Philosophical Multicore

Sometimes controversial, sometimes fallacious, sometimes thought-provoking, and always fun.

True Morality is Repulsive

Posted by Michael Dickens on April 20, 2009

In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon,

*spoiler alert*

Joe Kavalier is in a remote facility on Antarctica during WWII. A problem with the oven causes everyone except for Joe, another guy, and one of the dogs to die. Joe ignores the other guy, and spends weeks with just the dog and a radio. The dog becomes his best and only friend.

Then Joe and the other guy need a skin for some irrelevant reason involving an airplane, so they shoot the dog and skin it. There were two dozen dead bodies preserved by the cold, but no, Joe would rather kill his best friend than skin a dead human. This is not only illogical, but immoral. There is nothing morally wrong with skinning a dead human, since that human is dead already. But a dog has consciousness and emotions.

I have been told that some people are repulsed by the idea of skinning a human. But killing a living being, a dog nonetheless, simply because you cannot bear the idea of skinning a human, is morally despicable. Sometimes true morality is repulsive.

Please, post a comment. Tell me what you think about killing dogs versus skinning humans.

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