The morality of killing things is something that most of us still aren’t clear about and there are quite a few things that confuse us when it comes to killing any other kinds of living things. So keeping the concept of morality and killing living things we decided to talk in-depth about the morality of killing insects.
We will start off by defining what morality is and then look into the other factors like the pain the dying living thing feels, the overall complexity of living things, the rule of the Jungle and how they take their stance in this topic. The oxford dictionary defines morality as “Of or pertaining to character or disposition, considered as good or bad, virtuous or vicious; of or pertaining to the distinction between right and wrong, or good and evil, in relation to the actions, volitions, or character of responsible beings ” so this basically stands to mean that morality is basically defining is basically distinguishing between the good and the bad or in other words the right or the wrong. And the topic ” Morality Of Killing Insect” stands to answer the question of whether the action of killing insects which as we know are living beings is Good Or Bad / Right Or Wrong.
Complexity Of Insects And Humans
We don’t even raise this question when it comes to complex beings like humans as surely we know that killing complex beings like us isn’t something that should be promoted and hence we mostly detest the idea of killing people in most circumstances. However, when it comes to insects and other animals one of the biggest arguments that are put on is that they are less complex and less intelligent than we are and hence their lives are less valuable than ours as we are the superior beings. But then a fallacy that follows this stance is whether we should be allowed to kill people who are mentally inefficient as this stance would stand by in that circumstance too.
But when we shift the same question to our realm ( the realms of humans ) and ask whether people who are mentally incompetent should have the same amount of a right to life like we do. Coming to answer this there is no doubt that everyone would strictly agree that they should have the same right to life like normal people do. This basically would highlight the problem with this argument.
Another argument that often comes afloat is that the morality of killing other beings should stem from the fact whether they feel pain or not or experience other such emotions. So let’s take a look at this argument now.
Insects Feeling Pain
There have been quite a few studies that have been done under this realm as well and many of them have concluded that insects do feel pain more or less the same way as we humans do. “Here” is a link to an article that discusses pain and the studies that have been conducted in more detail
Moreover, insects also have neurons the same way as we do which stands to believe that they link things with others. This basically means that they can form new memories to some extent, and remember things like skills, habits, and other certain behaviors. Some of these interconnected bundles of neurons are also located in the brain of the insects and connected to their nervous system. Furthermore, repetition in behaviors is what really embeds things in an insect mind as a link is formed and refined. So there is no doubt to the fact that though insects may not form memories the exact same way as we do they do have a form of memory which allows them to remember things.
So now according to the knowledge that we have gathered till now, we know that insects can without a doubt feel pain and have a memory to some extent. Moreover, some other studies that are being conducted also argue that they can feel emotions like happiness and sadness too and this can be studied in their behavioral patterns as well. So to say that killing insects would be right on the basis cause they don’t have emotions would be utterly baseless
The Rule Of The Jungle
Living things kill other living things for their own convenience each and every single passing day. Hundreds of thousands of insects are born and eaten every day and the next, one becomes food for others or is sometimes even just killed for the sake of fun by others, and that is the natural way our life developed over the past hundreds of millions of years. It has always been this way on this globe, we have just started questioning this stuff as we are a lucky species which has evolved and developed the skill of learning and growing and discussing and teaching what we learn to the next generations. And the evolving curiosity that we have as humans is the reason why we have even started questioning some of the questions that our minds wouldn’t even fathom to have a few thousands years back. This curiosity is what has made us into what we are and would keep us going in the future to evolve into even more complex beings than we are today.
There are over 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) insects alive as of now.
The rule of the jungle and the fact that a living being kills others when it comes to its convenience is the only thing that justifies that killing insects and even other animals for that sake for until now. Though we have evolved to understand that killing other humans a one of the most wrong deed one could commit under most circumstances, we still follow the rule of the jungle when it comes to other living things.
This doesn’t mean to advocate that it is wrong or right it just means that this is the way we have always been and we are evolving and learning new things each passing day. And one day maybe we will stop killing other less complex beings if compatible to our needs and beneficial to us. But for now, killing insects is something that does us no harm or good so we do it when they cause inconvenience. And frankly, it doesn’t make any kind of a difference its just a more superior being killing another weaker and less complex being when it deems fit.
Hopefully this article was thought-provoking and helpful, if you are interested in getting an answer to whether insects are technically animals, we have a great article written on that topic too so do give it a look too if you are interested “Are Insects Animals?“