Well i just did this debate in my schooling, about animal testing, ethicial or not. I myself am for animal testing, and i won the debate. but putting that aside, i want to see what the majoritiy of frihost thinks, is it ethicial or not? state facts and opinions i know this is a really touchy subject, and i mean not to offend anyone here.
Heres why im for it.
Becuase, alot of todays modern medicial breakthroughs have been caused because of animal testing. And if we stopped animal testing, it would slow modern medicial break throughs to a near if not a full halt.
prove me wrong if you so wish .
I expect that to be general consensus though I disagree with it being ethical. I see it as wrong, no matter how large the good results, it is still wrong. Unfortunately as already mentioned, a lot of good can come from it so a rather necessary wrong.
For example, killing a man will save 10billion other men (& women & children etc). Most would kill him to save the others. In my opinion the right choice though killing him was still wrong, but a necessary wrong.
I'm interested in what other arguments can b brought into the debate. All I myself have encountered is differences in ratios of the need to do the right thing (leave the animals be), and the need to do the wrong thing but for the right reasons (test on animals).
Food for thought...Why is it a given that medical breakthroughs are a good thing? Everyone seems to just accept that extending human life is automatically good. However, extending the average life span affects over-population and has made many of the diseases of old age more common simply because more people are getting to ages not reached in the past. Economically, increasing the average lifespan seems to be putting a strain on the US Social Security system.
How about marriages? When the average lifespan was 40 yrs, 2 people only had to live together 25 years or so. Is the fact that a couple getting married at 25 today and facing twice that much time together, a part of the reason for the higher divorce rate?
Just something to think about.
Well... considering my own position (that would be my name), I'm strongly against Animal Testing!
On a serious note though, I agree with mathiaus's point:
There are degrees to which animal testing is acceptable - for example with research for critical lifesaving drugs. However, there are still some unethical tests done on animals for cosmetic products which I strongly oppose. It's a tough issue, and I'm just glad it's not my place to decide which drugs can be acceptably tested on animals and which can not.
Anyone have anything else to say?
I have my own opinion on this matter, whether animal testing or human sacrifice.
See, man has a conscious choice on whether he would give his life in order to save many more. Man has even given his life to save just 1 other. Any human being in their right mind would be a hero and give their life to save many many more. Then again man has also taken life needlessly.
As for animal testing, it may not be ethical as the animal has not made a conscious decision to give it's life for anything. But what can you say? They're animals and their natural instinct is to survive at all costs. But I'm pretty sure that if they were evolved to the level of human beings, they would probably feel the same way.
Although the following movie doesn't deal with animal testing, the moral of the story relates to this matter. In the movie Swordfish, John Travolta has to sacrifice the lives of many innocents to save the lives of countless more. It's really all a moral dilemma and will always be debated and no solid outcome will ever be made by either parties, at least in my opinion.
Also it depends on the reasons what the testing or sacrificing is done for. If it's to help the greater picture of saving lives, whether animal, plant, or human, then more would be willing to agree.
But of course if testing is done for unnecessary reasons, then the table would be turned.
and sorry I couldn't give an answer to your post as it was to vague for the reason animal testing would be done.
This is a really touchy issue for some people and hard to be wrong or right. I think testing on animals for cosmetic reasons are wrong, especially if it harms the animal mentally or physically. If the testing is done on animals as humanely as possible and for medical reasons, it still feels wrong, but is for a greater good.
EDIT: PS About human sacrifice, it's true more testing should be, and is, done on people too. For clinical reasons.
This is something I really don't like about debates, these are one of those double face questions where both sides have equally powerful points.
I really have a hard time siding because:
a) We kill animals to eat such as beef and we do consider it ethical in a way, while in Indian and other countries where Hinduism is dominant, it's a big no no.
b) Animal testing is in a way ethical and non ethical, firstly, the animals do tend to suffer and I'd doubt anyone of us here would like to be injected with a uncurable disease and monitored, body checked and eventually dissected to study upclose the results. Secondly, Animals aren't really considered our equals, so the same principal of "dignified treatment" doesn't apply to them.
c) As much as I should be against the testing on animals, This is really the safest way to ensure our existence. If it weren't for animal testing, I think alot of humans would end up being dead due to the testing phase of a new drug.
so you can book me in the middle on this issue.
Alkady i understand what your saying but there you go, bringing religion into this, religion is not adequite justificiation on to the grounds is it ethicial or not. regardless of what anyone says, religion is a belief not a fact.
I understand everyone has their own opinions on this, thats why i posted this, i want to see what everyone thinks of it. But as ive said before, i mean this arguement in MEDICIAL purposes only, cosmetic animal testing is just dumb. it has no point, but medicial research does, suppose it like this.
a doctor just made a supplement that you drink that is supposed to raise life expectancy of the average human by 10 years. you and 4 million other's drink this supplement and you all form 10 different types of cancer *exaggeration i know, but you get the point* you and 4 million other people die becuase the society thinks its inhumain to kill like 20 monkeys vs. 4,000,001 people.
