Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

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Thrylix
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Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Thrylix » January 11th, 2014, 2:49 am

I'm 23 years old, had to go to a picnic today. I got up to throw something in the garbage and at the garbage can noticed a horde of ants bustling around a little ant mound. I was bored so I lifted my foot over them and stamped it down. After flattening them and their little home under my shoe, I walked back to the blanket.

When I sat back down, I leaned over to check out all the crushed ants stuck to my foot. My friend and I sort of snickered because the ants I carried through the grass on the bottom of my feet were only half-crushed and squirming in the treads of my running shoe. Then out of nowhere some guy who I didn't know saw me and called me a "white bully" and "inhumane" because I step on ants. I told him to bend down and kiss my stinking feet. I know, not nice, heh.

Now when you've stepping on bugs your whole life like I have, an anthill is no big deal. Meanwhile,I know jains respect all life and believe that my actions are wrong. But how is that explained? I thought they believed in reincarnation but how does that work? Do they believe that bugs are reincarnated from people?

If I'm stepping on someone's aunt joan, is that really such a bad thing? I guess my thoughts would be eh, better luck next time. There was probably a reason why her new home is a patch of mud on the bottom of my size 12 running shoe.

Do you think stepping on bugs is wrong - why or why not?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Scott » January 11th, 2014, 2:00 pm

Specific questions like this do not seem to really be philosophical per se. There is countless questions of "Is X immoral" replacing X with any one of countless different actions. However, all these different questions--and the disagreements that ensue--rest on deeper, philosophical questions: What does it mean to say something is "morally right" or "morally wrong"? What does it mean to say something is "immoral"? What qualities make an action or a person "immoral"?

You ask if stepping on bugs is immoral but give no ruler upon which to measure the morality of such an action. We can use your ruler if you want, but then we need you to give it to us. For comparison's sake, do you think intentionally dropping a piano and a human stranger passing by thus killing the stranger is "right" or "wrong"? Why? Do you think masturbating is "right or wrong"? Why? Do you think it would be "right" or "wrong" to issue a global IQ test and then execute every human that scores as severely mentally retarded? Why? Answering these kinds of questions will help to address the underlying philosophical issues and demonstrate what you actually mean when you say "right" or "wrong".
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Theophane » January 11th, 2014, 4:25 pm

A few months ago, I had a very strange and unsettling encounter with some wasps. They had somehow found their way up inside the fluorescent light panels in my kitchen, buzzing around inanely. :shock: I removed the panels and then I killed them all, using a wet cloth to swat them out of the air. The wasp is the more aggressive cousin of the bee, and can attack with smooth stingers, as many times as they want. Had they built a nest somewhere in my home? I looked, but did not find a nest. The wasps were not aggressive at all, and made no attempt to sting me. Being so close to the fluorescent tubes had made them dopey. I killed them because I didn't want to get stung by them. I've been stung by bees before and wasp-stings are supposed to be even more painful.

Stepping on bugs in their natural habitat --the outdoors!-- seems like wanton destruction of Nature. If the creepy crawlers have infested any area of your house, you shouldn't feel guilty about eradicating them before they form colonies where they are not welcome!

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Misty » January 11th, 2014, 7:10 pm

Yes, it is wrong to step on bugs just because you can or want to. What did you get out of it?
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Darshan » January 11th, 2014, 9:44 pm

Earthellism, a philosophy for the 21st century, can answer this question and the broader question of animal research and PETA. Bugs have the right to exist but spread disease/destroy food and can bite humans. Humans have the right to kill bugs in self-defense. If one encounters bugs in their natural environment, one should respect their right to exist. However, earthellism teaches us that hell is here on the surface of earth and bugs are in a severe form of hell where they are surrounded by giant creatures that can crush them at any time. A recent movie "The Mist" reversed the roles of humans and bugs by making the bugs hundreds of times bigger than humans and we were their victims. The Mist was a reflection of the hell bugs live in here on earth. More seriously, animal research and PETA can all learn from earthellism. These animals are on earth/hell and they are living in a extreme form of hell where they are tortured then killed. Earthellism teaches us that we must respect their sacrifice to us for research or food and make sure they do not suffer and to kill them humanely. The Naïve Americans would hunt a deer and after killing the deer would apologize to the deer as it dies and thank the deer for its sacrifice. This is what earthellism would tell us to do whenever we kill an innocent creature, but earthellism reminds us that all innocent pain, suffering and death is fully compensated by a just and loving God. God is Love and Love is God.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Discards » January 12th, 2014, 3:08 am

Obviously you think it's right, so who cares? Hopefully, you will be stepped on by aging and the deterioration of your body and when you no longer have the physical capacity to resist the universal connectivity of all living and non-living things, your mind - in it's final throws of confusion and existence - will hark back to the day you stepped on all those ants - replacing this hubris you present with remorse. And though with sincere regret you will likely feel sorry for those ants, you will also call out for someone to save you - as they likely writhed beneath your shoe wishing that - by whatever grave chance of fate had come upon them - that they were not in such exceeding amounts of pain. Maybe then, you will find the answer to your question. In the mean time, keep stepping on ants. I'm sure the innocent forgiveness that children receive for this kind of act still applies to young men your age --- NAWT!

