“Hold on! Wasn't that what King James' GOD was advocating? Dominion over animals?”
Dominion? Yes, because might is right??. For medical research? if truly necessary and done humanely. To eat? If there is nothing else (this is the situation in, eg, Tibetan Buddhism). Medical research and food are using the animal for potentially a higher good. Sacrifice or torturing (why all the sacrifice in the bible???), no way.
“So will you accept medical treatment that was developed through the intentional death and suffering of said sentient animals against their will? If so, that sounds a little like exercising dominion to me.”
I do not support the use of animals in research. And no, I am not PITA. I work in medical research and have seen first hand the wasteful suffering that some researchers justify. Very little of it is either necessary or produces useful results.
“Call me crazy, but the thought that there are people in this world that would save a pet before saving another human is absolutely dreary and without hope, given that the human in question could be you or I.”
OK, Maybe you are crazy ;)
“That's, frankly, a little disturbing. Especially since risk is a continuum, not binary. So you wouldn't try to chase off a couple of adolescent hoogigans torching a homeless man? That's pathetic. (One of the few times that I'll "call it like I see it" in a definitive manner.) What about a child being torched? I'd probably die to protect a child- even one I don't know.”
Again, I would assess the risk on an individual basis. If it was twelve year old hooligans armed with nothing more than some petrol and a lighter, I would certainly chase them off. If it was a couple of 18 year old testosterone poisoned and drunk males with baseball bats and knives, I wouldn’t go near them to save someone I don’t know.
“Im truly curious about the situation in which you risked your life for your dog, and why it would make a difference if the dog were replaced by a homeless guy. (I could, for instance, imagine scenarios wherein the homeless guy got his own butt in a sling, and I would thus greatly lower the risk I was willing to take to help him.)”
My dog was attacked by a pitbull. The pitbull had my dog in his jaws by her belly and was shaking her. I chased, tackled and pinned the pitbull in a judo leg hold, with my left hand on his scruff and my right hand over his muzzle. His jaws were right by my neck, and I would not have done this for any dog OR person, homeless or not if they were not priceless to me.
“But that's not what you said- you weren't even talking about a choice. You just said that you wouldn't help the homeless guy. I hope I'm misunderstanding that one...”
I said would put a close companion (furry or otherwise) above someone (or some animal) who is not related to me. Whether I help them or not depends on my on-the-spot assessment of the danger to myself.
“There have been several dramatic cases sensationalized in the media of bystanders standing idly by and watching people be murdered or raped. That speaks incredibly poorly of such bystanders as human beings, IMHO. (And doesn't seem terribly Buddist...) I hope you are never one of them, Lynn.”
I am a struggling Buddhist. If I weren’t, I wouldn’t be here (I would be somewhere in Nirvana). As a Buddhist I should really be aiming to gain relief from my attachment to my loved ones, so that I treat then the same as anyone else. I have a lot of work to do. For instance, my reaction to the pitbull attack was instinctual because of my attachment to my dog. A more rational, unattached person would not have taken on the dog IMHO.