Author Topic: The morality of Thanos  (Read 1417 times)

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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2018, 06:55:09 AM »
And it's not a fix, it just pushes the tip-over point back a few decades at best.

So, you repeat once every 40 or 50 years.

(click to show/hide)

I haven't watched it again, but I have a strong impression that Thanos intimated that he would teach life to live within its means, one way or another.
Yeah, that would happen.

Life in general mostly does this already through predation, parasites, disease, injury, and so on. Intelligent life OTOH can step outside these natural selection pressures and overrun the planetary resources in a manner analagous to a disease or parasite overruning its host. If Thanos set up a kill condition for intelligent life that dusted half the population of a planet whenever that population exceeded [criteria] I'm pretty that new selection pressure would be quite effective.
So life was already doing what Thanos wanted it to do? Hence my confusion as to his purpose. Or there would be confusion if I didn't remember what a load of nonsense the Sokovia Accords were.
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Offline werecow

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2018, 08:47:22 AM »
And it's not a fix, it just pushes the tip-over point back a few decades at best.

So, you repeat once every 40 or 50 years.

(click to show/hide)

I haven't watched it again, but I have a strong impression that Thanos intimated that he would teach life to live within its means, one way or another.
Yeah, that would happen.

Life in general mostly does this already through predation, parasites, disease, injury, and so on.

To the extent that that's true, it's true by definition; you can't live without the means to sustain life, and as the population overshoots the long-term sustainable level, you run out of resources and your population density becomes such that you are a likely target for parasites and disease, and then your population first slows and then stops growing, and then declines until the resource crisis is over. I think the difference is that we're just exceptionally good at expanding our means. And we're not great yet at controlling population growth. Maybe Thanos should've been dealing out prophylactics and teaching people ecology and sustainable ways of living, instead of just killing half of them, which teaches them next to nothing. It just lowers the population level, but doesn't fix any underlying problem; massive death due to overpopulation is not "fixed" by massive death.

Also maybe I'm reading too much into your post, but it sounds a bit like you're implying a kind of Gaia hypothesis, which imho is overly simplistic and optimistic and not well supported by evidence (there is even a direct opposite hypothesis: Peter Ward's Medea hypothesis - which I think is equally simplistic).
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 09:32:15 AM by werecow »
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Online daniel1948

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2018, 09:29:48 AM »
And it's not a fix, it just pushes the tip-over point back a few decades at best.

So, you repeat once every 40 or 50 years.

(click to show/hide)

Are you actually arguing for this? There were many more sentient species other than "Human" destroyed by T. In fact Humans were a very small portion of those killed.

Thanos became all powerful and chose to destroy. He could have created more planets, more life, more food, more space.  I'm pretty sure he spared all of his own minions and himself to live in this new "paradise".

In the original story he did it to impress a girl.  >:D

Because the story is fantasy, and as an allegory of our world all sentient species are analogues of humans, the fact that he killed other sentient species is irrelevant to my argument.

I don’t read comic books, so I can only comment on the movie, not on the original story. In the movie it is clear that he does not spare his minions. The selection of who dies is made by chance, without Thanos’s input, other than to specify that it be by chance. And he kills the only person he loves or has ever loved, and he is devastated by that necessity.

And I do seriously argue that there is no moral difference between what Thanos does, and what humans are doing, except that he acts out of selflessness (right or wrong, his intention is to make worlds better places for the sentient creatures on them) whereas what humans do in the real world today we do out of greed and to please ourselves. I quit eating meat 51 years ago precisely because in the absence of a divine creator/law-giver I assert there is no moral difference between killing a pig and killing a human.

Humans are a cancer. We are multiplying out of control, squandering finite resources, and using the air, the rivers, and the oceans as garbage dumps.

I do seriously argue that what the fictional Thanos does in the movie is morally no worse than what humans are doing to our world today. (Note, however, that “no worse than...” does not mean right or good. I oppose all violence. I just don’t cry when a murderer gets murdered, and I regard the fictional Thanos as a better “person” than the real life people who run our nation, or the real-life people who run most other nations.)
Daniel
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Online daniel1948

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2018, 09:35:43 AM »
... Maybe Thanos should've been dealing out prophylactics and teaching people ecology and sustainable ways of living, instead of just killing half of them, which teaches them next to nothing...

That would have made for a pretty dull movie.  ;D
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2018, 02:21:02 PM »
And it's not a fix, it just pushes the tip-over point back a few decades at best.

So, you repeat once every 40 or 50 years.

(click to show/hide)

Are you actually arguing for this? There were many more sentient species other than "Human" destroyed by T. In fact Humans were a very small portion of those killed.

Thanos became all powerful and chose to destroy. He could have created more planets, more life, more food, more space.  I'm pretty sure he spared all of his own minions and himself to live in this new "paradise".

In the original story he did it to impress a girl.  >:D

Because the story is fantasy, and as an allegory of our world all sentient species are analogues of humans, the fact that he killed other sentient species is irrelevant to my argument.

I don’t read comic books, so I can only comment on the movie, not on the original story. In the movie it is clear that he does not spare his minions. The selection of who dies is made by chance, without Thanos’s input, other than to specify that it be by chance. And he kills the only person he loves or has ever loved, and he is devastated by that necessity.

And I do seriously argue that there is no moral difference between what Thanos does, and what humans are doing, except that he acts out of selflessness (right or wrong, his intention is to make worlds better places for the sentient creatures on them) whereas what humans do in the real world today we do out of greed and to please ourselves. I quit eating meat 51 years ago precisely because in the absence of a divine creator/law-giver I assert there is no moral difference between killing a pig and killing a human.

Humans are a cancer. We are multiplying out of control, squandering finite resources, and using the air, the rivers, and the oceans as garbage dumps.

