Inequality of Species
Everything that breathes is not equal in every sense. I’m obviously not talking about our physiology because there is a variety of animals that just can’t be compared to each other e.g. birds, land animals, fish, spiders etc.
I personally feel mankind is capable of conducting themselves in a manner that is ethical, moral, egalitarian, sort of along the lines of ‘the golden rule’ or Immanuel Kants Categorical Imperative, whereas nonhuman animals aren’t capable of doing so.
Nonhuman animals may have fun, nurse their young, be afraid etc, even at times helping humans without being prompted. Humans on the other hand do this because they have the ability to think a situation through, collaborate with humans with different skillsets, form alliances and act upon them because they see a moral worth in their efforts. This ability does set us apart at some level from nonhuman animals.
That doesn’t mean that we have the right to treat animals as inferior, it actually puts the onus on us to extend rights to them that even other nonhuman animals can’t do. Using ‘species egalitarianism’ as a platform/framework we can and do have the power to extend a degree of personhood to them in order to protect them from other humans that choose to abuse them, They simply don’t have the ability to do this themselves.
So yes we are all equal in some form/way, that is the right to live life free from harm from others, however mans ability to reflect and act upon moral actions has to have some worth assigned to it & I feel this sets us apart from nonhuman animals.
We may all be breathing the same life giving forces that this planet has to offer but there is in my belief a hierarchy that has yet to be precisely, spiritually, metaphysically & taxonimically defined.
I drafted this comment (not verbatim) to a fellow blogger at http://thesandcounty.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/a-moral-order/#comment-739
Please feel free to go there if you wish for his take on this subject.
More to the story….This is a further reflection upon the concept of the ‘Inequality of Species’
Right to life within a political liberarism framework is obviously concerned with the moment of conception and that of a human female’s decision to end or not end the life force within her.
It’s not relative to NHAs. The right to life for NHAs is one where an entirely different species (Humans) have the right to end the life of another species (NHAs) life/lives.
I for one have talked about and mulled over those very questions for several years with several people and after much deliberation and discourse have reached a place in my heart where I feel action was needed rather than deliberation alone.
What I mean by that is that I can continue to talk and think about these serious matters but NHAs depend on us here and now so my decision not to view them as a commodity is one where I can talk about the subject of the “golden rule.” or even in the context of “do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.” which for me translates into ‘do no harm’ as opposed to do nothing until I finish reflecting on the question of a moral order.
So to be pragmatic I want to and do take action. While I believe humans in many incomparable ways are different and in some ways superior to NHAs I also believe the reverse to be true. However NHAs can’t think ….“do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.”… so they can’t take action upon that philosohy but I can and feel it is incumbent upon me to do so because I do have the presence of mind as a human to do so.
How do you feel about this subject, are we all equal, something along the lines of
“A Rat Is A Pig Is A Dog Is A Boy” Ingrid Newkirk …
I don’t believe this to be true, how about you?