If you look at it like this, it makes more sense on why animal testing is ethicial, becuase its not only for the benefit of medicial purposes, its also to stop epidemics from breaking out, and countless law suits on the company, becuase they couldnt test it first. and im sure no human in their right mind would put them selves in a testing clinic for something that big.
[b] Do i expect anyone to read this? no. its too long to keep most peoples attentions.[/b]
again, i say prove me wrong[/quote]
Gee, If your whole argument is based on it helping to extend human life, I still think you need to prove that that is a good thing.
By testing pharmaceuticals on animals, you can save a lot of lives... See Wikipedia to see what's going wrong if you don't test them enough.
test on humans, itsmuch more logical then animals, as anuiamls arnt humans.
test on humans it makes sense
For medical purposes, yes. Although I don't see how you won a debate if you were as vague during it as you were here.
So your argument is that animals should die so we can extend our own lifespans? I don't see how that could either be seen as ethical or justifiable. Not only that but I don't see how it's practical or wanted.
Already society is having a hard time in coping with the length of time that people are living for and the medical costs of this advanced old age. Would you want to deteriorate for a further decade anyway?
It all depends upon the precise reasons the tests are being conducted as to whether or not it's acceptable. Not something as vague as what was stated in the opening post.
my arguement wasnt about extending life spans, it was about saving lifes, for like cancers and stuff, i used that example to explain to everyone how animal testing is right and how it can help out society
But isn't saving lives going to extend the lifespan? Can you step back just a bit and ask yourself why saving lives is a "good" thing? It is a natural assumption we tend to make, but, in the bigger picture, there are a lot of negative results from increasing lifespans. Until you address that, I don't think you have won your debate yet.
Why ... surely !
If eating animals is "ethical" in the first place ...
Antivenom or hamburger ... just different ways of exercising our position at the top of the food chain.
Of course it is ethical. If we are not going to do testing on animals we will require humans to test our products which I think would be much mor unethical.
Also it is the law of nature -- 'Survival of the fittest' , i.e. only those who can benefit themselves best will survive.
At one time I was a strict vegan with strong animal rights beliefs (where I would have put the lives of innocent animals before the lives of any humans-we after all always have a choice) but that all changed over time and the lines between what is acceptable and what is not became so complex.
Anyway now that I am a married man with kids (and yes I now eat meat) I have to say that if it came to a choice between animal tresting and saving my son I am afraid there would be no choice - my son's life is more im;portant to me.
That is not to say that all animal testing is acceptable. This has been gone over in posts above so I won't rake over old ground.
The fittest survive....
And is this the basis for your personal ethics? I thought maybe we might fall back on something more than evolution to justify or actions.
The Captain makes good points, as always, and I agree that there is a lot of good that comes out of animal testing. But I do get upset at the way some of it is carried out, though. Many times ease of testing takes precedence over humane treatment. And don't even get me started on animal testing for cosmetics.
It's a complicated issue, of course. My only point was that, in the debate mentioned in the first post, extending the life span of humans is not necessarily a good thing, so it isn't a great argument.
As long as the animal does not suffer then infact it is tolerable only if it benefits and ends up with a success or a purpose.
Also if the animal is kept into a good health and, should the animal suffer, then for the animal to be sedated.
I know there is a lot of feelings on this but I reckon it can be good for the human race.
'you shall act as stewards to this earth'
Yes but if the test is made to minimize the pain and suffer. And only for medicine cosmetic is not OK so unimportant. But animal testing is very important for our medicine development.
Not all drugs exist to extend life. Lots are merely to solve temporary problems such as headaches with pain killers. This doesn't seem as important but for someone in constant pain who needs strong medication all the time, that drug is vital. Doesn't extend their life, but makes what they have more comfortable (at the very least).
It always surprises me that humans are so arrogent to think their lives are worth more that the other animals on the planets. And that they think that the changes we make to the eart and its creatures don't have any effect on anything. Its all connected, we are all connected.
I have researched this very much and have found that its pretty much useless testing on animals as only 31% of tests are conclusive (based on an average of 5 sites [27%,30%,31%,33%,34%]) . So you might as well flip a coin as it is more accurate. Also only 1.5% of the diseases and viruses found in humans are found in animals so tests are unreliable. To back up even more that animal testing is unreliable, arsenic (which is a killer to a human, when a gram or more enters the body the patient will suffer seizures and go into shock, dying within a few hours.) is not deadly to nearly all animals even past the 10 gram mark, whilst 10ml of lemon juice is a killer.
Furthermore the HIV virus (which causes AIDS) is innefective towards primates showing that natural immunity plays a large part in the results of animal testing as well as the fact that the anatomy changes from species to species not just animal to animal or vertebrate and invertibrate. This changes the way that antibodies are made and how effective they are towards the microbial life that has entered the body. (this is a virus/bacteria/fungus).
Although if animal testing was outlawed in countries like the USA and UK the testing would move to humans in third world countries in which people will not be able to afford to say no.
I believe convicted murderers should be tested on instead of animals as a long slow painfull death is a great deterrent to stop people murdering others as well as showing them what their victims went through at the time of death.
I don't think its ethical, but...some good things ahve come from it, right?
