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?


  1. Why would society value something as insignificant as the spider? They are nothing but pests that create a mess for us to clean up. And wouldn't human life be the most valuable because we are the most intelligent? Which is why its okay for us to decide whether or not a cow is okay to eat. I mean, if animals started talking one day then yeah, I'd definitely become a vegetarian. But what if animals were created to be eaten? It would only make sense. Plus, what if it wasn't the humans' idea to eat animals first. Other animals eat each other, right? And maybe the cavemen were like, "Oh hey look, that looks good. Let me have some. Nom nom nom." Wouldn't that make sense? And ever since then, society has been embedded with the idea that its okay to eat certain animals. Now, what do you think about the word 'society'? Society, meaning who? We're all from different cultures and backgrounds. Maybe in my culture its okay to run around naked, but its not okay in yours. So who is "society" now? If you say the culture that you're in, wouldn't that be a little biased? Your observations would then be inaccurate.

    Am I talking too much? I think my brains getting all jumbled and turning into mush.

  2. this is a very difficult topic.I have a lot of thoughts in my mind but the first thing i want to say is a food chain!Yes a food chain.Animals do eat each other and that is what it is! It is nature.You can't change it!
    As far as i understood your concern you questioned why we kill one animal and do not kill another. As you and me are human - the highest form of being( on the earth), we can kill cows to survive - to eat it.It is just a physical thing that our body needs meat.Why we don't kill and eat other animals for example elephants....well i think it is a historical thing.We just don't kill and eat elephants.Then, you did kill a spider without hesitation . I think it's ok, because you killed only one spider and not the whole spider race itself.Then you would damage the integrity of nature.
    What concerns abortion.There is still a controversy about this issue.All i can say that it is a sin ( I believe in God) and it's really a sin to abort. But if a woman was raped?? what would she do? Keep it? There are a lot of situations that women do abortions for whatever reason. As i mention God, I think there is some high power beneath us, some Highly-spiritual thing which human will never get,by saying this i mean as a plant will never develop to human - human will never develop to that Highly -spiritual being- God. It's rough...of course there are very high spiritual people, but still i think the only thing we can do is develop ourselfves everyday trying to achieve the higest level.
    that's all . sorry for possible grammatical or syntactic mistakes

  3. oh no))) i wrote " beneath us " instead of "above us" sorry :)))

  4. This was extremely insightful and eloquent. I'm a pescitarian (vegetarian, but I eat fish) and I get a lot of questions why that is. "Do you think the life of a fish isn't as important as the life of a cow, chicken, pig, etc.?" Well, the answer is I would stop eating fish if I could, but health conditions I have make that not an option. I avoid killing insects, I shoo them outside, but I'm not adamant about it.

    I think a big part of it is that people rationalize that the smaller something is ("the smaller it's brain is"), and the shorter it's lifespan is to begin with (for example, insects) the less valuable it's life is. And I know that makes no sense, but think about it? Isn't that how we rationalize things?

    And as an agnostic, I think everything is on the earth for bio-interlocking reasons I can't even begin to fathom. All I know is that studies prove that if even one species didn't exist, it could throw off the entire biodiversity chain and end up causing the apocolypse.

    It's too much to think about for me, but it's a brilliant argument. I'll let you be the one to do such profound pondering, Ben, because you're so good at it <3