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LucidLeviathan

Sorry, u/RIPBernieSanders1 – your submission has been removed for breaking Rule B: > You must personally hold the view and **demonstrate that you are open to it changing**. A post cannot be on behalf of others, playing devil's advocate, as any entity other than yourself, or 'soapboxing'. [See the wiki page for more information](http://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/wiki/rules#wiki_rule_b). If you would like to appeal, [**you must first read the list of soapboxing indicators and common mistakes in appeal**](https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/wiki/rules#wiki_indicators_of_rule_b_violations), review our appeals process [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/wiki/modstandards#wiki_appeal_process), then [message the moderators by clicking this link](http://www.reddit.com/message/compose?to=%2Fr%2Fchangemyview&subject=Rule%20B%20Appeal%20RIPBernieSanders1&message=RIPBernieSanders1%20would%20like%20to%20appeal%20the%20removal%20of%20\[their%20post\]\(https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/comments/z1ixt0/-/\)%20because\.\.\.) within one week of this notice being posted. Please note that multiple violations will lead to a ban, as explained in our [moderation standards](https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/wiki/modstandards).


Nrdman

It’s a completely consistent logic choice if you’re coming from an amoral viewpoint. Here’s the logic: I like my dog more than the stranger. Done that’s it. Easy choice. Also just as consistent is choosing a car/a burger/a dollar over a strangers life. You may argue this is an evil viewpoint, but it is entirely logically consistent .


RIPBernieSanders1

An interesting follow-up question would be to ask the people who answered that they would save their dog, "Does morality factor into your decision"? I'd be flabbergasted if people readily answered that they made an immoral choice simply out of a personal bias. I wonder how they would process that.


Bobbob34

>An interesting follow-up question would be to ask the people who answered that they would save their dog, "Does morality factor into your decision"? Why do you think saving my dog would be immoral? That's the only moral choice in my view.


StarChild413

because regardless of whether they are people don't want to be seen as selfish


Nrdman

That’s not an argument against, so did I alter your view?


RIPBernieSanders1

No, because "I like my dog more than the stranger" is irrational. You know nothing about the stranger. With more information, people might make a different decision. If the stranger turns out to be a brain surgeon, people might decide to save them after all. If they were a criminal with a horrid list of atrocities assigned to them, they might decide to save their pet. Therefore, for someone to save their pet with the rationale of "I like my pet better than the stranger" that is irrational because they have no information about the stranger upon which to base their decision.


Velocity_LP

>irrational I don't think that word means what you think it means. Say their rationale was that they like the dog more than the person and don't care about learning more info.


The_Pedestrian_walks

So you're telling me that I shouldn't save my drowning daughter because the stranger might be the next Shakespeare or Einstein? That sounds extremely foolish.


RIPBernieSanders1

I'm saying that "I like my dog more than the stranger" is not rational, because you don't know anything about the stranger. When you know something about a stranger, they cease to be a stranger.


No-Produce-334

Sure, but you don't know anything about the random stranger. That's the entire point of the question. If you learned something about them and they cease to be a stranger, you're no longer meeting the conditions of the situation. It's not 'would you save your dog over an acquaintance' it's 'would you save your dog over a stranger you know nothing about.'


AwesomeTrish

Once you get to know them, they're no longer a stranger. At the exact moment of drowning, they are just a stranger. Once that changes, rational can be applied. Now the rational applies to something you care about and love, vs indifference.


Eng_Queen

Who would you save your closest friend or a stranger?


RIPBernieSanders1

My friend, but that's a hypothetical with two humans. They are on the same "tier".


Wooba12

So your idea of rationality is centred entirely around your own personal method of valuing individual lives - for a lot of people, though, the personal connection matters more than the "tier", which itself seems rather a dodgy and not entirely justifiable concept anyway.


Eng_Queen

You don’t know anything about the stranger though they may be a significantly better person than your friend.


PolishRobinHood

It's rational, it's just selfish to you.


Antique_Performer733

You not knowing anything about the stranger and then sacrificing something you love for them, a valued meme er of your family, is irrational maybe. But again, these aren’t rational choices.


Nrdman

I like my dog more than a stranger is completely rational from a self serving pov This potential information is kind of irrelevant to my argument. Regardless of the persons career, i will still like my dog better. So it’s rational to choose the option that directly benefits me the most ie the dog


Wide_Development4896

>No, because "I like my dog more than the stranger" is irrational. You know nothing about the stranger. With more information, people might make a different decision. If the stranger turns out to be a brain surgeon, people might decide to save them after all. If they were a criminal with a horrid list of atrocities assigned to them, they might decide to save their pet. I don't know anything about a stranger and I do know something about my dog. I like my dog, the stranger I have no feelings for. If there are two people drowning my sister or a stranger. Would it be logical to have to see whose mire valuable to society before I try save them, no I pick the person I care for more. There is no difference in the logic other than you don't believe a dogs life is worth more than a person's. I agree a random dogs life is not worth more than a random humans. That's not true if its a dog I have had for 10 years and I have just seen you for the first time. On the point of a dog eating you once you die, sure they will. If I locked you in a house with no food and put a dead loved one next to you eventually you will them also, or you will die. Dogs won't make the moral choice they will try to survive. I'm not choosing to say they dog cos they love me. They care for me as q pack does but the don't love me. I can love them though.


physioworld

Ok and what if their pet dog is also their seeing eye dog? There is always more potential information to learn but when it comes to decision making we often have to make the best decision we can with the available information.


RIPBernieSanders1

Two things: 1) Although it's silly to suggest, a human would actually perform the duty of a seeing-eye dog much more effectively. 2) A seeing-eye dog can be replaced by another seeing-eye dog with no problem.


physioworld

1. a human would not perform the role of a seeing eye dog, at least not on a permanent basis, so the fact that it could be done, is redundant 2. there is a deep emotional connection between people and their seeing eye dogs, it requires a lot of trust- would you trust a random person to lead you in the dark or would you prefer it be someone you know well? But the main point is, do you accept that we always have to make decisions with less information than we'd like?


RIPBernieSanders1

This is a bit dark but it's actually interesting to think...if a blind person's seeing-eye dog were replaced with another dog of the same breed and size/shape/etc, would they notice? I actually wonder.


physioworld

Yeah, they absolutely would, because that new dog wouldn’t be trained and wouldn’t recognise their smell, would have different behavioural traits. Think about how easily you recognise your own phone in a pile of basically indistinguishable black bricks


littlebubulle

Preferring the stranger to your dog is also irrational. Values are subjective. Rationality is a tool to model reality. But it doesn't actually determine values. It determines the best way to achieve said values. Immoral is not the same as irrational. Moral is not the same as rational. Actually, in your example, saving the stranger would be irrational if a person values their dog more. That person knows what their dog is worth to them. They don't know what the stranger is worth to them. Yes the stranger could be a surgeon, or maybe they're on the path to cure cancer, world hunger and usher utopia. But that is statistically unlikely. If one values their dog more than the average stranger, saving the dog is rational. Also, if you have sufficient info to determine the other person's worth and make the rational decision according to you, they're NOT a random stranger anymore but a SPECIFIC one. You dilemma is not pet dog versus random stranger but pet dog versus valuable surgeon.


PoppersOfCorn

For a lot of people, their dog is a family member. I, for one, would choose to save my family member first


RIPBernieSanders1

That human likely has several family members, who are also human. They would all suffer profound emotional harm that their loved one died.