-- Updated January 12th, 2014, 2:42 am to add the following --
Theophane wrote:A few months ago, I had a very strange and unsettling encounter with some wasps. They had somehow found their way up inside the fluorescent light panels in my kitchen, buzzing around inanely. :shock: I removed the panels and then I killed them all, using a wet cloth to swat them out of the air. The wasp is the more aggressive cousin of the bee, and can attack with smooth stingers, as many times as they want. Had they built a nest somewhere in my home? I looked, but did not find a nest. The wasps were not aggressive at all, and made no attempt to sting me. Being so close to the fluorescent tubes had made them dopey. I killed them because I didn't want to get stung by them. I've been stung by bees before and wasp-stings are supposed to be even more painful.

Stepping on bugs in their natural habitat --the outdoors!-- seems like wanton destruction of Nature. If the creepy crawlers have infested any area of your house, you shouldn't feel guilty about eradicating them before they form colonies where they are not welcome!
Same goes for you! Don't you see that was a message from your ancestors!!!? You killed your ancestors who were merely attempting to bring you honey as an offering!!!? Callous! So callous, it makes me sick. Taking what you had no right to. One da maybe you will be in the throngs of a great disease that will take your life, and when your faculties are too weak to resist the universal connectivity of all things, your mind may hark back this day of wasp slaughter. And you might think about their suffering, and wonder if ever you could turn back time just to undo that event so that on the precipice of death you would not have to endure the complexity of having brought more suffering into the world and, as a necessity of universal causality, your very own self!!!

-- Updated January 12th, 2014, 2:48 am to add the following --
Darshan wrote:Earthellism, a philosophy for the 21st century, can answer this question and the broader question of animal research and PETA. Bugs have the right to exist but spread disease/destroy food and can bite humans. Humans have the right to kill bugs in self-defense. If one encounters bugs in their natural environment, one should respect their right to exist. However, earthellism teaches us that hell is here on the surface of earth and bugs are in a severe form of hell where they are surrounded by giant creatures that can crush them at any time. A recent movie "The Mist" reversed the roles of humans and bugs by making the bugs hundreds of times bigger than humans and we were their victims. The Mist was a reflection of the hell bugs live in here on earth. More seriously, animal research and PETA can all learn from earthellism. These animals are on earth/hell and they are living in a extreme form of hell where they are tortured then killed. Earthellism teaches us that we must respect their sacrifice to us for research or food and make sure they do not suffer and to kill them humanely. The Naïve Americans would hunt a deer and after killing the deer would apologize to the deer as it dies and thank the deer for its sacrifice. This is what earthellism would tell us to do whenever we kill an innocent creature, but earthellism reminds us that all innocent pain, suffering and death is fully compensated by a just and loving God. God is Love and Love is God.
You make some intriguing points. One movie that I think is right up your alley is "The Happening" - with - you know Mark Wallberg! Gotta see it. Really resonates with the kind of points you're making. Man versus nature. I recommend you watch it if you haven't already. In my opinion it was even better than "The Mist".
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Stormcloud » January 12th, 2014, 7:28 am

Discards, it sounds as though you have explained the 'life review' that some of us believe people go through during the death throes. You know, when one lies there helplessly and the conscience surfaces and has free reign. I have seen patients and aged people go through this traumatic experience and it is not pleasant. Mind you, I have wrestled with this very unwanton destruction in myself to the extent of feeling terrible remorse and have had to make alot of effort to free myself of this urge to kill what I fear. I imagine a spider and I changing size - as mentioned above and have taken a magnifying glass to creatures to observe up close what I am destroying - worse, causing horrendous pain to and I have felt disgust. The only positive to come out of this is that the disgust causes me to reflect on my thoughts/actions and, hopefully learn to revere ALL life, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant. It would appear that conditioning has alot to do with how we view living things. The chain of conditioning needs to be broken by teaching children in school the interdependence of all living things and the need for respect.

Sounds like a confessional dunnit :lol:

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Greta » January 12th, 2014, 8:32 pm

The ants had lives. They were going about their business just like you or me. In the past I've killed ants out of curiosity and today I still kill them when they invade the house. I consider the former to be bullying and the latter defence of my territory and food.

I can't speak about right and wrong outside of our cultural bubble because nature is full of suffering meted out by animals on each other and we're part of that. However, I do think wanton killing of creatures demonstrates a lack of empathy for the critters and I'd rather take a live and let live approach where practicable.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Spiral Out » January 12th, 2014, 8:56 pm

I generally live and let live, but I burned an entire eight-foot tall bush down in order to destroy a nest of yellow jackets after one had stung me on the neck. Up until then I had left them alone. But actions have consequences and I have a temper.

