Page 1 of 9 123456789 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 266

Thread: Are we evil?

  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Mr Tumnus's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Are we evil?

    So some background, I was watching this new fall anime Parasyte -the maxim- where these parasites come to earth, bond with existing lifeforms (usually humans), take over their bodies and then proceed to eat people. When the main character asks one of these parasites "You guys are monsters, why are you doing this?" the parasite responds with "We're not monsters, we're eating humans for food." At this point there have been about 80 of these strange murders caused by these things. The parasite then asks "Aren't humans really the monsters? How many millions of things do you kill each year and eat?" Its this statement that prompted this post.

    Picture a world where these ravenous creatures existed that enslaved and consumed the other, less intelligent creatures of that world. So great was their hunger that entire species went extinct in an attempt to satiate them. They forced the ones that didn't die out to mate in order to produce more food. They ate creatures of every gender and age, young, old, the strong, the weak and even the unborn.

    Now realize that thats humans. Is there any horror story that can compare to what humans do on a daily basis? Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating a vegan lifestyle, meat tastes too good. Its just that this parasite thing kind of had a point, we justify doing what we do to animals because we're at the top of the food chain. If we found out there was something else above us, can we really complain if they do the same to us?
    Last edited by Mr Tumnus; 2014-10-28 at 05:34 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Can I answer with a shrug? Evil is just a very nebulous term and I never had that much of a mind for ethics.

    I do my best to limit my impact, by recycling, living a relatively simple lifestyle and not eating too much meat. I still like meat. We have laws that keep meat production as humane as we can make it while still keeping it economical.

    And, well. Of course it's a problem. Want to hear the brutal part? IF we didn't eat those animals, they'd probably be extinct, or near extinction, like just about anything else. We feed them, we give them medicine and shelter, we protect them from predators. The domestic chicken is the world's most abundant bird. They wouldn't be if we weren't looking after them. They probably have a better live than their ancestors in the wild. (Unless they are factory farmed in tiny cages. That's just cruel).

    In the end? Us or them. It's that simple. I like animals a lot often more than a given human, but on general terms, I Like humanity more than... animality? Strange term. Anyway. I like science and technology and art and we produce that.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2014-10-28 at 05:49 AM.
    Secure your own mask before helping others.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Gnomvid's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Greenock, Scotland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    There is something else above us, bears, sharks and wolves for example and we demonize them at least we do for sharks, they do nothing wrong we just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and they are curious/defending a cub or desperately hungry and bad things happen.
    How ever whether something or someone is evil is a purely moral question and only because of the way we compare ourselves and the other entity.
    Last edited by Gnomvid; 2014-10-28 at 06:50 AM.
    Errare humanum est
    Live long and Prosper
    May the force be with you

    Avatar by linklele

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Killer Angel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lustria
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Tumnus View Post
    Now realize that thats humans. Is there any horror story that can compare to what humans do on a daily basis?
    Well, the shocking part in Matrix, where Morpheus explains to Neo that humans are harvested for energy, that's almost the standard procedure of many modern farms.
    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. (W.Whitman)


    Things that increase my self esteem:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
    Quote Originally Posted by grimbold View Post
    THIS is proof that KA is amazing
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Killer Angel, you have an excellent taste in books
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Historical zombies is a fantastic idea.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Switzerland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnomvid View Post
    There is something else above us, bears, sharks and wolves for example and we demonize them at least we do for sharks, they do nothing wrong we just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and they are curious/defending a cub or desperately hungry and bad things happen.
    How ever whether something or someone is evil is a purely moral question and only because of the way we compare ourselves and the other entity.
    I'm not sure you can say they are above us. Sure, they eat people, if they get them. But people also eat bears occasionally and we almost certainly eat more sharks than sharks eat humans. We probably just don't eat wolves because we don't like eating them. Some people might have done so anyway.
    Secure your own mask before helping others.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    My favourite movie of all times is "Aliens" ... I've never considered them "evil", however.

    Evil would be more "kill for sake of killing". That (almost) reminds me of the Predators. If you "kill for the sake of survival/food". No, that's not evil, that's just survival.

