Originally Posted by kdt26417
I am of the opinion that humans are neither better nor worse than any other being, object, substance, or force. All the Universe is a great symphony and each star, galaxy, planet, and creature plays its part. What I hope humans will do with the brains that they have is seek a more harmonious interaction with the world around them. We can do it, but it'll take us some time [read: many generations].
I don't like lab experiments on animals and, come to think of it, don't like killing animals for their meat either. But it's hard to say, "Well we must not kill plants then either," since then it becomes difficult indeed to conjure up stuff to eat any so many people on Earth are already starving. Perhaps there's a way to synthesize food out of pure elements, but the tech for that must lie far in the future. And even if it could be done, who says a "non-living" thing doesn't have a soul? So each time we try to invent a "better, more humane source of food," we'll only be kicking the can further down the road.
Does an individual atom have a soul? What about a subatomic particle? What about a galaxy, or the whole of the Universe? Seems we must have souls within souls. If a single-celled organism can have its own kind of sentience and feelings, than so can every cell in my body. Thus I and my body have an entire soul, but every organ also has a soul, as does every cell, and every atom and subatomic particle within that cell -- as well as the electronic impulses that move our muscles and transmit messages to and from our brain.
I wonder if eating an apple off a tree isn't okay in the sense that apples evolved to contain the seeds that would become fertilized in our digestive tract and then eliminated into the soil; Nature hasn't yet caught up with human habits of throwing out the seeds and using toilets rather than the wild earth to do our business.
Plus we've domesticated many plants and those plants now depend on us for extra nurturing, fertilizing, and the removal of wild competion (i.e., weeding). What's to be done with those plants? It would be hard to "train" them to become "undomesticated."
Remember too that Earth is populated by many non-human carnivores, yet no human thinks ill of a wolf pack that chases down a terrified caribou calf (and starts feeding on it while it lies there in utter exhaustion -- surely feeling the pain of being ripped apart).
Humans have taught themselves to feel guilty for being human, and that's not all bad, after all, Nature gave us brains that could feel guilt, probably as a learning tool. But rather than guilt driving us to mass suicide, I hope it will prod us into trying to be better stewards of whatever other powers Nature has bestowed on us. I think our consciences are supposed to help keep all those powers in check, but as I said, humans, as a species overall, tend to be slow (and awkward) learners. And we have many riddles to figure out ...