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 Earthpuppy
Joined: 2/9/2008
Msg: 53
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?Page 4 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
NPR today did an intriguing piece on Baboons, that suddenly and without warning, shut off their tribal cacophony for 5 minutes, to stare into the water silently as a tribe. The observer noted that perhaps we are not the only spiritually inclined species. It was as if their whole family unit went into their sabbath. Would love to hear other explanations.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121713610

PS..this question has been asked for tens of thousands of years. A hundred years ago...Eugene Debbs tried to come to terms with it.

"Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man's business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ''Am I my brother's keeper?'' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.

Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death." - Eugene V. Debs: - 1908 speech
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 54
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 12/22/2009 5:43:31 PM
perhaps it is again time to ask, how does spirituality fit with evolution?
 GGarbo
Joined: 10/8/2007
Msg: 56
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/18/2010 3:05:46 PM
I'm an atheist but feel I have purpose and my existence is not meaningless. Nature is far too logical of a system to allow the completely useless to exist.

I am comprised of energy which NEVER dies regardless of what you believe. What happens due that, I don't know and neither does anyone else but I know I live in a system. I don't know the purpose of this system nor the cycles it goes through but I do know there is a reason for it because nature is a logical system.

This "nature of things" has been around before the existence of the planet earth so why would I think that something as small as me could comprehend all the reasons? Nature, through trial and error, has been perfecting its systems since probably prior to the big bang.

My connection to these beliefs would never let me contemplate suicide. It's like saying that I'm dropping out of the universe simply because I don't know my the role nature has bestowed upon me and us as a species.

It's arrogant to think we are that far advanced we are supposed to know these things.
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 58
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/18/2010 3:47:09 PM

respect for life-
all life
no eating meat


One little quibble...

If you're going to respect ALL life, then you're going to have to stop eating plants as well... and a diet of stones isn't all that nutritious.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 62
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/18/2010 4:02:29 PM
Conversely, how does a respect for life necessitate a belief in life after death? Edisto's point is well taken. However, I'm sure there are sociopathic atheists just as there sociopathic theists. Neither is particularly mutually exclusive.

We cannot at present prove objectively an existence in some kind of "life after death." Personally, I hope there is one. But that doesn't mean I don't respect life.

Of course, I do like a tasty piece of cow from time to time. As a member of the other PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals, my motto is that there is a place for all creatures. Generally between the peas and the mashed potatoes.

 ea®ly
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 63
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/18/2010 4:06:56 PM
consciousness is in fact a manifestation of energy

Energy is one facet of consciousness, there are others.
It must become something else or be reused.

Some things stay the same.
So in that sense if when we die the energy that was our percepted reality becomes one with the universe again

It always was.
so in that sense we could be disrupting a balance.

This reminds me of the FSM reasoning that pirates are responsible for global weather stability.

More than 99% of life is extinct, there's no evidence that "we" (as collective as you want "we" to be) get more than one kick at the can.

Making ...just being alive - precious and rare.
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 64
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/18/2010 4:09:13 PM
rococco

I don't trust mans definition of a just war, so the last just war would be when god still bothered to talk to us directly.
That would be the old testament times, yes?

Must be some sadness in the heavens when we do our own everyday destructive stuff on earth, including murders etc, but imagine the grimacing and groaning going on with the world wars and mass slaughtering going on even today.

So why doesn't this god stop it? EDIT, this is kind of a rhetorical question, but not really.
god is not involved in this world today, [spiritually is another topic] is that not obvious?
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 65
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/18/2010 6:30:58 PM
edisto...

Why is it a lame argument? If ALL life is respected, then doesn't that include plant life?

And *please* don't accuse me of being illiterate, simply because I ask an off-the-wall question...
 rockondon
Joined: 2/21/2007
Msg: 67
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/19/2010 9:23:27 AM
^Agreed, the transitory part of life makes it MORE precious, more valuable, and more deserving of respect.
It would seem that some people think life is given more repect if it is seen as an unimportant stepping stone that has rudely stepped in the way of the existence they really yearn for. Yeah right.
 PhotoBrent
Joined: 8/6/2007
Msg: 68
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/19/2010 1:08:03 PM
My, what an easy question! If life lasts forever, then there's plenty to waste, if people don't really die, then why not kill them, ONLY if life is short and temporary is it precious! The law of supply and demand means life in abundance - eternal, or overpopulation - becomes less valuable.

And that's obvious when you look at poor countries with huge populations they can't feed; they willingly give up their children to suicide bombing, war, etc.