PoppersOfCorn

And all my family members would suffer profound emotional harm if my dog died. Why is a humans life more valuable? A lot of humans are arsehole. Would you take your dog to the vet if they needed surger, or would you choose to donate that money to help another human life and let your dog die?


RIPBernieSanders1

You see why a human's life is more valuable if the question changes to, "Would you rather save your friend's life, or your pet dog's life?" The human life will always have more value, if only because of the overwhelming likelihood that any number of humans would suffer lasting emotional damage from their preventable passing. Your callous disregard for the suffering of strangers is not a good excuse to choose the life of a beast over that human.


PoppersOfCorn

>Your callous disregard for the suffering of strangers is not a good excuse to choose the life of a beast over that human. You choose to call an emotional being a "beast," and you are saying I have a callous disregard for the suffering of others... You can't see how hypocritical that is.. I would most probable still save my dogs life. They are my direct family regardless of whether they are a different species or not. If you can't see that, that is not my inferiority.


RIPBernieSanders1

Do dogs have complex emotions, the way that humans do? Or do they have behaviors which have been reinforced through generations of selective breeding and pack mentality? I understand that humans interpret these selectively bred behaviors and pack mentality as emotional connection to their owners, but this is not actually the case.


wouldbepandananny

So a human with a profound intellectual disability- without those so-called complex emotions is therefore worth less / is less valuable / less worthy of being saved than someone else? Your argument is full of holes.


isosceleswheel

Wait, how do you know that? No one has any idea about the subjective experiences of dogs.


PoppersOfCorn

Have you looked at the studies that show grief from losing a loved pet is more intense than losing a human family member or friend.. This is due to that emotional connection to the animal and why they are a family member regardless of what words you choose to describe them


SkullBearer5

Dogs are wolves and wolves definitely do have complex emotions, so yes.


RIPBernieSanders1

I'm guessing that you're projecting our human understanding of higher emotion to pack behavior. Or you're considering fear to be an emotion or something.


SkullBearer5

No, I just like to learn about new things [https://www.amazon.com/Reign-Wolf-Yellowstones-Legendary-Yellowstone/dp/1771645245](https://www.amazon.com/Reign-Wolf-Yellowstones-Legendary-Yellowstone/dp/1771645245) Maybe do a bit of research before saying objectively absurd things? Literally just searching 'wolf emotions' show that they have complex emotional lifes much like humans.


realfactsmatter

> "Would you rather save your friend's life, or your pet dog's life?" That's a different question though. Your original question stated "a random stranger" - I would absolutely save my dog over a random stranger, because I have no emotional involvement with the stranger, yet I have a great emotional attachment to my dog. I would argue it's more illogical for me to save a random stranger, to which I have no emotional attachment, rather than to save a pet that I have great emotional attachment to. Saving the stranger has minor benefits, whereas losing the dog has major downsides for me as a person.


RIPBernieSanders1

> losing the dog has major downsides for me as a person. Only because you've anthropomorphized them to put them on the same level as a human being, which is why I'll harken back to what I said elsewhere: I have a plushie which is very meaningful to me. Maybe I'll save my plushie instead of a human being. The principle is the same: on one side we have something which is on a lower tier than a human, and on the other side, we have a human. I've chosen the lower tier. That decision is irrational.


realfactsmatter

Who said they are on the same level as a human being? My dog means far more than you (or any stranger) ever will. You do not hold as much value to me as a pet, therefore I have no emotional qualm with saving my dog over the random stranger. It seems you fail to understand not everyone considers the stranger "equal value". If they are a stranger, they hold no inherit value to me as a person. Thus, basing this off of my personal values alone, the dog gets saved every time over you.


53cr3tsqrll

Which human? You make this generalisation very easily and without the slightest hint of evidence. I can think of a number of humans who’d leave the world a far better place for their absence.


Wide_Development4896

>The human life will always have more value, if only because of the overwhelming likelihood that any number of humans would suffer lasting emotional damage from their preventable passing. Your callous disregard for the suffering of strangers is not a good excuse to choose the life of a beast over that human. My choice is to limit my emotional damage over that of others. Yes, its really that simple. Strangers emotional damage is not my problem. I may well choose to care about it sometimes but it's not my responsibility to mitigate their trauma and its note theirs to mitigate mind. The beast means something to me. That person could be the best person in the world and then I could be making a mistake in my choice. Or they could be the worst person in the world and good riddance. They could be in the middle of the pack then I still want my dog saved more so than someone who I don't know or have any feelings for. You value the person's life more, a lot of people don't. You pretending every human life is worth saving is as irrational as anything you are accusing others of.


indefiniteinfinidy

What happens if you change the question to "would you rather save a murderer's life (who has already killed 10 people and was on his way to kill a 11th (already had him chained to the bed and just need to go get a weapon which is in his pocket)) or your dogs life?


53cr3tsqrll

I have no emotional connection to “a random stranger”, and I definitely do have an emotional connection with my dog. And my friends, and my family. So if you’re honest, the question is whether your actions are motivated by an abstract ethic, an emotional response, or a calmly reasoned choice. We both know, under pressure humans make the emotional choice way more often than not. This poll isn’t even slightly surprising


RIPBernieSanders1

The *poll* is surprising because people are not actually in that situation and they have the ability to think about it and reason it out. Although I still believe in my heart of hearts that the overwhelming majority of people would rescue the person in the actual scenario because of some kind of hard-wired evolutionary preference for their own species.


53cr3tsqrll

I don’t understand how you consider that surprising. Every second poll asks a hypothetical question. “If you were in this situation, what would you do” who would you vote for, buy from etc etc etc. They all ask you to use reason and emotion to make your hypothetical decision. We get asked to do this every single day. I also think your expectation is highly optimistic. Most people will make the safe judgement, they’ll save what or who they can without excessive risk. The value you wish to place on human life is only one element of the calculation. Risk/reward is the greatest, and the identity of the players involved plays a major role. Humans are tribal. Our tribes may have evolved, it’s now political, social, sexual, hobbies, etc that divide us. What hasn’t changed is that we value our group higher than outsiders, are more likely to risk for one of “us”, than one of “them”. Our pet is very definitely our group. I agree that most people will put a higher value on human life, but I don’t think it’s as high a differential as you imagine. Risk ratios, and personal and emotional impactors are more influential. Tribalism is blood and bone to humans. Altruism isn’t.


consumemyshortz

why would I make myself suffer for the sake of ppl i don’t know?


ChadTheGoldenLord

Or they could be a child molester and a stain on the world as we know it.


ZeusThunder369

After reading your other replies here I need to ask, could you define what you mean by irrational? I'm confused that you used an argument appealing to morality in order to support an argument appealing to rationality.


clearlybraindead

What quality of being human requires other humans to prioritize the life of that human above that of a dog that they love?


IntensiteTurquoise

What you would hope to be common sense


clearlybraindead

Why is it common sense? My dog that I love, that I raised from when she was a puppy and loves me in return, might mean more to me than a random stranger.


RIPBernieSanders1

Someone might feel the same way about a stuffed animal that they feel has meaning to them. Are they rational to save their plushie over a human being?


clearlybraindead

To the same point as the other comment. The question you're raising is how much inherent value does a human have and if it should outweigh the value of other things or beings. There isn't really an actual objective answer to that, evidenced by the fact that this CMV was even necessary. People will simply value things differently and the life of a stranger really might not mean as much as to something they interact with and care for every day.


