Poll: At what point is killing/hurting something wrong?


New member
May 4, 2011
zehydra said:
That's probably the most comprehensive rundown of that view that I have ever seen. I am of the opposite view, that living is always better than not being alive, (as long as there is no afterlife). It's a tough position to defend, but I believe it has merit.

As for suffering, it's not necessarily tied to a being's desire to live, although I don't actually know of any creatures that are intelligent enough to have desires and not feel pain. Perhaps flies?
To some extent, things would rather suffer and be alive than die, so that position does have some merit. But there's always a point at which it tips. In the most extreme end, if something is in constant, agonizing pain for every second of its life, there will be a point at which it desires to die.

"Suffering" and "pain" aren't concerned directly with a desire to live, but do show a concern for self. Anything that can suffer has a preference that should be given weight. Conversely, I'm not sure anything that can't suffer can be said to have preferences or desires at all. Flies are too simple to really have minds, in my opinion. They don't desire any more than an automatic process on my computer does. They just react- they're no more than biological machines of stunning complexity.