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Author Topic: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?  (Read 5803 times)

Solstice

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2013, 11:55:07 pm »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

 
In the beginning, my reason for not killing bugs was because I hated the sound and the feel of them crunching under my shoe, and because their contorted bodies lying there in repose would just squick me out. So whenever I'd see a bug in the house that didn't freak me out, I'd usually pick it up with a piece of paper and usher it outside. Lately, however, I just feel guilty whenever I'm presented with the choice to kill a bug. One time, my friend made me kill a bunch of spiders in the bathroom because they were all gathered up in the bathtub when she was trying to take a shower. I killed about five of them with a broom and wasn't too happy about it in the end. Now, I'm still afraid of spiders, but as the days go by, I daresay I might be getting over that fear little by little--which helps me deal with them better during all our inevitable encounters. Anyway, nowadays, I live by the "if they don't bother me, I don't bother them" principle. If I see a spider in the distance, I'll leave it be. But if a mosquito is buzzing around in my face and keeps biting me, I'll exercise my right to kill out of self-defense. Also, I have no sympathy for ticks. If I find one on me, it's dead.

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We were to say the brief mantra "Om mani padme hum" each time we struck one, by way of praying for the lives we were ending.


I do think I might start using that mantra, though. You know, for when I'm forced to kill bugs for people who'll flip their biscuits and scream in terror until each and every one of those bathroom offenders is dead. XD

Riothamus12

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2013, 12:31:32 am »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

 
In a sense no. I'm not exactly a Jainist, but I don't believe in causing death where it is not necessary. Why hurt something that has not done any grievous harm to you and does not wish you harm or look upon you with the single minded malice of wicked persons?
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Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2013, 10:28:57 am »
Quote from: Riothamus12;120708
Why hurt something that has not done any grievous harm to you and does not wish you harm or look upon you with the single minded malice of wicked persons?

That is a good question and more people should apply that standard to every aspect of their lives.

I would certainly prefer not to kill insects, but I live with a fiber artist, so moths that don't let me capture-and-release get the squish.

My impression of ants was formed at a young age by the Ender books, so I will kill the ones in the house and destroy their trails to discourage them and I don't view that as murder. (Hey, if the Hive Queen don't mind, why should I?)
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Scent of Pine

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2013, 11:16:33 pm »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

 
My grandmother used to chew me out if I tried to kill spiders.  "You're a Scott! Spiders saved Robert the Bruce!" she'd say.  Now as an adult I'm OK with spiders.... except the really big ones like huntsmen.  I try to get them outside.  

Roaches, though, must die.  They are unwelcome in my home.  I live in the tropics with HUGE roaches that fly at you and are aggressive.  They spread disease and make the house stink.  I do feel bad when I spray one and it does the breakdance of death.

hecate8

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2013, 05:56:43 pm »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

I try to catch and release as well, and think people should have consideration for their lives. I feel uneasy when I have to kill them. And this despite my shaman beliefs that it is pointless to try to intervene in their lives.
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Lykeios Lysios

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2013, 06:42:43 pm »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?


It really depends on who you ask. I say its fine, as long as you're still (to some degree) respectful of the creatures life. Pests are pests.

Ask a Jainist, however, and they'll tell you its never OK. They're ahimsa goes all the way, so to speak.
"Man fears the darkness, and so he scrapes away at the edges of it with fire." - Rei Ayanami
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anonymus

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question...
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2013, 02:17:35 pm »
Quote from: Megatherium;120322
Whenever I come across this issue, I think it's important to look at the ecological role and reproductive strategies of arthropods (insects, arachnids, etc.) themselves.

Quite simply, arthropods do not behave in such a way as to suggest the life of an individual is particularly important to the species. Firstly, arthropods reproduce in huge numbers-to an extent that if insects were not experiencing extremely high casualty rates, they would quickly strip an environment of all possible food sources.

Secondly, many groups of arthropods - ants, bees, and termites come to mind - live in collective social structures where the expendability of an individual is not only acceptable but a necessary part of the functioning of the collective group. A bee hive in which individuals tried to preserve their own existence at the expense of the collective simply would not function.

Thirdly, insects are the main source of food for a large number of organisms, including of course many arthropod species themselves. Without arthropods been constantly devoured by other organisms, earth's ecosystems could simply not function  at anything approaching their current level of complexity.

Finally, it is virtually impossible to not kill large numbers of arthropods. Given how many of these organisms are not even visible,  we must accept the fact that we kill large numbers of arthropods just by walking, cleaning, putting on our clothes and other activities without which we could not survive.

For the above reasons, from my own perspective, I do not place a high value on the life of individual arthropods. That is not to say that I believe trying to avoid killing insects is silly or misguided. To the contrary, I have a great respect for people or religious traditions (like Jainism) which seek to avoid killing arthropods, partly because it IS such an unusual and difficult goal to achieve.

