Tag Archives: Flawed Rationale

Rationalized Normality and Pollan’s Natural Fallacy

The selective skepticism of some progressives leads them to criticism those devoted to animal and environmental protection, yet those same progressives ignore or even support the exceedingly unethical conduct and injustices of crony capitalism and corporatocracy—what Michael Pollan describes as “the tendency of the economic impulse to erode the moral underpinnings of society”[1]Michael Pollan, “An Animal’s Place,” New York Times Magazine (November 10, 2002), http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/10/magazine/an-animal-s-place.html.—in other words, the very things animal and environmental advocates often find themselves fighting against. • • •

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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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Cultural Christians & Dominion Worship

The Enlightenment, that great age of secularism, rationalism, materialism and empiricism, could not shake the religious foundations that still informed many of its cultural norms.

One might think that such a thoroughly irreligious society would no longer accept the idea that God created all the beasts upon the earth, fowls in the air and fishes of the sea for the pleasure and sustenance of humankind. But ideas so embedded in the human psyche as the relationship between humankind and God expounded in Genesis could not vanish overnight. The Doctor Pangloss vision of the world, soon to be demolished by Voltaire, was alive and well.

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