Worth of a Life

BigDog2191

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#1
I know we've had these discussions before and I had this discussion with a friend but what is the worth of a life to you? Is your dog equal to a plant? Is your best friend equal to your dog?

My friend argues that human life is more valueable to him simply because he can empathize with a human. You can't empathize with any other form of life. My argument was that just because we, as humans, can't empathize with another form of life it doesn't make us any more superior.

My friend also argued that humans are sentient. I argued that so are animals. My dog didn't eat or drink anything for 3 days when I left him with my breeder, and he whined like crazy. To me, that seems like sadness. Wolves fight to survive in the wild, meaning they are aware they are alive. Sentience.

He believes animals can't show love. But I argued that dogs show affection all the time. It seems that dogs are the only ones I can defend here since I've had experience raising one since real young.

But the truth is... if I had raised a colony of ants... and had gotten Rocky at the same time and until this point, I had to choose between the two. I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of the ant colony. And between my father and Rocky... I'd choose my father. To me, all life has worth but I would take some life over others.

What are your thoughts?
 

RD

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#2
It's a hard question to answer. I used to think I valued human life much more than that of dogs, but then I think about what I'd do to save my dogs. If I was in a burning building full of strangers and could only save a stranger or my dogs, I'd take my dogs. I love them dearly and have a strong bond with them. They mean a lot to me.

I honestly don't know if I value human life more than the life of a dog. I don't know if I value the life of a dog more than a life of a cat, or cow, or horse. I value sentient beings more than plants, but that's a no-brainer . . .

I guess it comes down to the question: how superior do we as humans really think we are? Are we so GREAT that our lives are worth so much more than that of animals?

It seems to me that humans value their lives MUCH more than animals value theirs . . . But does that make a human life more valuable than an animal's? A life is a life, after all.

Meh. I guess I coulda just said "I don't know". I do have a preference towards mammals. I value the life of dogs, cats, horses etc. more than the life of a beetle, ant or fish. doesn't mean that I don't value the lives of the beetles, ants or fish, but if I had to choose I would definitely say I place higher value on mammals.

I agree with you that while I value all life, I value the lives of those I love more than anything else.
 

zoe08

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#3
I have to agree with RD. I value all life, but those of the ones I love more.

Would I save my dog over a stranger? Yes, most likely. It is hard to think about that and what you would do in the situation. But Zoe has been there for me the past couple years and made me feel better when I was upset. And that is more than I can say for any of my supposed 'friends'. Zoe ranks as a family member to me, and to me family comes first.

I do value mammals lives over plants, insects, etc. I'm not sure why it works that way. I guess because it is the way we are raised and because mammals are more related to us so we feel more connected to them.
 

BigDog2191

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#4
It seems to me that humans value their lives MUCH more than animals value theirs . . . But does that make a human life more valuable than an animal's? A life is a life, after all.
I don't know about that. I believe an animal will fight for their right to live more than a human. Whereas we see so many humans horribly depressed, ready to commit suicide... a dog will never commit suicide no matter how screwed it is in life. You will always see a wolf fighting for food, no matter how unsuccessful they have been.
 

RD

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#5
I don't know about that. I believe an animal will fight for their right to live more than a human. Whereas we see so many humans horribly depressed, ready to commit suicide... a dog will never commit suicide no matter how screwed it is in life. You will always see a wolf fighting for food, no matter how unsuccessful they have been.
That's a very good point. I guess what I see with people is the fixation on life. People stop to think how every little thing can affect their life. Animals have survival on their minds more than humans do (obviously. you don't see animals skydiving or swimming with sharks :lol-sign: )

So, actually, I do believe you're right. Animals will go farther to survive than people will. I guess I just think people value their lives more because I hear people talking about their lives constantly. :confused:

Just reread this and it makes no sense. Bleh. Benadryl has kicked in and destroyed whatever remaining brain cells I had.
 
L

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#6
I definitely value my dogs more than plants and they are a part of the family. I would most definitely save them over any stranger or mere acquaitance. I would hate to have to choose between the two of them if something should happen where I would have to though. :( I would choose Tony over our dogs. He's my husband, I love him and value his life with me. I do value our dogs' lives with me/us as well, but I'd have to save Tony first and grab our two fur babies second. They are very important to me, but sometimes choices must be made and you don't always like to choose.

For those of you with more than one dog - If you had to save one or the other...which would you save? Why?

*Just curious - I guess I'd have to save Tira cause she's been with us longer...but I like to think I'd find a way to save both if possible.*
 
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#7
When I replied on the thread we had not long about this I said I'd rescue a human before I'd rescue an animal, or I'd go for both at the time same. That thread actually got me thinking a lot about what I'd actually do. After some thought, I do have to say that I'd rescue my dogs instead of strangers. I don't think animals are better, or more respectable than humans, I find that they are equal in many ways. However, I have a very close bond to both of my dogs. If there was a car coming and my dog was in its path I'd run out there to get it, for sure.
The only question that really confuses me is if I had to chose between my parents or my dogs. Although I said I don't value the human life more than animals, I still would go for my parents in a burning house.
 
