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伦理困境:人和动物谁的生命更有价值?

Ethical dilemma: Whose life is more valuable? - Rebecca L. Walker

伦理困境:道德地位伦理学
Smallpox is one of the deadliest diseases in history,
天花是史上最致命的疾病之一
but fortunately, it’s been eradicated for over 40 years.
所幸 天花已被消灭四十余年
However, samples of the virus that causes smallpox still exist,
然而 引发天花的病毒样本依然存在
leading to concern that rogue actors might try to weaponize it.
有人担心一些不法之徒可能试图将其制成武器
This is especially worrying
这尤其令人担忧

because older smallpox vaccines can have serious side effects,
因为上一代天花疫苗有严重的副作用
and modern antiviral drugs have never been tested against this disease.
而现代抗病毒药物从未针对天花做过测试
To protect against this potential threat,
为预防这个潜在的威胁
the US government is funding research
美国政府资助了
to improve smallpox treatments and vaccines.
改进天花治疗方法及疫苗的研究
And since it’s unethical to expose people to a highly lethal virus,
又由于让人接触高致命性病毒不合伦理
labs are using humanity’s closest biological relatives
目前 实验室都以与人类亲缘关系最近的动物
as research subjects.
作为研究对象
But is it right to harm these animals
但为保护人类免受潜在威胁
to protect humanity from a potential threat?
而去伤害这些动物正确吗?
Or should our closest relatives
或者我们是否也应保护
also be protected against lethal experiments?
我们的近亲免受致命性实验的危害?
What would you do as a scientist
如果你是面临这种真实情形的科学家
faced with this very real scenario?
你会如何做?

