Author Topic: The morality of Thanos  (Read 7484 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Tassie Dave

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2457
  • Go Tiges
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #105 on: January 12, 2019, 02:52:31 PM »
You don't have to be physically in the situation to know what you'd do. For the vast majority of people there is no choice and they be appalled if it was even debatable.

I disagree with this statement. I think the exact opposite is true: I think you never know what you’d do in a situation until you are in it.

We can imagine what we'd do in "most" situations. The example I gave is one of those black and white situations where there is only one right answer (ethically) and it is easy to imagine what we would do.
Of course we can't know what we'd do it complicated situations like the trolley problem. Which is why it is used in philosophy and ethical discussions. How you answer can change as you think about.

I have no problem eating meat. I am a member of an omnivorous species that has eaten meat for millions of years. Most of the animals we eat only exist to be eaten and even in their wild state they were part of the food chain for larger predators (as were we at one stage). Plus they are just so damn tasty  ;)

I don't kill every creepy crawly that enters my house. Only the ones I know will bite.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

  • Stopped Going Outside
  • *******
  • Posts: 4998
    • Hyperwar, WWII in Hypertext.
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #106 on: January 12, 2019, 04:16:53 PM »
Just to add one more thing to the aims of villains: I've never understood why anyone would want to rule the whole bloody world. Really? Really? You want to try and manage all the planet's problems and squabbles? You want to try and run the Middle East?!?!?  Good luck with that, mate. I can't see the perks as being worth all the trouble, time, and effort.
They often think they can fix it.
It  makes for compelling villains imo. Very few want to destroy the world for no reason.
Thanos was thinking big.

Thanos
(click to show/hide)
There’s a deep moral there. I’m just not sure what it is.
Just reviewing the thread.

Thanos didn't make "every inhabited planet in the galaxy (the universe?) into a paradise for half the population, at the cost of murdering the other half". The planets were less crowded, but that didn't make them paradises. And if the planet was already in trouble and technology was keeping it marginally habitable then he could have easily have killed the other half. His "cure" was like killing half a herd of zebra without checking which half had all the males.

And for the record, I didn't write the subject line.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8115
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #107 on: January 12, 2019, 10:16:49 PM »
You want me to say I’d be unhappy if someone took away my hearing. Fine. Yes, I would be very unhappy.

I'm asking you to do more than that.  I'm asking you to consider whether you would not feel that someone using magic to modify your body against your will was an act of violence. And would you feel significantly less violated because your hearing was taken through magic rather than painless surgery? I doubt it. Indeed, I think your reluctance to answer the question in the first place is an indication that you never truly thought that such an act was not violent but that you didn't want to face the implications of that fact.

Quote
If my use of my hearing was one of the major causes of massive environmental destruction; if my use of my hearing was rapidly leading to the depletion of essential non-renewable resources; if my use of my hearing was causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world; then your comparison would be valid.

But my purpose was not to argue that reproduction was harmless, but to argue that forcibly sterilizing people (even magically) would be an act of violence. You can accept that fact and still argue that such violence is justified; but I think it's important for you to recognize that you are, in fact, advocating for violence.

Quote
I categorically reject the assertion that taking away an ability whose use harms nobody is equivalent to taking away an ability whose use is threatening our very existence.

I did not argue that they were equivalent in their effect, only that they were equivalent in their violence.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 16702
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #108 on: January 13, 2019, 05:00:04 PM »

And for the record, I didn't write the subject line.

I do apologise for that. When I split the thread it automatically attributes its creation to the author of the first post to be split off. Clipping out posts would have made both threads really hard to follow.


Regarding the tack of asking someone how they would feel if x.
I generally find that this backfires. People either genuinely dont care or will argue that they would be fine with it.

The whole "Do unto others" rule is pretty shit in general I think because different people find different things to be acceptable. I have a pretty high tolerance for abuse of all kinds but I certainly would not expect any given person to put up with the shit I do.
I try as much as I can to treat people as they wish to be treated, as long as it doesnt cause greater harm or isnt highly unreasonable.

So that aside, my question to Daniel would be- why is it ok to intentionally genocide one species at the expense of others if one places an equal value on all life?
Would it be ok to wipe out the domestic cat due to the amount of species they have wiped out and continue to endanger?
I dont particularly care about the feelings of people who REALLY want to make babies, but I do think its flat out wrong to commit genocide on humans.
Its why I think Stephen Lang was the hero in Avatar :laugh:

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9308
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #109 on: January 14, 2019, 10:48:01 AM »
You want me to say I’d be unhappy if someone took away my hearing. Fine. Yes, I would be very unhappy.

