The Interspecies Marriage Discussion Question
The Interspecies Marriage Discussion (Discussion 9)
The purpose of this discussion is for you to think critically about ethical questions in everyday contexts. This is not a context which we will likely encounter in our life-times, but in thinking about it, you will get answers to questions which we do encounter in our lives today. The purpose for this discussion also is to see why you hold the stance which you do. It is easy to say what you think, but it is hard to back it up in a debate. This is an extreme case, but working with it makes every-day cases easier.
A phrase which I commonly say to my lecture students is “you are not entitled to your opinion, you are entitled to ones you can back-up with facts or good arguments”.
Far in the future, a few hundred years after we have mastered interstellar travel, we encountered a species of equally advanced alien peoples, we can call them the R’lyehians (Links to an external site.). In reality, it is very unlikely that they will be able to learn and speak our languages, but suppose either that they can speak at least one of our languages or that we can learn theirs. Despite these seeming difficulties, we foster trade relations and cultural exchanges, information flows back and forth. Eventually, a human and a R’lyehian grow to have feelings for each other and fall in love. We know their customs regarding this, and they know ours. It just so happens that for both the next step is a form of marriage. But remember, R’lyehians are not a part of our species, they are not human.
1. For your initial post, you need to:
1. Think carefully about the above case and then explain whether you think marriage between people of different species is morally permissible. To help you get your answer, think about these questions: What is this analogous to? Are there any contemporary debates (particularly those about marriage) which are similar to this?
2. Say why you think that. As always with these cases, you should not say merely that this is how you feel, but rather explain why you have that feeling.
3. Say how you think another student may reply to your stance.
2. Reply to 2 other students in this class who have opposing views to you or take on the role as the devil’s advocate and object to them. And, if possible, avoid replying in the way that they thought someone might reply.
1. Make sure you are clear about your stance, that you do not devolve into name-calling and uncivil behavior.
2. Debate and replies to replies are encouraged as this is practice for real-world debates.
3. Make sure that you have all of the above points in your posts.
4. I will comment replies if the post is very off-the-mark in the interpretation of the case, if it is unduly inflammatory, or otherwise not appropriate.