Abstract__Nonsense

How much do you value a living standard above the bare absolute minimum? You could live with only the most bare necessities, survive on rice and beans, and spend all your excess money helping to save lives in 3rd world countries. Is that simply the “rational” thing to do or do you in fact simply value some things in life in a way that doesn’t map to a simple maximization of human lives saved?


StarChild413

plushies won't eat you if you die and you seem to be using that argument a lot against saving the pet


xxDooomedxx

Because people are much shittier creatures than dogs. If someone hurt my dog I would react with violence.


RIPBernieSanders1

Is it really rational to say that dogs are morally superior to humans? Clearly the moral purity of humans varies wildly from person to person, whereas dogs are not typically capable of moral choices. So if anything I would say that dogs are amoral, meaning they cannot be either moral or immoral. They act on instinct and behavior which has been shaped by human intervention through selective breeding.


probock

I think the fact that dogs don’t know any better but to eat and be loved makes them so amazing in that way. Of course they have some sort of morals because morals are derived from instincts, given that they have a fraction of the moral capacity humans have.


xxDooomedxx

I'm not suggesting that my opinion is rational. From a rational perspective human life is more valuable than a dog's life. But our relationships with pets are deeply emotional which is probably the complete opposite of rational.


Wooba12

Could you call them innocent, and therefore deserving, in a way, of being preserved, looked after or protected? Babies aren't particular moral creatures, either - in fact, I would say they are decidedly amoral as well.


Permit_Current

I don't have to prove that dogs are more valuable than human beings, I have to say that my dog is more important to me than this particular human being. Which is what rationality is all about, pursuing means that best conform with your own personal ends. Both cats and dogs will do what they need to survive, just like any animal would, I'm not sure why you thought that was like a gotcha. Given that both parties are alive in this scenario, what a dog might do after I die is irrelevant. Especially since dogs, have no capacity for evil, unlike humans. As long as we are using the behavior of dogs to try to tip the scales, should we not also do so for humans? A dog may eat my corpse, but they do it to survive, not for pleasure, this person I save may go on to kill someone, to rape them, or abuse them in some way, heck they may do that to me after I save them for all I know, and with the full knowledge that what they are doing is wrong, even evil. Heck humans try to kill each other all the time, even do it in mass based on race or religion, a dog has never done that. Most of what dogs have done have been supremely helpful to humans, helping us conquer the ice age, giving us the chance to develop advanced language and culture, without constantly worrying about the monsters lurking in the forest. more than 10,000 years of co-evolution, they've been by our side. you seem to be trying to make that connection seem far more frivolous than it is.


RIPBernieSanders1

If I chose to save a sex doll over a random stranger, would that be a rational choice? Why is my connection to my sex doll less rational than your connection to your pet?


thrownaway2e

No, and its a consistent choice. Unless you can point out a flaw in that reasoning, other than reductio ad absurdum, you must conclude that it is correct


SkullBearer5

Because the sex doll doesn't need saving. It's not alive.


Permit_Current

I’m not sure I could say it’s not! Of course it’s not the connection we are talking about, but the decision to save it based on that connection, but Part of the issue with your cmv is that you didn’t define rational. I take the definition of the word used in economics, for all I know “rational” to you might mean “that mode of thinking which aligns with my own”


StarChild413

pets are animate (not the only reason but the most obvious difference between a pet and a sex doll)


MikuEmpowered

This is the problem with your argument, you see human lives as more valuable, and the pet's live as "replaceable" hence the choice of your example. the time a person shares with their pet is equally priceless. Sure, the dog might not live as long as the human, but to the family member of the dog, its still a great loss.


RIPBernieSanders1

>and the pet's live as "replaceable" hence the choice of your example. This is getting into the realm of opinion, but I would say that pets are replaceable. People might remember their old pets, but typically when a pet dies people will get a new pet and the "hole" left by that old pet will be filled quite nicely. You can't get a new grandma or a new mom, or even if you do (adoption etc) they're likely going to be very different than the person they "replaced" - whereas dogs' behavior are within a fairly tight spectrum of activity and since they don't have intellectual capacity, their "personalities" are, again, fairly limited.


MikuEmpowered

since its now the realm of opinion, If a family's son drowns, they can always birth another. The thing is, "whats rational" is also a fact of opinion because the moment you start thinking "logically", what's actually happening is you are placing a value over something that is priceless. its the weight of your pet's time and memories against the weight of the stranger's lives and memories. And by judging another person's action as irrational, whats actually happening is you are imposing your personal belief of how much these things weigh onto that person. This is pretty much a philosophical question because you are comparing 2 priceless things.


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RIPBernieSanders1

I've had several pets over the course of my lifetime. I was never under the delusion that they had some kind of special nature that made them different from goats or cattle. As a meat-eater, I consider cats and dogs to be on the same tier as livestock.


[deleted]

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RIPBernieSanders1

If the choice is between a living being and an object, I would want you to shoot the object. But some people might have an unusual emotional connection to an object. They might even value it over a fellow human being.


GlitteringMushroom

To be fair, the more interesting question here is, shoot your dog or burn the "Starry Night"/"Mona Lisa"/the last letters you have from your dead grandmother to cinders. (Since the question is clearly asking you to pick between \[living thing\] or \[inanimate object with immense personal significance\], but making the object a sex doll introduces a lot of "ick" into the equation).


agenteb27

Would you kill your pet and eat it like you would livestock?


RIPBernieSanders1

Hell yeah I would, if i had to. My pets would eat me, too, as I mention in the OP. And I wouldn't blame them for it. Some humans would even allow their loved ones to eat them if the situation called for it. Maybe you would even allow this. Whether *they* would want to eat you is a separate question.


agenteb27

You don't have to eat livestock though but you do. And presumably you don't normally eat your pets. So why this difference?


The_Pedestrian_walks

I think the 40% you're speaking about read the question as, Would you rather save your best friend or a random stranger? And that's an easy choice to make.


tinythinker510

Honestly, this is no surprise to me. People form strong emotional bonds with their animals and often do anything to protect them. I can understand the desire to protect/save your beloved pet trumping a sense of obligation towards a random stranger who may or may not be a terrible person. It isn't the choice I would make from an ethical perspective, but I can understand the mindset of those who answered differently.


[deleted]

Why is it more rational to save the human? The human means nothing to me, and the dog gives me pleasure. Logically speaking, it would benefit me more to save the dog, so why would I act against my own best interests for the sake of someone who could be a serial killer for all I know? You could say that saving the dog is selfish, but you can't say that acting in one's best interests is not rational.


RIPBernieSanders1

Because a dog is a beast, and a human being is a human being who is overwhelmingly likely to have meaningful relationships with any number of other human beings who would be profoundly emotionally damaged by their passing. Meanwhile a dog doesn't have such connections. The emotional connection between human and animal is one-way.