I agree with mathiaus as well as MorpheuS, both have good points. I sometimes wonder how people get to go ethical over animals that are being experimented on, and do not have a problem with animals who are slaughtered for food? I think we have no choice, the only hope I have however in both cases, is that the animals in the labs and slaughter houses be treated in as humane a way as possible, and that there should be serious laws in place to minimize their suffering.
While I think it may not be a good or ethical thing, it might have to be a necessary evil. It does so much to help us, and if we don't test on animals, we might just be forced to test on humans, which carries a lot more severe consequences.
It has exactly the same consequences, just hits closer to home.
It's quite a delicate topic to bring up but as I share my thoughts on this, I'd say that it's a necessary evil.
The medical profession has no choice (or do they?) but to carry out experiences on vegetal or human species in order to help medicine improve and focuse of course on finding treatments against all kinds of diseases.
If I had to listen to my very own ethics, I would surely say that hurting and even in some cases killing animals is very bad but then I would disregard the potential benefits of the medical research being carried out.
Biological ethics can be applied to any kind of human ethics and global morality; we all get back to the dilemma "Good or Evil".
Probably animal defenders would consider thinking twice before saying that a rat's life might be more "important" than finding a cure for currently incurable diseases.
Would you sacrifice humans for a chance of curing a disease that only affects rodents?
Would you sacrifice rodents to save human lives?
I'm afraid but I can't give a straight answer to your question.
I love animals but I mostly love life and for the sake of medicine and science and if there is no alternative way to find cures against diseases, then I believe maybe, just maybe clinical experiences should give interesting results.
Reminds me of the never-ending debate between vegetarians and nonvegetarians.
I don't think I can do anything to stop it, but I still think that taking the choice from a living creature is cruel, it gives humans a God-like quality that we really shouldn't have the right to have. I don't agree with animal testing for cosmetics at all, and I think that there are definitely some better solution to animal testing for medical reasons... but at this point in time, I'd have to agree with other people and say it's a double edged sword.
It's hard to answer this question.
I tend to say that animal testing is not ethical. For instance, testing makeup on animal is not only unethical but should also be illegal. But testing a nen HIV medecine to save millions of humain lifes is a bit different.
It's certainly a very hard question...
But it reduces to the question of, 'do you think human lives are intrinsically more valuable than animal lives?'
You are absolutely right... and unfortunetely for me the answer is Yes. I think that human lives are more valuable than animal lives.
I don't mean to barge in on the conversation here, but ocalhoun, you seem to have a problem with humans. Being one yourself, I really don't understand why.
I'd like to know what it is that makes you dislike humans so much.
You should be proud to be what you are, and stand up for your own kind.
I too think humans are more valuable. There is many reasons as to why I think so. Do you see animals creating amazing things, like cars, houses, computers, etc.? No, I'm sure you don't. Also, a lot of humans seem to have better hygiene as well. As humans, we have the capability to be able to shower daily, brush our teeth, use deodorant, etc. Animals on the other hand don't always have that luxury. Animals (wild ones) often have terrible hygiene and smell horribly. Especially their breath, and they can't do much about it. With the exception of some animals, like cats and monkeys who do have the ability to clean themselves. But even cats have a horrid smell on their breath.
Can an animal make a cure for a specific type of disease and possibly save their own kind? No. Can an animal save another animals life? Hardly.
Experimenting on animals can save billions of human lives. If we were to find a cure for cancer by experimenting on animals, then experimenting on animals has my vote.
I think you need to take a little more pride in being what you really are.
So in your opinion, what makes an animal more valuable than a human?
Go to WalMart, and spend some time simply observing the people shopping there.
I'll decide for myself what I should and should not do.
I choose to be ashamed of being human, and I'll 'stand up for' horses, not my own kind...
(Though I have adopted horses as 'my own kind'. If I can't be a horse in reality, I'll at least be an honorary horse.)
+1 for the animals. ^.^
Oh wait, some animals do make their own 'houses'.
So, good hygiene makes one's life valuable? I'd better make sure I don't have bad breath then!
True, they can't... They also don't kill humans while trying to do so.
Yes, they can. There's simple group defense, but animals also display altruism at times... Sometimes even across species boundaries.
Which logically follows from your (rather arrogantly human) assumption that human lives are more valuable.
An animal is not more valuable than a human. They are equal.
I wouldn't say I dislike humans, but in overall I do have a preference for animals, birds, sea mammals and fish, and I do regard horses as one of the animal species that are superior to humans. Ocalhoun has a very good point. There are parts of humanity that are offputting to me such as complete selfishness when people pretend they care about one another, greed, corruption, etc. Bottomline lack of honesty and sincerity. Our "creative" pursuits have so much divorced ourselves from our physical selves. Instead of being part of nature, we have created our own unhealthy bubbles on earth, end product of which is killing of the earth with unchecked human pollution.
I don't mind if rodents are used for animal testing, but I would go completely ballistic if the testing was on larger animals, including chimpanzees, dogs and cats that are locked up in small cages. I'm not too happy with any animals in captivity, including dolphins and whales, and especially birds.
