Thursday, November 13, 2008

Animal Rights Going Ape

A few months ago, Spain’s government created a bill giving basic rights to certain of the higher apes: gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and the bonobo. The interesting aspect of this law is not that such rights were granted, (laws prohibiting the unnecessary killing, imprisonment, and torture of apes sounds reasonable) but the debate that it sparked.

Medical researchers raised concerns about setting medicine back if apes were no longer available for testing. More entertaining were the “Slippery slope” alarms that instantly went off. “Where will this craziness stop? Will we be giving all animals “human” rights? What about cabbages?” Religious leaders were outraged, claiming that God had given humanity a higher place in creation than animals.

Christianity does teach of a special place within creation for humanity; not one of lords but rather stewards. Christians should have a respect for all life demanded by God. This may not extend to the ridiculous extremes that PETA would seek for animal treatment, but certainly would demand that no animal be unnecessarily killed, imprisoned, or tortured.

The funny thing was listening to atheists and evolutionists argue for this law. They have no leg to stand on. According to Richard Dawkins, there is no scientific ground for claiming any right or wrong; and the principles of Darwinism demand that stronger species have no concern for weaker ones. If this world is truly material only, and caused by chance, no one can demand any rights for any living thing (humanity included) based on anything other than emotionalism. With the absence of divine law, things become a little absurd.

Case in point: Switzerland has recently taken a stand on the dignity of plants. No more flicking “heads” off wildflowers and no one can claim ownership of any plants. Three cheers for cabbage!

2 comments:

  1. Hey Jason,
    Yeah, it is pretty silly. Dawkins as well as others who are proponents of Darwinism defeat their own argument of OTSS when they indict a stonger species for having dominion over or restrict a lesser or weaker species.
    Whadda ya think?
    Luke P.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wouldn't say they defeat their argument, they just show that they are capable of irrational or emotional reasoning. Dawkins admits as much himself. That is where a belief like creationism can be more consistent... allowing for an explanation of origins that also allows one to argue for respecting life at the same time. A belief (yes belief) such as origins resultant from natural selection gone wild does not: life is not something to be respected or protected. We presumably are all at the mercy of chance/chaos.

    ReplyDelete

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