I do seriously argue that what the fictional Thanos does in the movie is morally no worse than what humans are doing to our world today. (Note, however, that “no worse than...” does not mean right or good. I oppose all violence. I just don’t cry when a murderer gets murdered, and I regard the fictional Thanos as a better “person” than the real life people who run our nation, or the real-life people who run most other nations.)

What can I say other than, your self hatred and hate for your fellow man is epic Daniel  (I know you don't see it that way) Its a good thing that you "oppose violence" at least from your own hands.  I'm going to go have a steak and enjoy being at the top of the food chain then thank the next human I meet.
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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2018, 04:15:41 PM »
I neither hate myself nor the human race, any more than I hate the flu virus. And I think you are out of line pretending to know who or what I hate. I will admit to some contempt for people who think it’s wrong for the fictional Thanos to cull the human race, but perfectly okay to murder animals just because they get some pleasure from eating them. “Epic” would be better applied to the barbarity of the meat industry.
Daniel
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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2018, 04:47:22 PM »
All Thanos did was apply basic wildlife management techniques to overpopulated apex predators.

If global warming is real then how come I just felt this chill down my spine?

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2018, 05:09:56 PM »
I neither hate myself nor the human race, any more than I hate the flu virus. And I think you are out of line pretending to know who or what I hate. I will admit to some contempt for people who think it’s wrong for the fictional Thanos to cull the human race, but perfectly okay to murder animals just because they get some pleasure from eating them. “Epic” would be better applied to the barbarity of the meat industry.
It's great to be a picky eater, isn't it?
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2018, 06:26:11 PM »
Did he tho.  I will have to rewatch, but I never got the impression that Thanos did in just intelligent life (whatever the fuck that means), or even all animal life (again whatever tftm).  I thought he did in half of all life.  He certainly killed more than just humans.

And let's be real here.  Randomness is truly stochastic.  Unless he planned better (and there is no evidence he did) in this vast universe of Marvel's he almost certainly fer sure destroyed entire races.  Genocide pure and simple.  At the same time he left some toxic species completely untouched. 

He destroyed ecosystems to where they can not recover, and thus condemed more life - intelligent or not to the slow death of mass starvation.  If he destroyed vegetation he created massive dust bowls and deserts, collapsed mountains, eliminated homes of creatures who ostensibly survived.  What is worse, the intelligent species are more likely to survive such a catastrophy. 

Did he destroy half of all bacteria?  If yes life as we understand will starve.  If not then what happened when the host died?  For that matter, any creature in symbyosis has a much higher chance of dying than 50%.

In short he is an idiot and a fuckup.
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Offline bimble

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2018, 06:47:17 PM »
though we only saw intellegent life (well, people & Guardians of the Galaxy) wiped out... I certainly don't recall seeing any trees vanishing for instance.

Offline Tassie Dave

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2018, 06:49:28 PM »
though we only saw intellegent life (well, people & Guardians of the Galaxy) wiped out... I certainly don't recall seeing any trees vanishing for instance.

"I am Groot"  :(

Offline bimble

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2018, 07:40:44 PM »
though we only saw intellegent life (well, people & Guardians of the Galaxy) wiped out... I certainly don't recall seeing any trees vanishing for instance.

"I am Groot"  :(

touché

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2018, 07:43:45 PM »
I neither hate myself nor the human race, any more than I hate the flu virus. And I think you are out of line pretending to know who or what I hate. I will admit to some contempt for people who think it’s wrong for the fictional Thanos to cull the human race, but perfectly okay to murder animals just because they get some pleasure from eating them. “Epic” would be better applied to the barbarity of the meat industry.
It's great to be a picky eater, isn't it?

I’m not really a particularly picky eater. I eat no meat (including poultry). That means there are maybe 6 or 8 basic foods in the typical American diet that I don’t eat. And these are the foods with the greatest negative environmental impact and the foods that are the worst for your health other than junk foods.

Note: I was raised on meat, and I loved meat, and until I was 19, in 1967, I didn’t think I could get by without it. I made a decision, on ethical grounds, to change my diet. And now I get just as much pleasure from the foods I eat as I did then.

Everyone has a choice to make: be a customer of the most barbaric industry in the world, which is also causing significant damage to the environment, or make a change which is difficult for the first 2 or 3 years and then becomes just as natural and pleasurable as your old diet is now.
Daniel
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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2018, 07:50:48 PM »
All Thanos did was apply basic wildlife management techniques to overpopulated apex predators.

Exactly! And this is bad only for folks who have an inflated sense of their own importance.
Daniel
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-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: The morality of Thanos
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2018, 07:55:08 PM »
Did he tho.  I will have to rewatch, but I never got the impression that Thanos did in just intelligent life (whatever the fuck that means), or even all animal life (again whatever tftm).  I thought he did in half of all life.  He certainly killed more than just humans.

And let's be real here.  Randomness is truly stochastic.  Unless he planned better (and there is no evidence he did) in this vast universe of Marvel's he almost certainly fer sure destroyed entire races.  Genocide pure and simple.  At the same time he left some toxic species completely untouched. 

He destroyed ecosystems to where they can not recover, and thus condemed more life - intelligent or not to the slow death of mass starvation.  If he destroyed vegetation he created massive dust bowls and deserts, collapsed mountains, eliminated homes of creatures who ostensibly survived.  What is worse, the intelligent species are more likely to survive such a catastrophy. 

Did he destroy half of all bacteria?  If yes life as we understand will starve.  If not then what happened when the host died?  For that matter, any creature in symbyosis has a much higher chance of dying than 50%.

In short he is an idiot and a fuckup.
Just a comic book crisis.
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