[deleted]

That doesn't really answer my question. You said it's not rational to save the dog. Rational means I'm using logic and reason to make my decision. There's no logical reason why I should care about someone else's potential relationships with other people more than I care about my own relationship with a dog. He makes me happy. I will be very sad, for a very long time if he dies. I won't be bothered that much if a stranger dies. Strangers die every day and it doesn't bother me. Alsi, you're placing your own personal values on humans and dogs and acting as if they are both universal and objective, but other people's values may be different, and even by your own standards, you must admit that some humans aren't as valuable as some dogs. Was Hitler more valuable than a rescue dog that saves little children after earthquakes? As with my earlier example, what if the stranger turns out to be a serial killer or a pedophile? Do they still have more value than a dog that brings joy to people? There is no objective and universal measure of the value of things that people care about.


colt707

And sorry to say this, well not really but if I don’t know you and don’t care about you then I don’t really care about your family’s grief. Most people would rather have a family they’ve never met grieve than have their own family grieve. You’re trying to use logical about a hypothetical moment that would be filled with emotion, when emotions are high logic is low. Humans are going to act in the way that best benefits them, saving their dog means no grief and they get the continued joy from the dog.


RIPBernieSanders1

Then I would say you're immoral in addition to being irrational.


colt707

That’s fine with me, because you view that choice as immoral and irrational when I don’t. Rationally I’m doing what serves me best which is incredibly human to do. Then morals are subjective so you can view it as immoral I don’t.


altinit

I feel the biggest flaw in your argument is believing that our species is the only form of life with precious value. When people reply to this saying they'd choose their dog, you've equated doing that to choosing to save a stuffed animal, sex doll, etc. over a human. You keep comparing a sentient existence to an inanimate object. What you are doing is called speciesism. I think you forget that our species isn't unique for experiencing sentience. Dogs have that too. Our brain is a lot more complex than any other species on Earth, but we still have an animal brain. Most of how we think and act is done subconsciously, our consciousness is basically just a subprogram in our code.


RIPBernieSanders1

Are you a vegan? If not, why not?


altinit

I'm not, but I have no problem getting vocal about the immorality of mass-produced livestock on a global scale. Everything from the hush-hush cruelty involved, to things like the destruction of the rainforest, to the methane emmisions from cows causing massive contributions to global warming and the end of the Earth as we know it... I do eat vegan meat alternatives, but I do not think of it as the answer to stop humans from eating meat. I am a strong believer that the lab-grown meat of tomorrow can change this, however. Right now, yes being full vegan is nutritionally viable, but it's not easy to do without a lot of self control. You'll go places and find even the cabbage, greenbeans etc. have bacon in them. It makes figuring out how to feed yourself feel like a mental workout. I'd be going to the gym 4 times a week too if all it took was knowing that I really should. With lab-grown meat, though, you could even make 'vegan' **cat food** and it would be perfectly ethical to feed it to a cat. I would hope for future generations to view mass-produced livestock as an extremely archaic and immoral act after advancements in science have given them no more reason to support it.


Sellier123

The question is "why would i value a strangers life at all?" Forget saving a stranger over my pet, id actively kill a stranger if the only option was them or my pet. A stranger has exactly 0 value to me, i dont know them or think about them at all. My pet is worth more then 1, 10, 100, 1000 or even millions of strangers. 0 x 1 million is still 0. So besides the completely asinine argument of "they are humans like you!" Why would i ever value a random stranger over my pet? If anything, im more appaled that 60% of ppl would let their pet die over a random stranger. Thats far more irrational then the 40% saving their pet


schroindinger

You don’t seem to understand that people can have different values for stuff, and as other people have pointed out I don’t get what you mean by rational. If someone prefers to get a free bagel over saving a strangers life I could consider that rational, maybe empathetically fucked up but rational


Volsatir

I'm having issues with the logic you're presenting, regardless of which answer should be given by a person. >If not...at the very least, this person must become a vegan on the spot, or else they are being logically inconsistent. How so? What you eat isn't an identical concept as choosing who to save. On top of that there's yet another layer of distinction since the animal is a pet they have an emotional attachment to. >Even if one could make the case that dogs are more valuable than livestock for some reason, they still have to prove that dogs are more valuable than human beings No, they would just need to justify to themselves why they'd care more about a specific pet being alive over a random stranger. This does not require a generalization of one species over another to support it. >especially given that our pets clearly don't feel the same way about us . Both cats and dogs will eat their owner upon death with few qualms about it. This is also hardly an equivalence. The feelings of eating a dead body are hardly comparable to the situation you provide. I don't see how the way pets treat dead bodies serves as an accurate reflection on this subject. However much they do care about us, I'd expect the ways of determining it should be with respect to how they handle us while we're actually alive.


tubesweaterguru

> It tells me that people often anthropomorphize their pets, meaning they assign human characteristics to their pets Nah, man. It means I love my dog more than a random stranger. > this person must become a vegan on the spot, or else they are being logically inconsistent Or, you know, emotions aren’t the same as logic. > they still have to prove that dogs are more valuable than human beings, But again we are talking about my dog who I know and love and raised since they were 9 weeks old…and a random stranger who could be a child rapist. Clearly that human isn’t worth more than my dog.


RIPBernieSanders1

Is your decision a moral one? Is it rational to even verbalize the argument of "they could be a child rapist"? They are overwhelmingly more likely to be a normal person with a loving family and friends who would be profoundly emotionally damaged by their passing. You're choosing your own emotional connection to an animal over the profound emotional suffering of any number of actual human beings.


tubesweaterguru

> Is your decision a moral one? Yes. > You’re choosing your own emotional connection to an animal over the profound emotional suffering of any number of actual human beings. Also yes. Let me ask you - is a pointless hypothetical scenario that is pretty much statistically guaranteed never to happen really the thing to be judging people on? Of course not. I got two arms. I’ll save the dog and the person. Or at least try to.


SC803

> Is it rational to even verbalize the argument of "they could be a child rapist"? Haven't you done this yourself in this thread? > If the stranger turns out to be a brain surgeon, people might decide to save them after all.


RIPBernieSanders1

It was to make a point about why humans are inherently more valuable than animals, that's all. Not to change the hypothetical.


IndependenceAway8724

Any dog owner could take all the money they spend on dog food and vet bills and donate it to, say, a malaria clinic that would use the money to save people's lives. Are all those people "irrational" because they choose to continue taking care of their dog rather than helping to save a human?


[deleted]

“Their behavior towards me and others is the result of generations of selective breeding.” Speak for yourself….


sordidennui

people gotta start putting their moral perspective in these posts, there's no way anyone can argue with you without knowing where your value is coming from. it's perfectly reasonable for an egoist to want to save their dog over a random stranger. but, if you're religious or a humanist like you seem to be it may come off as ridiculous. morality is very subjective, you can't really tell a person their irrational without knowing where their value system is coming from. also, for your point with the selective breeding, there's pretty strong evidence that wolves domesticated themselves: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/130302-dog-domestic-evolution-science-wolf-wolves-human and given we don't really know when the social genes arrived, it's possible and even theorized that the development of pro-social behavior in dogs was a natural occurrence: https://www.princeton.edu/news/2017/07/19/researchers-identify-common-underlying-genetic-basis-social-behavior-dogs-and


Thaxtonnn

You talk of rational thought and logical inconsistency, but it’s an emotional question and choice. If two humans were drowning and you had to pick one, you wouldn’t weigh their values and statistical probabilities of survival, like Sonny in the movie iRobot, you’d probably save the person you know because you care about them. I would save my dog. I like dogs more than most people, especially dogs I have a personal bond with. I don’t care about value humans or dogs provide, I don’t care what is more rational, I care about my dog more than a random human being. That’s that You may think that’s silly, and maybe it is, but it’s an emotionally rooted question, and that’s my answer no hesitation or swaying me.