Well, i'm part of that human society. If I was a horse, maybe that I'll find that a horse life is worth more than a human one. But being a human, I have more feelings to humans like me than to any other animal.
Now the question, if we'll not test medecine on animals, are we going to use humains to do it? How will volunteer? Terminal phase people? It will not be significant as a test. We have to use healthy persons to do several tests (and sometimes dangerous tests).
Again, it's a hard question...
So, if you're born male, it's okay to be chauvinistic? And if you're born white, you'd surely join the KKK?
And, naturally, the nation you were born in is the greatest on Earth. Oh, and of course, you must root for the sports team closest to your home town...
Of course I realize you think humans are more valuable because you were born human... But that attitude can be changed when you become more enlightened.
1-I'm sure monetary incentives would attract many test patients.
2-Also, patients who are desperate for a cure (and poor) would jump at the chance for an experimental treatment for their disease (especially if the experimental treatment was provided free of charge).
3-Even potentially dangerous treatments may get volunteers... after all, how many people a year commit suicide?
#1 and #3 would be more expensive than animal testing, but #2 would actually be cheaper.
And the real goal of the exercise: All the participants would be voluntary. (Unlike the current system)
Well, if it's ethical or not...it depends on whether you consider animals as beings with feelings and cognition and soul and all those things so hard to prove.
I myself do believe that animals have at least some feelings, they can certainly feel pain or pleasure. But I am for animal testing...because I am curious about life and how it works. Still, I do believe that animals should be treated with respect, even if they are for testing or for food consumption.
Fortunately the majority of scientist that work with animals do respect them and treat them well, mainly because there are many regulations in place but also because those animals are the key to their experiments. Unfortunately the same is not always true for the animals that are being bread for food consumption, mainly because a cow tastes just as good weather it was a happy cow or a sad one.
So, I don't have really good reasons why I am in favor of animal testing....its not for human advancement...but for human curiosity.
Reminds me of the Nazi experiments on Jews... done just for curiosity.
better to test it on them than to mess up and kill someone
This is quite a radical answer. I only think that as a human I give more value to persons than to animals. I never said that I hated black because I was white, or that I hated white because I'm black. Don't extrapolate my sentece to other topics that are radically different.
Now according to you, we have to love animals, plants, and everything elese more than we love each other as humans. And, if I understand well, you will die from starvation because you'll not be able to eat anything (not even a salad).
This is already the case in several countries. People will get 2000$ for spending a week-end in a canadian clinic to test some medecine. But the problem is that there's not a huge number of volunteers and also there's dangerous medecines that cannot be tested on humans according to the Law.
They are not radically different. They're only different in degree, not in type.
You did say that you have a disregard for animal life because you are human.
Functionally, that's no different than having a disregard for blacks because you're white. It's only a matter of what you consider to be the group you're in.
I'm hoping to expand your idea of the group you belong to from 'humans' to 'life'.
More? NO. Stop putting that word in my mouth. Equal. (And I never said you have to love anybody... Just don't rashly risk their lives.)
Now, about the starving to death thing. There's no reason why cannibalism is immoral; killing an animal for food and killing a human for food are equally 'necessary evils'. Until we find a way to produce synthetic food, those evils will remain necessary.
My refusal to eat human or horse flesh is purely personal preference, and I wouldn't condemn anyone who did.
(Now, suppose I was forced to a choice... Kill and eat a human, kill and eat a horse, or starve... My personal preference would be to kill the human. If your preference was for the horse, or for starving, I would respect that as your personal choice, but none of the three options are more or less moral than the others.)
Raise the price, and advertise more, you'll get more volunteers.
So, it's wrong to test a dangerous drug on a human who volunteers for it, but acceptable to test it on an animal who has no choice in the matter?
Again, the problem is your arrogant assignment of much more value to the lives of humans...
Actually I didn't meant to be arrogant. I just expressed my point of view, which is a bit different when compared to yours.
I think that with your first necessary evil, you'll go straight to jail for the rest of your life.
I'm just repeating what you just said : Until we find a way to produce synthetic animals, those evils will remain necessary.
No way for option one, I love horses and don't think they are food, I'll go vegetarian.
I thought we were discussing ethics, not law...
If you'll review my hypothetical situation, that isn't an option. There are no vegetables to eat, or else I would also choose the vegetables, because the human would be more useful alive than dead.
But you didn't answer my second point : "I'm just repeating what you just said : Until we find a way to produce synthetic animals, those evils will remain necessary. "
Ethics and law are two very close concepts. What against the law is certainly not ethic
But what's your point? I didn't see any purpose to replying if you're "just repeating".
I would rather have doctors practice on things other than humans
I just replaced food in your sentence by animals and it still works
Very unethical! why should we test our products on animals rather than other things such as a synthetic skin or something similar
Why should the young little animal be used to test some stupid product that we don't need in the first place?!
That's what's commonly known as selfish...
Trade places for a moment though. Would you rather be a human with a chance to volunteer (or refuse) testing, or would you rather be an animal given no choice in the matter?
