one thing for the good of it all. Besides the likeliness is that many more will be killed and perhaps all for naught.
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#13
This is truly a very puzzling question..:/ hmmm....
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#14
both moral imo, lion kills gazelle, its the way nature works.

2nd example is moral also since the rat is being killed for a right cause (assuming there was justifiable reason for the scientist not to use an anesthetic)
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#15
I say both moral. Animals to some degree do have a sense of right and wrong, although it isn't exactly morality (a dog, to say, will walk with it's tail and ears down around you if it used the kitchen floor as it's bathroom since it knows it was wrong). Both the lion and human are working to save their species in some regard, we just have the added benefit of science and survival of the fittest.
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#16
Quote by Bucket-Of-Win
So even though the act is essentially the same, though on a different scale, the ability to know right from wrong makes it wrong? I don't really agree.

If the act is the same, for the same basic reasons, they should be the same on a moral level too.


No. Animals have no sense of morality, therefore questioning the morality of their actions makes no sense.
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#18
Quote by AlterEdge
Well the first example is nature (so I suppose its somewhat moral because they're animals but if they were humans it would be unacceptable) so you can't do anything about that though I would think the Lion would eat the Gazelle as well and not just do it for the fun of it (or pride as you said).

The second is immoral because you can't kill one thing for the good of it all. Besides the likeliness is that many more will be killed and perhaps all for naught.


And what are we if not part of nature as the lion is? Granted, we're on a totally different level as the lion advancement wise, but we are still animals and part of nature.

The lion is also killing for the good of all. As I said, it's killing to feed its pride (group of lions).
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#19
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No. Animals have no sense of morality, therefore questioning the morality of their actions makes no sense.

It may not but for the sake of the thread just do it. lol
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#20
Say what you want, Id rather kill the rat and have penicillin than have a living rat but die of polio.

Moral? Maybe not. Realistic? Very
#21
i believe both are moral. you kill one to save many more. it sux but someones got to be the sacrifice
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#22
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I say both moral. Animals to some degree do have a sense of right and wrong, although it isn't exactly morality (a dog, to say, will walk with it's tail and ears down around you if it used the kitchen floor as it's bathroom since it knows it was wrong). Both the lion and human are working to save their species in some regard, we just have the added benefit of science and survival of the fittest.



Animals do not have a sense of right and wrong, because there is no inherent basis for these beliefs. Both are a social construction of the social world in a particular time and place based upon ether broad consensus or a dominant ideology.
#23
There are no morals, so both are amoral.

Ethical? Animals don't have ethics, so the first is non-ethical. Ethics are also relative, so depending on the system used, the second could be either ethical or unethical.
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#24
Quote by Momentosis
A guy is stranded out in the middle of nowhere with his wife and their luggage.


They've been lost for quite a bit and are beginning to starve with no sign of food around.

The man can either eat his luggage.

Or eat his wife.


No, it was something about a ship in the ocean and a storm and he needed to lose weight off of the ship.
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#25
"you have all these the rules... the only sensible way to live in this world is without rules..."
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#26
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"you have all these the rules... the only sensible way to live in this world is without rules..."

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#27
morality is a strictly human concept, so although some of us might see the case with the lion as immoral, it objectively isn't.
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#28
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Which is still a rule.



...or just basic instinct

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#29
And what do you think is the correct answer ts? (sorry if you have already answerd this, I just skim read it)
#30
Quote by Bucket-Of-Win
So even though the act is essentially the same, though on a different scale, the ability to know right from wrong makes it wrong?

Yes? That's what morals are. They're entirely a man-made concept, they don't innately exist. As far as we know, humans are the only species with any sense of morality and doing things based on whether they're "right" or "wrong" rather than how much personal benefit comes from that action-- which is how animals make decisions. Animals are amoral. So is the first scenario.
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#31
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Yes? That's what morals are. They're entirely a man-made concept, they don't innately exist. As far as we know, humans are the only species with any sense of morality and doing things based on whether they're "right" or "wrong" rather than how much personal benefit comes from that action-- which is how animals make decisions. Animals are amoral. So is the first scenario.

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#33
Morality is a human invention. There is no absolute right and wrong. The first one is fine, because either the gazelle dies, or the lion dies of starvation. When it's life against life I think its perfectly fine to kill to survive.

The second one is sad but necessary. I don't believe we should test on animals (I dont even believe we should eat them), but since survival of humans is in the balance then I think it's necessary to do.
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#34
obviously the first one is moral seeing as it's just survival of the fittest, but as to the second situation....I couldn't care less as to what happens to a rat, if it gives us any benefit to kill it, then I would kill it a thousand times over and not feel a thing because it's not another person, it's a rat. And I am better than a rat.
#35
What is this morality you speak of?
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#36
morality is not some natural value, it is invented by humans. Therefore example 1 can't be classified as 'moral' or 'immoral' since a lion doesn't know morality.

I don't see example 2 as a 'natural necessity to survive' since the alternative (let's say that would be 'no cure for the disease') is most likely not threatening for the survival of the species.

From a moral perspective, I'd say immoral. There are plenty of good alternatives for testing medicines, the only reason they use animals is an economic one.
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#37
The first example is just natural. Everything that lives, also dies. Whether it's prematurely to feed a lion, or naturally of old age to feed the Earth makes no difference, so long as it's for the promotion of survival for other organisms.

The second example is moral, as it is for the benefit on humankind. Cosmetics are NOT for the benefit of humankind, they are for it's vanity, so they're immoral. A scientist killing a rat to cure a disease on humans is the equivalent of a lion killing a gazelle to prevent his pride dying of hunger, in my book.

If you're religious, read the Bible. Somewhere in Genesis (I think), it says humans were put on Earth as stewards. We were put here to make sure things run smoothly, and that we are to harvest animals for the benefit and survival of mankind. (I'm not religious, by the way.)
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#38
Quote by bellamy_morello
the lion example isnt immoral because the lion has no concept of morality


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#39
So people think that a lion doing what lions have been doing for millions of years in order to survive just like every other single species on this planet.. is immoral? Wow.
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#40
The lion is immoral because lion's have a concept of morality and the lions are depressed that their morals suck. We need to give them antidepressants and therapy.
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