KokonutMonkey

You're conflating being rationality with our internal sense or right and wrong and/or fairness. People don't dash out into a crowded street to save a toddler or a puppy because it's logical they do it because we think it's the right thing to do. If we were guided by rational self-interest, we would only run into traffic if we're being chased. Assuming there are no ill social outcomes, it makes sense to place the interests over something you know and care about over a stranger. Whether or not that makes one a hypocrite is irrelevant. Again, assuming there's no future payback down the road, it makes perfect sense to embrace rules for thee and not for me.


poprostumort

>In reality, even though people feel fondness for their pets, they must acknowledge that they are on the same "tier" as other animals, such as cows, chickens, goats, horses, etc. That is irrational. Not all animals are "equal". Some are useful to us and are in "livestock" category. Some are disconnected to us and are in "wild animal" category. And some are living with us to fulfill emotional needs meaning they are in "companion" category. So there are already tiers in something you simplify to a single tier. >I think after some rational thought, one must concede that they would save the human being This needs an assumption that human live always have higher value than animal life, which is initself an assumption that you use to derive that people choosing to save their pets are irrational. But that is only assumption that has the same logical weight that "humans are equal to animals in terms of inherent value" or even "companion animals are equal to humans in value". You provide no reason as to why your assumption is taken as the truth while other possible assumptions are false - which in itself is not rational. So does "human live always have higher value than animal life" is true? No. There is no inherent difference value in any life - value comes from possibilities, actions and utility. And all of those can be negative or positive. Stranger life is valuable because of possibilities only. There are no actions that you know of and utility is unknown. Only thing left is the fact that stranger has a possibility of being a net benefit for humanity and by extension to you. But it also has a possibility of being a net negative. Your pet on the other hand is already known to be a net positive - his action make you feel better, his utility is being beneficial to your mental health. So why saving a known net positive would be better than saving unknown?


RIPBernieSanders1

> So does "human live always have higher value than animal life" is true? No So you're a vegan?


poprostumort

> So you're a vegan No. I don't see a problem with meat as long as standards of raising livestock are met. Why have you ignored 90% of my reply?


RIPBernieSanders1

You said human lives don't always have higher value than animal life. I wonder what you meant by that. I would argue that since humans have complex emotions and, more importantly, the ability to make moral choices, that makes them a higher "tier" than animals. Animals are amoral because they are less advanced than humans. Humans are creatures with the capacity for moral choices.


sordidennui

dogs have the emotional capability of a 2 year old, notably able to experience love. using your logic, is a developmentally disabled person stuck with the cognitive abilities of a 2 year old given the same moral weight as a beast? you are not being rationale if you don't think so given your framework https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/canine-corner/201303/which-emotions-do-dogs-actually-experience?amp


poprostumort

>You said human lives don't always have higher value than animal life. I wonder what you meant by that. That there is no objective measurement of value, so "human life always have higher value than animal life" is not true. It comes to personal values and hence at best you can say "for me human lives are always worth less than animal lives". But you cannot writ off other sets of values as irrational, because you like your set of values better. Rational has a certain meaning - based on or in accordance with reason or logic. That and only that. >I would argue that since humans have complex emotions and, more importantly, the ability to make moral choices, that makes them a higher "tier" than animals. Does that mean that humans that don't have ability for complex emotions are lower "tier", similar to animals?


Bobbob34

>What's very surprising to me is that, when asked whether they would save their own pet dog or a random stranger from drowning, more than a tiny fraction of people (about 40%) answer that they would save their dog. Many of them don't even think about it. Would save my dog without a moment's hesitation. >This is very worrying to me. It tells me that people often anthropomorphize their pets, meaning they assign human characteristics to their pets, when in reality they are simply beasts like any other number of animals. Humans are nothing but any other animal. I will save a family member I care about over a stranger, without hesitation. My animals are family. >I know that their behavior towards me and others is only the result of generations of selective breeding. Cats aren't even domesticated dude. They train you not the other way around. >I'm fairly aghast that so many people would choose to save their own pet over a stranger. Honestly, I'd be aghast if someone told me they'd let their own animal drown while saving a total stranger. That's like 'sorry Aunt Ida, that random guy was also drowning and I'm also a guy so I feel more kinship? Nope.


DustErrant

The rational point of view of picking a dog over a human being is to protect my emotional well-being. I love my hypothetical dog, and I would be sad over said dog's death. I won't have the same level of sadness from the death of a random stranger. Emotional resonance matters. From a rational standpoint, 10 people dying is a worse scenario than a single person dying. But if the 10 people are random strangers, and the 1 person is a loved one, many people would choose to save their loved one over the 10 people. I am a coldly rational person, much like yourself. I feel your question suggest you don't think highly of emotion or emotional choices. I don't disagree with you, but I think you need to rationalize that for some people, making cold logical choices without acknowledging the emotion involved is in itself not logical, because many human beings are ultimately emotional beings.


RIPBernieSanders1

Is it rational for me to rescue a stuffed animal that has meaning for me over a stranger?


keanwood

You keep using the word “rational”, but I think you would be better served by the word “reasonable”.   * It could be rational to save a stuffed animal over a human. * It would **not** be reasonable though.


DustErrant

If the stuffed animal has emotional value then yes. You really didn’t address anything I stated, do you disagree with everything I stated or do you at least understand some of what I’m trying to say?


recurrenTopology

Nearly everyone who owns a dog is essentially making this choice implicitly. The average cost of dog ownership in the US is \~$15,000 over the course of the dog's life. It's[ estimated](https://www.businessinsider.com/the-worlds-best-charity-can-save-a-life-for-333706-and-thats-a-steal-2015-7) that one life is saved for ever $3,340 donated to the Against Malaria Foundation, so most dog owners could choose to save the lives of 4-5 people for what it costs them to own a dog. Just another example of the obscene level of global inequality we have all grown comfortable with.


Mefibosheth

I guess it's really a question of whether you saving a thing has more to do with its intrinsic value or of it's emotional impact on you personally. From a Triage perspective- absolutely, save the human. But as anyone will tell you, being a Triage nurse is a pretty terrible job just because we, humans, are not very subjective. Would you rather save your child or the life of a world leader? Net good says to save the world leader, but screw that amirite?


Lime_Drinks

There's some other ways you could look at this. For instance: I love my dog and my dog is my responsibility, I don't know a stranger and they're not my responsibility. Or it could be viewed in the same way as someone who's homeless, do I offer to feed the homeless regularly or do I feed my dog regularly. Strange comparisons to make, but this is how a lot of people would justify it. As a non-pet owner, I'd save the stranger before the animal.


EasyLiving_13

100% save my dog or a random dog before a stranger. If the stranger doesn’t know how to swim ( drowning, OP example) and are now drowning I think they are doing the world a favor by self elimination. Also dogs are just the best, humans are not.


lagwagon28

OP, my dog is a service dog that I need for my disability. I would choose my dog over a stranger because I need my dog to live.