No, it doesn't quite work... Wouldn't synthetic animals still have the same rights as natural animals?
Better to produce synthetic beef and synthetic corn kernels than to produce synthetic cows and synthetic corn plants.
Why would you want to produce something alive, then kill it for food, when you could much more ethically just produce food that was never alive?
Well, maybe we should create synthetic tissues then.
Our discussion reminded me this pic of Steve Martin. It's just a joke :
I don't know if you are serious or not, but if you are...
Can you explain why you choose eating a human being over a horse to prevent yourself from starving?
I'm just interested in understanding the thought process of animal right's fanatics like you.
1: Either option would be equal morally. Absolutely equal.
2: My personal preference is that I like horses better than humans.
Now, if somebody else would pick a different option in that scenario, I would not condemn them for it. As I said, all the options are morally equal, and it's just personal preference which one you would choose.
Well, I don't eat animals that I least prefer. Say if I had a choice between eating a duck and a stink beetle or an alligator. I like ducks. They're cute. But I still wouldn't eat a stink beetle.
And my decision would be purely logical. If you murdered a human, he or she would have friends that would seek vengeance, while a horse wouldn't. Plus a human is more difficult to kill and eat than a horse is.
And when you say that either option is equal morally, that concerns me. What do you use to define your moral reasoning that killing a human is the same as killing a horse? (or a dog, or any other animal, I guess) I'm wondering, because most people in this society would disagree with your moral decision, so I'm wondering where you got it from.
This discussion is going no where... You guys are talking about killing humans as if it was a banal act. It's prohibited by human and divine laws (take the one you prefer).
Killing an animal without any reason is also prohibited by law.
The topic was about the ethic aspect of testing medecine on animals.
Ah, and now we get to the heart of the matter.
I simply begin with an assumption of equality, and so far I have failed to find any reason why human lives should be more valuable.
If you can give me a reason, please do.
Then it should be illegal to test dangerous treatments on either... oh wait...
That it was.
I'll see if I can get us closer to the topic again.
Assumption: Forcing one group to take dangerous risks for the sole benefit of another group is unethical.
Anybody care to explain why that assumption becomes untrue in the case of animal testing?
I wonder how sooo many of you people have voted to support the thing that Animal testing is Ethical!, I dont think its ethical to test different chemicals, enzymes, drugs, etc or animals just because they cant really retaliate you, why not we beget children and test these harmful things on them, why we are treating these innocent creatures in such an abrupt and unfriendly manner.
What human generation has learned from is just how to be superior than those who are lower than us, I want to know why we kill soo many creatures just to test chemicals on them to look good? or kill them to get meat?, why not start eating our own hands?. Why to strip fur out of Animals to get the warmth, why not pull out our hairs in the most cruel manner and wear them in the form of clothes.
We humans are just hypocrites saying we are the most intelligent of the species but truth is that we have not really noticed the intelligence of the creatures around us.
Please be a bit more knd to nature, love animals and feel their luv 4 you, then only earth can sustain in a more peaceful way...
Perhaps I should generalize it a bit more and say, "Harming one group for the sole benefit of another is unethical."
(Interpreting being forced to take risks as harm.)
I voted yes because I care more about my fellow humans who are ill than the lab rats that new drugs get tested on.
To me, Human life > Animal life. Why? Because I am human. It's all subjective, really. Unless you believe in some kind of universal morality.
"Even if animal research resulted in a cure for AIDS, we'd be against it." — Ingrid Newkirk, President and Co-Founder of PETA
That is what troubles me. A few lab rats > Millions of humans who will die from aids? Don't be a traitor to the human species.
Don't get me wrong, I love animals. I just love humans more.
Nature has a balance. Plants get energy from the sun. Herbivores eat plants, carnivores eat herbivores and other carnivores. Humans are omnivores at the top of the food chain, we eat what is below us. Then we die and get recycled by nature. It's all a process. If it is alright for animals to eat other animals, then it's alright for humans to eat other animals.
If you believe that all life is equal, then you might as well give up washing your hands or using antibiotics, since they kill bacteria. Even your body is killing bacteria and other microscopic organisms at this moment, and there is nothing you can consciously do to stop it.
@Arty. Your posting was excellent. I enjoyed reading it.
With regard to the topic, I don't have a problem with testing on a few lab rats. I do have a problem with primates on the higher level, like cats, dogs, chimpanzees, dolphins. I especially have a problem when the lab environment that they are being cooped up in is of the inhumane kind, where through neglect they get to suffer. If a horse has a badly broken leg, it is almost a spontaneous act to want to put it out of its suffering, even if that means that we will have to kill it. That spontaneous reflex has to have something to do with that which is compassionate and humane in ourselves. So to keep chimpanzees, dogs and cats cooped up in small cages, and to experiment on them with very little care as to their suffering, for me just feels completely inhumane.
With regard to eating animals, possibly that is on a different level than lab testing, not all of the animals are butchered in an ideal way, but at least we hope that most are killed with as little suffering as possible. I agree with you, killing animals in this case is justified, although I do not feel comfortable with it, especially during religious holidays in the Middle East when I see goats on ropes and on backs of trucks on their way to a very definite destiny.
