Circle of life | INFJ Forum

Circle of life

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by TinyBubbles, Jul 26, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    I was just thinking how cruel it seems that for something to live, another thing must die - we eat meat or plants to survive, and couldn't survive without them, but these things were living beings too, and they probably wanted to live just as much as us. Why is it like that? And this pattern is not limited to just us - every living being sustains itself by taking advantage of the destruction of others; the fact that we live on a planet with limited resources practically guarentees that some of us will have to suffer for others to thrive. What a world! If god created it, it's like he wrote conflict into it as an integral part, rather than as an unpleasant side effect. God couldn't be that cruel ---- if life is valuable, and not just something that happens, then surely everything that is alive deserves to live.. otherwise the question of WHY becomes intolerable.

    I don't know.. just rambling as usual. Any thoughts? How could a merciful God condone such a world - why couldn't we all just survive independently - why are our lives dependent on the deaths of others? Are humans really any more valuable than any other that we should subsist where others fail?
     
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  2. NeverAmI

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    YES! Cellular vampires aren't we all!

    Although technically we are just stealing certain chemistry right? It is our tastes and desires that really do the harm, we could just eat nutritional goo or something if we really wanted to, or is that not true? I don't know my biochemistry that well. :p

    If life is the primary catalyst for a right to live, then that also involves bugs and plants.
    What technically qualifies as life, was it RNA, wasn't it you that told me that or was it IndigoSensor? I can't remember! I need to research more!


    An ethical conundrum I often find myself confronting in my own mind.
     
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  3. athenian200

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    I don't know about God, since I don't believe in such things, but I can tell you why it is this way.

    Because past a certain point, an individual being is no longer useful. They consume resources that their offspring could use. The death of older organisms enables younger, more evolved ones to thrive.

    In the case of human beings, this goes further back, to social programming and assumptions. The older generations have to die off before society can evolve, because they've been programmed with a way of thinking that doesn't fully utilize the new abilities and realizations that have come about since their birth. They'll still view things as acceptable and unacceptable, due to experience, that they shouldn't. In other words, in human beings, not only is there evolutionary and resource baggage drain on younger organisms, there's also the drain created by the old, outdated social paradigms older human beings rely on, and that society must maintain at the level required to support said people. In human beings, death and aging are nature's way of wiping out the limitations, memories, and assumptions created by recent experiences, and permitting things to "start over" to a certain degree.

    It's only horrible if you choose to look at it that way. You could also choose to look at it as people having a span of usefulness, an amount of time for which they are relevant. No one thinks it's tragic to throw out a 2 year old computer in favor of a new model. No one thinks it's tragic to harvest crops for the year and then replant new ones. Why do we imbue so much value to ourselves? I think it's a kind of instinct. A good (if painful) one, of course, because it fosters the social connection and empathy which make society possible.

    I'll admit, it's easy to justify it logically, but emotionally it will always smack of "wrongness." I didn't say everything I just did because I feel that makes it okay, but because I was trying to come up with an explanation for you. What you described is still upsetting to me.
     
    #3 athenian200, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  4. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    the nutrients in the 'goo' would still be extracted from living things - eg. vit C from oranges. i'm pretty sure we're not at the stage yet where we could make everything synthetic, and even if we could, the stock material would most likely come from dead plants and animals. although, interesting point! maybe in the future we could - and that would absolve the ethical issue entirely :D
     
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  5. 894tt3h9

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    I feel like at the end of it all, we all come from the same source and when we die, we return to that source. Everything on the face of this planet has the same building blocks of life. The problem with humanity is we are consumed by our own greed and often times have a sense of entitlement which causes us to take far more than we need to sustain ourselves. That is where the real tragedy lies.

    If you look at planet earth and everything on it, it's just one huge, living and breathing organism. We're just cells doing our part on the earth even if we spread our destruction and greed like cancer. It's sad to think that it has ended up this way, but at some point everything dies and so it shall be for us. And it will start all over again.

    That's what I think anyway.
     
