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Paradise On Earth & The Immortal Chimpanzee

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Ikania
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Democratic Socialists

Paradise On Earth & The Immortal Chimpanzee

Postby Ikania » Thu Jan 13, 2022 4:01 pm

With apologies to Infected Mushroom, I'm going to be jacking your style for this one.

Please consider the following hypothetical.

God, or some equivalent omnipotent force, is real, and he comes to you with a choice. You can end virtually all human suffering - poverty, war, scarcity, oppression, all of it. Any problem that cannot be solved with material technology granted by God will be similarly resolved by him through divine intervention. Climate change will be reversed, farming and animal torture made obsolete by food and medical innovations, everyone will get the healthcare they need, all class barriers and national borders are abolished, all living beings will more or less live in a paradise on Earth. And, for the sake of this hypothetical, "paradise on Earth" takes the shape of whatever you personally imagine it to be. Your ideal world. Not heaven - people are still mortal, but we're essentially dropped off at the point of achieving fully automated luxury communism and 99% of the way toward undoing original sin. Don't overthink it too much, but basically every living creature on Earth in the present and future will be relieved of systemic suffering and life will be effortlessly comfortable until your natural death.

There is, naturally, a price.

There is a chimpanzee out there, somewhere in the wilderness, living among his kind and completely unaware of what fate is to befall him. If you choose to accept the above offer, this chimpanzee will be plucked from his home and granted immortality. He will then be strapped to a chair, hidden away from the world, and tortured for all of eternity. His torment will be continual and maximal; he will experience as much pain as it is possible for an ape to experience, at every waking moment without fail. Not only this, but the chimpanzee has no idea what is going on or why he is suffering. You can remove the chimpanzee at any time, but he will lose his immortality and society will collapse, likely ending all of existence in nuclear hellfire. And given the chimp now has to live with the trauma of his torture, I wouldn't exactly say the pain stops anyway.

Of course, you can reject this offer, and life will continue as it is across the planet. Suffering will continue, billions will experience pain and hurt from the many woes of society and nature alike, for eons to come. But the monkey will be spared. For those of you who are religious, I will add the caveat that God insists there is no right or wrong decision, and whichever path you choose will not affect your entrance to heaven. And, for the sake of the hypothesis, let's assume that all of humanity will know about your decision either way.

What do you do?

I would accept the offer immediately. Sorry monkey, but you're going in the chair.


Disclaimer: though this question strongly resembles the story "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas", I have decided in this instance to remove any and all nuance from the situation and change the human child living in a dark room getting whipped every day to an immortal monkey strapped to a torture chair with no reprieve at all from his suffering. I did this in the hopes that, on top of I would ask that when you consider your answer, try not to find ways around the question, or to try and "cheat" the system ("wHaT iF i gAvE tHe mOnKeY pAiNkIlLeRs??") -- I find these questions are much more fun when you remove any and all nuance from them and debate solely on the two absolute scenarios that would result from your decision. However, I would also welcome any alteration of the basic premise of the question if it will result in a different decision, so we can compare and explore some interesting questions about ethics. For example, a friend of mine said he would not accept the offer, but would if the chimp were replaced with an immortal human child in the torture chair.
Ike: Your Best Nightmare.
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Hemakral
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Hemakral » Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:40 pm

If you ever post in "AN out of context" I'm going to quote this so hard
Ikania wrote:tortured for all of eternity
continual and maximal
as much pain as it is possible for an ape to experience
at every waking moment without fail
the chimpanzee has no idea what is going on or why he is suffering.
society will collapse,
ending all of existence in nuclear hellfire.
the chimp now has to live with the trauma of his torture
immortal monkey strapped to a torture chair with no reprieve at all from his suffering
wHaT iF i gAvE tHe mOnKeY pAiNkIlLeRs??
immortal human child in the torture chair.



While both options are extremely immoral, I imagine humanity will eventually either solve it's problems or die out, so
I'll let the monkey walk. For now, anyway.
Alternatively, since I get to choose the paradise, I could torture everyone, creating equality!
I am a perennial blight on all that is pure and good!

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Ikania
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ikania » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:09 pm

I will live in perpetual fear of you slandering me in F7 :P
Ike: Your Best Nightmare.
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Hemakral
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Hemakral » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:21 pm

Ikania wrote:I will live in perpetual fear of you slandering me in F7 :P

As you should! :twisted:

By the way, I just wanted to say that I appreciate the effort spent making this. Without people like you, these forums would be a lot less fun.
After all, how could I talk politics without Kowani quoting Twitter? What would I demand more details for if not IM's scenarios?

For real, though- y'all are rockstars, and you make NS a better place to hang out.
Last edited by Hemakral on Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I am a perennial blight on all that is pure and good!

