Warren's Space Traveler

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WanderingGaze22
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Warren's Space Traveler

Post by WanderingGaze22 »

Imagine you are an astronaut traveling to distant worlds and cataloging whatever life you find on these distant planets. You then discover a planet with only a wide variety of flora and fauna. You have a choice to catalog those species either as an advanced "people-like" species with full moral rights and protections, a mid-level species that should be protected from destruction but not placed at the level of people, or as species that can be used as resources and food. How do you make this decision? Upon what qualities do you base this decision upon? Keep in mind that plants such as the texas poppymallow and the hinchley oak are just as at risk for endangerment as bison and tigers.

Terrestrial Variation: Is it ethical to eat all non-human species (plants, animals, etc.) on earth? If so, how is this behavior justified? If not, upon which criteria would you base the eating of one species over another? the link below goes into depth on animals and ethics.

https://iep.utm.edu/anim-eth/
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chewybrian
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by chewybrian »

It seems either extreme is easy to support, yet the ground falls out from beneath you if you try to establish a position in the middle.

You could observe that eating other animals is the way of the world. Other species eat plants and animals and even cultivate them or use them to serve their needs as they are able. So, we could do whatever we want with any other species, perhaps only having an ethical obligation to be no more cruel than necessary to achieve our aims.

On the other hand, if we are going to have empathy for other species, then it is silly to draw to draw lines where such empathy can reasonably end. Pigs are food, milk cows are food factories, horses are servants, dogs are pets and eagles are free spirits that get to be left to themselves... You couldn't explain any of this to a visitor from another planet who didn't share our traditions or notions of beauty and such.

Perhaps the only defensible bit of middle ground is secondary use. Using bees for honey, cows for milk or chickens for eggs seems reasonable enough if they have good lives. If we treat them as well as we treat our dogs, then we can justify this use, I think. We don't even have to kill plants to use them, as we can eat apples and still be kind to apple trees.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."
WanderingGaze22
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by WanderingGaze22 »

chewybrian wrote: December 7th, 2021, 8:14 am
Perhaps the only defensible bit of middle ground is secondary use. Using bees for honey, cows for milk or chickens for eggs seems reasonable enough if they have good lives. If we treat them as well as we treat our dogs, then we can justify this use, I think. We don't even have to kill plants to use them, as we can eat apples and still be kind to apple trees.
So bottom line is, harvesting plants and animals for food is within ethical norms so long as it is not harmful to the environment, like overharvesting.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by Pattern-chaser »

chewybrian wrote: December 7th, 2021, 8:14 am You could observe that eating other animals is the way of the world. Other species eat plants and animals and even cultivate them or use them to serve their needs as they are able. So, we could do whatever we want with any other species, perhaps only having an ethical obligation to be no more cruel than necessary to achieve our aims.
This chimes with my view on 'taking our fair share', and no more. It says we can eat other animals, plants, fungi, etc, just as nearly all other living things do, but only as much as the environment, considered in its totality, and also considering the needs of non-human life, can spare. Yes?
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LuckyR
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by LuckyR »

There seem to be three axes that one can use to make a decision. What is the norm on the planet (what is happening), what one needs to survive and thrive (what needs to happen) and what your thoughts of fairness or propriety for sensient beings should be (what should happen).
"As usual... it depends."
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chewybrian
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

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Pattern-chaser wrote: December 8th, 2021, 12:06 pm
chewybrian wrote: December 7th, 2021, 8:14 am You could observe that eating other animals is the way of the world. Other species eat plants and animals and even cultivate them or use them to serve their needs as they are able. So, we could do whatever we want with any other species, perhaps only having an ethical obligation to be no more cruel than necessary to achieve our aims.
This chimes with my view on 'taking our fair share', and no more. It says we can eat other animals, plants, fungi, etc, just as nearly all other living things do, but only as much as the environment, considered in its totality, and also considering the needs of non-human life, can spare. Yes?
That sounds reasonable enough, and I don't disagree. I was only pointing out the absurdity of drawing lines and saying some animals are fair game and some are off limits. Trying to explaining it objectively would be like trying to justify racism to an alien who had no concept to match.

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Sculptor1
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by Sculptor1 »

My feeling would be that this new planet be protected qua a unique ecosystem, which is deserving of protection from the horrors we have already visited upon our own ecosystem in earth.

Luckily it will never make any economic sense to exploit such a planet since there is no material in the universe which cannot be sought from within our own solar system, and it is highly unlikely that any material outisde the immediate orbit of earth is capable of economic exploitation due to the prohibitive distances of space, time and the colossal amounts of energy to cover minor distances in interplanatary space.

