Stupidity: The Question of the Day and PETA

As the sun is setting, say you happen to be walking along a desolate, sandy beach, with your favorite domestic animal companion: five-year-old German Shepherd, Greta Von Brinkerhoff. She’s proved herself loyal, intelligent and loving many times. You can’t help but notice Greta gazing longingly at the gently crashing waves, pausing now and then to stare up at you and pleadingly yelp. You, engaging in that telepathic understanding only a true dog lover and a few random dog whisperers possess, know she is asking for permission to test the waters.  You decide, “Why not?”

You watch, smiling, as Greta dog-paddles her way out and over the waves. Suddenly, Greta disappears beneath a particularly menacing wave, possibly set off by an underwater volcanic eruption (it could happen).

As you anxiously wait for Greta to resurface, you happen to notice Marty, a well known stuper (short for an objectionably stupid person) drowning not far from where Greta was last seen.

Here’s the burning question: Whom should you save? The sweet, loving, canine friend? Or the mentally and aquatically challenged, complete and utter idiot?

The answer is obvious to most of us and has been the topic of much discussion by morality experts such as radio Talk Show host Dennis Prager as well as radical animal activists such as PETA members.

Some points to ponder: yes, human life is sacred. But what about counterfeit human life? Are you more likely to throw away an authentic Benjamin or a phony? If the two bills accidentally fall into a trash bin, which one are you willing to dirty your hands over and nurse back to its crisp, unwrinkled self?

A human is counterfeit when he/she has a perfectly functioning mind, yet not only abstains from using it, but blatantly displays his/her nonuse/idiocy in plain sight, thereby annoying, irritating, if not downright enraging, the rest of us. Think of five stupid people you know. Think of what makes them stupid. Here’s what Dr. Philip Brock, Harvard researcher, has to say,

“Well, I can think of twenty stupid people that I know,” said Brock. “The signs are all there: they don’t listen to me, don’t think about anybody but themselves, don’t understand what I’m saying, don’t get my jokes, like sports, haven’t seen the movies I’ve seen, et cetera.”

My guru, as well as many like him, says, “Let sympathy go out to all.” But are stupers part of the “all” category? Truly thought provoking.

Meanwhile, in my dog vs. stuper tale, chances are high that Greta will find a way to save herself and the drowning stuper. But if for some reason, instinctual perhaps, Greta decided to forgo saving the meager minded Marty, I would hope that I would sympathetically help and bring him to safety. Of course, I may be forced to beat the c*&p out of Marty afterward if he behaved stupidly, but never let it be said that I am unsympathetic.

Why not think?


6 Responses to “Stupidity: The Question of the Day and PETA”

  1. MC says:

    When I first read this, I figured it was a no brainer (for those of us with working minds). Let Marty drown! But then when I heard the option of saving him and beating the crap out of him, I understood. I’d do the same thing. It’d be a hell of a lot more satisfying.

  2. Mad Woman says:

    I’d still let him drown, but that’s cos I’m a cow. I’m kidding of course…but I’m with you, the urge to beat him after rescuing might prove to be irresistible.

  3. I couldn’t save either, so where does that add up to the whole thing? No use all three of us dying. The dog probably weighs more than me, and the person is probably too stupid to understand the concept of swimming WITH me to the shore.

    And why is this person here anyway? And how come we didn’t notice them BEFORE the dog dived in? This all seems really suspicious to me. I mean, it’s just a weird hypothetical situation. Did he fall off a boat?

    Perhaps I’m thinking too far into this…

  4. Omawarisan says:

    The deciding question has to be who got themselves into the situation because they were reasonably surprised by being overwhelmed and who just didn’t really think about what could happen?

    So you’d probably want to have the vet give her a precautionary look over once she was back on shore.

  5. Sergio says:

    I would save Greta, wait until she was O.K., then I would go after the stuper. I am a very nice, kind person,
    don’t you think?

  6. Ferd says:

    I tried to see humor in this, but could not.

    This really is tough. Despite being a physician, I am not immediately drawn to saving the stuper, assuming that in this hypothetical situation I already knew he was a hopeless stuper. Like you, Keli, I think there are certain characteristics of certain individuals that make them less than human in my book. Not that their condition makes them devoid of human value altogether, but enough to make you think twice. It sometimes helps me to think of extremes. Like, what if I knew this person to be a homicidal sociopath, or a documented child molester. In that case, no brainer, I’d save the dog. So… I have made a value judgement on someone’s life! And that begs me to ask myself the next question: At what point is a person’s life worth less than my precious and valued dog, who I know would lay down his life in my protection?

    If I were faced with this situation, I would have to make many complex decisions in a split second. Authentic humans are capable of this. I would try to save both. I would estimate the chances of either one successfully saving himself. If I thought one of them could, I’d go for the other. If not, and I was torn between who I valued the most, I’d go for the one I could successfully save myself. If I could save both equally effectively, I’d go for the one I could save the fastest, and then try to save the other. If I could save them both equally fast, I’d probably save my dog, and take my chances on being able to save and/or resuscitate the stuper after that. And if I could effectively save and/or resuscitate the stuper, then I’d beat the crap out of him!
    : )

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