"collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"
Well written, Rupert.
The morally relevant difference lies in the essential difference between
humans and the animal species we use as food, or kill in crop fields, or
You can identify some differences which hold between most humans and
most nonhumans and claim that they are morally relevant, but there will
always be some humans who don't have these differences from nonhuman
I have explained this before.
You have tap-danced around it before, but never successfully.
Human rights are designed to protect humans
Animal rights are designed to protect animals
because of what we are by nature,
because of what they are by nature -- beings having moral
standing and inherent value.
and those rights cover all humans,
including those whose nature is not yet developed or diminished by age or
But only if based on arbitrary speciesism, which is a prejudice only,
not a reasonable moral criterion.
We always hold by default to the hope that our human potential will
Irrationally, in the case of many humans who are obviously
incapable of realizing it.
I really had a tough
time getting an answer out of you on this one, but at one point you
seemed to say it would be permissible to do the same thing to humans.
There's no reason to say that because we accept the killing and/or use of
animals in agriculture that we must implicitly approve of the killing of
humans. There are relevant differences between animal species, in their
intelligence and level of awareness. The argument that a few humans have
little intelligence (like ****wit) can be dismissed,
It can't be dismissed. It has to be come to terms with.
That is coming to terms with it, it is the rational conclusion.
Rupert is correct; it is NOT coming to terms with it. It is
evading the issue.
If we hold that
it is permissible to do these things to nonhuman animals because they
lack certain characteristics, then we must also hold that it would be
permissible to do the same things to humans who lack the
No, because it is the essential ability to hold these characteristics that
is the deciding factor, not actual possession of the characteristics. All
humans have the essential ability to hold the characteristics of humanness,
even if they are impaired due to misfortune. No animals of any other species
have the potential to have such abilities, ZERO.
Species prejudice -- and complete illogic. Because Dr. X has the
ability to do high-level math research, *I* should get a scholarship
to Harvard.... OTOH, if Alex the parrot can identify categories on
an abstract level equivalent to a normal human five-year-old, then
he deserves the same consideration -- if intelligence and awareness
are the relevant characteristics.
Most people would find this counter-intuitive. The
position may be right, but someone who wants to advocate it should be
upfront about it, and say "I hold that it is permissible to do these
things to nonhuman animals because they lack these characteristics -
and I also hold that it would be permissible to do these things to
humans who lack the characteristics."
You're approaching the problem backwards in order to artificially reach the
conclusion you wish to reach. In order to raise other animal species to the
level of humans, which is what you are trying to do, you must find at least
one example of a member of a non-human species with capabilities equal or
similar to humans.
True of most abilities of humans. The more we learn, the more it
becomes obvious that some animals show the same qualities as humans
in most situations. The differences are small, and morally
the issue is that no animals we use as food or kill in
have anything remotely like human characteristics.
That is clearly not true.