Animal Rights( Re: A few comments to the Devils Advocate)
James.F.X.Wellehan at dartmouth.edu
Wed Jul 7 13:40:32 EST 1993
In article <CSNET_MQ-101.930706190530.480 at crop.uoguelph.ca>
SPLUHAR at CROP.UOGUELPH.CA writes:
> Jim Wellehan wrote:
> > What is the distinguishing characteristic that elevates humans above
> > other animals? It would seem to me that our main attribute would be
> > intelligence. If so, wouldn't an intelligent non-human animal (Koko,
> > etc.) merit more rights than a less intelligent retarded human?
> A definition first. Intelligence is the ability
> to solve problems and learn new tasks.
> Now on to the question above. I would answer no based on evidence
> from recent human history. The ranking of human beings into groups
> with differing legal statuses has lead to some very horrible things.
> Thus giving humans differing legal statuses based on inherent traits
> can be a very dagerous president.
Agreed. If not an inherent trait, why should species have different
legal statuses, then?
> Please Note I am not implying any sinister motive on the part of the
> devil's advocate and mean no offence to him.
> To a certain extent animals are given legal status based on
> itellgence and yes cuteness. For instance you can do all sorts of
> things to frogs and people won't care.
Wouldn't an AR activist object to doing things to frogs?
> Experiment on mamals and
> people are up in arms.
Mammals are commonly used in research. Mice are one of the most common
> Another example you can step on a fly in front
> of a large group of people and no one would protest, NOT EVEN AN
> ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST.
There are extremists who would definitely protest.
> Basically I feel that we should reduce the suffering of animals
> in labs as much as possible and if we can avoid using them in
> learning some information we should. This means that some experiments
> which cause extreem suffering to animals perhaps should not be done.
> Further we should also try to reduce our dependence on animal
I agree with you. (That doesn't mean I won't question my own position,
> But right now ending animal research would criple medical research
> and deny hope to millions of suffering people. I for one find the
> relief of human suffering of the highest priority.
The highest priority? Why? I'd consider continuation of the human
species more important.
> > Also, what if we engineered super-intelligent animals? If they were
> > vastly more intelligent than ourselves, would they have a right to
> > experiment on us?
> No because we would be there creators and they should respect us more
> than that for bringing them into being.
Why should reptiles evolve into mammals? Should we not experiment on
any animal that is potentially a human ancestor?
> Why should we want to creat
> super-intelligent animals that would rule over us?
So you think our evolution should stop with H. sapiens, and we should
not improve ourselves?
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