If I believe life was eternal, I'd kill myself whenever this life sucked, knowing I had plenty more to live out and why now make the pain go away? But I don't, so I value this life all the more, knowing it's my only one.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 70
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/19/2010 7:38:29 PM

Essentially, it’s all meaningless. It’s all temporary. It will all be over eventually one way or another.

Yep, that's the truth.

And there is no permanent reward or punishment for anything you do while you are alive. So what difference does it make if someone kills someone?

My faith dictates that there is no higher power to ask forgiveness from. What I do here, comes back at me post-reincarnation, so killing someone, does indeed, hold a VERY heavy price after death, post new incarnation. Also, karma would likely make my existence extremely horrific should I do something as egregious as murder while in this earthly body.

Why waste time feeling empathy? When someone in your family dies, why waste time grieving?

My son died in the not so distant past. Grieving him certainly is NO waste of time. If you love someone to the depth of your soul, no emotion regarding that person is wasted.

Why worry about whether or not doing what you want will get you killed? Why treat illness for that matter? Even if you beat cancer and live another 30 years, you will still eventually die. Why not let cancer kill you now?

I don't know what I'd do if the news is something deadly. For several years I have clearly held the belief that I would NOT seek treatment other than to be comfortable if/when things became very painful physically. Now, without my son, my only child, I truly don't believe I'd do the invasive treatments that exist. I'm quite comfortable with my own mortality. I'd likely just live each day with grandeur and die when it was time. But, I dunno yet, I'll make that decision post confirmation of things to come.

Whether it happens now or later, it is all inevitable at some point. So where is the logic in concerning yourself with any of it? Why not just kill yourself now?

I can't do that. I was left here to take care of some unfinished business. Once that is done? I probably agree to some degree, it's all pretty pointless. I'm not going to stop world hunger, cure cancer, split the atom, or anything else life altering ~ but suicide isn't really on my list of things to contemplate. JMO
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 71
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 2:37:16 AM
edisto...


apparently you realize yourself realize how lame your own question is since you call it an "off the wall question"


"Off-the-wall" does not necessarily equate with 'lame'... just as something that doesn't normally get considered.

And that still doesn't answer the question of why it's okay to eat plants, but not animals.
 ea®ly
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 74
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 5:11:47 PM

so your question isn't lame-
it's just ridiculous-


Why?
 RocketMan_Len
Joined: 7/5/2006
Msg: 76
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 5:51:55 PM
Did you know that Acacia trees in Africa release a toxin that irritates giraffes when they eat the leaves...? And that the giraffes will not eat trees downwind of ones they've already eaten from, because the tree releases a chemical signal that warns other trees that a predator is near... and those trees start releasing the toxin as well?

Plants defend themselves when attacked - does that not suggest that they feel pain and are (to a limited degree) aware of their surroundings?

I'm not trying to 'find humour' or insult your chosen way of life - I'm merely trying to understand why, when you say that you respect ALL life, you seem to treat only animal life in this regard.

Have you ever BEEN on a modern farm? I grew up on one, and can tell you first-hand that the animals were well cared-for and looked after. I'll grant that they weren't as well-off as the family pet, but it was as close as we could get.
 Super_Eve
Joined: 10/23/2008
Msg: 78
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 6:40:33 PM
Calm down, Edisto, my fellow vegetarian, NC, sistah!

Let's clarify...


I'm merely trying to understand why, when you say that you respect ALL life, you seem to treat only animal life in this regard.


When you say respect, what do you mean?


Have you ever BEEN on a modern farm? I grew up on one, and can tell you first-hand that the animals were well cared-for and looked after. I'll grant that they weren't as well-off as the family pet, but it was as close as we could get.


Oh, please. I am sure your family farm, did not mass produce meat, and distribute it in styrofoam, and saran wrap packages.
 ea®ly
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 79
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 6:47:02 PM

and I am tired of this stupid argument by carnivores

I'm not a carnivore, it's not a stupid argument.

animals feel pain, nurture their young and are sentient

Salmon nurture their young? Are cattle aware that they exist because they're food? How can you tell that a plant doesn't feel pain?

Is a leopard respectful of life?
 CoolBreezez
Joined: 8/20/2006
Msg: 80
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 7:25:59 PM
Life is our chance to become more than we were before- we can become richer, better looking, more wise, more compassionate, more self aware, raise great offspring, make great friends, become famous or do whatever your dream may be. You can affect the future in some way, larger or small- you might be remembered for no time, a short time or a long time.

