Let's be honest here: You just don't like to use words that may come across as offensive.
If you save the baby before the dog you have shown through your ACTION that you value the baby higher than the dog (in Zoroastrianism, actions and words and thoughts should ALWAYS be in unison, remember?). You have thereby SUBJECTIVELY chosen to make the baby superior and the dog inferior.
The problem with people who are afraid of offending (for lack of energy to then having to explain their position) is that they then proceed and write things that sound nice and sweet but are frankly blatantly untrue.
I would appreciate if you in the future spoke more clearly and honestly and not minced words.
Instead of trying to flatter somebody or everybody (and ending up impressing nobody) by presenting ideas that are frankly not yours, perhaps it is better to just say things as they actually are?
So no more babble about how you prefer animals to people because of the nasty things people do to the earth etc. We don't need such new age rubbish here. And you are far too intelligent and have far too much integrity to proceed with such talk. OK?
We all know you would save the baby first. You are probably the world's best babysitter. But then you should also defend human beings for being human beings and sacred DESPITE their shortcomings as human beings.
That is REAL love towards human beings. Don't you agree?
All the very best intentions
Since you ask, I will answer:
If a dog and a baby whom I loved were both in danger of being burned, I would save the baby first, not because the dog is inferior, but because I love the baby more.
If a dog (or a dog I love) and a strange baby were both in danger of being burned, I would still -- without thinking -- save the baby first, because a baby is more important to me. Not because I regard the dog as inferior. If, after the event, I took the time to think about why I had saved the baby first, I might reason that we are inclined to save something of our own species before we save something of another species, but again, not because of inferiority or superiority, but more because of what we might call the 'clan mentality'. We would save a son or daughter before saving a cousin. We would save a cousin before saving a stranger. We would save a stranger human being before saving an animal of another species.
There are many other bases for deciding which life to save first. For example, some time back, I was flying over the ocean, approximately an hour after take-off, and the pilot told us we had developed engine trouble, which would necessitate dumping our fuel and returning to the airport. At that time I looked around the cabin and saw how many young people were there, fathers, mothers, children, all with their lives before them to live. Whereas I have already lived a long and adventurous life, and am ready to depart anytime (without rushing things). So if I had to choose between saving two people -- an old person who had already lived a full life (including myself) or a young person who has his life before him -- I would probably choose to save the young person. Again, not because of inferiority or superiority. But because the old person has had his chance at life. The youngster has not. Would I make the same choice if the old person was Einstein, and the youngster was a juvenile delinquent? I don't know. I don't have all the answers, and I sincerely hope that I might not be in the position of having to make such a choice.
What I am trying to demonstrate is that ethical choices are made based on many and varied reasons -- none of which need to be superiority or inferiority. In my view there is no such thing as inferiority or superiority in living things -- just differences. So I decline to make an ethical choice based on a non-existent status. I am glad that we agree that classifications of inferior and superior have no objective reality.
And I agree with you that such classifications are always subjective. It is precisely for that reason that we should not, in my view, use them to determine ethical conduct.
Wishing us the best,
Dina G. McIntyre.