But likewise, don't disregard all other species just because you happened to be born into this one.
That's no better than a racist disregarding all other races because he was born into the 'best' one.
Now, the 'few lab rats' vs cure for AIDS argument. Since all species have an equal right to live, let's disregard all species differences in this, and say we're sacrificing a few (against their will) to save many.
While that is a justifiable approach, it can lead down a very dark road named 'the ends justify the means'. All sorts of awful things become perfectly acceptable as they're done 'for a good cause'.
A better choice would be to let noble-minded (or at least desperate) volunteers to sacrifice themselves to save others- then you have a noble act for a good cause, rather than a horrible act for a good cause.
Now, let's add the species differences back in. What is the only species we can communicate with well enough to get informed volunteers?
If there you were with a mortally wounded cat and a mortally wounded human, and you only have the first aid to tend to one while the other dies, which would you choose to treat?
It could go either way...
I know more about human first aid, and it would avert problems with other humans if I helped the human... then again, I don't like humans very much.
There is no wrong choice though; their lives have equal merit and both equally deserve to be saved.
Just wait until another war makes this discussion obsolete.
Oh wait, there already is one. Dozens slaughtered everyday...
Of course, those people live in the Middle East, so we don't really care. Plus the US government under Bush loves to launch anti-Iraqi and anti-Muslim campaigns.
Just for the record, I'm neither Muslim nor Iraqi nor American and I find it all quite stupid.
Well i can think in this day of age EVERY war has animal testing as they test biological weapons on animals...
I think we can safely categorize that as doubly unethical...
exactly, and im much like you ocalhoun i rather animals over humans
not ethical. they're being treated unfairly.
That will never work in our society and you know it. Human beings will never sacrifice themselves for dangerous testing if you can easily do it on a lab rat and get the same results. It will receive very little support and a lot of protest.
Imagine this scenario:
They developed a prototype vaccine for aids, but they don't know if it would work or not. You can 1.) Give a lab rat HIV, and test the vaccine on it and see if it will survive or die from either AIDS or side effects from the vaccine, or 2.) Have hundreds of "noble" people with AIDS volunteer to test the vaccine and see if they live or die.
How can society shift in a way you described so that instead of testing it on lab rats, humans will volunteer to be tested on?
Stop being so anthropocentric and realize that it is always better to use volunteers for experiments than to force it on unwilling victims?
Animal testing only makes sense if you first assume human lives are much more valuable than animal lives.
Given the unsupportability of that assumption...
There is nothing like a child who has an incurable disease or a loved one to motivate people to volunteer for experimental drugs. Sometimes they are even fighting for it, as the problem is not lack of volunteers, but legislation governing the testing of drugs and prohibiting testing on human beings.
(Not only that, but you don't have to give them AIDS before beginning, they saved you the trouble and moral anguish by contracting it themselves.)
And yet you wouldn't get volunteers to test drugs for 'restless leg syndrome' or male impotency... This is as it should be- the drugs not worth risking lives to research would get no volunteers.
Ok, forget about research for AIDS and Viagra. Think about everything else. Poisons, diseases, and venom are some examples.
When a new harmful substance is discovered, it is first tested on something other than humans, most likely lab rats.
Let us say a new species of fish is discovered, and it is venomous. The species of fish invades a beach area. We do not know how venomous it is, its venom could cause anything from numbness to paralysis or death. If it is really dangerous, the beach would be shut down until the fish are removed. Most likely, scientists will test the venom on rats, and record the effects on them. However, people like you are suggesting, since animal life has the same value as human life, that it ought to be only tested on human volunteers, the only species that can volunteer itself to be tested.
Animals can’t communicate to us to volunteer for testing. How convenient for them.
Value is subjective. I am human; therefore I would value the life of another human being more than that of a lab rat, or even that of millions of fire ants. Value is completely subjective.
And I don’t mean to be ugly, but animals are not equal to humans. For example, a 200 kg (400 lb) gorilla is certainly not physically equal to a human. In fact, gorilla could literally a human in half. On the other hand, a human (and a dolphin, too) are both mentally higher than a fire ant, or a cockroach.
My point is that for testing harmful substances, it would be unacceptable (in my human perspective) to test it on a human being, even if she volunteered.
My second point is that it is impossible to be universally fair. How can we possibly be “fair” to all animals? In order to be completely fair to all animals, we must first give up our ability, and our right, to change the environment to whatever we want.
Even in your ideal world, animals will still die. Animals are allowed to kill other living things to survive, either because they apparently do not have the consciousness to make the decision (like how an omnivorous animal cannot decide to go vegan), or they must eat to survive (carnivores).
But however, you (vegans/PETAs) say humans can make the choice whether or not a creature is harmed, and therefore we must only eat plants, and not exterminate the diseased rodent infestation in our homes, and not kill any flies (Obama), because we have the choice.
So is the perfect world where humans get hunted down by wild animals, where humans can't determine what substance is toxic and what is not by testing it on other animals, a world where humans basically cannot use their ability to change our environment to one that best suits us?
