basically, i think the general rule of thumb is: if someone REALLY wants the blood that’s inside of your body, and they’re like… a vampire, or a dracula, or some sort of mansquito, then that’s probably okay. a dracula and a mansquito are made for removing things like blood and swords from inside your body.
that’s basically fine.
if something wants to get at your blood, and they’re, say, some kind of murdersaurus, or maybe a really big frog, that’s where the problems start to arise. a really frog is not made for removing blood, and your blood knows this, which is why it is so vehement about wanting to stay IN your body instead of coming out.
unfortunately this will not deter a really big frog, because a really big frog is full of things like prizes, and value, and quite a lot of hatred, and it would REALLY rather like to replace any and all of those things with your blood, and basically by any means possible.
These words scan with a fantastic degree of confidence considering that together they make no sense at all
sometimes if you squint hard enough there are individual coherent sentences
i sent this to my philosophy teacher, and this was his reply:
This is a very interesting question.
There are a few ways to go about answering it that come to mind.
Considering Intent. This is kind of like the Kantian way of doing things: as long as you’re doing something for good reasons, it is OK. Conversely, doing something for bad reasons is wrong.
Dracula has arguably good reasons for sucking blood - that is how he sustains himself. He would die otherwise (or whatever the equivalent of death is for those that are undead), and we generally think that when having to choose between survival and death, it is almost never wrong to choose survival (even at the expense of another’s life - think of self-defense killing).
The mansquito likewise has arguably good reasons, assuming they need the blood for the same reasons that a Mosquito needs blood.
It is worth pointing out here how when it comes to common pests like Mosquitos, Black Flies, Deer Flies, etc., no matter how annoying they may be to us, and how much we may hate them, we do not really think that they are evil. Yeah, we wish they were wiped off the face of the Earth forever, but we don’t think that they are bad. They’re just doing what nature has programmed them to do. For the same reasons we do not say that a Tornado is evil, even if it destroys whole towns.
So this moves us towards considering something like the “Nature” of these beings. In Philosophy this is sometimes called “Natural Law” theory. A Natural Law theory is one that proposes that there are certain natural laws, and breaking those laws is unethical. (Natural Law theory often goes hand in hand with Christian philosophy, and things like homosexuality used to be (still are, even) argued against purely from a standpoint of Natural Law - “It’s not natural!” (whatever that means).)
So again, Dracula and mansquitos are just following their natures. We can’t really fault them for it. We can be annoyed or angry, but we can’t really say that what they’re doing is bad in any real sense. The same, of course, would probably go for the Murdersaurus, whose basic nature is to murder. Again, just doing its natural duty.
The Really Big Frog is different. Assuming that a Really Big Frog is like a typical Frog except Really Big, sucking blood would be “deviant behaviour.” This is not what normal frogs do. Moreover, it is harmful to others. It’s Evil.
The problem with Natural Law theory is that it assumes usually one kind of normal behaviour, and anything that doesn’t fit that is “deviant,” wrong, weird, etc. Maybe it works when you’re talking about rocks, plants, and bumble bees, but it seems to be grossly over-reductive and restrictive when it comes to describing people and other things.
So this could move us away from this whole style of thinking, and towards something that is more individual-based. I’m thinking now of Nietzsche, and what we call in philosophy Perspectivism. This idea is like relativism, in that each person has their own perspective, which grants them their own, unique, individual style of flourishing in the world. Some people like Cats, others like Dogs, others have Ant Farms - it’s all good. So long as my own style doesn’t interfere with yours, it’s all good. And even if it does, that’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Nietzsche emphasized that it was very important that there were people in society who acted oddly, pushed at the boundaries, and generally make the majority feel uncomfortable or downright scared. This, according to Nietzsche, is the only way society can progress - by being challenged like this.
So, is Dracula a Nietzschean free spirit, challenging me by asserting that sucking blood may be a worthwhile thing to do, and that I ought to expand my horizons? Perhaps. Certainly moreso than the murdersaurus, who will probably just murder me. The Really Big Frog could be OK too. Or not, but it kind of depends on how forcefully the RBF attacks.
The OP is Jason’s ethics paper, the second comment is Tahani’s feedback, the third is Eleanor’s, and the final post is Chidi’s.