Antique_Performer733

Your point is I guess people are irrational for valuing pets over strangers, who are fellow human beings. First off, this kind of thing is not a rational decision. It’s about what people think they’d do in an emergency. Secondly, I don’t have a dog, but have had several in the past. Id save them above a random stranger, because I know them. They are indeed anthropomorphized, and have more of the status of person than the stranger, on the account f them being a stranger. Again, not a rational decision. But humans aren’t always rational. Our brains are animal brains. They have not evolved to think rationally, but to ensure our survival. It makes sense to value your own group opposed to people people outside of it. A dog can be seen as ones group. As humans we are dependent on our groups to survive and so we will often value them over outgroup members. Pets aren’t just beasts to people. They can hold the place of valued family member. You equate dogs to cows. They are different. Dogs have been selectively bread to be man’s best friend. We’ve changed them to fit us, and doing so relate to them very well. We have bread cows to change them, but making them be our friends isn’t one of them. Someone valuing a dog doesn’t need to become vegan, because it’s an animal. Again, it’s not a rational thing. People can love their family and wage war in their neighbors. Why would we be above eating an unknown member of another species? We don’t easy create a bond with them. When people do do so, that’s when they indeed stop eating meat. Again though, these kind of choices aren’t rational. People don’t sit down and plan out their values, rank them, and decide how to act in an emergency. We are largely on auto pilot, just reacting to our surroundings.


RIPBernieSanders1

>Pets aren’t just beasts to people. They can hold the place of valued family member. And that's why I say the decision to save a pet over a human displays irrationality. The idea of holding a pet in high regard is a result of projection/anthropomorphization. As you say, we've selectively bred dogs to have a nature which we approve of, and which we assign (project) human explanations to animal behavior and anthropomorphize them, i.e., "My cat is sleeping on my lap, my cat loves me!" when in fact the cat is just sleeping there because it's warm and they're comfortable around you, which is not the same as "loving" you. Cats will often sit in strangers' laps as well, because it's all the same to them. >these kind of choices aren’t rational. People don’t sit down and plan out their values, rank them, and decide how to act in an emergency. We are largely on auto pilot, just reacting to our surroundings. Correct, we agree. But I'm not actually referring to the act itself, I'm saying when people are just given a hypothetical. One could be forgiven for saving their pet in a split second decision, but in retrospect they would have to realize it was an irrational decision.


Warm_Water_5480

I have a few points that you may not have considered. Morality is subjective. It might not be a rational choice according to your morals, but quite frankly, I wouldn't really care because your morals are not my morals. Animals are conscious. We all make decisions, and anytime there is a decision being made there must be a decision maker. You could argue they're just running on biological programming, but I'd then argue We're the same. I don't understand why we place higher value on human lives when all animals get to have and experience life. To me it seems like you're actually the one who is biased towards humanity. My dog is my best friend. I love doing little things for her that make her happy, seeing her happy makes me happy. She's a dependent, she didn't choose to live this life, I chose for her to have it. I am responsible for her care, and if anything were to happen it would be just as painful as loosing a human friend. There's no anthropamorphizing going on. Spend enough time around animals, observe carefully, and you'll learn something. Animals share our behaviors because we all evolved in the same world from the same common ancestors. What makes more sense, that most animals have the ability to feel emotions and make preference based choices, or that only one species on earth out of millions has that capability? Specifically dogs have evolved alongside us for so long that they can smell when we're stressed. My dog comes up to me, licks me and cuddles up next to me when I'm upset. Again, you could argue they're just acting in a way that offers the highest chance of survival, but I would still argue, so are humans. The basis for emotion is necessity, those who had emotional response had a higher chance of survival. I can see the "flaws" in my logic. Humans have a higher lifespan, so saving a human life ensures more conscious life being lived. Humans have a greater capacity for relationships and emotional response, so it would likely mean more to a greater amount of conscious life to save a human. But this is my perspective, and I am the one making a choice. It really comes down to my best friend over a stranger. If my best friend was human and only had 15 years to live, I'd still save them over a stranger. Don't get me wrong this would be an incredibly hard choice, but if it's mine to make, I'm saving my dog.


wouldbepandananny

The value people assign to other living creatures is based primarily on their emotional ties to them- and since most of folks' interactions with their pets are positive, they are likely to place a higher value on their pet's life. It may also be pragmatic in the sense that my 14 pound dog would be easier to save / less likely to result in my death if I attempt to save them, as compared to a typical-average size and weight-adult human. Also, this gets into the idea of human exceptionalism- the idea that humans are inherently and objectively superior to other species, and many would potentially disagree. Most wouldn't- but many might. An argument could easily be made that humans are not inherently more valuable than other species, and indeed we have had a detrimental impact on the planet. There is a case then to be made for the superiority of honey bees. Some have argued that our intelligence sets us apart- but if you imply that this argument calls into question the value of a human with an intellectual disability, you'll notice the other party quickly backtrack. Plus, many animals, including crows for example, are capable of such things as metacognition, but the lives of crows are not exactly revered by a large swath of human society, so far as I know- though it'd be cool if I was wrong. Crows are neat. In short, it is a common habit to value the lives of those we interact with regularly- human or not- and while you may find it silly, the problem solving that leads a person to planning to save a beloved pet over a random human, may not actually be truly irrational.


the-real-truthtron

Why would I save a random person from drowning? Not a person, a random person. Saving drowning people is super dangerous. Without proper training, it is often deadly for everyone involved. So assuming most people, like myself, don’t have lifeguard training, why would I ever try to save some random person? To me the dog portion is irrelevant, I wouldn’t save a drowning stranger because it is a risk to my life, i would attempt to save my dog, because he is not physically capable of drowning me. I see this as less about the dog or random person, and more about personal risk. I didn’t make the random person go swimming, i didn’t bring them to the water. I did make my dog go swimming, I did bring my dog to the water. I am responsible for my dog, I am not responsible for some rando who put themselves into a life threatening situation. I also take issue with your idea that a human life is always more valuable. I have compassion for all living things, humans are at the bottom of the list. I don’t care they have a “family”, so does my dog. All life has value, and what is valuable to some may not be valuable to others. The heartache my family would feel over the loss of our dog would be worse than my heartache over some random person. Yes, I would feel sad that a life was lost, but just that. All death is sad, but it happens, so why would i care about the death of a random person over the death of a creature I love. Their life has zero value to me, the life of my dog is priceless.


ralph-j

> So while one can be forgiven for initially making the emotional choice to save their pet over a human being, I think after some rational thought, one must concede that they would save the human being. Rational usually means something along the lines of *backed up by reasoning*. Doing something that's in one's own interest (e.g. to keep enjoying the company of the dog) is not irrational. The fact that you personally disagree with their reasons for doing this, does not make them irrational. Saving someone (which typically puts one's own life in danger) is an act that goes beyond the call of moral duty (a principle called [supererogation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supererogation)). In other words: no one has any moral duty to save either of the two. And if they are willing to go beyond the call of duty, they should at least get to choose *who* (if anyone) they are willing to risk their own life for. That's their own prerogative. You cannot turn a supererogative situation into an immoral one if they don't take your preferred course of action.


RIPBernieSanders1

1) Believing that the life of a beast is more important than the life of a human is irrational. 2) In this scenario, your own life would not be in danger. This act would not be beyond the call of moral duty. It's your moral duty to assist someone in distress if you're not in any danger.


ralph-j

> Believing that the life of a beast is more important than the life of a human is irrational. What makes it irrational? Morality is based on what one values, and there is no way to objectively determine which moral principle or framework is (more) correct. > In this scenario, your own life would not be in danger. This act would not be beyond the call of moral duty. It's your moral duty to assist someone in distress if you're not in any danger. Can you give an example of a situation that is apparently so dangerous that either a dog or a human will die based on the potential hero's decision, but not dangerous enough that the hero has any danger to themselves? And is your view limited to only those situations where there is no danger to the potential hero? Would you at least agree then that in cases where there is danger to the potential hero's life, they are free to make a choice that is in line with their own preference?