Whether it is perceivably right or not, you have to see that survival of the fittest is mother nature's law, and since us humans are the "fittest" (most adaptive for the time being), we can cause the death of other less fit creatures for our own good.
After all that said, the one thing you should derive from my message is this: Death is necessary. Be it human death or animal death, both are necessary, and both are inevitable.
How many humans beings have died to communism? How many human beings have died to other human beings for the capitalist pursuit of happiness?
How many animals have died for the benefit of humankind? How many humans have died from a hungry lion?
How many people in the French aristocracy were slaughtered, just so France and it's people can achieve freedom from its own government?
How many pathogens are sterilized daily so that humans won't get sick? How many humans have died just so said pathogens could fulfill their purpose of growing and multiplying?
Can't you see that in the end, it doesn't matter?
The philosophy of life I go with is to grow and make the world a better place. What is a better world? That is for you to decide. I see a "better world" as people having more freedom. I believe people who attempt to impart their opinionated beliefs on other people and try to pass it on as objectivity as a selfish effort to make this one world bend to their beliefs and to expunge the freedom of other people.
I'm getting the idea that your idea of a better world would be a world where no living thing is killed at the hands of a human being. And that humans, having the choice to do so, should not directly or indirectly cause the death of any living thing. It is my personal belief that that is impossible.
If knowing the power of the poison is worth spending lives on, then it should be worth volunteering for. Otherwise, suffice it to say 'Venomous fish present; swim at your own risk.'
Let's look at that situation from another angle: Why should rats have to die so that humans will know if it is safe to swim in a given place or not? Would you approve of someone sacrificing humans to determine if a place was safe for rats to swim in?
And how do you back up this statement of the subjectivity of all value? I propose that there is objective 'value' to all life. And since determining the exact value of each type of life is impossible (due to its subjectivity), we have to treat it all as equal, morally.
So, what's the scale to determine what has more value? Size? Strength? Intelligence?
All I'm asking is that you grow a little, and step outside the 'human perspective', and into a 'life perspective'.
Indeed we must, in some cases, and in other cases we need only change the environment more carefully. This is not a bad thing.
Indeed, my ideal world would still include death. And no creature need give up meat, because killing plants for food is morally equal to killing animals for food.
(I am not vegan, vegetarian, nor affiliated with PETA)
Now, you begin putting words in my mouth I've never said.
Never have I advocated eating plants rather than animals, and exterminating a diseased rodent population in your home would be a necessary evil, justified under self defense.
Wantonly killing flies, however, I do greatly disapprove of.
No, self-defense is justified, so no need to overly fear being hunted down by animals. I would disagree with testing toxins on animals just out of curiosity. And I would have humans continue to change their environment, but to give consideration to the effects they have on other species while doing so.
Just because I'm the strongest person in the room doesn't mean I can morally kill the other people in the room.
Yes, now apply that to humans as well.
For the next quote, let's play immoral vs. justifiable.
There are three morally justifiable reasons for any living thing to kill any other living thing:
1- Self defense
2- For nourishment
3- By unavoidable accident
What doesn't matter, and why?
Or are we just going to become defeatist now, and declare absolutely everything to be moral?
After all, it doesn't matter.
You're almost there... Now, just add all other life to the 'people' category, and you've got it.
Yes, that would be ideal.
I agree it is impossible, at least at today's standard of technology.
Hence, the three rules.
(With sufficiently advanced technology, we might be able to remove #2 (for nourishment), but the other two rules will probably be permanent.)
Ok, I think I'm getting this now. You see that, since there seems to be no way to "measure" the value of life, you should just assume that all life should be treated equally, and thus a fly might deserve to live as much as a human.
Well, I say life is subjective because there is no definite way to measure its value. It's not as simple as 1+1. It's purely opinionated.
Me, personally, I recognize life based on its influence on other life. Killing a single fly would have no influence on any other living creature, the ecosystem, or the biosphere. Therefore killing a fly for any reason, while it is wrong, is not nearly as significant of a thing as killing another human being or any more significant creature. I say this, because killing a human being usually results in a ripple of negativity throughout the human community, which can have negative influences on other humans, and potentially on the big picture.
I do, I just see it as this:
Fly (insect) < Rodent (pest mammal) < Dog (beneficial mammal) < Human (sentient mammal / own species)
I agree that killing a fly for "fun" is morally wrong, but not as wrong as murdering a dog or a human.
Yes, basically, even though I see killing a fly as "wrong", I simply don't care if me or anyone around me decides to kill one just because it's there. It simply doesn't matter. The fly's family won't cry over it, fellow animals won't hold a funeral for it. Basically, as bad as this may sound, it's just a fly.
Of course I wouldn't go slaughtering insects for enjoyment, that's just sadistic, but I wouldn't protest if someone kills a fly or a rodent simply for the reason that it's "there". You have to admit, it's human instinct to swipe at an insect when you see one.
So, based on those two things, I'm guessing that you view plants as life, and thus equal to insects and mammals. And based on your viewpoint that it is justifiable to kill for nourishment, then it is o.k. to kill an animal and a plant for nourishment.