    Leave humans out of it. Are you saying a Lion that catches, kills and eats a gazelle is evil?

    So we can immediately rule out the simple act of "eating for survival" is not evil.

    What remains is the issue of "Is it evil to HARVEST another life form to provide MORE food?" :)

    Again, I don't think so. It sucks to be "the Food" .. but evil? No, I can't see it. Sure, as some have pointed out, I suppose some of it depends on how the "food" is treated, but .. *shrug*

    I'm "simple" .. I for one can't seem to feel bad for a chicken .. regardless of conditions :) Does that make me evil? (Hope not :) )
    Maybe a little callous .. but certainly not evil.
    Last edited by The_Ditto; 2014-10-28 at 07:38 AM. Reason: bad spelling
    Laugh at life.
    Laugh until you cry.


  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anarion's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    We draw a distinction between sentient and non-sentient. Not everyone agrees with it (e.g. vegetarians), but the point with the alien parasites is that they can communicate with us and know that we're self-aware, but they eat us anyway. We don't do that knowingly to any other species.
    Lawyer Pony by DirtyTabs

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Fred's a talking horse, he can do whatever he wants."

    Fred: "I want to steal"

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Those soybeans aren't even born yet, you monsters!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    We draw a distinction between sentient and non-sentient. Not everyone agrees with it (e.g. vegetarians), but the point with the alien parasites is that they can communicate with us and know that we're self-aware, but they eat us anyway. We don't do that knowingly to any other species.
    Well, I know a lot of people who talk to their plants ..

    Laugh at life.
    Laugh until you cry.


  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Bulldog Psion's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    I'll just note in passing that these threads seldom end well. Caveat postor.

    (And yes, I did just turn "poster" in to "postor" to make it look more Latin. )
    Spoiler
    Show

    So the song runs on, with shift and change,
    Through the years that have no name,
    And the late notes soar to a higher range,
    But the theme is still the same.
    Man's battle-cry and the guns' reply
    Blend in with the old, old rhyme
    That was traced in the score of the strata marks
    While millenniums winked like campfire sparks
    Down the winds of unguessed time. -- 4th Stanza, The Bad Lands, Badger Clark

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Asta Kask's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Cave posterior

    I.e., watch yo' ass.

    And yes, that is all kinds of grammatically wrong.
    Avatar by CoffeeIncluded

    Oooh, and that's a bad miss.

    “Don't exercise your freedom of speech until you have exercised your freedom of thought.”
    ― Tim Fargo

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Sounds like the parasite's value system does not distinguish all that much regarding how sapient an animal is. Most people who eat meat do make that distinction. By a human value system they only have a point if they are as sapient relative to us as we are relative to, say, pigs.

    Also, absolutely we can complain even if mindflayers or whatnot think it is morally justified to harvest humans. There's such a thing as self-preservation, after all. Bears hunt salmon, doesn't mean they are happy about being hunted in turn (leaving farms out of it entirely for the moment).

    If an alien does not consider us sapient, despite our best efforts to convince them otherwise: yeah that's a pretty significant difference in values. They are 'evil' by our value system, but we are not evil by theirs, since they and we agree on eating nonsapient creatures being valid. If an alien considers us, chickens, and pigs, equally 'sapient' to themselves, we might be somewhat evil by their value system ... but if they are eating us, so are they, just to a lesser extent. And practically every living thing on earth is. And eating them would be no morally different from them eating us, and do they really want to propose that?

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kajhera View Post
    Sounds like the parasite's value system does not distinguish all that much regarding how sapient an animal is. Most people who eat meat do make that distinction. By a human value system they only have a point if they are as sapient relative to us as we are relative to, say, pigs.
    A typical pig is more sentient than a person who has lost brain function. We don't go around eating people in permanent vegetative states, but I've got most of a pig in my freezer right now. On the other hand we harvest organs from braindead or recently dead people. To us the difference between serving up a car accident victim with celery and BBQ sauce, and sticking their kidney in somebody is pretty profound. Speaking for myself for instance the first makes my stomach turn just thinking about it, the second makes me at most slightly uncomfortable. But why would an alien parasite consider there to be any difference between eating us, and what we do to our own selves already?