In many ways, this dilemma isn’t new.
这种困境在很多方面已不是什么新鲜事
Animals have been used in research
人们将动物用于
aimed at improving human welfare for centuries,
旨在增进人类福祉的研究已有数世纪
typically at the cost of their lives.
通常它们会付出生命的代价
This practice reflects the widespread belief that
这样的惯例反映出一个普遍的看法
human lives are more valuable than non-human lives.
即人的生命比其他生命更有价值
People have different views about the ethics of animal testing
对于动物实验的伦理问题及进行方式
and how it’s conducted.
人们看法不一
But whatever your opinion,
但无论你持何种观点
this scenario raises an important philosophical question:
这一情形引出了一个重要的哲学问题:
how do we determine the value of a life,
人类也好 非人类也罢
whether human or non-human?
我们该如何确定生命的价值?
One tool philosophers have used to consider this question
哲学家思考这个问题的一个方法是
is moral status.
看该存在物是否具有道德地位
Beings with moral status should have their needs and interests
有道德地位的存在物 应该让自身的需求和利益
taken into consideration by those making decisions that impact them.
纳入影响它们的决策之中
Traditionally, moral status has been seen as binary,
传统来说 人们认为道德地位是二元的
either a being’s interests matter for their own sake,
一个存在物要么有自身利益
or they don’t.
要么就没有自身利益
And historically, many philosophers believed that humans had moral status
历史上许多哲学家认为人类有道德地位
and other animals didn’t.
而其他动物没有
Some contemporary philosophers like Shelly Kagan
一些当代哲学家 如Shelly Kagan
have argued that moral status comes in degrees,
认为道德地位是分等级的
but even in this model,
但即便在这个模式中
he argues that people have the most moral status.
他认为人处在道德地位的最高层
However, determining what grants any degree of moral status can be difficult.
然而很难确定由什么来决定道德地位的等级
Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant
启蒙运动时期的哲学家伊曼努尔·康德
thought humans have moral status
认为人具有道德地位
because of their rational nature and ability to will their actions.
因为人的本质是理性 人有能力决定自己的行为
A binary conception of moral status then
道德地位的二元概念表明
suggests that beings with these capacities
拥有这些能力的存在物
are “persons” bearing full moral status,
是具有完全道德地位的“人”
while all other creatures are “things” without moral status.
而其他存在物则是没有道德地位的“物”
But thinkers like Christine Korsgaard have argued
但像Christine Korsgaard这样的思想家认为
a Kantian view should include many non-human animals
康德的观点应包含除人类外的诸多其他动物
because of how they value their own good.
因为它们重视自己的利益
Another line of argument
另一类论点
suggested by utilitarianism’s founding father Jeremy Bentham
由实用主义之父杰里米·边沁提出
and elaborated by Peter Singer,
彼得·辛格作了详细阐述
claims that a capacity for suffering
这类观点认为感受痛苦的能力
makes an entity worthy of moral consideration.
是个体值得受到道德考量的原因
These inclusive ways of thinking about moral status
把非人类也纳入道德地位的考量
dramatically widen the scope of our moral responsibility,
极大地拓宽了人类道德责任的范围
in ways some people might find unnerving.
这可能让某些人感到不安
So where do our monkeys stand?
那么猴子的道德地位多高呢?
Our closest genetic relatives
这些与我们基因最接近的动物
have high social and intellectual capacities.
有着很强的社交能力和高智力
They live cooperatively in complex social groups
它们住在一个复杂的社群 相互协作
and recognize members of their community as individuals.
视社区的成员为个体
They support and learn from one another.
相互帮助 相互学习
There’s even evidence they respond to inequality.
甚至有证据表明 遭遇不公时它们有反应
And of course, they’re capable of suffering.
当然 它们也能感受痛苦
Yet despite all this, it’s still generally common opinion
尽管如此 人们仍普遍认为
that a human’s life is more valuable than a monkey’s,
人类的生命比猴子的生命更有价值
and that while killing one human to save five others is typically wrong,
为救五人牺牲一人通常不合道德
killing one monkey to save five humans is regrettable,
而为救五人牺牲一只猴虽令人遗憾
but morally acceptable,
但在道德上可接受
even morally required.
甚至是为了符合道德要求
At some point, however,
然而 从某时起
this calculation starts to feel unstable.
这种计算开始让人感到动摇
Should we kill 100 monkeys to save five people?
我们该为救五人而杀害一百只猴吗?
How about 10,000?
一千只呢?
If moral status is binary and monkeys don’t have it,
如果道德地位是二元的 而猴子没有道德地位
then theoretically,
那么理论上说
any number of monkeys could be sacrificed to save just one person.
仅仅为了救一人 牺牲多少只猴都可以
But if moral status comes in degrees
但如果道德地位是有等级的
and monkeys have any at all,
而猴子多多少少有道德地位
then at some point the balance will tip.
那么在某个时候 平衡就会打破
The situation you’re in complicates things even further.
你所处的情形甚至会使情况更加复杂
Unlike the scenarios above,
不同于上述情形
there’s no guarantee your work will ever save human lives.
你的研究能否挽救人的生命 没有定数
This is true of any animal experiment.
任何动物实验都是如此
The process of scientific discovery only sometimes leads to improved medical care.
科学发现的过程并不能次次都改善医疗保健水平
But in your case, it’s even trickier!
但你的情况甚至更棘手
While the government is worried smallpox might be weaponized,
政府担忧天花可能被制成武器
if they’re wrong, the disease will remain eradicated,
倘若没有 这种疾病将仍处于被消灭的状态
and your research won’t save anyone from smallpox.
而你的研究不会从天花手上拯救任何人
You could try to quantify this uncertainty to help make your decision.
你可以试着量化这种不确定性 来帮你决定
But how do you determine what an acceptable amount of risk is?
但如何确定可承受的风险有多大?
And what if there’s so much uncertainty that your calculations
如果不确定性太多导致你的计算
are essentially wild guesses?
本质上成了胡乱猜测呢?
These kinds of moral mathematics get complicated fast,
这类道德运算题很快会变得复杂
and some philosophers would argue
某些哲学家会提出
they’re not even the best way to make moral decisions.
道德计算甚至不是做道德决定的最佳方法
But whatever you decide, your choice should be well justified.
但无论你如何决定 都应合乎情理

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视频概述

本视频探讨一个哲学问题。人的生命比动物的生命更有价值吗?凭什么这么说呢?

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

枇杷弹琵琶

审核员

审核员LJ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rQi2uNqwxk

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