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Moral Dilemma

Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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8/9/2011 8:17:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I had a wasp's nest by my shed the other day. I saw it as a possible threat to those who might hang out back there, for instance when we have a bonfire. So I threw gasoline on it and lit it on fire.

Although I killed the nest, none of the (adult) wasps were killed. They regrouped in a different corner of the shed yesterday. I went out there to take some measurements of some boards on the shed for replacement, and nearly put my hand right into a couple dozen of them hiding out in the corner; apparently they decided this would be their new home, and didn't have time to build a nest yet. I threw a pot of boiling water right intto the middle of them, killing most of them.

I just went out there now, and there are four wasps left. My first thought was to kill them off completely and be rid of them, but as I stood there looking at the four of them I started to feel like I had done something wrong; like I had killed them senselessly and unnecessarily. They were just sitting there. They weren't bothering me, they weren't doing anything wrong, they just wanted to exist, like I do, yet I get a certain satisfaction out of killing them and I want them dead.

Is it immoral to kill a wasp's nest? Or are the beers I drank today just catching up to me?
Rob
freedomsquared
Posts: 450
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8/9/2011 8:22:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/9/2011 8:17:02 PM, Lasagna wrote:
I had a wasp's nest by my shed the other day. I saw it as a possible threat to those who might hang out back there, for instance when we have a bonfire. So I threw gasoline on it and lit it on fire.

Although I killed the nest, none of the (adult) wasps were killed. They regrouped in a different corner of the shed yesterday. I went out there to take some measurements of some boards on the shed for replacement, and nearly put my hand right into a couple dozen of them hiding out in the corner; apparently they decided this would be their new home, and didn't have time to build a nest yet. I threw a pot of boiling water right intto the middle of them, killing most of them.

I just went out there now, and there are four wasps left. My first thought was to kill them off completely and be rid of them, but as I stood there looking at the four of them I started to feel like I had done something wrong; like I had killed them senselessly and unnecessarily. They were just sitting there. They weren't bothering me, they weren't doing anything wrong, they just wanted to exist, like I do, yet I get a certain satisfaction out of killing them and I want them dead.

Is it immoral to kill a wasp's nest? Or are the beers I drank today just catching up to me?

I don't see any problem with killing them, they pose a threat to your well-being. They're not human beings, you don't need to feel sorry for them.
But it's Norway, sort of the Canada of Europe."
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000ike
Posts: 11,196
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8/9/2011 8:31:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is immoral to kill an insect in the forest unless it attacks you. It is immoral to kill an insect in the woods where its simply living its life. It is perfectly moral to kill an insect in your home, property, or vicinity especially if it poses a threat. An insect does not have moral understanding or thought, and its small size means limited neurons. Its death can only bring about so much pain. Given that it is not possible to negotiate with the insect to gtfo your property, it is perfectly acceptable to get rid of them. However, was the fire necessary? It seems a little messed up when you try to burn a living creature. Maybe try a spray next time.
"A stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true politician binds them even more strongly with the chain of their own ideas" - Michel Foucault
CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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8/9/2011 8:46:34 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
You're a genocidal maniac.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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8/9/2011 10:35:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/9/2011 8:31:16 PM, 000ike wrote:
It is immoral to kill an insect in the forest unless it attacks you. It is immoral to kill an insect in the woods where its simply living its life. It is perfectly moral to kill an insect in your home, property, or vicinity especially if it poses a threat. An insect does not have moral understanding or thought, and its small size means limited neurons. Its death can only bring about so much pain. Given that it is not possible to negotiate with the insect to gtfo your property, it is perfectly acceptable to get rid of them. However, was the fire necessary? It seems a little messed up when you try to burn a living creature. Maybe try a spray next time.

Would spraying it with chemicals be more humane? Yeah, I almost burnt down my shed, but I feel no remorse for the shed.
Rob
seraine
Posts: 734
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8/10/2011 9:10:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/9/2011 8:17:02 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Is it immoral to kill a wasp's nest? Or are the beers I drank today just catching up to me?

I have had thoughts like this too. I came to the conclusion that as long as they pose a definite and very painful risk to you, it is fine to kill them. Bees do not have any sort of feelings, and from a utilitarian standpoint nothing is wrong with killing them.

I used to be a "you don't hurt them, they don't hurt you" type of guy until bees nests were causing the trip up our front steps to be perilous. In addition, I was stung out of the blue and so were some of my siblings (no provocation) and I came to the conclusion of genocidal maniac=good.