    Still on the subject of alien parasites, consider this for weird. We'd certainly try like the devil to kill the things by any means possible. We wouldn't eat them. Even if we killed them simply to avoid getting turned into a walking container of alien baby food, we would not eat them as a rule. But we'd happily shoot, stab, burn, and nuke them. Probably give folks medals for doing it, but if they reach for the ketchup they've crossed one of those weird human lines in the sand.

    What I'm getting at here is not that we should start eating people, or stop eating non-human animals, or that it would be wrong to kill an alien trying to use us as a nursery for it's flesh-grubs, or right to eat that alien after we riddled it with holes. What I'm saying is that human morality (insofar as one can even talk about there being a singular human morality) is very weird, and centered almost entirely on humans. I don't think it's meaningful to say what human standards tell us about how non-human things should act towards each other, or towards us. It is meaningful to talk about how human standards inform how we relate to each other, and how we treat non-human creatures. There is nothing universally morally wrong with a bear that devours a person, just as there is nothing universally morally right about a dog that dies protecting the person from the bear. We judge the bear to be bad, because our values are rooted in preserving humans, and the dog to be right for the same reasons. But if we shifted our values in one direction, the dog was wrong for endangering itself for a 'mere' human, or for attacking something as important as a bear for the sake of just another hairless ape.
    Last edited by warty goblin; 2014-10-28 at 11:16 AM.
    Can you hear the lonely engines
    Screaming through the town
    There's nowhere to run
    When the darkness comes down


    Melissa Etheridge, Shriner's Park, from Your Little Secret, 1995.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Anarion's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kajhera View Post
    Also, absolutely we can complain even if mindflayers or whatnot think it is morally justified to harvest humans. There's such a thing as self-preservation, after all. Bears hunt salmon, doesn't mean they are happy about being hunted in turn (leaving farms out of it entirely for the moment).
    Well, now I'm picturing a squad of heavily armed Salmon rising and leaping out of the river and firing off several rounds at their bear oppressors.
    Last edited by Anarion; 2014-10-28 at 11:24 AM.
    Lawyer Pony by DirtyTabs

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Fred's a talking horse, he can do whatever he wants."

    Fred: "I want to steal"

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Tengu_temp's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Poland
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    This isn't a dilemma. This is the Standard Vampire Excuse, used by evil creatures to justify their choice to prey on humans instead of some other, non-sapient species.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    We draw a distinction between sentient and non-sentient. Not everyone agrees with it (e.g. vegetarians), but the point with the alien parasites is that they can communicate with us and know that we're self-aware, but they eat us anyway. We don't do that knowingly to any other species.
    Nitpick: sapient, not sentient. Most animals are sentient, all that's required is the ability to feel pleasure or pain. Sapience is much harder to achieve, and only a few species qualify - humans, some apes, arguably dolphins.

    Siela Tempo by the talented Kasanip. Tengu by myself.
    Super Robot Wars Unification - large-scale mecha game, now running, always recruiting!
    Spoiler
    Show





  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    This isn't a dilemma. This is the Standard Vampire Excuse, used by evil creatures to justify their choice to prey on humans instead of some other, non-sapient species.



    Nitpick: sapient, not sentient. Most animals are sentient, all that's required is the ability to feel pleasure or pain. Sapience is much harder to achieve, and only a few species qualify - humans, some apes, arguably dolphins.
    It's only an excuse if you assume human morality is portable to non-human species, which is to say it's rooted in anything more universal than human history, culture and biology. Otherwise it's simply a statement of moral reality for the species and creature in question. Given that human morality itself is extremely heterogeneous, I don't find the idea that a different species with different modes of reproduction, eating, communicating and interacting with their environment would by necessity have a human-style moral code at all convincing.
    Can you hear the lonely engines
    Screaming through the town
    There's nowhere to run
    When the darkness comes down


    Melissa Etheridge, Shriner's Park, from Your Little Secret, 1995.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Killer Angel's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lustria
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    We draw a distinction between sentient and non-sentient. Not everyone agrees with it (e.g. vegetarians), but the point with the alien parasites is that they can communicate with us and know that we're self-aware, but they eat us anyway. We don't do that knowingly to any other species.
    well, we kill / imprison animals that we know they're intelligent. Chimpanzees, dolphins, and so on. All this kind of reasonings, are on a slippery slope.

