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philosophy zooLast Friday 24th Nov a small group of DECV Philosophy students visited the Melbourne zoo and took part in a couple of activities and discussions.

Students led the way in exploring the zoo and developed philosophical questions, querying zookeepers and using the exhibits as stimulus for discussions.

The main philosophical questions we came up with for discussion were:

1) Under what criteria (or what reasons) is it morally permissible to open/run a zoo?

2) Is life on earth worth saving? (See below for the thought experiment we used)

Don’t worry about Earth though; we came up with several good reasons to save Earth, including the value of biological and cultural diversity, the beauty of life on earth, and the moral value of intelligent beings.

The group also concluded that for some animals, Zoos are the best option when compared to the dangers they face in their natural environment. The zookeepers were encouraged to keep making life better for the animals though…!

Thanks to all who attended for philosophical thoughts and discussions 🙂

Thought Experiment: Is Life on Earth Worth Saving?

“In just over six hours, Earth will be totally destroyed.  There are two Vogon (an alien race) spaceships approaching Earth as we speak. They intend to destroy the Earth in order to make way for the new hyper-stellar bypass. Representatives of the Vogon race have landed on Earth to inform us of the decision and being somewhat reasonable, they have provided a 24-hour window to allow the humans to try to justify the continued existence of Earth to the Intergalactic Court. If someone representing Earth can come up with a good enough reason to keep Earth from being destroyed, then Earth may be spared.

Can you come up with a justification for saving Earth? Draw upon your knowledge of the philosophy course this year, zoo knowledge and observations, along with any other relevant ideas.”

(For futher info and overview of the The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy please watch:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88lhjT7zJHo )

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