Also, don't be a sissy and use water. Get up close and personal with a fly swatter.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/10/2011 1:56:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
And the fact that you killed them shows that you're still redeemable.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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8/10/2011 5:39:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Is it immoral to kill a wasp's nest? Or are the beers I drank today just catching up to me?:

I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/12/2011 2:13:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I have a similar problem that i have yet to address (mostly). I feed the birds, and other animals outside my house, and i enjoy watching all the animals eat the seeds, which includes lots of squirrels, chipmunks, and all sorts of birds. Well under the woodshed that's next to the area that i spread the seed now lives a mouse. At first I was only slightly concerned, but now this mouse is pretty big, and looks a lot like a rat. Squirrels are okay, and chipmunks are cute, but a rat... It mostly stays under the woodshed, but i have also had some problems with rodentia in the house. I have resorted to putting some poison under the kitchen sink, because i won't tolerate them in the house, but feel kind of bad about the whole situation because I am baiting the rodents. I'm thinking i should get a have-a-heart trap for the big rat outside, and figure out where to drop it; not sure what else to do.
Cobo
Posts: 556
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8/12/2011 3:21:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 2:13:00 PM, innomen wrote:
I have a similar problem that i have yet to address (mostly). I feed the birds, and other animals outside my house, and i enjoy watching all the animals eat the seeds, which includes lots of squirrels, chipmunks, and all sorts of birds. Well under the woodshed that's next to the area that i spread the seed now lives a mouse. At first I was only slightly concerned, but now this mouse is pretty big, and looks a lot like a rat. Squirrels are okay, and chipmunks are cute, but a rat... It mostly stays under the woodshed, but i have also had some problems with rodentia in the house. I have resorted to putting some poison under the kitchen sink, because i won't tolerate them in the house, but feel kind of bad about the whole situation because I am baiting the rodents. I'm thinking i should get a have-a-heart trap for the big rat outside, and figure out where to drop it; not sure what else to do.

Call Tom, I hear he's out of a job these days.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/12/2011 3:24:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 2:13:00 PM, innomen wrote:
I have a similar problem that i have yet to address (mostly). I feed the birds, and other animals outside my house, and i enjoy watching all the animals eat the seeds, which includes lots of squirrels, chipmunks, and all sorts of birds. Well under the woodshed that's next to the area that i spread the seed now lives a mouse. At first I was only slightly concerned, but now this mouse is pretty big, and looks a lot like a rat. Squirrels are okay, and chipmunks are cute, but a rat... It mostly stays under the woodshed, but i have also had some problems with rodentia in the house. I have resorted to putting some poison under the kitchen sink, because i won't tolerate them in the house, but feel kind of bad about the whole situation because I am baiting the rodents. I'm thinking i should get a have-a-heart trap for the big rat outside, and figure out where to drop it; not sure what else to do.

Well, if it gets plenty of food from you feeding it, it probably won't go looking around for food. I'd keep the traps and poison on the inside and let it be the one to make the mistake or not.

I mean, so long as you're not putting a trail of food from the outside to a trap, hoping to kill it.
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TheAtheistAllegiance
Posts: 1,251
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8/12/2011 3:50:40 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:


The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^

Doesn't that depend on the goals at hand? His goal isn't to fap to Ayn Rand and worry only about himself, so maybe it is rational for him to let them live.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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8/12/2011 9:34:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/10/2011 9:10:07 AM, seraine wrote:
Also, don't be a sissy and use water. Get up close and personal with a fly swatter.

lol
Rob
Lasagna
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8/12/2011 9:34:56 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/10/2011 1:37:07 PM, Rockylightning wrote:
Killing is wrong, though necessary in self defense. Even in self defense it is wrong.

'necessary but wrong?' Sounds like a good ethical inquiry
Rob
Danielle
Posts: 21,330
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8/12/2011 9:40:02 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 3:50:40 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^

Doesn't that depend on the goals at hand? His goal isn't to fap to Ayn Rand and worry only about himself, so maybe it is rational for him to let them live.

Good point :P
President of DDO
sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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8/12/2011 9:44:23 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:


The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^

amen
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
SuperRobotWars
Posts: 3,906
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8/12/2011 9:45:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is only immoral if you didn't try to convert them to Catholicism first.
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
nonentity
Posts: 5,008
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8/13/2011 1:24:34 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Funny, I felt bad about killing a spider a couple weeks ago. I sat on my bed, staring at it on the wall, feeling repulsion and guilt, and wondering whether to kill it. It didn't move until I said out loud, "I'm so sorry, but I have to kill you" and the thing jumped off the wall. I swear it heard me :/
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/13/2011 2:20:29 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 3:50:40 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:


The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^

Doesn't that depend on the goals at hand? His goal isn't to fap to Ayn Rand and worry only about himself, so maybe it is rational for him to let them live.

Does he have a coherent goal here?

Is his goal to fap to guilt?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Lasagna
Posts: 2,440
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8/13/2011 6:35:09 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 2:20:29 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Is his goal to fap to guilt?