    There was an interesting SF story, where humans (castaway in spaaace on this wild planet) were captured by aliens and put in a sort of zoo; in the end, those humans (being very bored), put in a cage a little mouse, to pass some time.
    At that point, the aliens recognize the humans as an intelligent race...
    Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. (W.Whitman)


    Things that increase my self esteem:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeYounger View Post
    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu_Bonkosi View Post
    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
    Quote Originally Posted by grimbold View Post
    THIS is proof that KA is amazing
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'Dice Lost View Post
    Killer Angel, you have an excellent taste in books
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Historical zombies is a fantastic idea.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    firedaemon33's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Gender
    Intersex

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Humans have a human-centric (for the most part; One of the benefits of sapience is the ability to chose, for better or worse) morality system. Those that kill humans, for what ever reason, are evil, but killing and farming animals? Why not! Meat is yummy, after all.

    That said, I don't think there's a major problem with this. It is a survival trait of the utmost importance. For one, it removes members of the anthropological tribe that harm other members, as well as causing us to hunt things that might view us as a potential food source, thus solidifying our position at the top of the food chain.
    Argent Lunar Shromp by Recaiden~Quotebox

    Spoiler: Overwatch Beta Spoilers
    Show

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    RP limbo
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Tumnus View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating a vegan lifestyle, meat tastes too good.
    I'm pretty sure you are just by accepting the premise. That's a gateway premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Tumnus View Post
    Its just that this parasite thing kind of had a point, we justify doing what we do to animals because we're at the top of the food chain. If we found out there was something else above us, can we really complain if they do the same to us?
    No, it really doesn't, it's just sophistry. If they're intelligent enough to talk to us, they're definitely in the wrong morally, since they don't have to eat humans, they're just choosing to do so. And also creating quite a bit more trouble for themselves than they really would want anyway.
    Last edited by Coidzor; 2014-10-28 at 01:41 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    No, it really doesn't, it's just sophistry. If they're intelligent enough to talk to us, they're definitely in the wrong morally, since they don't have to eat humans, they're just choosing to do so. And also creating quite a bit more trouble for themselves than they really would want anyway.
    Actually, according to the source material (Parasyte) they do in fact have to eat humans, nothing else gives them sustenance. They address it in the series. The only reason the Parasyte that is with the main character can live is because the dude's blood is in his system. Rest of your points still stand however.
    Last edited by Razade; 2014-10-28 at 01:49 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Jaycemonde's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Satanic Sovereignty
    Gender
    Intersex

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Most animals don't have genders, they only have sexes. Only sentient things like humans have a recognizable concept of that stuff. Just gonna put that correction out there.

    Anyway, this whole thing is a loaded question, and it's going to veer into a bunch of topics we're supposed to stay away from before the day is out, so I'll pass on responding to the topic itself.
    Just find me on Skype or Tumblr. Maintaining a presence here is too emotionally and intellectually exhausting.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    I'm pretty sure you are just by accepting the premise. That's a gateway premise.
    Or you conclude that there's nothing morally objectionable about slime-beings from Zyrgon 12 harvesting humans for delicious, delicious human pot pie. One can still practically object to being baked in a flaky crust with potatoes and Great-Grandhivequeen's shridnark gravy, without necessarily thinking there's anything immoral about the thing trying to cook you. I don't think there's any sophistry to be had here, merely an acknowledgement that human morality only applies to human actors. Slime-beings for Zyrgon 12 are not human, the fact that for purposes of this scenario we can talk with them may be beside the point from their perspective. They may regularly talk with, and subsequently eat, each other after all. We tend to think eating things that talk is bad, because as a rule humans seem to have a very strong anti-cannibalistic impulse, but this is hardly ubiquitous. Chimpanzees fairly regularly kill and eat each other's young for instance, and they are as close to human as currently exists.
    Can you hear the lonely engines
    Screaming through the town
    There's nowhere to run
    When the darkness comes down