I'm asking you to do more than that.  I'm asking you to consider whether you would not feel that someone using magic to modify your body against your will was an act of violence. And would you feel significantly less violated because your hearing was taken through magic rather than painless surgery? I doubt it. Indeed, I think your reluctance to answer the question in the first place is an indication that you never truly thought that such an act was not violent but that you didn't want to face the implications of that fact.

Quote
If my use of my hearing was one of the major causes of massive environmental destruction; if my use of my hearing was rapidly leading to the depletion of essential non-renewable resources; if my use of my hearing was causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world; then your comparison would be valid.

But my purpose was not to argue that reproduction was harmless, but to argue that forcibly sterilizing people (even magically) would be an act of violence. You can accept that fact and still argue that such violence is justified; but I think it's important for you to recognize that you are, in fact, advocating for violence.

Quote
I categorically reject the assertion that taking away an ability whose use harms nobody is equivalent to taking away an ability whose use is threatening our very existence.

I did not argue that they were equivalent in their effect, only that they were equivalent in their violence.

I’m not ignoring this. I’m still thinking about how to respond.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9308
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #110 on: January 14, 2019, 10:50:40 AM »
...
I dont particularly care about the feelings of people who REALLY want to make babies, but I do think its flat out wrong to commit genocide on humans.
Its why I think Stephen Lang was the hero in Avatar :laugh:

Because he wanted to wipe out an alien species in order to make money for a greedy corporation? ???
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Harry Black

  • International Man of Mystery
  • Global Moderator
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • *****
  • Posts: 16702
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #111 on: January 14, 2019, 05:29:45 PM »
...
I dont particularly care about the feelings of people who REALLY want to make babies, but I do think its flat out wrong to commit genocide on humans.
Its why I think Stephen Lang was the hero in Avatar :laugh:

Because he wanted to wipe out an alien species in order to make money for a greedy corporation? ???
No.
Because at the end of the movie, they send the earth people back to "their dying planet" implying that mining these resources are necessary for human survival.
That justifies it in my book, even if I wish they had just gone and negociated with the na'avi which likely would have yielded great results.

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9308
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #112 on: January 14, 2019, 07:22:57 PM »
...
I dont particularly care about the feelings of people who REALLY want to make babies, but I do think its flat out wrong to commit genocide on humans.
Its why I think Stephen Lang was the hero in Avatar :laugh:

Because he wanted to wipe out an alien species in order to make money for a greedy corporation? ???
No.
Because at the end of the movie, they send the earth people back to "their dying planet" implying that mining these resources are necessary for human survival.
That justifies it in my book, even if I wish they had just gone and negociated with the na'avi which likely would have yielded great results.

Earth was dying because people had killed it. That did not give them the right to try to take another civilized planet away from its occupants so that they could kill that one too.

In addition, unobtanium was not going to save the Earth. It was just going to make one corporation very rich in its last dying days.

Still pondering my response to The Latinist. Sorry for taking so long.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8115
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #113 on: January 14, 2019, 07:59:40 PM »
Understandable.  Take your time.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9308
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #114 on: January 20, 2019, 10:20:45 PM »
You want me to say I’d be unhappy if someone took away my hearing. Fine. Yes, I would be very unhappy.

I'm asking you to do more than that.  I'm asking you to consider whether you would not feel that someone using magic to modify your body against your will was an act of violence. And would you feel significantly less violated because your hearing was taken through magic rather than painless surgery? I doubt it. Indeed, I think your reluctance to answer the question in the first place is an indication that you never truly thought that such an act was not violent but that you didn't want to face the implications of that fact.

Quote
If my use of my hearing was one of the major causes of massive environmental destruction; if my use of my hearing was rapidly leading to the depletion of essential non-renewable resources; if my use of my hearing was causing the worst mass extinction in the history of the world; then your comparison would be valid.

But my purpose was not to argue that reproduction was harmless, but to argue that forcibly sterilizing people (even magically) would be an act of violence. You can accept that fact and still argue that such violence is justified; but I think it's important for you to recognize that you are, in fact, advocating for violence.

Quote
I categorically reject the assertion that taking away an ability whose use harms nobody is equivalent to taking away an ability whose use is threatening our very existence.

I did not argue that they were equivalent in their effect, only that they were equivalent in their violence.

I think the reason I’m having such a hard time relating to or responding to your concern is that I don’t see preventing insemination as modifying a person’s body. The closest I can get is that it would be interfering with a process within the body. But we interfere with people’s ability to perform specific actions all the time. And this would be far less intrusive than any of the other things we do all the time to limit people’s actions.