We don't know how long it will last, when it will end or what will become of us afterward. That's what make the time we have here special. It's a chance at something.

Simply - you take what you are given and you make of it what you will. I for one, always have the hope and imagination that things could be possibly even better than they are today. Really - who really knows what tomorrow will bring?
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 82
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If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 8:00:30 PM
So, abortion for economic purposes is respect for life?
I'm thinkin a fetus is life, at least as much as a dog.
religious do it too.
 Manny di Presso
Joined: 12/9/2009
Msg: 83
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 8:27:51 PM
I'm really happy to be where I am on the food chain. I'm curious about what constitutes respect for life and why it needs to be justified.
 ea®ly
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 84
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 9:12:41 PM


wtf kind of question is that
a leopard respectful of life?


As you insist on tossing around the word "carnivore" as an epithet (I'm not a carnivore), I was wondering how a real carnivore fits into this. That kind of question.


are humans respectful of life
the answer is fvck NO !


So now you speak for all of humanity?

Does the rest of how you live hold up to the same scrutiny that you hold other people's eating choices?
Do you grow your own food?
Do you have a car?
Is your electricity from a sustainable resource?
Do you live in a city or town?

I'll compare ecological footprints with you any day, ...I'll even throw in a carnivore.
 ea®ly
Joined: 11/7/2006
Msg: 86
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/20/2010 11:53:59 PM
oh, goody, now instead of addressing my concern about animals and factory farming

Well, considering there are threads that already discuss this, why hijack this one even more?
Have you even read the OP?
"If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?"
It isn't:
.. about factory farms.
Or,
"If there are factory farms how do you justify respect for life?"

we're in what a competition for who has a lighter foot print on the earth-

I didn't start pointing fingers and grabbing moral high ground here, you did.

Considering the thread topic, and the obvious notion that neither of us believes in an "after-life"

Why stop at eating habits?
How much life do you kill, just by all of your choices?

Or is an agenda only worth a polemic if you can point fingers?

I try to destroy as little as possible, in all aspects of my life, ...animals and plants both.

Out of respect for life and all of existence, no agenda necessary.


oh, excuse me, IMHO, humans have no respect for life
no, not talking FOR all humanity
just talking ABOUT all humanity


You don't speak for me, and the only meaningful thing you are conveying is:
You have no respect for all of humanity.

Good luck with that.

 HonestVagabond
Joined: 9/4/2009
Msg: 88
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/21/2010 8:26:12 PM
In reply to the original post.

Because we are humans.
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 89
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/21/2010 11:22:24 PM
Your question covers many different aspects.

I regard life as simply a mere fact if life. You are either alive or, not. Since I am alive and have the chance to live life as I want to live it, I choose to let others live it the way they choose to... except mosquitos of course :)

Life is what you make it out to be. If you think it to be meaningless then, THAT person's life is meaningless to them. If you want to make it into something interesting that wil make you want to feel alive, then that will be your life.

I too am not one to think that there is a reward or punishment in the afterlife since beside being baptized, I am not religious at all. This said, I choose to live in the here and now and make the best that I can in the time that I have on this earth; it's as simple as that.

I will feel bad if someone I care about dies, feels ill or other, simply because I care for them and want them to feel no pain.

I see your rational in thinking that it's all inevitable. And that said, I always choose to live in the present moment and not at the final stage of existence.
 BowdenK
Joined: 11/29/2009
Msg: 92
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/24/2010 5:36:21 AM

those who don't have a relationship with god will be eternally snuffed out


I get a chuckle at how anyone can believe something like this while still claiming to respect "life."

I would be grateful for an eternal snuffing rather than spending an eternity anywhere with people like this. News flash, it's not "us" and "them." It's just "us." We're all in this together, so we need to start acting like it.

For a body to work, all the cells need to work together and do their part, the overzealous ones that obsess over their "part" without thinking about the rest of the body are called cancer. The body doesn't stand much of a chance if you spend your entire life worrying only about one part, say your heart or your lungs while not taking care of the rest. You have to take care of the whole body for it to function well. In other words, respect your whole body? Is my point coming across? I'm trying to be vague enough to entice thought but clear enough to make my point.
 tinsleyhut
Joined: 12/6/2009
Msg: 93
If there is no life after death, how do you justify respect for life?
Posted: 1/24/2010 9:42:01 AM
If nothing fleeting is worth anything, than why go to a movie when you know it will end in two hours, or read a book that is finite?
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