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Old Yesterday, 04:21 PM   #121
hank hill
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The answer to this query depends mostly on the amount of agricultural land is on Earth and how much of it can be used to grow crops (the net amount of nutrients possible on our planet). That is until we expand to other planets. Only consumerism prevents us from using all possible agricultural land. The illusion of shortage.
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Old Yesterday, 08:33 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It's one of those axiom things.

Where do you think the human view of the world should be centered?

Me? I'm a humanist. Man is the measure of all things, for the simple reason that man is the one doing the measuring.

Maybe you feel differently. Maybe you feel there's some arbiter of value that has higher authority than you. But what is that arbiter? God? But you don't believe in God. The government? But you dissent from the government all the time. The masses? You dissent from the masses, too.

Even if you decide that the elephant has agency, and sets its own value, it's still you doing the deciding. If you undecide, what can the elephant do about it? It is the man, not the elephant, that has the final say about the ivory trade.
I guess I don't understand the axiom thing. I don't see why anyone has to be an arbiter of values. We exist. To survive, we need priorities and cooperation. I guess that means we value survival, as do many other species. But that's a pragmatic stance rather than a philosophical one. Unless pragmatism is a species of philosophy.
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Old Yesterday, 09:16 PM   #123
Cheetah
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It does raise some interesting questions about what "the best balance" means, though.
Best balance to me would mean a robust and sustainable ecosystem. More diverse ecosystems are more stable and cope better with environmental fluctuations etc. The ecosystem is of course incredibly complex and it's often difficult to ascertain the exact role or impact of any particular species. I'm sure a robust and sustainable ecosystem would be possible with many fewer species than currently around, but who knows? How many do you really need to make it robust enough?

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Do you care about the termites? Is the mass slaughter of termites to accommodate humans "the best balance", assuming that all life has value? Are termites and humans of equal value? Or are some animals really more equal than others, in your eyes?
And if termites have "life value", but we think nothing of massacring them whenever they inconvenience us, why do we get so upset when someone treats human "life value" the same way?
And how do you figure the life value of termites, anyway? Is one termite equal to one human? Or is it based on biomass - ten stone of termites is as valuable as ten stone of human?
Termites are critical for the ecosystem, not for your house. Fumigate the buggers, but keep the wild ones healthy. Unless you plan on having a lucrative termite circus - then don't fumigate!
I don't know how to value bugs vs humans.
Numerous Millions of Termites << 1 Human Life
All Termites >> 1 Human Life

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
The Guinea worms truly are the exception. No value....unless maybe one proclaims they have some educational extrinsic value as an example of the exception of the rule! That's a pretty big stretch
Imagine Notre Dame burnt all the way to the ground, totally destroyed. Or a meteorite or something hit the Lincoln Memorial, completely obliterated. Or a ginormous sinkhole swallowed the whole Arlington National Cemetery. Some freak accident or something melts the Statue of Liberty.
Do you think the human race would have lost something of value?
Every species is like a monument to the last few billion years of evolution. All of it written in it's DNA. Each totally unique in the Universe. That is where I feel the intrinsic value comes from.

No single organism or even millions of microorganisms or worms or insects could be worth a human life, but in aggregate they are much more important to the ecosystem than humans are.
I'm not saying don't treat diseases or parasites, but before killing off a species at lest make a monument to the monument and keep some in a zoo or a freezer or a volunteer or something.
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Last edited by Cheetah; Yesterday at 09:19 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 09:26 PM   #124
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I just don't get that "should."
Nothing I could say will make you get it. As theprestige said, it's axiomatic. And your moral axioms are fundamentally incompatible with mine.
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Old Yesterday, 10:13 PM   #125
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So you believe that just because humans are the smartest most powerful creatures on the planet - and because we are humans - it gives us the right to do whatever we see fit with other less smart and powerful species?
It's not the way we run our society and it's certainly not the way we would like to be treated should we ever meet a smarter more powerful species.
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Last edited by Cheetah; Yesterday at 11:58 PM. Reason: Replaced 'D' with 'S' to inclue 'rule of so'
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Old Yesterday, 11:57 PM   #126
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I guess I'm in the corner with the super-hero loving romantics who believe that since we are the smartest most powerful species here, we are in the unique position to be the only ones capable of understanding how the whole thing works and possibly anticipating some disaster and having the means to mitigate or avert it (instead of causing it). With great power comes great responsibility.


We have already had a HUGE (with no end in sight) impact on an ecosystem we don't understand. Not only do we and our livestock make up a quarter of all terrestrial animal biomass, we have also managed to decrease the total biomass the Earth is carrying by two fold since the start of civilization. How healthy can that be...
I just hope we manage to get things under control before some tipping point is reached.
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Old Today, 12:29 AM   #127
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
So you believe that just because humans are the smartest most powerful creatures on the planet - and because we are humans - it gives us the right to do whatever we see fit with other less smart and powerful species?
It's not the way we run our society and it's certainly not the way we would like to be treated should we ever meet a smarter more powerful species.
Why are you intent on trying to read in the worst possible interpretation of what I said? Nothing in this post actually follows from my posts.
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Old Today, 01:20 AM   #128
Cheetah
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I'm so sorry*. Your posts have been concise one or two sentence statements with some questions thrown in. I have difficulty working out exactly what your position is and what you mean overall. Could you please explain your views and beliefs at slightly more lenth?


*Also note it was originally a question. I changed it to a 'so'. Statements after a 'so' are apparently notorious for misrepresenting someones view. After reading a 'so' you should really have expected it.
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Old Today, 02:18 AM   #129
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A population of zero is easily sustainable. Zero is not a needy number. It practically sustains itself.
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