Is there a reason why insects are not treated on the same level as cats,dogs, turtles, tortoises, etc? yes they don't have nociceptors (pain-receptors), and it has not yet been definitely proved what level of consciousness they experience, but say I created a cat with the same exterior appearance as any cat you'd see on the internet, except it had the biology of an insect. Humor me, this is probably impossible, but I think the thought experiment will bring the question I'm asking to a more lucid conceptual level.
Now compared to a regular cat, this insect-cat would seem not to have the same level of ethical respect in our current culture. But I think most /an/ users would still not feel comfortable in ridding the insect-cat like they would an insect that disgusts them, annoys them, etc. And I'm wondering why this would be so, shouldn't insects be treated with the same ethical respect as most animals we reverence in our culture?
I want to know the distinguishing line, why some organisms are held to higher value than others. I'm not proclaiming either side, I'm just interested in the philosophical aspect really.
>they don't have nociceptors
I'm not really up to date on this meme as I tend to ignore the shit fests around here, but insects clearly react to negative stimuli to avoid damage to their body just like most other animals. I read an article how grasshoppers would learn and or become conditioned to avoid a hot panel or something. Inb4 sauce, fuck you.
I think a lot of it has to do with society. Not long ago before animals were actually classified, people considered all insects a "bug" and all bugs are evil pests that need to be destroyed. Believe it or not there are still people who think like this today. It's the same reason so many people are scared of spiders and snakes. Oh and a lot of people cannot stand anything that they can't see humanoid features in, a lot of arthropod's don't have a face that looks anything like a person.
Then you have the people who only like cats and dogs, anthropomorphize the shit out of them and claims they're an "animal lover".
Insects do seem pretty fucking stupid though and run on more instincts than the other animals you mention. You can train reptiles and get them to at least tolerate you but most insects are like robots.
One reason is because there are so many insects. There are billions or trillions of some species. If you kill an anthill, you do not really affect the ant population. If you go out and kill the same number of individuals in most vertebrae, you have decimated the population.
An exception to that could be rats. There are so many all over the world that if you killed 100K of them their population would still be fine. Look at how we view rats for the most part: as vermin. People kill them all the time with little to no thought.
Most of the time when people kill bugs with abandon, it is because it is a pest bug or they are swarming. People don't go around killing praying mantis like they do ants or mosquitoes. One, because they are good bugs, and two, because they don't typically show up in great numbers.
Any time there is a high number of a type of something around, people care less about killing them. That goes for vertebrae as well as bugs. If there are stray cats around everywhere and you hit one with your car, you don't care as much as you would in an area with no stray cat populations. If there are 100 caterpillars on the sidewalk you are less careful about stepping on them as you are if there is only 1.
>Inb4 sauce, fuck you.
I don't really like talking to a person like this right now.
But I will address the first point you raised with a quote from entomologist on his blog.
> It was found that a single class of neuron (class IV multidendritic neuron) is sufficient and necessary to cause this nociception behavior. Dr. R. Y. Hwang postulates this behavior evolved to avoid a parasitoid wasp, and the larvae are innately encoded with the directionality in which they roll. So they are not thinking, “Ouch this hurts. I’m rolling out of the way.” They are genetically preprogrammed with this behavior, and given a certain physical stimulus they roll out of the way. Fruit flies are the best-studied insects and are considered a model organism, so it goes to reason if they experience nociception other insects may also. Some activists tout these two studies as proof insects feel pain. I do not. It has always made sense to me that an insect should be able to feel something akin to pain; because it would help them learn to avoid things that could kill them through the unpleasant nature of the experience.
But nociception is not pain. The current definition of pain requires an emotional response. Humans can feel pain without any physical stimulus and are capable of emotions associated with pain; like suffering and terror. Are insects capable of conscious or unconscious experience of emotion? Is consciousness required for emotions? This is where it gets controversial; because how do you quantify if an insect is experiencing an emotion or if insects are conscious? I usually tell people that insects are hardwired with predetermined behavioral responses to external stimuli, but this is a simplification.
>Insects do seem pretty fucking stupid though
you need complexity to be stupid.
>and run on more instincts than the other animals you mention
all animals run on instinct.
>but most insects are like robots.
all organisms are like robots.
fish engage in nociception.
the research was done by someone who doesn't understand what pain is.
>People don't go around killing praying mantis like they do ants or mosquitoes
Most people will kill every insect they see on the ground, doesn't matter if it's an endangered beetle or a cockroach.
