Who here wants to be good?
Who thinks this is the same as being a good human?
Is the highest good for humanity whatever benefits the human species?
Is there universal good?
Is there a state of goodness that would include living beings from other solar systems and dimensions?
Who here thinks they would change if they learned something about themselves that turned out to undermine their standing as someone who wants to be good?
Is killing a Nobel laureate worse than killing a homeless person?
If what makes killing wrong is not the mental or social status of the victim, then what about their state of being self-aware justifies killing non-human beings?
We only take life in war because we see no other option. Many have sacrificed their own lives to defended our right to life. This contradiction points to universal values that go beyond the utilitarian view of morals.
The difference between killing in war and taking life when there is a choice is not subtle.
We who want to be good, know that needless killing is the deepest wrong.
We know intuitively and rationally that taking life does profound harm to goodness. What is the value of a world without good?
When there is no other option but to kill, we do not say that killing itself is right. All killing holds the shadow of an incompatible action that is only provisionally justified by the good lives we must then live – a burden that is too bright for many war heroes to bear the sight of.
What if the right to life is not ours because of our arguably undefinable state of self-aware consciousness?
What is our right to life, if it is not conferred on us by our superior evolutionary status?
Without technology how human would Steven Hawking be?
Do superior powers: of thought, of tech, of strength, or of awareness, bestow on their holder special exemptions from moral responsibility?
Or, do responsibilities increase with these abilities?
What ethical decisions come with the gift of our consciousness.
Is it morally wrong to normalize unnecessary death?
Is “humane” defined as “kind to all humans” or “kind to all”?
Is “humane killing” humane if it is unnecessary for humans?
Is the right to life weighted by the degree to which a member of “species X” fits into his/her own self-defined criteria of “species X”-ness?
Humanness is mired in circular solipsism.
What technology tells us about non-human animals is that they are also beautiful and complex, challenging our understanding no less than the mysteries of our own human species.
When we discover an exoplanetary alien species with complex brains and senses equivalent to those of farm animals, will we be moved to celebrate them and marvel at the wonder of their lives?
Would we be justified in taking alien life to sustain human life? What if they were incapable of defending themselves? What if we could eat beans instead and live in peace?
How much intellect does it take to leap beyond human biases to the simple insight that the universe is better with living beings than without? A respect for life is the universe respecting itself.
Respect for our own lives is morally inconsistent with disrespecting the lives of others.
Is it wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering and death on beings who’s only deficiency is their inability to defend themselves from us?
Is normalizing the taking of lives that lack higher consciousness compatible with my own right to life while I am sleeping?