    Melissa Etheridge, Shriner's Park, from Your Little Secret, 1995.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Forum Explorer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Tumnus View Post
    So some background, I was watching this new fall anime Parasyte -the maxim- where these parasites come to earth, bond with existing lifeforms (usually humans), take over their bodies and then proceed to eat people. When the main character asks one of these parasites "You guys are monsters, why are you doing this?" the parasite responds with "We're not monsters, we're eating humans for food." At this point there have been about 80 of these strange murders caused by these things. The parasite then asks "Aren't humans really the monsters? How many millions of things do you kill each year and eat?" Its this statement that prompted this post.

    Picture a world where these ravenous creatures existed that enslaved and consumed the other, less intelligent creatures of that world. So great was their hunger that entire species went extinct in an attempt to satiate them. They forced the ones that didn't die out to mate in order to produce more food. They ate creatures of every gender and age, young, old, the strong, the weak and even the unborn.

    Now realize that thats humans. Is there any horror story that can compare to what humans do on a daily basis? Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating a vegan lifestyle, meat tastes too good. Its just that this parasite thing kind of had a point, we justify doing what we do to animals because we're at the top of the food chain. If we found out there was something else above us, can we really complain if they do the same to us?
    No not really. I could go on and on about morality but this example is really a bad one unless the parasites had to feed off of humans (for whatever reason). If they could eat any other creature then their argument doesn't have a leg to stand on.

    As for eating creatures, no it's not evil unless you want to argue that all of nature is evil, because yes animals eat as much food as they can get.

    Basically it's the level of intelligence that makes it taboo to go around eating people. Or dolphins, or chimps. (and most ape species for that matter)

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    A typical pig is more sentient than a person who has lost brain function. We don't go around eating people in permanent vegetative states, but I've got most of a pig in my freezer right now. On the other hand we harvest organs from braindead or recently dead people. To us the difference between serving up a car accident victim with celery and BBQ sauce, and sticking their kidney in somebody is pretty profound. Speaking for myself for instance the first makes my stomach turn just thinking about it, the second makes me at most slightly uncomfortable. But why would an alien parasite consider there to be any difference between eating us, and what we do to our own selves already?

    Still on the subject of alien parasites, consider this for weird. We'd certainly try like the devil to kill the things by any means possible. We wouldn't eat them. Even if we killed them simply to avoid getting turned into a walking container of alien baby food, we would not eat them as a rule. But we'd happily shoot, stab, burn, and nuke them. Probably give folks medals for doing it, but if they reach for the ketchup they've crossed one of those weird human lines in the sand.

    What I'm getting at here is not that we should start eating people, or stop eating non-human animals, or that it would be wrong to kill an alien trying to use us as a nursery for it's flesh-grubs, or right to eat that alien after we riddled it with holes. What I'm saying is that human morality (insofar as one can even talk about there being a singular human morality) is very weird, and centered almost entirely on humans. I don't think it's meaningful to say what human standards tell us about how non-human things should act towards each other, or towards us. It is meaningful to talk about how human standards inform how we relate to each other, and how we treat non-human creatures. There is nothing universally morally wrong with a bear that devours a person, just as there is nothing universally morally right about a dog that dies protecting the person from the bear. We judge the bear to be bad, because our values are rooted in preserving humans, and the dog to be right for the same reasons. But if we shifted our values in one direction, the dog was wrong for endangering itself for a 'mere' human, or for attacking something as important as a bear for the sake of just another hairless ape.
    It's because humans are built to identify with and value other humans. Cannibalism is considered taboo, because it devalues humans by reducing them to 'food item'. After all, other food items exist and should be eaten before resorting to eating other people. Which is why there are times where cannibalism is considered acceptable, such as being stranded on a boat with no other resources. Most people would not consider the survivors who resorted to such methods in order to survive as evil.

