A philosophical question for you: Hemophagia

Hypothetical situation:

A new disease/mutation is spreading among humans, hemophagia: some mutated humans require to drink human blood in order to survive. There is nothing supernatural about it (don’t think of vampires), it’s just a mutation that can spread through blood exchange (like HIV). They are able to eat normal food & drink water, but they also require a regular supply of human blood, or they can’t survive otherwise. There is no known antidote for their mutation.

Some of them are trying to get their required supply of blood via legal means, buying human blood from hospitals, but it’s extremely expensive to do so. Because of the shortage and high prices, some of these sick people are forced to kill, or attack normal humans for some of their blood. If they extract their blood by medical methods, the victim won’t get the disease but he/she might die if all their blood is extracted. But if they bite them and the victim survives, the victim gets the disease too.

The question:

If you were a world president, what would you do with these diseased people? Hunt them and kill them all? Quarantine them? Force normal people to donate more blood? Nothing?

Questions to above questions:

1. Hunt them and kill them all

Isn’t that a genocide of a whole new race? Just like we today kill the infected sheep and cows instead of finding a cure for them?

2. Quarantine them?

And then what? Let’s say we find them all and put them in an island. They can’t survive there without sending them human blood regularly!

3. Force normal people to donate more blood?

And what if their numbers grow so much that the current human population can’t sustain their needs? What if they infect more people just to grow their numbers and feel more secure?

4. Nothing?

Personally, this is the course of action I favor the most. No, I am not crazy, I am just a take-a-step-back thinker: for thousands of years species evolved by selection and mutation. If this situation is simply a new kind of race that “happens” to feed on humans, so be it. There are many species in nature that require another species in order to survive. And nature has its way to balance its way out just fine in the end, so I *don’t* believe that our species will be exterminated overtime, because they need us! And remember, these people are not “killers by nature”, they don’t kill for fun. They only kill for their own survival (same for wild animals, they only kill when hungry).

Won’t I be terribly sad if my child or myself gets bitten or killed from one of these diseased people? You betcha! But the survival of the species (any species) supercedes my needs as an individual.

When we watch the lions in a TV documentary we think: “oh, cutie…” and when the camera goes to the baby elephants we think the exact same thing. But when we look at the lion attack at that same baby elephant we think “sad, but it’s how nature works”. So why can’t the same be true for our species? We have dominated this planet for thousands of years, if a new human-like race is to evolve and has to feed on us, it’s only natural selection, and I support mother Earth’s choices more than I support humans’. Of course, as a human myself, I would fight them off as much as I can. But thinking objectively the issue — or if I was mutated myself–, I wouldn’t be too sure that war is the way to go because both sides lose on wars and we don’t let mother nature work its magic and balance itself out. Besides, billions of humans exist today (and they destroy nature just with their sheer numbers and needs) exactly BECAUSE they don’t have any enemies as a species anymore. This is a problem for mother Earth and when nature is in trouble, ALL species are in trouble. People should start see the bigger picture.

Epilogue:

Apparently, this is the theme of Kurt Wimmer’s new movie ‘UltraViolet‘ (the same guy who did the also thought-provoking ‘Equilibrium‘ movie). Personally, I don’t think there is a clear cut answer to this. It’s a complicated matter and food for thought, send me an email with your thoughts on this.

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