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  6. OP
    TinyBubbles

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    (i'm sorry I upset you! :hug:)

    you're probably right though, it is a matter of perspective. one of my biology lecturers once said that as dna is replicated over the course of a person's life, it accumulates errors, and those errors eventually lead to illnesses like cancer and arthritis. but they can lead to evolutionary advantages too, which would be passed on to their offspring, so in that way maybe it's worth it. i'm not sure about people losing their 'usefulness' over time though - yes, the younger, more evolved generation would survive better if the older generation passed on, but maybe the world would be better off with a less evolved species roaming the earth. evolution doesn't automatically = better.
    (sorry to be a downer! really do think you have some solid points here, thankyou athenian200 :)
     
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  7. athenian200

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    Oh, no... you didn't. I meant that I find the fact that the world is this way upsetting.
    I can agree with that now... I'm not sure that improving to the point we have is really such a good thing. But the reason it works that way is because, historically, evolution was usually an improvement. It may not be so now. Humans could just be overly self-aware, because we've reached the level where further evolution wouldn't be an improvement. Perhaps the fact that we ask questions like this, means we've actually reached an unhealthy level of self-awareness.
     
    #7 athenian200, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  8. Odyne

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    It is not destruction. It is transformation.

    Life is energy and the first law of thermodynamics states that "Energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed." No natural phenomenon has yet violated that law. And in order for life to "go on", there needs to be a balance of energy.

    One species will have to feed on another to maintain a balance of population of both species, for example.

    If we are talking about Man killing each other (in forms of crime, war, etc.) well, that's because man has the will power to do so, and only Man should be blamed for it. Out of all the species we have the will power and we have the freedom of choice and reason and intellect to govern our basic animalistic desires. Man chooses, therefore Man is accountable.

    Now how does the principle of conservation of energy applies in this case?

    Well, Man will most likely create an imbalance of energy: extreme technological advancement on the account of other species, or exhaustion of natural resources which will put many things in danger, and other similar acts. The only way to restore that balance would be the "destruction" of the human race. The transformation of our existence to something else that will balance both end of The Equation. The only way the Cycle of Life can be maintained.


    It seems cruel to us because..well, we do not want to cease to exist. But it's the Law of Nature and it's the only Law ever that you cannot violate. There are no loopholes, none that we were able to find so far. (so far = loooong time now)

    So how that relates to your question, things need to be consumed (or transformed) in order to keep a balance of populations on the planet.

    Abundance is just as deadly as Scarcity.
     
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  9. NeverAmI

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    For many, there is also ethical implication in the thoughts and memories of those affected by lost life. Humans think, we retain memory and I would say other animals are capable of doing so as well. When you kill something, you upset a lot. There are memories, there is additional suffering for those that are left behind. There is this divide between the micro-scale level of fundamental components and the overall holistic of consciousness, memory, the mind.

    I think the largest ethical justification for the slaughter of animals and not humans comes from the dualistic notion of the soul (which in many cases is exclusive to humanity). I remember asking when I was young, where do dogs go when they die?

    "Well, they go to doggy heaven"

    "What do you mean doggy heaven, why not ours?"

    There is sometimes this idea of a separation or some divine segregation of humanity vs the rest of life, even if we do form from conception in the same way and process sustenance in similar fashions.

    If moo moo the cow doesn't go to our heaven, but instead goes to a cow heaven where he eats lots of grass that is given to him for free, then we are doing him a favor by killing and eating him, right?

    I am not implying one way is better than the other or one thing is true and one is false, I can't possibly know that, just throwing some thoughts out there.
     
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  10. muir

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    One theory is that all matter is energy condensed into a vibration. What determines form is the frequency it resonates at.

    Everything is just a transferal of energy as reality is just a big soup of energy.
     
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  11. testing

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    This is one reason I like plants better than people: all they "eat" is sunlight and water. So, the obvious solution is to genetically engineer people with clorophyll. They make glo-fish that are genetically engineered neon-colored fish (available at Wal-Mart for $3.99), why can't they make people with clorophyll?

    It would solve global warming and everything.

    Why has no one ever thought of this before?
     
  12. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    that is because life is a circle. Not some living things are eaten, all living things are eaten by others. Even the top of the food piramide is eaten by insects and bacteria. People also get killed by living things (like bacteria and virusses). And when we are death our bodies are decomposed by insects and bacteria to serve as fertilizer for plants. Without our death, plants would ran out of resources.There is a natural balance on this planet and if everything would stay alife, that balance would be broken and eventually we would ran out of resources and all die.