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Cetacea
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Cetacea » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:33 am

We are already apes strapped to our chairs tortured by IM style hypotheticals, adding one more Chimp to the roster for the benefit of all living things seems a simple choice

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Ifreann
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:37 am

We can fix all our problems without any ape torture.
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Ikania
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Postby Ikania » Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:47 am

Cetacea wrote:We are already apes strapped to our chairs tortured by IM style hypotheticals, adding one more Chimp to the roster for the benefit of all living things seems a simple choice

I see that my best attempt to make an IM-style query has received a bit of a frosty reception :P I blame Kefka for beating that horse to death, but I still enjoy hearing people’s responses. The back-and-forth I’ve had with some of my RL friends over such a dumb question has been legendary.
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Mercatus
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Postby Mercatus » Fri Jan 14, 2022 7:45 pm

This seems kinda like AM’s situation from “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream”.

A human wants to relieve all human suffering at the expense of beings lower than him, just like AM sought to relieve his suffering at the expense of the humans who built him.

To avoid torturing something that has no idea why it is being punished, I choose for the world to remain the way it is. Also, automated luxury communism is some shit I don’t want any part of.
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The Emerald Legion
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Father Knows Best State

Postby The Emerald Legion » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:12 pm

So, is it our personal vision of an ideal world/paradise? Or is it fully automated luxury communism with all systemic suffering, class barriers, etc abolished? You kind of say both at the same time.
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Bombadil
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Postby Bombadil » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:59 pm

Climate change will be reversed, farming and animal torture made obsolete by food and medical innovations, everyone will get the healthcare they need, all class barriers and national borders are abolished, all living beings will more or less live in a paradise on Earth.

The Emerald Legion wrote:So, is it our personal vision of an ideal world/paradise? Or is it fully automated luxury communism with all systemic suffering, class barriers, etc abolished? You kind of say both at the same time.


Wait, is this communism?

:eyebrow:
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Ikania
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Postby Ikania » Sat Jan 15, 2022 3:08 am

The Emerald Legion wrote:So, is it our personal vision of an ideal world/paradise? Or is it fully automated luxury communism with all systemic suffering, class barriers, etc abolished? You kind of say both at the same time.

I only mean to say that whatever society you envision as the ideal, perfect world, that is made true immediately. The other parameters I laid out are things most people would agree might result in the fulfilment of their own paradise — ending scarcity, no more poverty or war, etc. I invoked FALC as more of a jokey way to frame the situation. Again, don’t read too deeply into it. The basic idea is that life gets great for everyone, forever.
Ike: Your Best Nightmare.
Conductor, Grand Central, 2016
Delegate, Nesapo, 2013-14
Proud member of The Grey Wardens and citizen of Osiris.
NSG Senate veteran. Knuckle-dragging fuckstick from a backwater GCR. #SPRDNZ
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Kaczynskisatva
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Kaczynskisatva » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:32 am

There are no interesting questions in ethics, because there are no problems in ethics.

I see no reason why things should not continue to be in the way that they are.

I would laugh at God's joke.

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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:56 am

Ikania wrote:
The Emerald Legion wrote:So, is it our personal vision of an ideal world/paradise? Or is it fully automated luxury communism with all systemic suffering, class barriers, etc abolished? You kind of say both at the same time.

I only mean to say that whatever society you envision as the ideal, perfect world, that is made true immediately.


You also mention that can include "a world without animal suffering".
Which seems to contradict the Chimps fate.

Of course, as Spock said, "the needs of the many..."
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Kerwa
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Kerwa » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:38 am

The Emerald Legion wrote:So, is it our personal vision of an ideal world/paradise? Or is it fully automated luxury communism with all systemic suffering, class barriers, etc abolished? You kind of say both at the same time.


It said paradise, so not communism.

Also, I’m not torturing the monkey.

1. People are dicks, so it’s all well deserved.

2. That sort of reasoning leads to the justification of some really shitty things.
Last edited by Kerwa on Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Neanderthaland
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Neanderthaland » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:36 pm

I'm not sure if we should torture the chimpanzee or not.

Although, if we do, we should definitely start a religion to Ape Jesus. It seems only fair.
Ug make fire. Mod ban Ug.

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Ikania
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Ikania » Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:09 pm

Kerwa wrote:2. That sort of reasoning leads to the justification of some really shitty things.

It doesn’t have to. You can simply take this one action to eradicate all suffering and not do those “further things”. After all, this is one of the most extreme case of pure utilitarian gain possible to be conceived, so you can probably find a justification that this is the one case that meets the bar while all others will fall short.
Ike: Your Best Nightmare.
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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:27 pm

Kerwa wrote:2. That sort of reasoning leads to the justification of some really shitty things.


But currently we torture thousands of chimpanzees. For medical research, for testing cosmetics, by destroying their native habitats because humanity need lebensraum and farmland, because some people simply enjoy torturing things etc.

"I will reduce the amount of tortured chimps to one AND will eliminate all other torture" does sound better than "I prefer we keep torturing thousands and keep the suffering of billions og other animals the same as well".
Last edited by The Alma Mater on Sat Jan 15, 2022 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease.
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Sanbloxe
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Sanbloxe » Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:36 am

^ It's only a comparable trade up to the point where the chimpanzee serves out the suffering of all sentient life.* Anything beyond that (and immortality goes infinitely beyond that) is unreasonable cruelty. You would be exchanging a miniscule amount of distributed and variably painful temporary suffering for concentrated maximum suffering for eternity.

