• Speciesism? What speciesism?

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    Despite what some people would like, humans are very different from other animals. In addition to the moral agency, there are more reasons to reject the idea of ​​”speciesism” and equal rights with animals, as Mauricio-José Schwarz explains:

    The word is an invention of a character, Richard D. Ryder, created for propaganda purposes, ie, it is not a term that describes a fact, but a more emotional name at a time when “vivisection” sounded old already.

    The concept is less clear and I find it a philosophically morass of irrationality. It’s meant to equate the classification of human “races” with the classification of “living species” and it’s based only on “physical appearance”, so, mutatis mutandis, if you reject racism must you must reject speciesism and consider all animals exactly equal in rights (with plants they already change the play, let alone bacteria).

    Is the separation of species done solely by how they look? That’s a lie. Besides the appearance there are many elements that allow us to differentiate a crayfish and a giraffe. That’s the kind of thing that a philosopher can say if he’s careful enough not to learn basic biology.

    We understand that races division is an artificial one, but it is also a modern phenomenon. There is no such concept before the Renaissance. We understand that it can be demonstrated scientifically that biological differences between people of different ethnicities are completely artificial because they all show, if given the opportunity, similar physical, intellectual and emotional capabilities. I would refer to Shylock‘s monologue in “The Merchant of Venice“. We are genetically identical to the natural variations of many geographically dispersed populations.

    All of that can’t be applied to Ryder’s idea of ​​”speciesism” (and, of course, he was not a biologist, but an animal rights activist) no matter how much hippie we get.

    The concept of “rights” as a gracious concession from one group to another is also highly questionable. The philosophical, artistic or ethical constructs are created by humans and therefore are applicable to humans but can not be extended to the nonhuman. This would be very different if, say, you were to allow lions or dogs to take part in legislative bodies and set their point of view regarding the rights and obligations of all species. But it can not be. And not because of the “appearance” of ants and sea turtles, of course. And since animals can not speak for themselves (because they are not human, d’uh), humans show up claiming to represent animals without asking them, of course. And speaking in their name, these humans tell us what animals want, what hurts them, what they think, what their opinions are and what animals dream about. Amazing telepaths they are.

    Of course, they have never given evidence that animals say, think and feel what they claim they do, neither have they proved their telepathic ability. It’s nothing to regulate legislative activity, I would say.

    Obviously, something I commented recently, the Linnaeus‘ species concept and the current one are different because the divisions between species are not as sharp, but this does not mean that all species are equal. There is a continuum between species, and we know that; chimpanzees are closer to us than monarch butterflies, but it takes a huge failure of appreciation of reality to say that a chimpanzee is equal to a monarch butterfly and that we divide them “prejudicially” just by their looks alone.

    The relationships between living beings are a complex network, no doubt, and the use of some beings by other beings does not have its source in prejudice, malice or cruelty, as pretended by this strange concept.

    That said, I would rahter see these magical-ideas activists went about developing tissue culture procedures so we can have steaks for everyone without killing cows, if they are so upset about cattle being sacrificed for our benefit, but they wont; they are essentially prohibitionist groups that rather than trying to tell us what to do, want to lead the police to tell us what not to do. This discredits them a lot.

    And yes, when we can have lobster with steak without killing lobsters nor steaks, it could be a good idea because many people will feel better (although we might create an ecological disaster, also, I do not know). Doing scientific research without animals would also be a good idea, not so because of what animals feel, but because of the feelings of the researchers, who are not the monsters anti-vivisectionists paint them to be, fuck, they are rather people who work for the happiness of human beings. But while all this happens, we can not put in place the bans of telepaths, who have invented a concept that sounds good to promote their mystical, religious or supernatural beliefs.

    To paraphrase Penn & Teller, I do prefer my own kind than the others’, even though I might want to respect them. If in a fire you have the option of saving a child or a squirrel and you have an ethical doubt about which one to save because they are equal to you, you do not strike me as the right person to tell me how to make laws for everyone. I would not hesitate, I’d save the child. And if to save a child, a single child, I have to kill all the pandas left in the world with my bare hands, I would do so, without hesitation.

    I can empathize with the pandas, but I definitely feel more empathy with children. If it were not so, if we were not historically and evolutionarily that way, we would not be here. Neither would we deserve to be. We are a selfless and caring animal, and we have the enormous ability to extend our altruism and solidarity beyond our species, to life forms that are radically different from us, and that speaks very highly of our species, is something to be proud of. Just like we are the only animal that assesses the damage it does to the environment and tries to avoid it and repair it. And to do all that we need not embittered professional telepaths who feel they’re the defenders of the planet and of all living things but humans.

    Category: Philosophy

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    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Activist | Journalist

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    • kraut2

      “And if to save a child, a single child, I have to kill all the pandas
      left in the world with my bare hands, I would do so, without hesitation.”

      And if to save one child from hunger, you will destroy an ecosystem?
      And if to save one child from from attack by a wild predator, will you destroy all the predators?
      …the logical extension?
      And if to save one child from hunger caused by economic greed of a technological advanced society – will you kill those responsible?
      And if to save one child from the clutches of a priestly abuser…will you kill all the priests?

      • I think he used an hyperbole to make the point.

        There’s no plausible scenario where you would need to kill all the pandas with your bare hands in order to save one child.

      • Misthanrope

        Also, I can’t help but observe that your examples are not good analogs for Penn’s. Penn posited a situation where the extinction of one non-human species would (with certainty) save a the life of a human child. You examples in each case endanger the lives of other humans.

