I see the parallel. Is speciesism the same as racism?
To quote Dawkins:
"The director of a zoo is entitled to "put down" a chimpanzee that is surplus to requirements, while any suggestion that he might "put down" a redundant keeper or ticket-seller would be greeted with howls of incredulous outrage. The chimpanzee is the property of the zoo. Humans are nowadays not supposed to be anybody's property, yet the rationale for discriminating against chimpanzees is seldom spelled out, and I doubt if there is a defensible rationale at all. Such is the breathtaking speciesism of our Christian-inspired attitudes, the abortion of a single human zygote (most of them are destined to be spontaneously aborted anyway) can arouse more moral solicitude and righteous indignation than the vivisection of any number of intelligent adult chimpanzees!"
I do not believe in the existence of universally true systems of morals. The vast majority of humans do and your point should provide food for thought for them
I agree with that . People think about their culture and moral as an absolute value when often, it's relative. This often border to irrationnal, as people have a hard time understanding that what they were taught as kid / in family / in their culture isn't necessarily true.
It is universal. We are mostly brought up in the Western World, which stretches from Europe to the Americas to Oceania, we share the same basic set of morals, which only changed slightly over the last couple of thousand years. Take the 10 commandments, for example, they are still mostly applicable, stealing, lying, murdering, cheating, jealousy and greed, honoring the family and so forth, even the one where you are supposed to have only one god or whatever belief you adhere to. Today, what has been added is the freedom of speech and the right to integrity of the human body, although this could be covered by not murdering. Basically every constitution is just a reinterpretation of these 10 commandments, although similar beliefs applied before that as well.
This does not mean other things can not be included, it is a constant change. 50 years ago, civil rights movement. 20 years ago, no gay romance option in BG2. Your example is great, because there has been a constant shift and debate over the treatment of animals and especially apes. Only four years ago there was this headline: "Monkey selfie case: judge rules animal cannot own his photo copyright A San Francisco court said that while the protection of law could be extended to animals, there was no indication that it was in the Copyright Act" 20 years ago this would have been mostly unthinkable.
There is also the indigenous people on the Sentinel Islands that attack anyone that comes close and killed the stupid missionary two years ago. From our POV they do seem "evil" and murderers, but that is not the whole story, otherwise we would be enraged and bring them our morals by force.
To swing back to this game and this incident, so what are Goblins? Are they closer to the Sentinelese people or are they Chimpanzees? In the first case they should clearly be awarded our morals, regardless if they keep their unknonwn set of rules. If the latter, when was the last time you guys killed an infant vertebrate, and why don't you do it?
The game is designed with our western morals in mind, that are the same almost worldwide, hence the implementation of this encounter is at least spicy. Plus of course, while the German law, and a big, big market for BG3 has been a little more lenient regarding those things, especially if they fill an educational or artistic purpose, you would be hard pressed to see that purpose in killing infants running away. Now, all it takes is one complaint to the BPjM and they have to discuss it, possibly leading to indexing, which in turn means Steam won't sell it and might not let you activate it either, so that market's gone. But I am sure Larian is aware.