You're probably the first person in the universe to ever construct that sentence.
Rob
TheAtheistAllegiance
Posts: 1,251
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8/13/2011 3:15:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 2:20:29 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 8/12/2011 3:50:40 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:


The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^

Doesn't that depend on the goals at hand? His goal isn't to fap to Ayn Rand and worry only about himself, so maybe it is rational for him to let them live.

Does he have a coherent goal here?

Is his goal to fap to guilt?

The coherency of both goals is totally subjective. There's nothing right or wrong about fapping to Rand or guilt, so it can't be determined either way. The point is that considering what his subjective goals are, the rational thing to do is not kill the bees. For you, it might be to kill them.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/13/2011 3:59:51 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/13/2011 3:15:10 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 8/13/2011 2:20:29 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
At 8/12/2011 3:50:40 PM, TheAtheistAllegiance wrote:
At 8/10/2011 1:54:10 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:


The fact that you would ask such a thing shows your utter contempt for rationality. ^_^

Doesn't that depend on the goals at hand? His goal isn't to fap to Ayn Rand and worry only about himself, so maybe it is rational for him to let them live.

Does he have a coherent goal here?

Is his goal to fap to guilt?

The coherency of both goals is totally subjective. There's nothing right or wrong about fapping to Rand or guilt, so it can't be determined either way.
I'm not advocating his masturbation here.

The point is that considering what his subjective goals are, the rational thing to do is not kill the bees.
You can't get to that point without telling us what his goals are. (And if his goal is to fap to guilt, the rational thing to do IS kill the bees, so he has something to feel guilty about. Assuming the goal is coherent, which is NOT a subjective question, and why isn't he murdering someone so he can have more guilt to fap to?)
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/14/2011 6:07:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/12/2011 9:42:28 PM, Lasagna wrote:
Innomen have you ever see Inglourious Basterds?

I have, though not sure of the connection.

BTW do rats live in the woods? It must be a mouse right? For some reason it feels better thinking there's a mouse living in my woodshed than a rat. Rats live in the city, and are pink, and this looks more like the cartoon gray mouse, but it's so big, in fact i don't know how it fits under the woodshed.
Mestari
Posts: 4,656
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8/14/2011 8:57:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The moral questions of animal ethics can only be resolved on an individual basis with respect to whatever moral theory you follow. If you adhere to Kantian ethics, or Deontology, then I believe Korsgaard has the answer.

"So when we look at what Kant thinks about how we should treat non-human animals, his views come as something of a surprise.Kant does think we have the right to kill the other animals, but it must be quickly and without pain, and cannot be for the sake of mere sport. He does not say why we should kill them, and the subject of eating them does not come up directly, but presumably that is one of the reasons he has in mind. He does not think we should perform painful experiments on nonhuman animals "for the sake of mere speculation, when the end could be also be achieved without these." He thinks we may make the other animals work, but not in a way that strains their capacities. The limitation he mentions sounds vaguely as if it were drawn from the golden rule: we should only force them to do such work as we must do ourselves. And if they do work for us, he thinks that we should be grateful. In his course lectures, Kant at this point sometimes told his students a story about Leibniz carefully returning a worm he had been studying to its leaf when he was done. And both in his lectures and in the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant has hard words for people who shoot their horses or dogs when they are no longer useful. Such animals should be treated, Kant says, "just as if they were members of the household." He remarks with some approval that "In Athens it was punishable to let an aged work-horse starve." He tells us that "Any action whereby we may torment animals, or let them suffer distress, or otherwise treat them without love, is demeaning
to ourselves.""

The fact that you received enjoyment from killing the wasps does not make the action immoral, as you did not seek enjoyment as the reward. It was simply a reward of a common goal. You also had killed them quickly and painlessly it sees. Wasps are also a danger to yourself and anybody who hangs out in the backyard, as you said. This, I believe, is a justifiable reason to kill the wasps. If you were curious as to what the rest of the article written by Korsgaard on the subject says, here is the link: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu...
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DirkBergurk
Posts: 32
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8/14/2011 9:58:59 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
There was a porch swing under my parent's deck I used to like to sit in during the summer. One day I noticed a wasp nest being built on the ceiling above me about 5 feet away, but I decided to ignore it. I said to myself, "If they aren't bothering me, then I won't bother them." Slowly they grew into a larger and larger nest with about 8 or 9 wasps at its peak. Eventually the truce was broken when they all decided to attack me at once. Not sure what set them off. I guess I shifted in my seat suddenly, and the vibrations made them crazy. Several stings later I had to have them removed with a little fire and newspaper.

Anywho, you shouldn't feel bad about removing something that is not capable of understanding you mean it no harm and will attack without legitimate provocation.