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Thread: Guinea pigs - ethical question

  1. #1
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    Guinea pigs - ethical question

    This post

    http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showt...1561#post61561

    made me think about the moral/ethical possibilty of using guinea pigs in Alchemy.

    Of course I don't mean giving already known poison (I know the dosage makes the poison) to animals.
    I mean at least when you reached the point where you have made the secret solvent, and where chemistry can't help you anymore.

    Is it in your opinions, when believing on a "higher goal", appropriate to first give it to poor innocent animals?
    Or ingest it yourself and risk to irreversibly damage your health?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    This post

    http://forum.alchemyforums.com/showt...1561#post61561

    made me think about the moral/ethical possibilty of using guinea pigs in Alchemy.

    Of course I don't mean giving already known poison (I know the dosage makes the poison) to animals.
    I mean at least when you reached the point where you have made the secret solvent, and where chemistry can't help you anymore.

    Is it in your opinions, when believing on a "higher goal", appropriate to first give it to poor innocent animals?
    Or ingest it yourself and risk to irreversibly damage your health?

    All the Work I've done over the years, always had myself as the lab rat first and foremost. If I'm right, death isn't a thing. If I'm wrong, then I simply sped up my own inevitability; Tis my life to spend how I choose or until circumstances strip the choice away (fatal accident).
    I have only ever given anything to someone else, and/or a pet/familiar, AFTER I had tested it in myself and felt as certain as I could that it wouldn't hurt them. If anyone dies from my work, it'll be me.
    (And after 13 years of actively, constantly, doing such, no animals or people have died or been made worse. So I'm pretty pleased with things.)



    ~Seth-Ra
    One fatal tree there stands of knowledge called, forbidden them to taste. Knowledge forbidden? Suspicious. Reasonless. And why should their Lord envy them that? Can it be sin to know? Can it be death? And do they stand by ignorance, is that their happy state, the proof of their obedience and their faith?

  3. #3
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    There are two very different types of answers... the ethical answers and the practical answers.

    My ETHICAL answer is certainly a "no"... it's not right to test on animals. It's proper name is "animal torture"... HOWEVER, this discussion probably leads nowhere because it's very ideological (I can say that I am vegetarian since decades and decades ago, so my answer is probably quite biased by an ideology)... but it's not really a debate that leads somewhere.

    The PRACTICAL debate is probably more interesting:
    Animal tests can give a lot of false positives and false negatives, so it's absolutely unreliable.
    It's easier to explain it with pharmaceutical examples:
    -Aspirin is deadly to many animals (i.e, cats and most rodents)... while it is relatively safe for humans.
    -Penicillin is deadly to Guinea Pigs... whilst it is an effective antibiotic for many human diseases.
    -Several primates can take doses of paracetamol that would be a guaranteed death for any human.
    -Rofecoxib (an anti-inflammatory drug) passed perfectly well the tests on animals... It killed some 150,000 persons when it began to be sold to humans!

    There are hundreds of cases like these ones (safe to humans and not safe to animals and viceversa). Medicines that cause an almost instant death either in animals and not in humans or the other way.

    However, there are OTHER cases... which are the medicines or chemicals that behave mostly in the same way in humans and animals, but the "bad" effects on animals would be VERY hard to detect... because they are fatal in a VERY long term. Some examples would be Saturnism (or lead poisoning) and Mercury poisoning.

    Of course, there are several medicines that work in an almost identical way in humans and other animals... but a lot of them don't (false positives, false negatives and undetectable or very hard to detect "bad" effects)... so it's not really a reliable test.

    Certainly, the problem is that there are alternatives to animal testing which are by far more reliable... but having access to them is almost impossible for most people here. So it is a problematic issue.
    Probably the practical debate is more interesting than the ethical debate, because this last one is simply a matter of opinions based on "ideologies" (debating ideologies often ends up is "yes", "no", "yes", "no" pointless discussions).

    It is a very interesting question though... because SAFETY is very often overlooked... and there are no easy answers.

  4. #4
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    A lot of what doctors know about medicine today is based on experiments of Nazis on jews.

    If it is for the profit of humanity today, is it ethically right to use those results of the Nazis?

    To save the life of a baby for example.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florius Frammel View Post
    A lot of what doctors know about medicine today is based on experiments of Nazis on jews.

    If it is for the profit of humanity today, is it ethically right to use those results of the Nazis?

    To save the life of a baby for example.
    Yes... and the question is not even ethical (at least not from my point of view).
    These events were barbaric and abhorrent... and should not happen again (same thing goes for many events... the bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are another example for me... I certainly find the two bombings atrocious, but it's silly to discard the information on the effects of radiation).
    Some PRACTICAL knowledge was gained... a knowledge that can be used for a good cause. The past won't change by not using this knowledge.
    The ETHICAL question would be if it is a "good idea" to make similar "experiments" again... my answer is definitely no... but not using what was learnt doesn't make sense. It's not a celebration of what happened, nor an encouragement to do something similar again.

  6. #6
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    Florius Frammel,

    Excellent question, personally, I have always believed in the fact that if the Elixir can turn lead or mercury into gold then definitely it is something worth further investigation and then and only then should one consider it for consumption. I truly believe we should follow our former fathers of this Philosophy, and once the Elixir is obtained, to dissolve it in white wine and consume it diluted (in fact many other chemical remedies created were given this way). There are lots of stories about how stupid Alchemists gave it the ole gung-ho and well.. ended up dead. Could you imagine that? Spending your life and finally finding the stone only to be stupid enough to consume it raw and die? Medicines are generally concentrations and concentrations are potent. Also if you plan on consuming products you've made, make sure to make a note to someone else what you've consumed and when just so they can tell that to the hospital when you've done something stupid. I personally haven't been tempted to consume anything from the mineral/metallic kingdom yet (and probably won't) because my aim is the stone, not remedies.

    ~Auroboros

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