But what about purpose? Isn't a plant's purpose solely to absorb energy from the sun and be eaten by a herbivore? Would it be okay, then, to "kill" a plant and use it to make clothes for humans, and bowstrings for hunting animals.
Do you view killing a cotton plant for cotton garments as "wrong" as killing a cow for wearable leather?
What if the cow's purpose for existing today is to provide leather for humans? If you think of it this way, the only reason why there are so many cows in the world today is because they produce leather and milk. Without this they wouldn't be so many kept by humans, and cows would probably be near extinct by now since there would be less reason to keep it as a farm animal. Some species of ants keep a close relationship with certain species of caterpillars. They "milk" the caterpillars like cows, and have plenty of reasons to keep it alive. The relationship between humans and cows are similar to that relationship between ants and caterpillars. The ant offers the caterpillar protection from its natural predators, just like the human keeps his or her farm animals safe from danger.
So, our standard for measuring the value of a life is how much others mourn for it?
A novel measure... and it may have some merit... But it leaves the friendless and unloved valueless, which I don't agree with.
It is instinct... And I personally have spent a long time overcoming it, now I only swipe at insects if they intend me harm (like a mosquito), and even then, I try to just shoo it away first.
But, just because something is instinctual doesn't mean it's moral.
What is your purpose?
Living things do not require an external purpose; to exist and enjoy their life in their own way is enough.
Yes, quite equally wrong, and usually unjustified in the case of making clothing. (Especially since we can now make synthetic fabrics.)
(I do disregard here, however, the fact that leather is just a by-product of the beef industry; no cows are killed just for leather.)
Providing leather as a cow's purpose? Hardly; that's a human purpose we use the cow for. I doubt the cow sees becoming leather as its own purpose!
Yes, a few lucky species have actually benefited (more or less) from interaction with humans...
I don't see how that changes anything though.
Yes, domestication has natural parallels, and is not intrinsically immoral. In some cases, both species benefit.
Yeah we have no choice but to.....
Actually we have the choice, but we still do it...
no we don't.
I agree that stuff like cosmetics shouldn't be tested on animals - they're inconsequential. But medicines? those are necessary, and testing them is also necessary.
Say we had some $NewDrug and it can do awesome things - in theory. We have no way of knowing it without trying it out. If we test it on lab rats, any side effects and/or deaths that result from the treatment will be a shame, but acceptable - we can then tweak the protocol, change the dosage, add more drugs to counteract side effects, whatever, and once it's established as 'mostly safe' we can move on to clinical trials on humans. If we tested it on humans right out of the gate and half the people died, there would be a huge, huge outcry.
And if they scrapped $NewDrug entirely, the people whose lives it might save would also die.
Animal testing saves more lives than it sacrifices, for better or for worse.
There goes the assumption that human lives are more valuable again...
Which is more ethical?
Testing on volunteers, or testing on people forced to participate against their will?
Well, there's always been a general agreement in the social sciences that HUMAN LIFE CANNOT BE VALUED i.e. it is priceless.
So, I don't think human testing with possible risks to death are ethical at all ... of course unless people volunteer (would that be a form of suicide which I believe is illegal in most countries?)
The question is, can animal life be considered priceless? Naturally, considering that humans eat so many animals everyday, we do not consider it priceless i.e. animal life can be quantified.
So, in that logical sense, it is ethical but it MUST be at a cost i.e. some sum. Poaching / hunting and killing animals for free is unethical. I mean, see the problems animals such as tigers are facing due to illegal poaching ...
What I personally believe however is that life is sacred and we should not take it from any other being ... if we cannot give life, we cannot take life so I don't think we should do it. So, my personal opinion is that IT IS UNETHICAL.
Of course, some would argue that we can give life by breeding animals, planting trees, planting trees etc.
To which slavery makes a nice counterpoint. It still exists in the world; how much does a slave cost? That is the value of a human life.
Although it still is in some places, most places have repealed old anti-suicide laws.
And is it really suicide to risk your life for a good cause? Does enlisting in the army count as suicide then?
Ethically, I propose that it must be treated as having equal 'price' as human life... Otherwise, by what characteristic are we to appraise life?
Not at all. Only these forms of life can give life to themselves (their offspring). We can place them in conditions commodious for this, but the life still comes from them, not us.
We can directly give life to human babies, but that doesn't give us authority to take that life away again after it has been given.
The only life which we can ethically sacrifice for whatever goal is our own, which is why subjects of experiments must all be volunteers.
According to the poll 45% of respondents think that animal testing is ethical. 38% think that it's not and
16% don't care. If I add people that think that it's ethical with those that don't care it's a BIG 61%. Then according to our vote, it's ethical to perform tests on animals. Period.
Take a poll in the year 1745 about if slavery is ethical or not. I bet a majority would be on slavery's side.
Most people will accept however things are normally done in their experience as ethical, and anything abnormal as unethical, regardless of whatever values they claim to hold.
What is to stop aliens (if they exist or come to earth), or genetically-modified humans (if they are created in the future) who feel they are superior from experimenting on us?
Animals having feelings, like us. We should recognize that.