Category Archives: Human Exceptionalism

Christian Conservatives Tooth & Claw

Christian apologists are renowned for what Stephen Law describes as a “veneer of faux reasonableness.” [1]Stephen Law,Believing Bullshit: How Not to Get Sucked into an Intellectual Black Hole (New York: Prometheus Books, 2011), 11, 19, 193. Fake reasonableness is found in most statements religious apologists make about nonhuman animals—-for example, this from Michael J. Murray:

the duty to safeguard the integrity of nature is only a prima facie duty, one which can be overridden in those cases where violations of that integrity are necessary or prudent for securing greater goods.”[2]Michael J.

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Anthropocentricism, Magic Thinking & the Damage Done

once upon a time there was a star in a corner of the universe, and a planet circling that star, and on it some clever creatures who invented knowledge; and then they died, and the star went out, and it was as though nothing had happened.[1]Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral sense.”

Nietzsche got it right. Our extinction is guaranteed, just as it has been and will be for all other creatures ever to inhabit Earth. • • •

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Humanism’s Tyranny & Failed Progressives

Humanists are not the most popular thinkers among animal rights groups because they tend to be flat-out speciesist. The very terms humanist and humanism are themselves speciesist, suggesting a human-centered and even human-only focus. Many of these humanist intellectuals are indistinguishable from their religious counterparts in their actions and attitudes toward nonhuman animals. Indeed, you get humanists quite happy to proclaim they are speciesist and exhibit disregard for other sentient animals.

You would not expect it from someone steeped in cultural history with a heighten sensitivity to artworks—someone like Robert Hughes, for example. But he was the same. What would drive an intellectual with an eye for art and beauty, a man with fame and wealth, to go into a landscape and blast away at small animals? • • •

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