    Similarly 'useful' animals like dogs, cats, and horses tend to have taboos against eating them as well, though obviously not everywhere, and other high intelligence animals are seen as more 'human' and are considered taboo to eat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Killer Angel View Post
    well, we kill / imprison animals that we know they're intelligent. Chimpanzees, dolphins, and so on. All this kind of reasonings, are on a slippery slope.

    There was an interesting SF story, where humans (castaway in spaaace on this wild planet) were captured by aliens and put in a sort of zoo; in the end, those humans (being very bored), put in a cage a little mouse, to pass some time.
    At that point, the aliens recognize the humans as an intelligent race...
    We kill and imprison humans too.

    Generally killing an ape or a dolphin for no reason is considered bad by society. But we still value them less then humans so if they are a threat to humans it's considered acceptable to kill them. It's also considered 'worth it' if killing them is for a scientific endeavor as the hope is that in doing so we would be better able to preserve them and others.

    Imprisoning them falls under the same 'worth it' category. It provides more knowledge, keeps public interest, even preserves genetic stock is necessary. We also try and keep their captivity as humane as possible, to the point where someone could seriously argue that the life an animals experiences in a high quality zoo is superior to a life in the wild.
    In order to understand recursion you must first understand recursion.


    Thanks to Elder Tsofu for my new Lancer Avatar


    Spoiler: Regarding RPG Discussions
    Show
    I don't care about RAW. I only care about RAI (Rules as Interpreted/Intended), RACS (Rules as Common Sense) and RAF (Rules as Fun).

    Please don't bother to respond to me if all you want to talk about is RAW.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    RP limbo
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Razade View Post
    Actually, according to the source material (Parasyte) they do in fact have to eat humans, nothing else gives them sustenance. They address it in the series. The only reason the Parasyte that is with the main character can live is because the dude's blood is in his system. Rest of your points still stand however.
    ...Yeah, then it's even worse because they're aliens whose biology is somehow set up so they can only survive off of humans. That's fine for soft sci-fi silliness, but not so good for actually taking anything said seriously vis-a-vis philosophy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    ...Yeah, then it's even worse because they're aliens whose biology is somehow set up so they can only survive off of humans. That's fine for soft sci-fi silliness, but not so good for actually taking anything said seriously vis-a-vis philosophy.
    Oh totally. The actual story doesn't even try to address the "Maybe we're the monsters" angle. It's the reverse in a lot of situations, where the Parasytes are trying to live like Humans. Humans are never portrayed as the enemy in the series unless they're trying to kill peaceful Parasytes. Parasyte is a story about prejudice and acceptance rather than a story about the assumed moral implications of living in a anthropocentric world view. There's also a pretty interesting Coming of Age aspect to it since the main character is a teen thinking about getting into a romantic relationship with someone. So it's got angles of "Growing into an Adult" parallells too. That's even how the story concludes, the "bestial, aggressive instincts" all but disappearing once the character has actually consummated said relationship with the female lead.
    Last edited by Razade; 2014-10-28 at 02:13 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    ...Yeah, then it's even worse because they're aliens whose biology is somehow set up so they can only survive off of humans. That's fine for soft sci-fi silliness, but not so good for actually taking anything said seriously vis-a-vis philosophy.
    Not even that, it's just bad genetics :) Earth has had a few samples of such animals who were solely dependant on another specific species for food. The one species dies out, and bam, the other one dies out as well since their only food source is gone. :)

    So although possible in nature, it's generally not seen as an "optimal evolutionary option" ;)
    Laugh at life.
    Laugh until you cry.