[deleted]

It’s kind of easy to understand this. I build bonds with my dog, I have memories with it, it lives with me and I consider it a part of my family. I understand some dogs are dirty but what does that have to do with my purebred doberman? And why would I let my best friend die so I can save some random-o that won’t be a part of my life when it’s all over? I don’t think cats are with saving over a human, I don’t like cats, and I don’t know why people have them. Also, there’s substantial evidence dogs mourn over their human masters body king after they are dead. See the Richard gere movie, hitachi or whatever, or read article below . Dogs are born to worship humans, cats, well they are born to be worshipped. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/military/sdut-dog-guards-casket-fallen-navy-seal-2011aug25-story.html


RIPBernieSanders1

Is your connection to your pet rational? Or are you forming an image of them in your mind that isn't necessarily rational? Your pet would be happy to eat you if you suddenly died in your home. Does that change your opinion of them?


[deleted]

[удалено]


RIPBernieSanders1

Some people might say that they would rather starve than eat a loved one, especially without their consent. Meanwhile 100% of cats and dogs will eat their owner with or without their consent. And in any case they show no obvious signs of hesitation or emotional distress about the decision.


Major_Lennox

People say a whole bunch of stuff. Let's see how moral about this you are if you're *starving to death*.


StarChild413

then why don't they eat them before they're dead


I_Hate_The_Demiurge

Because they can't?


RIPBernieSanders1

This made me laugh, as it's probably the correct answer. I was going to say something like "because the human is taking care of them" but I don't think animals can even understand things at that level. They probably don't because they see them losing that fight.


The_Saracen_Slayer

True, emotion isn’t professional.


SkullBearer5

Yeah but getting prions is worse than starving to death and dogs and cats don't have to worry about that.


Major_Lennox

If you collapsed in the street, most people would just walk past you. Does that change your opinion of humans?


RIPBernieSanders1

That's not true, though. Any number of people would be likely to try to help you. Even if only one person out of 1000 would help you, that demonstrates more moral capacity than all the dogs in the world. 100% of dogs would be happy to eat you if you died. Far more than 0% of humans would be likely to help a stranger who was in distress.


Eng_Queen

Will eat you if they are literally starving and no other food is available is not the same thing as would happily eat you. Lots of dogs have been found with deceased owners that they haven’t eaten. My dogs have also put themselves at risk to protect me strangers haven’t.


RIPBernieSanders1

Dogs do that because of pack mentality. They see you as one of their pack. It's not altruism or moral courage or anything like that. What you said is a fine example of anthropomoprhization.


Eng_Queen

Doesn’t matter the reason for it. It’s what has happened. I would save the being that has actively protected me in the past, comforted me, etc because it’s likely they will continue to do so no reason to think a stranger will. Yeah it’s selfish but its not illogical.


Major_Lennox

You think there's no examples of dogs trying to rescue a drowning person?


Wide_Development4896

>That's not true, though. Any number of people would be likely to try to help you. Even if only one person out of 1000 would help you, that demonstrates more moral capacity than all the dogs in the world. 100% of dogs would be happy to eat you if you died. Far more than 0% of humans would be likely to help a stranger who was in distress. It is true though, even if we use your argument that it's 1 in 1000 people. That means it's fine for me to leave 999 people to drown instead of my dog and it would be fine cos those people dont care about me either. I did attack training with me dog while growing up. There is an exercise where you pretend to faint without commands and the guy comes with a stick to attack you. Your dog is supposed to protect you. While not holding the leash my dog chased the guy a few meter then came back, and repeat. They don't do it for moral reasons but if they understand the danger they will try to help. I've seen people run a dog over slam on breaks and just keep going. People are animals too. Fuck it, how many hit and runs are there against people are there a year? People are not even mostly good.


RIPBernieSanders1

You're expressing a hasty generalization fallacy here. Just because some people are immoral that doesn't mean "people are immoral". However, all dogs are amoral.


Wide_Development4896

People are immoral. Not always the same way or to the same degree but they are. I gave an example of it but there are plenty of others. I would be very surprised if there was single person who was never immoral.


agenteb27

Maybe this would help: what do you mean by rational?


Chess_club_member

Do you think it is rational to be moral? (Assuming there is some moral code that exists, otherwise it is more logical to save your dog I should think) Most philosophical definitions of morality make reference to it being rational, but I'm not so sure I agree with that being necessarily true. I'm still not sure I understand what morality means, but I do recall taking a philosophy paper at university called "why be moral?," which I think is really the question you are asking here... My understanding/recollection is that most philosophers believe morality is synonymous with rationality but there is plenty of room for debate. I recall a lot of the arguments for being moral were ultimately self serving, which doesn't sit right with me. If you act altruistically because it makes you feel good or you think it will come back around in the way people treat you then that isn't really any different than saving the dog over the person I should think. My question for you then is why behave morally?


GlitteringMushroom

Would you save your profoundly mentally challenged child over a brain surgeon who is on the verge of making a lifesaving breakthrough? (And if they die, the research will be noticeably set back). Would you save your partner (who works a normal 9-5 and is of average value to society) over the hypothetical brain surgeon? My guess is no, and it’s not just because of sentiment, it’s because a a lot of people feel like they have an implicit duty to prioritize family members, who would, in their last moments, feel incredibly betrayed if you acted otherwise. You have no such duty to a stranger.


RIPBernieSanders1

You're changing the scenario by turning it into two human beings, so you're changing the topic. I think you're trying to change the question to where a dog is a "family member" but that's irrational. Animals are not humans, and they are not family members even if people anthropomorphize them by calling them that.


GlitteringMushroom

1. There's no reason somebody can only consider humans a "family member" other than your own subjective standard. 2. There's not really an objective moral reason why people have to always value human life over animal life. 3. For a lot of people, feeling a sense of duty towards a pet they undertook the responsibility to protect will override taking a purely altruistic move to save a stranger. People effectively make this decision all the time when they pay medical bills for pets when that money could save human lives if given to complete strangers, especially those in developing nations where US dollars go further. You don't have to agree with, or like, that value system, but it doesn't make it irrational (with the caveat humans are never 100% rational in any decision with trade-offs, you can pick apart any "trolley problem" trade-off and pull out inconsistencies). But it isn't wildly irrational to prioritize pets, based on a sense that you've undertaken a duty of care towards that individual animal, while not being vegan on the spot (at least not more irrational than most trolley problem trade-offs). Rational != "lines up with your preferred value system".


physioworld

You state that dogs are on the same tier as other animals but this automatically establishes a hierarchy and, on the face of it, there’s no reason to suspect that dogs aren’t higher than many other animals. The main thing though is that it’s not irrational, it’s maybe not maximally utilitarian, since you losing your dog will be less of a blow objectively than someone else losing their husband/daughter/son etc. however you have a personal stake in your dogs survival, you personally will suffer much more if your dog dies than if a stranger dies. So a lot of people will act in their own self interest, saving themselves from suffering even if it means more suffering for a stranger.