In the very unlikely event that humans learn how to overcome the gargantuan problems of space travel we are likely to have technologoes so advnaced that we would have no need to exploit other planets.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by Sculptor1 »

chewybrian wrote: December 8th, 2021, 6:57 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: December 8th, 2021, 12:06 pm
chewybrian wrote: December 7th, 2021, 8:14 am You could observe that eating other animals is the way of the world. Other species eat plants and animals and even cultivate them or use them to serve their needs as they are able. So, we could do whatever we want with any other species, perhaps only having an ethical obligation to be no more cruel than necessary to achieve our aims.
This chimes with my view on 'taking our fair share', and no more. It says we can eat other animals, plants, fungi, etc, just as nearly all other living things do, but only as much as the environment, considered in its totality, and also considering the needs of non-human life, can spare. Yes?
That sounds reasonable enough, and I don't disagree. I was only pointing out the absurdity of drawing lines and saying some animals are fair game and some are off limits. Trying to explaining it objectively would be like trying to justify racism to an alien who had no concept to match.

Yes, but you are only saying that because you are Half-Black.
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Sy Borg
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by Sy Borg »

A technical issue (aside from the fact that biological humans will never visit exoplanets).

Numerous species on Earth are inedible, so it would be very possible that virtually all of the alien species are made from stuff that we are not evolved to digest.

If our miraculous space travellers did manage to find a rich ecosystem, the first thing they would do is survey the environment chemically at a distance to ensure that 1) the environment is not harmful to them and 2) they are not harmful to the environment. The second last thing they would want to do is walk on another biological world with Earth microbes and end up wiping out the entire alien biosphere.

Putting aside the realism and logistics, I would expect the usual criteria to apply, based on analogies with Earth animals that fill similar environmental niches. Generally, large and small herbivores are standard fare for large predators like humans. Of course, with the right supplementation, there would be no need to directly kill any alien animals (or humanoids) for food.
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Pattern-chaser
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by Pattern-chaser »

Sy Borg wrote: December 8th, 2021, 7:22 pm A technical issue (aside from the fact that biological humans will never visit exoplanets).

Numerous species on Earth are inedible, so it would be very possible that virtually all of the alien species are made from stuff that we are not evolved to digest.

If our miraculous space travellers did manage to find a rich ecosystem, the first thing they would do is survey the environment chemically at a distance to ensure that 1) the environment is not harmful to them and 2) they are not harmful to the environment. The second last thing they would want to do is walk on another biological world with Earth microbes and end up wiping out the entire alien biosphere.

Putting aside the realism and logistics, I would expect the usual criteria to apply, based on analogies with Earth animals that fill similar environmental niches. Generally, large and small herbivores are standard fare for large predators like humans. Of course, with the right supplementation, there would be no need to directly kill any alien animals (or humanoids) for food.
Oh, I don't know. When European settlers did this to the Americas, they didn't realise what they were doing. But if they had, do we really think they would have held back in the use of this biological weapon? They came to take everything from anyone who was already there, and they attempted to annihilate the current residents almost as soon as they discovered their presence. They would've carried on, even if they knew what they were doing. And they would do the same on any other planet, I'm afraid.
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chewybrian
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by chewybrian »

Sculptor1 wrote: December 8th, 2021, 7:06 pm
chewybrian wrote: December 8th, 2021, 6:57 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: December 8th, 2021, 12:06 pm
chewybrian wrote: December 7th, 2021, 8:14 am You could observe that eating other animals is the way of the world. Other species eat plants and animals and even cultivate them or use them to serve their needs as they are able. So, we could do whatever we want with any other species, perhaps only having an ethical obligation to be no more cruel than necessary to achieve our aims.
This chimes with my view on 'taking our fair share', and no more. It says we can eat other animals, plants, fungi, etc, just as nearly all other living things do, but only as much as the environment, considered in its totality, and also considering the needs of non-human life, can spare. Yes?
That sounds reasonable enough, and I don't disagree. I was only pointing out the absurdity of drawing lines and saying some animals are fair game and some are off limits. Trying to explaining it objectively would be like trying to justify racism to an alien who had no concept to match.
Yes, but you are only saying that because you are Half-Black.
That's exactly the kind of rubbish I would expect from a Half-White
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."
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Sculptor1
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Re: Warren's Space Traveler

Post by Sculptor1 »

chewybrian wrote: December 9th, 2021, 8:00 am
Sculptor1 wrote: December 8th, 2021, 7:06 pm
chewybrian wrote: December 8th, 2021, 6:57 pm
Pattern-chaser wrote: December 8th, 2021, 12:06 pm

This chimes with my view on 'taking our fair share', and no more. It says we can eat other animals, plants, fungi, etc, just as nearly all other living things do, but only as much as the environment, considered in its totality, and also considering the needs of non-human life, can spare. Yes?
That sounds reasonable enough, and I don't disagree. I was only pointing out the absurdity of drawing lines and saying some animals are fair game and some are off limits. Trying to explaining it objectively would be like trying to justify racism to an alien who had no concept to match.
Yes, but you are only saying that because you are Half-Black.
That's exactly the kind of rubbish I would expect from a Half-White
Typical ungrateful Half black.
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