Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Killed A Spider

I killed a spider today without hesitation and then began to wonder why. Why is it okay to kill a spider and not a human? Because a human life is more valuable? Is a human life more valuable than a dog's? Most would agree that it is, but yet, it is not okay to kill a dog. Unless you live in a culture that doesn't value dogs. They may value cows, in which case, it would be okay to kill a dog but not okay to kill a cow. 

Or is it a matter of ownership? We kill dogs if no one adopts them, but if someone does, we don't. If someone owns a spider we don't kill it. But if we see a spider on the street, we can. Certain animals we kill if as a society we have decided they taste good, but others are not allowed to be eaten even if they do taste good, if as a society, we have not collectively decided that they taste good. 

Confused? Hold on, let's bring God into it.
If you believe in God, do you not believe that He created everything and for a reason? And in that case, is it not wrong to kill something He created? And if you don't believe in God, how do you rationalize what lives you terminate, which you tolerate and those you celebrate? And if you assert that I am over thinking and over analyzing this matter to death, are you saying that we shouldn't be concerned with our actions when it comes to ending another living thing's existence?

Does potential matter? Some say abortion, even in the early stages of the first trimester, is murder. But most would agree that a rat is more alive and capable than an impregnated egg. Yet, we don't have a problem killing rats. Is it the fact that the egg will soon turn into a fetus, then a baby, then a child and then an adult, what makes its existence more valuable than a rat's? Or is it the ownership again, since the nascent life belongs to, and resides inside of, a human?

And by all of this logic, if there is a higher form of life, do they not have the right to decide with loose logic and indiscriminate whims whether we live, die, belong to them or are celebrated in a culinary fashion? And if this higher life form were to decide that we are expendable or not as valuable as we once thought, would we then associate more closely with the cows we ate, the dogs we put to sleep and the spiders we killed without hesitation?

Ahh, but this is too much to think about, for the more I think, the more I question and the more I question, the more I realize there are no definitive answers and even if there were, we'd probably disagree on their meaning and subsequent value. 

What's on TV tonight?