However, for myself personally, I do not see any strong moral imperative to avoid killing arthropods. They have been dying in the trillions for hundreds of millions of years. They don't seem to have any problem with it.

this

EclecticWheel

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 01:40:50 am »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

 
In my view, it is wrong to kill a bug without good reason (self defense, house infestation, etc.)  I do not believe any form of life is superior to another.  If my house became infested with roaches, I'd do something about it, of course.  That affects my life, my home, my wellbeing, and I have a right to protect my living space.  But if just one wanders in from outside, I take it back outside.  I try to be kind to all creatures.  It has as much right to live as I do.  While most people I know assume humans are the highest form of life, I take great comfort in not valuing myself or humanity over any other form of life, even bacteria or mold.
My personal moral code:

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Moonstone

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 06:57:13 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;124843
In my view, it is wrong to kill a bug without good reason (self defense, house infestation, etc.)  I do not believe any form of life is superior to another.  If my house became infested with roaches, I'd do something about it, of course.  That affects my life, my home, my wellbeing, and I have a right to protect my living space.  But if just one wanders in from outside, I take it back outside.  I try to be kind to all creatures.  It has as much right to live as I do.  While most people I know assume humans are the highest form of life, I take great comfort in not valuing myself or humanity over any other form of life, even bacteria or mold.

 Most of the people i know believe that humans are the highest form of life. Not that i don't respect their beliefs, but this annoys me a bit because i see every living thing as equal. This doesn't neccessarily mean it's not ok to, for example, exterminate a roach infestation, because you are protecting your territory, in the same way that you are protecting yourself by killig bacteria. If you threatened an animal it will eaither run away or attack yu - it's basically the same the other way around. Except that humans have a habit of attacking for no reason.

Jake57

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2013, 01:23:13 pm »
Quote from: Lykeios Lysios;122633
It really depends on who you ask. I say its fine, as long as you're still (to some degree) respectful of the creatures life. Pests are pests.

Ask a Jainist, however, and they'll tell you its never OK. They're ahimsa goes all the way, so to speak.

 
I am very prejudiced.  I never kill spiders because I see them as special.  Centipedes, millipedes and roaches and mosquitoes, however, must die.

Lokadottir

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2013, 08:37:48 am »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

 
Well I don't like killing things. The only things I really kill are bees, wasps, and similar striped stinging things. I'm terrified by them. If they're inside the die straight up. (Normally at the hands of someone else. I can't get near the things) I only ask someone to spray the bugs outside if they've made the hive near the house. I just can't walk by that many in one place.

I always say my house and yard are my territory so I'll run off or kill what's unwelcome. I greatly prefer running them off, but my mother is from the mountains so I grew up with a understanding of: if its you or the animal, the animal goes.

What I can't stand is people who kill insects not because they are too frightened to function but because they dislike them. This is because the logic for it sickens me. I do not like the way this thing is I find it faintly gross. I know I'll KILL IT! It disturbs me frankly.

Ocelot

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2013, 04:15:49 pm »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?


For me it depends on what and where they are. Bugs in the house die. They can carry disease and neither me or my wife want bugs crawling around. We also happen to have children here in a daycare setting every day and parents wouldn't appreciate bugs crawling around the babies either.

Outside, it depends. A nest of bees in a spot that we or the kids are gets sprayed, but not the ones away from the playing/living areas outside. I also usually treat the perimeter of the house a couple times per year because carpenter ants can do major damage and did to my neighbors shed.

Oh, and I treat the lawn spring summer and fall for bugs in general. I'm not big on the spreading of chemicals and wish I didn't have to do it. However, just this spring I got a nasty case of Lyme disease from a nymph dear tick that could barely be seen. Lyme disease is no fun and where I live is one of the larger hot spots in the country. It's actually the second time I've gotten it.
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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2013, 04:40:45 pm »
Quote from: Ocelot;126582
For me it depends on what and where they are.

 
For bugs like spiders I usually I prefer to take them outside if they're in the indoors.

However, there's a spider in the car that has steadfastly refused to let me put it outside. Last time I tried it dropped on my face.

Next time I see it, it's getting squished.
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Ocelot

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Re: Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2013, 04:48:18 pm »
Quote from: Jack;126588
For bugs like spiders I usually I prefer to take them outside if they're in the indoors.

However, there's a spider in the car that has steadfastly refused to let me put it outside. Last time I tried it dropped on my face.

Next time I see it, it's getting squished.


Oh man, spider on the face would give me the cold chills. Actually, I should clarify about bugs in the house. I have been known to take spiders outside, same for ladybugs.
 Also, I try to avoid squishing bugs inside because of the stains they leave. We've been getting a bunch of stink bugs and those I definitely don't want to squish. Sometimes I flick those in the sink and wash them down the drain.
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KatieCoy83

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Somewhat odd philosophical question: Is it right to kill a bug?
« Reply #29 on: October 23, 2013, 05:02:36 pm »
Quote from: Moonstone;120309
An odd thought popped into my mind yesterday.
Assuming (as i do) that every living thing has a soul and can feel and to some extent think, is it right to kill a bug if it is not posing any threat? For example if someone sees a perfectly harmless house spider on their wall and instantly splats it - are they encroaching on that spiders right to live?
I can understand that if someone was to encounter a poisonous insect of some kind they have every right to kill it - self defense. But if that insect is completely harmless and innocent do we really have the right to take away it's life?

I'm having a rough time trying to repel a few ants that have take a liking to my front windowsill. I can't see where they are coming in from.
I don't want to poison them. I have a 2 year old and don't want her to be exposed.
I've tried natural stuff I found online. I heard vinegar, salt and spearmint but no luck with those yet.

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