It is what it is.
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Theophane » January 13th, 2014, 8:36 am

Same goes for you! Don't you see that was a message from your ancestors!!!? You killed your ancestors who were merely attempting to bring you honey as an offering!!!? Callous! So callous, it makes me sick. Taking what you had no right to. One da maybe you will be in the throngs of a great disease that will take your life, and when your faculties are too weak to resist the universal connectivity of all things, your mind may hark back this day of wasp slaughter. And you might think about their suffering, and wonder if ever you could turn back time just to undo that event so that on the precipice of death you would not have to endure the complexity of having brought more suffering into the world and, as a necessity of universal causality, your very own self!!!
Discards, have you ever tried to negotiate with wasps?

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Dukedroklar » January 19th, 2014, 5:25 am

When you learn empathy you'll have your answer.
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Spiral Out » January 19th, 2014, 10:07 am

Dukedroklar wrote:When you learn empathy you'll have your answer.
I've been told that I over-empathize with others (Humans, that is), yet I have no qualms about burning alive an entire nest of Yellow Jackets after one has stung me.

How does one empathize, that is, to understand and share the feelings of another, with completely non-analogous beings and who have no feelings?

If we were to "understand and share the feelings" of beings that are feelingless, then I guess we do in fact have our answer!
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Valentine-turjery » January 19th, 2014, 2:12 pm

Earthellism........
If I lived on a planet of gigantic monstrous wasp and beetles and ants, I'd keep the hell out of their way. I wouldn't bring my mates and root around in their cupboards. I wouldn't irritate them by nipping them on the nose and injecting my saliva into their skin.

If I did miff one of these enormous creatures off, I'd consider myself very, very, very fortunate - spoiled even - if my only punishment was to be caught in a glass and transported back outside.

We are a part of nature and vie with the others for survival and comfort. If a tiny insect is stupid enough to take on a human, they have to take what's coming to them. Perhaps in this way evolution will eventually settle the partition.

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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Dukedroklar » January 19th, 2014, 3:54 pm

Spiral Out wrote: I've been told that I over-empathize with others (Humans, that is), yet I have no qualms about burning alive an entire nest of Yellow Jackets after one has stung me.
When I was roughly 7-8 I lived in the outbacks of PA surrounded by nature. One of the things I would do is play with the wasps. I would slowly approach their nests and lay my hand a foot or so away. Eventually one or more would crawl on and I would slowly bring them close to my face and look at them while talking softly. I would wonder if they had thoughts and if so, what. When I was done I would slowly put my hand back down and wait for them to get off.

One day my sister ran up to me while doing this and startled me. I accidently squeezed one that was in my palm and it stung me. I never played with them again after that but never blamed them for it either.

As an adult I have killed nests of wasps and spiders that I consider a threat to my family but it's not an easy thing for me to do.
Spiral Out wrote: How does one empathize, that is, to understand and share the feelings of another, with completely non-analogous beings and who have no feelings?
How do you know they don't have "feelings"? They obviously feel and experience pain as that is easy to prove. Imo, If they feel pain then there must be some form of mind to receive and react to it. Our brains didn't evolve in a vacuum so I do not believe our sense of consciousness evolved in a vacuum either. I believe they do have a sense of consciousness although it's very unlikely it is anywhere near as complex as ours.

This is one of the things I loved so much about the movie / book "Enders Game". He was able to empathize with completely foreign creatures. Of course they made it easier since they gave them some human emotions for people to relate to.
Spiral Out wrote:If we were to "understand and share the feelings" of beings that are feelingless, then I guess we do in fact have our answer!
They do feel pain as I stated above. Regardless of whether the pain elicits an emotional response is irrelevant imo. They are not miniature robots they are biological creatures. When they move away from a flame it is obviously to avoid pain and not a programed routine telling them to move away from heat.

One could say "you have no way to know this" but it really is simple logic based on evolution. Nature doesn't change much in the way it functions. Pain is a good tool to keep a creature away from something harmful. Pleasure is a good tool to reinforce desired or advantageous results. Emotions are a good tool to assist a pack or social creature. As long as something has a nervous system and a brain it is a pretty sure bet they experience a lot of the same things to various degrees.

So for me, insects are an easy thing to empathize with. What I would consider too great a leap would be to empathize with plant life as it doesn't posses a brain and therefore I have nothing to relate to them on any level. Doesn't mean I do not appreciate their beauty and importance to the ecosystem. How I wonder at the delicate balance and interaction between flora and fauna. The wonder of how they evolved to use the fauna in its own life cycle is pure beauty to me.

But eh, I never claimed to be like others...
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Re: Do you think stepping on bugs is right or wrong- why?

Post by Valentine-turjery » January 19th, 2014, 4:22 pm

As long as something has a nervous system and a brain it is a pretty sure bet they experience a lot of the same things to various degrees.
Before I comment fully on this, are you sure you want to stand by it? To clarify, you're stating that experience is largely identical between, say, humans and grasshoppers? That there is little to tell between the psychology of these two creatures?

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