I really respect your views, and I’ve tried to see this from the point of view I think you’re coming from, but I just cannot. I don’t see it as violence.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9308
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #115 on: January 20, 2019, 10:27:49 PM »

... my question to Daniel would be- why is it ok to intentionally genocide one species at the expense of others if one places an equal value on all life?
Would it be ok to wipe out the domestic cat due to the amount of species they have wiped out and continue to endanger? ...

Because we are a cancer destroying the world. Cats are nowhere in the same league. Cats are not cutting down the rainforests or burning all the fossil fuels to cause global climate change or any of the other things that the human cancer is doing.

And I still do not advocate killing anyone. I just advocate that we stop being a cancer, and being what we are, as long as we’re here, we’re a cancer. Either we gracefully step out by ceasing to reproduce, or we’ll destroy ourselves in a far more violent and horrific manner, taking 99.9% of the Earth’s species with us.

I accept that mine is a minority opinion.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Online bimble

  • Seasoned Contributor
  • ****
  • Posts: 826
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #116 on: February 07, 2019, 03:19:44 PM »
It's been a few weeks, but I did see this story on the BBC today which seemed relevant - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-47154287 - India man to sue parents for giving birth to him

Quote
Mr Samuel's belief is rooted in what's called anti-natalism - a philosophy that argues that life is so full of misery that people should stop procreating immediately.
This, he says, would gradually phase out humanity from the Earth and that would also be so much better for the planet.
"There's no point to humanity. So many people are suffering. If humanity is extinct, Earth and animals would be happier. They'll certainly be better off. Also no human will then suffer. Human existence is totally pointless."

Offline CarbShark

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 12233
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #117 on: February 07, 2019, 09:34:01 PM »
Coming from people who think it’s perfectly okay to kill untolled billions of animals every year just to turn them into unhealthy food, squandering limited resources in the process, I am okay with folks thinking I’m a bad person. I actually agree with you that I’m a bad person, though not for the same reasons you do. A good person would give away to the poor all the income and/or property that he or she does not need for basic health and survival. I spend far more on my own enjoyment than I would need to survive. So we all agree that I’m a bad person, though for different reasons. And I’m okay with this. As a cynic and a misanthrope, I’m very happily spending my last few years having as much fun as I can, which at present amounts to paddling nearly every morning on the warm waters of this island paradise.

I’m reminded of a fellow I met in prison. He was convicted of possession of some large amount of marijuana with intent to sell. He told me that the pot that was presented as evidence in his case was not his. It was planted by the cops. However, he confided in me that he was actually selling pot. Just not that particular pot. They could not find his pot, so they planted some. He felt this was fair since he was actually guilty of selling pot. You judge me to be a bad person. Fair enough: I am. That we disagree on the reason(s) is not a problem for me.

And FWIW, I do not hate myself for being a bad person. I just accept it as who I am.

By the way, you know what  all this self hating anti human sentiment reminds me of?

Original sin. That’s the same self loathing that religions exploit.

“You are a sinner. All men are sinners. Next step god and salvation and eternal life and redemption.” Doesn’t that sound nice?

But you, you poor dumb miserable bastard, you’ve bought the humans are evil part of the equation and reject the holy salvation part. There’s no upside to that.

I reject both and live my life as best I can.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline The Latinist

  • Cyber Greasemonkey
  • Technical Administrator
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *****
  • Posts: 8115
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #118 on: February 08, 2019, 11:25:12 AM »
I think the reason I’m having such a hard time relating to or responding to your concern is that I don’t see preventing insemination as modifying a person’s body.

How did I miss this?  And...wait...what the fuck?  What are you talking about insemination for?  You said you were going to sterilize people.  Now you're changing to...what, magically preventing them from having sex?
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline daniel1948

  • Happy Man in a Boat
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 9308
  • I'd rather be paddling
Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #119 on: February 08, 2019, 02:26:05 PM »
I think the reason I’m having such a hard time relating to or responding to your concern is that I don’t see preventing insemination as modifying a person’s body.

How did I miss this?  And...wait...what the fuck?  What are you talking about insemination for?  You said you were going to sterilize people.  Now you're changing to...what, magically preventing them from having sex?

No, just magically preventing sperms from inseminating eggs. I never said (or at least never intended to say) that I would sterilize people. Since this whole scheme relies on my having magical powers, I would simply prevent the sperms from inseminating the eggs.

Afterthought: Maybe I did talk about sterilizing people. I don’t remember. But as a result of this discussion, I’ve modified my position to the above.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

personate-rain