* Or whatever amount of suffering is elimated in your utopia.
Last edited by Sanbloxe on Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kerwa
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Postby Kerwa » Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:55 am

The Alma Mater wrote:
Kerwa wrote:2. That sort of reasoning leads to the justification of some really shitty things.


But currently we torture thousands of chimpanzees. For medical research, for testing cosmetics, by destroying their native habitats because humanity need lebensraum and farmland, because some people simply enjoy torturing things etc.

"I will reduce the amount of tortured chimps to one AND will eliminate all other torture" does sound better than "I prefer we keep torturing thousands and keep the suffering of billions og other animals the same as well".


I’m actual a financial supporter of save the chimps. I don’t agree with primate experimentation either and want it banned as well. I also think the needs of the many stuff is a bad basis on which to make your decisions because it could be used to justify all sorts of horrifying things.

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Des-Bal
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Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Des-Bal » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:51 pm

Kerwa wrote:
I’m actual a financial supporter of save the chimps. I don’t agree with primate experimentation either and want it banned as well. I also think the needs of the many stuff is a bad basis on which to make your decisions because it could be used to justify all sorts of horrifying things.


Why is that bad? Operating with your reasoning doesn't result in less horrible things just less justification of them. A world where you stop suffering is preferable to one where you don't but you feel better about yourself because you weren't required to do something you deem immoral.
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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Sun Jan 16, 2022 1:55 pm

Kerwa wrote:
The Alma Mater wrote:
But currently we torture thousands of chimpanzees. For medical research, for testing cosmetics, by destroying their native habitats because humanity need lebensraum and farmland, because some people simply enjoy torturing things etc.

"I will reduce the amount of tortured chimps to one AND will eliminate all other torture" does sound better than "I prefer we keep torturing thousands and keep the suffering of billions og other animals the same as well".


I’m actual a financial supporter of save the chimps. I don’t agree with primate experimentation either and want it banned as well. I also think the needs of the many stuff is a bad basis on which to make your decisions because it could be used to justify all sorts of horrifying things.


Perhaps. But if I gave you the choice between two worlds:

A. A world where one chimp is tortured but every other animal, including humans, is happy
B. A world where thousands are tortured and millions if not billions are unhappy and suffering

Would you really pick B ?
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Neanderthaland
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Neanderthaland » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:12 pm

The Alma Mater wrote:
Kerwa wrote:
I’m actual a financial supporter of save the chimps. I don’t agree with primate experimentation either and want it banned as well. I also think the needs of the many stuff is a bad basis on which to make your decisions because it could be used to justify all sorts of horrifying things.


Perhaps. But if I gave you the choice between two worlds:

A. A world where one chimp is tortured but every other animal, including humans, is happy
B. A world where thousands are tortured and millions if not billions are unhappy and suffering

Would you really pick B ?

I think we're running into a trolley problem situation where people are going to have different "gut" reactions based on how the question is worded.

Almost everyone will flip the switch to direct the suffering trolley at the chimp. But almost no one wants to push the chimp in front of it.
Ug make fire. Mod ban Ug.

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Kerwa
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Postby Kerwa » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:44 pm

The Alma Mater wrote:
Kerwa wrote:
I’m actual a financial supporter of save the chimps. I don’t agree with primate experimentation either and want it banned as well. I also think the needs of the many stuff is a bad basis on which to make your decisions because it could be used to justify all sorts of horrifying things.


Perhaps. But if I gave you the choice between two worlds:

A. A world where one chimp is tortured but every other animal, including humans, is happy
B. A world where thousands are tortured and millions if not billions are unhappy and suffering

Would you really pick B ?


I’m not going to choose. That’s my choice.

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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:45 pm

Neanderthaland wrote:
The Alma Mater wrote:
Perhaps. But if I gave you the choice between two worlds:

A. A world where one chimp is tortured but every other animal, including humans, is happy
B. A world where thousands are tortured and millions if not billions are unhappy and suffering

Would you really pick B ?

I think we're running into a trolley problem situation where people are going to have different "gut" reactions based on how the question is worded.

Almost everyone will flip the switch to direct the suffering trolley at the chimp. But almost no one wants to push the chimp in front of it.


Actually I can imagine some people would pick B in my reworded scenario due to wanting a world they can improve. Meaning they will let billions more suffer but in the end maybe reach world A with zero tortured chimps. Blemish free and obtained by ourselves instead of handed to us by a deity.
Or maybe they will never reach it. It would be a gamble.

But I can imagine people picking it.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease.
It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
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The Alma Mater
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Postby The Alma Mater » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:47 pm

Kerwa wrote:
The Alma Mater wrote:
Perhaps. But if I gave you the choice between two worlds:

A. A world where one chimp is tortured but every other animal, including humans, is happy
B. A world where thousands are tortured and millions if not billions are unhappy and suffering

Would you really pick B ?


I’m not going to choose. That’s my choice.

In a pragmatic real situation that means picking b -;continuing the status quo.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease.
It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
- Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

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