        1.) And if to save one child from hunger, you will destroy an ecosystem?

        This example carries the risk of starving others to save the one child and is thus not analogous. I would speculate Penn absolutely would drain a single wetland or burn a few acres of endangered old growth woodland though. As long as the damage was limited to non humans and did not impact the ability of humans to survive.

        2.) And if to save one child from from attack by a wild predator, will you destroy all the predators?

        This is also not analogous to the panda example but is essentially analogous to example 1.

        3.) And
        if to save one child from hunger caused by economic greed of a
        technological advanced society – will you kill those responsible?

        This is not the logical extension as you have once again required killing humans to save other humans. Not analogous to killing animals. (Which was exactly the point)

        4.) And if to save one child from the clutches of a priestly abuser…will you kill all the priests?

        Also not analogous, and more than a little silly. Firstly we have once again missed the human/non-human demarcation that defines Penn’s example, Secondly it’s silly because while there certainly are priests who abuse and they get a lot of press, I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that they abuse at greater rates than the general population. They certainly do not appear to abuse at higher rates than Protestant pastors or Jewish rabbi’s.

        For the record I’ve also heard Penn give the same example with killing all the gorillas to save “one smack addict with aids.” The point here isn’t the child it’s that Penn values human life, any human life, over any animal life.

    • If the human species wasn’t “speciesist” our race would not have endured for very long. Adapt or die fuckers.

      • kraut2

        Stupid comments do not seem to be limited to religious websites. A shining example.

        • Kill yourself, you condescending ballsack.

          • NEIL C. REINHARDT

            ARE YOU A SPOILED TEEN? OR DO YOU JUST ACT LIKE ONE?

          • kraut2

            Your intellectual prowess is clearly displayed in your statement. Congrats to win the idiot of the year award.

        • Shatterface

          If you hate the human race so much feel free to leave.

          • kraut2

            Your idiocy is borderline psychopathic. So consider my invitation to go fuck yourself seriously and in depth.

            • Shatterface

              Psychopathy is a personality disorder ; it has nothing to do with intelligence.

        • We’ve learnt how to success reducing our impact in the ecosystems around us. We’re getting better and better about it

      • And every other species on Earth is speciesist. Lions wouldn’t care for baby zebras

        • Simon James

          Lions cant make ethical choices. You can. Its why its not wrong for a lion to commit infanticide and kill a cub, but it would be wrong of you to commit infanticide.

    • NEIL C. REINHARDT

      FIRST, THOSE WHO KNOW EVOLUTION IS BOTH A PROVEN THEORY AND A PROVEN FACT SHOULD KNOW WE HUMANS ARE ONLY ONE LIFE FORM OUT OF MILLIONS, IF NOT BILLIONS OF LIFE FORMS, AND AS SUCH WE HUMANS HAVE NO MORE “RIGHT TO LIFE” THAN A COCKROACH DOES!

      IF ANY THINK INTELLIGENCE IS WHY HUMANS SHOULD HAVE MORE RIGHT TO LIFE, THEN THE MORE INTELLIGENT OF US CAN KILL THE LESS INTELLIGENT AND WHEN IN 20 OR LESS YEARS WHEN COMPUTERS WILL BE MORE INTELLIGENT THAN WE HUMANS,THEY CAN KILL US.

      FACTS ARE THE ONLY REASONS WE HUMANS ARE ABLE TO “RULE” IS A COMBINATION OF OUR INTELLIGENCE, OUR ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE BY BOTH SPEECH AND THE WRITTEN FORM AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE ARRANGEMENT OF OUR HAND WITH OUR THUMB AND OPPOSING FINGERS WHICH ALLOW US THE ABILITY TO GRASP FROM SMALL TO LARGER OBJECTS WITH DEXTERITY.

      THOSE WHO ACTUALLY HAVE A CLUE ABOUT OTHER SPECIES KNOW SOME HAVE HIGH INTELLIGENCE, USE LOGIC AND PRE-PLANNING, PLAN AMBUSHES THEY CAN DRAW, COMPOSE SONGS AND MAKE TOOLS, BUILD SHELTERS, LIE, HAVE EMPATHY AND FEELINGS, FORM FRIENDSHIPS WITH THEIR OWN KIND AND WITH OTHER SPECIES, SHOW THEY LOVE AND MORN.

      SO THOSE WHO THINK HUMANS ARE SO SPECIAL ARE IGNORANT RETARDS!

    • Shatterface

      If those using the word ‘speciesism’ aren’t prepared to fuck a monkey they’re hypocrites.

      • Simon James

        Do you think we should give rights to infants?

        • Shatterface

          We do give rights to infants.

          Do you think we shouldn’t?

          • Simon James

            I think we should give infants rights. Do you think that giving them rights but not wanting to sexually abuse them means one is a hypocrite?

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    • Simon James

      Just like species, gender is a genetically defined division, so can someone discriminate based against others based on gender?

      We give rights to infants so it cant be because animals lack moral agency we don’t give them rights, so what is it? Its merely arbitrary discrimination

      • Shatterface

        Presumably you eat something, whether animal or plant, so either you believe in speciation or you are a cannibal.

        • Simon James

          No I choose to eat plants because they do not have consciousness. If there was a conscious plant I would not eat it. My refusal to eat plants has nothing to do with their species.

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