irrational homocentricity

Jim Wellehan James.F.X.Wellehan at dartmouth.edu
Fri Jul 16 14:03:26 EST 1993


In article <1993Jul16.102207.24896 at gserv1.dl.ac.uk>
suter at VAX.MPIZ-KOELN.mpg.d400.de writes:

> 1. animals are not humans

Not all, but some of them are.  You and I are.

> 2. we need animals for experiments, because you cannot get the same 
> answers with other model systems

The question, then, is "Are these answers worth the sacrifice of the
animals?"  I think there are some answers that are worth it, and others
not worth it.  If  I wanted to answer the question, "How much physical
torture can humans withstand before they die?", I don't think the
sacrifice would be justified.  (Other people throughout history have
had differing opinions on this, however.  Certain cold water survival
experiments come to mind.)

> 3. we are allowed to use animals because in the long term, they help 
> to linger human suffering. 

I don't think you meant to use "linger" here.  In response to what I
think you meant, you are assuming that any relief of human suffering is
worth any sacrifice of animals.  This is questionable.

> and please let us not pretend to be academix who are always reasonable about
> everything, and take every argument into account: the audience is listening,
> and they want a clear answer.

Oh, definitely.  We wouldn't want anyone to think we were reasonable.

Jim



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