    The circle of life is so beautiful if you take a closer look at it.
    A plant can take the energy of the sun to transform C02 into glucosis. By doing that it releases O2. We eat the plant and "burn" glucosis to get the necessary energy to live. For that proces we need 02. We give in return C02 back so the plant can benefit from us and the circle is completed. There is a circle for every chemical element and some of them are much more complex and need much more sorts of living things to complete it, like nitrogen.

    So in fact, we don't only kill other living things to live our life, by just living our life we allow others to life as well. Lets just life our life the way we are designed and contribute to the circle of life... If we can't see the beauty and perfection in the way life is designed and can't accept that we HAVE TO kill other to be able to live and give back life as wel, than we have gone a long way from being natural. There is life and death for everyone, that is the way it is. Instead of feeling guilty of killing others, why don't you feel grathful that you can be a part of this wonderful thing that is life. We all eat eachother, isn't that the best prove that all is ONE?!
     
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    #12 Morgain, Jul 26, 2010
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  13. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    I wondered a bit about this myself in the last several days since I've been to the countryside and witnessed some rather cruel facts of life that people seem to forget when they live in the city. The road from a living creature to your dinner is really long and since we who live in the city tend to see those living creatures so rarely, we stop thinking of them while eating dinner. And it's not just that, it extends to so many other things that we became blissfully unaware by living in the urban surroundings. That trip made me so sad and happy at the same time.

    But I do believe that our soul will be reborn after death in another form, and that suffering however cruel and unusual it may seem will be just the means for a person to grow spiritually. I won't go into whole thing about God's plan because I don't believe in any conventional variant of God as some divine being, I'll leave that to others.
     
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  14. Morgain

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    I hope you guys don't think that we should feel guilty for eating other living things. So God has designed us in such a way that we can only survive by eathing others, and than we are punished for doing so. And we are also punished if we don't do it because that would be suicide, which is maybe even more sinfull.

    :m119:

    I grew up in the countryside. My parents grew vegetables and had sheep and chickens. And we ate it all. There is nothing wrong with killing for eating. There is only something wrong with killing for pleasure. Or eating meet (while you don't know where it is coming from (isn't steak made in the factory just like cookies?)) and then blaming the farmer for killing sweet little animals. If you believe that, than indeed maybe you should stop eating...
     
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  15. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    I practically stopped eating meat because of it, though I don't think that everyone should do it for the same reasons. I don't think that eating meat it is in itself wrong, but that detachment that brings living in urban surroundings makes people more unaware of their consumer habits and I do think that we consume more than we should, and this is not just about food, we generally consume everything much more than we need. I think that people who live in peace with nature and take only as much as they need from it are in the perfect equilibrium with it. Taking more than we need, and living in today's society makes us that way, will eventually and is already bringing us to bigger environmental issues than just the issue of killing animals for food is.
     
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  16. mooseman

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    What if we are all, spiritually, in fact the same being? That would be rather comforting, wouldn't it. I like to think do.
     
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  17. bamf

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    It's this reason (the circle of life) that makes me believe life has no explicit reason. Things live and die so more things can live and die. It happens, and there is no rhyme or reason to it. The beauty of it is we are free to give and find meaning for our own lives. Why would something so short have any real meaning to it? If humans weren't around, would anything have meaning? I think not.

    This train of thought also gets to a bigger idea; I don't think it's wrong that we consume, but why the hell do we consume so much? We live lives as if the natural world is out to get us. Bacteria kills people? Kill the bacteria! Mice eat our corn stock? Kill the mice! People die? Kill dying!!! We live in ways that we are essentially taught to fear death. Yes, almost all of us want to keep on living because it's the only thing we know, but do we have to live at the expense of everything else? Death is actually an amazing thing. When something dies, all of it is reused for other living things. It's all a natural cycle that recycles its own waste. We sure don't do that though. We pillage the earth for what ever we want, and waste it. We destroy forests to have pastures for our livestock which we then systematically kill. We kill off predators of our livestock because only we should be able to eat cows. We then over-produce food (or ship it to the wrong areas that are already saturated in food) to feed our populations, which then lead to increased populations needing more food.

    It's no surprise to me that death and the circle of life are such feared things, and that eating meat can seem cruel despite being a natural process. We tend to view human life as the pinnacle of all existence, the end point all of life, and as something that must be sustained beyond all threats. In reality, death is not a threat. Death is what allows us to keep living, but we've begun to exist in such an unnatural way, that normal means of life (birth, life, and death) seem horrifying at times.

    **end of my rant**
     
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