  27. - Top - End - #27
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Coidzor's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    RP limbo
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Or you conclude that there's nothing morally objectionable about slime-beings from Zyrgon 12 harvesting humans for delicious, delicious human pot pie. One can still practically object to being baked in a flaky crust with potatoes and Great-Grandhivequeen's shridnark gravy, without necessarily thinking there's anything immoral about the thing trying to cook you. I don't think there's any sophistry to be had here, merely an acknowledgement that human morality only applies to human actors. Slime-beings for Zyrgon 12 are not human, the fact that for purposes of this scenario we can talk with them may be beside the point from their perspective. They may regularly talk with, and subsequently eat, each other after all. We tend to think eating things that talk is bad, because as a rule humans seem to have a very strong anti-cannibalistic impulse, but this is hardly ubiquitous. Chimpanzees fairly regularly kill and eat each other's young for instance, and they are as close to human as currently exists.
    Understanding is the line between an entity being an amoral actor when it chooses to kill and eat a human, as in the case of a shark or tiger, and immoral as in the case of a human or other sophont.

    If the slime beings are capable of communicating with us and understanding us to any extent then it is immoral for them to decide to try to kill and eat us because they think we'd taste delicious rather than merely amoral, even given their alien mindset. If they aren't, then, well, we're back to Ender's Game, and Orson Scott Card's homophobia, played straight without the subversion at the end.

    I'm not sure what your're trying to argue for with chimps, though. It's not immoral when chimps rape and kill one another because they're not quite sophonts? It's morally OK for chimps to rape and kill one another merely because they're not human if we accept that they are sophonts?
    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    +3 Girlfriend is totally unoptimized. You are better off with a +1 Keen Witty girlfriend and then appling Greater Magic Make-up to increase her enhancement bonus.
    Homebrew
    To Do: Reboot and finish Riptide

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2014

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    Understanding is the line between an entity being an amoral actor when it chooses to kill and eat a human, as in the case of a shark or tiger, and immoral as in the case of a human or other sophont.

    If the slime beings are capable of communicating with us and understanding us to any extent then it is immoral for them to decide to try to kill and eat us because they think we'd taste delicious rather than merely amoral, even given their alien mindset. If they aren't, then, well, we're back to Ender's Game, and Orson Scott Card's homophobia, played straight without the subversion at the end.

    I'm not sure what your're trying to argue for with chimps, though. It's not immoral when chimps rape and kill one another because they're not quite sophonts? It's morally OK for chimps to rape and kill one another merely because they're not human if we accept that they are sophonts?
    Cannabilism in nature doesn't even matter in this discussion as it's not generally done for actual food but for territorial reasons even when it comes to chimps. The incidence levels of said cannibalism is also not nearly as high as "fairly regularly" unless Warty Goblin has statiscs to back that up.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Earth?

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I'm not sure you can say they are above us. Sure, they eat people, if they get them. But people also eat bears occasionally and we almost certainly eat more sharks than sharks eat humans.
    The number of sharks killed by humans each year (primarily for their fins, which are eaten) runs well into the millions. The number of humans killed by unprovoked shark attacks in a year hardly ever reaches ten.

    It's also worth noting that while we don't eat them, humans kill a lot more wolves than wolves do humans. Orders of magnitude more. Bears are also hunted and killed for reasons other than food (or folk medicine), again to a substantially greater degree than they kill humans.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Erloas's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Are we evil?

    Quote Originally Posted by Razade View Post
    Actually, according to the source material (Parasyte) they do in fact have to eat humans, nothing else gives them sustenance. They address it in the series. The only reason the Parasyte that is with the main character can live is because the dude's blood is in his system. Rest of your points still stand however.
    Yeah, as at least one other person has said, that makes no sense at all. That is poorly thought out science even for something like sci-fi. How did the parasyte ever live long enough to become capable of traveling space if they can only live off of one creature that doesn't even live in the same solar system.
    There is also nothing at all unique about humans in terms of chemical/biological makeup that would make only humans work. Even while we're smarter than most creatures around it isn't even like our brain is really different, just more of it.


    As for cannibalism, while I don't remember for sure, I think one of the main reasons it is taboo in so many different cultures and times around the world is because of medical reasons. I don't remember what happens, and it probably isn't the sort of thing that happens quickly, but it causes some problems. I could probably look it up fairly easily but I'm not in the mood to.
    Maybe similar to mad cow disease?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •