Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

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Ayaan_817
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Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Ayaan_817 » May 4th, 2020, 3:26 am

CIPA or congenital insensitivity to pain is one of the rarest diseases in the world. A very rare condition and it is also known as congenital analgia. People diagnosed with this condition have their pain sensors turned off and they can’t feel any pain.

So, if they can't even feel pain, it can't be immoral or unethical to hurt them?

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Marvin_Edwards
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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Marvin_Edwards » May 4th, 2020, 6:57 am

Ayaan_817 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 3:26 am
CIPA or congenital insensitivity to pain is one of the rarest diseases in the world. A very rare condition and it is also known as congenital analgia. People diagnosed with this condition have their pain sensors turned off and they can’t feel any pain.

So, if they can't even feel pain, it can't be immoral or unethical to hurt them?
It is immoral to cause unnecessary harm.
Pain is only a symptom of harm, but the harm is still a harm.

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Thomyum2
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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Thomyum2 » May 4th, 2020, 8:31 am

Ayaan_817 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 3:26 am
CIPA or congenital insensitivity to pain is one of the rarest diseases in the world. A very rare condition and it is also known as congenital analgia. People diagnosed with this condition have their pain sensors turned off and they can’t feel any pain.

So, if they can't even feel pain, it can't be immoral or unethical to hurt them?
Your question as posed, I think, becomes meaningless because of the ambiguity in the definition of the word 'hurt', which can mean both to 'cause pain' as well as to 'injure'. In the first sense, if a person can't feel pain, then you couldn't 'hurt' them anyway even if you tried, so there is no ethical issue. But in the second sense, since they can be injured regardless of whether they feel pain or not, it becomes irrelevant to the question if you are still causing harm.

Perhaps a way to put the question which would present a more interesting dilemma would be to ask if, given the fact that different people feel different degrees of pain, would there be a moral difference between 'hurting' someone who is able to feel pain more versus one who feels it less?

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by thrasymachus » May 4th, 2020, 10:33 am

Thomyum2
Your question as posed, I think, becomes meaningless because of the ambiguity in the definition of the word 'hurt', which can mean both to 'cause pain' as well as to 'injure'. In the first sense, if a person can't feel pain, then you couldn't 'hurt' them anyway even if you tried, so there is no ethical issue. But in the second sense, since they can be injured regardless of whether they feel pain or not, it becomes irrelevant to the question if you are still causing harm.

Perhaps a way to put the question which would present a more interesting dilemma would be to ask if, given the fact that different people feel different degrees of pain, would there be a moral difference between 'hurting' someone who is able to feel pain more versus one who feels it less?
Hmmmm interesting. I think it goes like this: If a person has diminished capacity to feel pain, then to the extent the pain is diminished, the moral prohibition is mitigated. However, this person and the possible contexts of her receiving pain or otherwise are not so "utility sterile", you might say; that is, it's not that simple. This person was presumably raised in a culture like ours where the idea of intentional physical injury is abhorrent and the "very thought" of such a thing is, well, unnerving (pun intended). These thoughts should not be sidelined, after all, in matters of ethics in general, the meaning and value of life is preserved IN the sentiment, especially in the absence of a religious authority so pervasive in modern culture. So, the very idea of sticking pins and needles in a pain free body, in the mind of the receiver, would not set well at all, I think; and if she is just fine about the whole thing, there is still the abiding sense in the general regard for torture, then moral prohibition would be with us, the general regard and it s claims about human dignity.
Ethical matters are all about suffering and joy and all these subsume. But context is more complicated.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Terrapin Station » May 4th, 2020, 10:53 am

"Can feel pain" isn't the basis of any moral stance I have.

I'd not say that it's necessarily immoral to hurt an entity that can feel pain.

And I'd not say that it's necessarily morally permissible to hurt an entity that can not feel pain.

Morality, for me, has far more to do with consent, where we're talking about the sorts of entities that are normally capable of granting or withholding consent.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Sculptor1 » May 4th, 2020, 11:04 am

Ayaan_817 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 3:26 am
CIPA or congenital insensitivity to pain is one of the rarest diseases in the world. A very rare condition and it is also known as congenital analgia. People diagnosed with this condition have their pain sensors turned off and they can’t feel any pain.

So, if they can't even feel pain, it can't be immoral or unethical to hurt them?
"hurt", yes. Hurting is more than pain.
Silly question.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Hereandnow » May 4th, 2020, 8:16 pm

Marvin_Edwards
Pain is only a symptom of harm, but the harm is still a harm.
This sounds odd. Pain and harm are essentially bound: can't have one without the other. That is, harm means pain.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Ayaan_817 » May 5th, 2020, 1:25 am

Hereandnow wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 8:16 pm
Pain and harm are essentially bound: can't have one without the other. That is, harm means pain.
Look at the question again.

In CIPA, there is no feeling of physical pain, even when there's harm or injury.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Marvin_Edwards » May 5th, 2020, 6:47 am

Hereandnow wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 8:16 pm
Marvin_Edwards
Pain is only a symptom of harm, but the harm is still a harm.
This sounds odd. Pain and harm are essentially bound: can't have one without the other. That is, harm means pain.
Not in the case provided. If the person cannot experience pain, then they may still be harmed, say, by cutting off a finger.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by NukeBan » May 5th, 2020, 7:35 am

Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?
It may be helpful to explore the motivation of those doing the hurting. Morality isn't just about our relationship with each other, it's also about our relationship with ourselves.

So, if my motivation in physically hurting someone who can't feel pain is a mindset that is causing me damage, then it could perhaps be labeled immoral. This connects to the social realm as well if we take the view that, like it or not, we are not isolated individuals but part of a greater whole. So if I damage myself I would also be damaging the greater whole.

It may also help to shift the language frame from "is it right?" to "is it smart?" Perhaps they are usually pretty much the same thing, but it may be clearer to focus on the smart angle.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Hereandnow » May 5th, 2020, 8:21 am

Ayaan_817
Look at the question again.

In CIPA, there is no feeling of physical pain, even when there's harm or injury.
Marvin_Edwards
Not in the case provided. If the person cannot experience pain, then they may still be harmed, say, by cutting off a finger.
Then the only question is if the physical injury , a better term than "hurt," can actually cause hurt,that is, pain. If it is not physical, then the matter turns to psychological pain, which is likely due a deformity, the offense to one's sense of integrity, the "very idea" of physical injury, and so on. It has to be kept in mind that the "experiencing" of the injury can be beyond physical pain. But IF one could rule out all possible pain, such that the hedonic meter read absolute zero, and if there were no "collateral" pain caused to others (also significant--we are not islands of hedonic isolation), then, of course, there would be no reason whatever to be concerned about matter. But then, there IS the metaphysical side of things, as well as the implications this has for YOU, the pain giver, and the harm suffered here. Things get sketchy here, though.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Terrapin Station » May 5th, 2020, 9:38 am

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 6:47 am
Hereandnow wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 8:16 pm

This sounds odd. Pain and harm are essentially bound: can't have one without the other. That is, harm means pain.
Not in the case provided. If the person cannot experience pain, then they may still be harmed, say, by cutting off a finger.
Isn't that an issue of whether they'd want their finger cut off?

That's why to me, it's about consent (with respect to the sort of entity that can normally grant or withhold consent).

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Marvin_Edwards » May 5th, 2020, 11:32 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 9:38 am
Marvin_Edwards wrote:
May 5th, 2020, 6:47 am


Not in the case provided. If the person cannot experience pain, then they may still be harmed, say, by cutting off a finger.
Isn't that an issue of whether they'd want their finger cut off?

That's why to me, it's about consent (with respect to the sort of entity that can normally grant or withhold consent).
That's like the move "127 Hours", about the mountain climber who had to cut off his arm to escape being trapped in a crevice. He had to choose between two harms, either lose the arm or die. And that's a moral judgment based on the "best good and least harm for everyone". In this case everyone was him, and he chose the lesser harm.

Consent is a right that we protect for each other by law. So, it has moral value, and is a legal and ethical rule.

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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Count Lucanor » May 6th, 2020, 12:22 am

Ayaan_817 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 3:26 am
So, if they can't even feel pain, it can't be immoral or unethical to hurt them?
If desecrating a dead body is immoral, why not?

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Ayaan_817
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Re: Is physically hurting those who can't feel pain immoral?

Post by Ayaan_817 » May 6th, 2020, 1:29 am

Count Lucanor wrote:
May 6th, 2020, 12:22 am
Ayaan_817 wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 3:26 am
So, if they can't even feel pain, it can't be immoral or unethical to hurt them?
If desecrating a dead body is immoral, why not?
But a dead body is not conscious. It doesn't know pain is being inflicted on it. The body can't react to the pain or injury in any way, neither through feeling of pain, nor(and obviously) mental trauma.

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