AusIV

If I took all time I spend with my dogs researching effective charities and donated all the money I spend on my dogs over their lifetime, there's a pretty good chance I could save a few lives with well placed donations to foreign charities for each dog that I've owned. This is true for any pet owner. Does this make pet ownership irrational, and everyone should donate the money they would have spent on pet ownership to charity instead? I don't think so. Sanity requires some degree of being able to compartmentalize, being able to take joy in certain parts of your life even though that's time, energy and resources not spent helping people who desperately need help.


JiEToy

But it is though. Even if we're rationally thinking about such a decision, we can't simply ignore our feelings. Rationally, I'm going to make the decision that will favor me most. But if my dog dies, I will feel lots of grief for a period of time. Just like I will feel more love about a friend than about a complete stranger, I will feel more love about my dog than about a random stranger. So rationally, I don't want myself to go through a period of grief. So I save my dog and not the stranger. (Additionally, if we take away emotions, I will probably buy a new dog, so the dog dying will cost me more, while the stranger dying will cost me nothing).


RIPBernieSanders1

After what you've said here, I just think you're taking an irrational decision and adding selfish reasoning to it. "I choose my own short-term suffering over the long-term suffering of any other number of humans" (their friends and family). Animals don't really "know" each other the way humans do, and they don't understand or care if another animal dies. Humans do. Yes, you will go through some emotional pain because of your anthropomorphized relationship with an animal, but it's irrational to choose that over the profound emotional suffering of any other number of humans.


JiEToy

You're mistaking rational for 'best for society'. Let's say I can choose between 1000 people on the other side of the world dying or my girlfriend dying. I can still make the rational argument that I don't care about those 1000 people because they're strangers to me, so I would choose to save my girlfriend. It's the exact same reasoning with my dog over a single stranger. It's rational reasoning, because I can explain it to you and it's not just a feeling I have. It's a fact that I will grief for my dog and not for the stranger. So I base my reasoning on facts, which means it's rational.


Madauras

You seem to be so trapped by looking at the world through a consequentialist lens, that you see all other ethical metrics as irrational. Imagine that the goal of ethics can vary, consequentialists like you might want to maximize happiness or reduce human suffering, while virtue based ethicists might want to maximize their own potential as human beings. My desktop tower, let alone a pet, is more important to me, and what I can learn, accomplish, teach, and create, than some random strangers life. It may be selfish, it may not be, that consequentialist math is harder than you make it out to be.


Thoth_the_5th_of_Tho

You talk about rational thought, but what actual value does a stranger have to you personally? There are eight billion of them, and from your perspective, they are all more or less interchange. From a purely selfish and practical standpoint, a dog you know has more value than a human you don't. It's not saving the dog that's the emotional choice, saving the human is. That emotion is altruism, which is generally seen as a good thing, but it still is a fundamentally emotional choice.


Spyderbeast

There could be cases where someone feels a human might be better equipped to save themselves in a dangerous situation, humans having opposable thumbs and supposedly being smarter. A dog would have no concept of how to put out a fire, while a person should at least know water might work if it's not the wrong kind of fire. What if the dog is a legitimate trained service dog that could potentially save your life, or maybe already has? I think choosing the dog isn't irrational.


Pmabbz

I can fully understand that in the heat of the moment a dog owner might choose their pet given the emotional connection. Humans are definitely not logical when faced with emotional dilemmas. However, I agree that the fact people are premeditatedly choosing a dog just shows the state of our world. People are disconnected from other people and its very sad.


SkullBearer5

Rationally speaking, people have a much larger capacity for evil than animals. There is a chance this stranger is as horrible as Hitler and I am saving a future genocidal dictator, but there is no chance the dog might be.


RIPBernieSanders1

Because dogs are amoral - they don't have the capacity to even make moral choices, which is why they're on a lower tier than humans.


VeryNormalReaction

>It tells me that people often anthropomorphize their pets, meaning theyassign human characteristics to their pets, when in reality they aresimply beasts like any other number of animals. That's probably true, and on the flip side, we've also devalued human life and dignity to a great extent. Edit: I'd also say if you value a dog's life over a human life, you're not being moral.


consumemyshortz

it sounds fucked up to say that u would rather save ur dog than a random stranger but i don’t think it’s irrational. I have an emotional connection and need for my dog. I don’t know the stranger. The only reason I would save the stranger is purely to avoid a guilty conscience


Smitherooni

Is it rational to save my child over maybe saving ten others? I don't fucking care. Where are their parents? I am responsible for me and mine. All others come after. Have some conviction at the expense of your USSR level hierarchical reasoning


IWillEradicateAllBot

There’s 8 billion random strangers and one pet that I am solely responsible for and have a responsibility to protect, a creature that depends on me and me alone. Never get a pet if you are not ready for the responsibility.


RIPBernieSanders1

You're not that pet's parent. You're their owner. They can have a different owner and things would be the same. A lot of pets could even survive on the streets, or the wild. They are not dependent on us, or if they are, it's because we have distorted their nature to where they no longer understand how to survive without humans caring for them.


IWillEradicateAllBot

I was on about saving it from harm not finding it a new home. There’s a million scenarios and details of context to consider of course, my point remains tho. I have a pet and I am the only one currently responsible for them. Also side note, if I died I’d hope they ate me and survived over starving to death next to my corpse. (Well I’m sure I’d be discovered quick enough but presuming I wasn’t) To many people today have pets and see them as a cosmetic item for their convenience, no. It’s a responsibility you willingly signed up for.


sordidennui

dogs experience distress and grief for the loss of their owners, sometimes having noticable alterations in their behavior for months after separation, including things like loss of appetite, there's even documented cases of dogs never being the same after their person passes. so your statement of "things would be the same" is factually untrue. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/do-dogs-grieve/


CBeisbol

>people feel fondness for their pets, they must acknowledge that they are on the same "tier" as other animals, such as cows, chickens, goats, horses Humans >beings, which, to me, seems like a hard sell - especially given that our pets clearly don't feel the same way about us. Both cats and dogs will eat their owner upon death with few qualms about it. So? I'm sure more humans harm or kill their pets than pets that kill their owners.


I_Hate_The_Demiurge

A flaw in your thinking is the assumption that human life has intrinsic value. Why should I care about a stranger over a living being that shares my home?


shadowmushroom1

the dog will keep me company. the random stranger does nothing for me. imma save my imaginary dog over a random stranger 10/10 times


SC803

If put into a situation where you could save yourself or save 10 people, which choice are you making?


RIPBernieSanders1

That's human vs. human.


SC803

You mention many times that the pet owners suffer from losing their pet is the rational choice when weighed against the suffering of the loss of a human. Using that same logic the 10x suffering caused by saving yourself cannot be the rational choice when weighed against the suffering of losing one person.


probock

What if he’s a crackhead or something of that sorts? If so then I’m definitely saving my doggo


Sirhc978

If my dog was a service animal, it is inherently more valuable to me than a stranger.


realismalex

Rather pick what matters to me than someone that'll never affect me


Longjumping_Lie_9068

Human life is sacred… so are dog lives. BTW ALL dogs go to heaven. What’s your point? Either choice is rational based on the individual’s reasons. Why are are you the arbitrator of value?


know-theory

Is it possible for an action be both selfish and rational? Or does selfishness makes something irrational? Would it be rational to save your dog rather than Hitler?


fatlessbinkie1688

Depends on the stranger. If it was a child I'd definitely save it over my dog.


[deleted]

[удалено]


LucidLeviathan

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