Human infants are weak , uncoordinated and stupid for a long time. They require a lot of investment and care in order to become fully fledged human beings and not die.
So we don't end up killing/eating/neglecting the infants we have a bond with it by finding it charming and cute.
Most mammals and some birds also get this bonding sensation to their offspring, but humans for whatever reason (size of brains? tendency to anthropomorphize? historical use of animals symbiotically?) we have the same cuteness sensation to some animals particularly their young.
We can also relate to mammals and birds- creatures which fairly sophisticated brains/behavior and not too dissimilar anatomy compared to us.
Insects are too alien for us, we cannot relate to them, if hypothetically their were cute cats with the behavior and nervous system of insects, they would seems strange and uncanny to us, in spite of their cute exterior.
They are my thoughts anyway, bit tired and hungry, might've missed something obvious in which case sorry.
your experiences are based on your own social-circle, that you're surrounded by shit doesn't mean the entire world is shit, it just means you are.
most people ignore bugs, they don't go out of their way to step on them or avoid them, they don't notice them.
This isn't in just certain areas anon, people are like this everywhere. I don't fucking get it because I go out of my way to avoid killing shit or help it if it doesn't involve a huge hassle.
My guess is a combination of ignorance and aggression.
>people are like this everywhere
it's obvious that you don't leave the house all that often.
broaden your horizons.
the average human.
>don't notice bugs.
>don't react to them due to it.
only people with mental conditions go out of their way to kill or react to bugs.
it seems like you're either in a mental hospital or highschool.
Bugguy don't pretend you have friends. That's why you're here almost 24 hours a day.
grab yourself a chair and a few beers and sit in the forests observing the groups of house-wifes that come there to take pictures of twigs with their 2000 euro cameras and a 'guide' that charges 50 an hour.
most of them will just walk away if they notice bugs.
I don't post as often as you think.
>grab yourself a chair and a few beers and sit in the forests observing the groups of house-wifes that come there to take pictures of twigs with their 2000 euro cameras and a 'guide' that charges 50 an hour.
People who spend their free time in the forest aren't the average person, they're a specific demographic.
>People who spend their free time in the forest aren't the average person
yeah it's mostly average people in the forest.
the only specific type of people that are in the forest are those that don't follow the pathways and take pictures of moss or create figures with them.
If you conduct the experiment specifically on people who like to spend time in the wilderness of course only a minority of them will be bothered by bugs.
The results would be a lot different if the experiment was conducted on people who live in the city and don't really care about nature.
it's conducted on obvious city-people that spend time in the forest.
I live in a large village and observe plenty of people every day, pretty much no one reacts to bugs outside of highschoolers and mental patients.
life isn't a cartoon, there aren't a whole lot of housewifes that jump on the table when they see a rat/bug.
>pretty much no one reacts to bugs outside of highschoolers and mental patients
That's because you live in a particularly developed country.
People kill bugs on sight where I live, and are terrified of snakes and rats.
For example last year I was walking on the beach when suddendly I noticed a large crowd of adults following the lifeguard, I thought some serious shit happened so I got close.
Turns out the lifeguard was trying to chase away a grass snake with a 1m long stick, everyone thought it was a viper.
There are lots of different types of people outside your large village.
It's all subjective opinion.
If everyone in the world where rational people would have goliath birdeater spiders as pets and cats and dogs would be killed on the street because they were more dangerous.
Some cultures eat cat, while others worship cows and pigs.
Social norms are weird, anon.
If it makes you feel any better, I don't kill most insects but when I do kill them, I do it fast (by squishing) so that don't feel it. Also, I use cinnamon to keep insect out of my house instead of pesticides. Works great and doesn't poison anything. The smell just drives most insects off.
You know I had to stop and think about this because I just realized you are absolutely right anon.
Not a single person I know leaves insects alone that they pass. It's funny considering I always just toss any bug that ends up in my house outside unless its a brown recluse or black widow, and I always assumed that I was just doing the norm. But no every person I have come across with the exception of scared women who get the closest man to smash the bugs have no second thoughts on it.
They don't feel pain. Or happiness, or sadness, or anything. There CNS is barely even complex enought to be called a 'brain'. The robot comparison is pretty accurate. Rather than running from danger due to fear or pain, it's probably more akin to a sinple robot with very basic programming.
Something like "If sensory organs pick up pheromones of known predators/are brushed against/experience pressure, then activate flight/flee response". This does not mean that they feel pain.
I mean, single celled, microscopic organism that act as predators and prey to each other don't experience emotions either. It's the same concept.