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#10
Because I dont view human life = to animal or plant life.

Human's come first.

If my house was burning down and my children and dogs were in it. I would rescue my children first.. then if there was time left, I would rescue the dogs.

Human's have one life to live... when it comes to saving lives.. or caring for lives.. I would in no way let an animal life get in the way of me caring or saving my own family... or other persons.

As for plants..... geez... they have no feelings so I dont care :D
 

yoko

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#11
i would like to say i value human life over animal. if one of my friends had to be rescued or my dog i'd save my friends, but i'd feel guilty for the rest of my life for not saving yoshi.

on the other hand if it was a complete stranger i wouldn't know what to do. yoshi's been there for me for everything this past year. living by myself no contact with family, slowly moving back home, family problems, divorce, car breaking down, brother moving out, mom moving out and to me that makes it hard for me to pick the stranger over yoshi. that may make me a bad person but i don't care
 

Muggie'sMum

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#13
Interesting the point on mammals -- large mammals mostly, above other things. If a bat flies into my barn, you bet I want to kill it - but I do feel bad. I don't feel bad killing a bat like the way I felt bad when, because of circumstances, I was required to drown a kitten this summer. Companion animals, I suppose, take higher priority to me than other types of animals..

As for animal vs human... I cannot honestly say what I would do in a situation where I had to choose between one of my "furkids" or a person - how can any of us truly answer such a serious question without being in that situation?

I can certainly say that I value the lives of some animals AS MUCH AS humans. When my beautiful equine companion of five years died of colic a month ago, I missed a week of work, spent DAYS in bed, questioning God and all the forces that be, and still feel the same way as I did when various members of my family have passed away - like you're incomplete.
 

rij73

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#14
Interesting question... I've thought about this a lot. I certainly place a very high value on the life of an animal mostly because I feel that animals are extremely vulnerable to humans. Animals suffer so much because of us that I feel obligated to consider their needs and lives as extremely important. However, I obviously feel some sense of a hierarchy.

My dog is now family to me. I would certainly place his needs over those of a stranger.

As for other animals... Well, I feel strongly about protecting animals from suffering and death at a human's hands. The only animal product I consume is fish, so I apparently value cows, chickens, pigs, etc. over fish.

I also don't hesitate to kill an insect, so obviously those are lowest in my hierarchy.

I think it's human nature to feel related to mammals and therefore feel more obligation to them than to a fish or an insect. But, I know lots of people who won't eat a fish or kill a bug either...

Rambling rambling rambling.... etc.
 
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#15
I guess my view is that, if I had to choose between saving Winnie or a stranger, I would probably choose the stranger, because I couldn't imagine telling someone "Sorry, I chose to save my dog instead of your mom/dad/aunt/sister/whatever." The emotional cost to me of my dog dying is still probably less than the cost to a whole family who lost a family member.
 

sparks19

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#16
Mrose I don't think anyone is questioning the fact that they have equal right to live but would you save your dog before saving your family?

I know I would not. I think I am actually with Irishwolfie on this. I would have to save strangers. I would feel very bad for letting Teddy go but I just don't think I could face myself when the mother of three dies in a fire and I could have saved her. A dogs life only affects it's "immediate family" You don't know who that strangers life affects. i would hate to leave children without a mother because I had to save my dog.

if I had to choose between Brian or Teddy I wouldn't even have to think aboug it. I would save Brian in a heartbeat. Does not mean that I don't love my dog but Brian is the most important thing in the world to me.
 

Whisper

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#17
It gets complicated when you say who you would save. That would be heartwrenching because I would be torn, but I think I would save my dogs. They would die for me and I would do the same to them. It would not be an easy choice, though. I would save whoever I was closest to. And I am closer to my animals than most others so it would be quite obvious. My animals are my family and companions. I love them with all my heart. I have an amazing bond with them and I would never throw that all away to save someone I don't know. I know and love my dogs so they come first with me.
But we are more intelligent than other animals (technologically, etc., while other animals are more intuitive in my experiences), and it is our job to hold them in high regards and make sure they are treated fairly and with kindness. We have to contain domestic animals in some way and letting them stampede around is not responsible, so in a way, we do have to "control" other animals.
 

Whisper

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#18
Here, take it from my siggy:

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion"
-- Unknown


I believe this and I hold up my end; I will be theirs, faithful and true, to the last beat of my heart.
 

sparks19

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#19
I just think it would be selfish of me to save my dog over someone's mother or father. how could I orphan a child just so I could spend another day with my dog. I would definately try to save both but I just don't think I could live with myself if I could have saved that childs mother or father.
 

RD

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#20
I'd save my family members over a stranger, and I consider my dogs family. I owe my dog more respect and devotion than I owe a stranger. It's a sad, sad situation either way, but I couldn't watch the animal that's given me so much die because I saved a stranger instead - simply because they were human.
 

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