Tag Archives: Singer

Dawkins Still Can’t Fully Evolve

One theme throughout Richard Dawkins’ career has been the criticism of apportioning moral concern and worth according to species boundaries. Like writers and philosophers before him, especially after Darwin, he consistently stresses the idea of a biological continuum that implies a moral continuum.

The idea is right there in his first book, The Selfish Gene, when he is deriding the exceptional status some give a foetus over an adult chimpanzee. In that passage he also notes the speciesist bigotries inherent in the ill-treatment of animals:

The only thing more strongly forbidden by our culture is eating people (even if they are already dead).

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Vegatheist Pioneers

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John Oswald

After witnessing rape and massacre by fellow British troops in India, John Oswald (1730-1793) came to recognized that colonialism was part a vast system of imperial oppression that included oppression of the working classes back in Britain. He left the army and immersed himself in Indian culture, where his “sympathy with the political cause of the Indians merged into acceptance of their sympathy for all members of oppressed species.”[1]Tristram Stuart, The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times (New York: W.W. • • •

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Darwin and the Animals – Peter Singer

The following is from a talk Peter Singer gave at the Ideas Festival in Bristol, 2009

What I will do is say a little bit about Darwin and his impact on our thinking about animals, then say a little bit about how in light of Darwin we should be thinking about animals.

We start with the before-Darwin perceptions that we have because I think its important to look at what people were saying about animals to understand the difference that Darwin’s thought made. Obviously one of the classic texts is the pre-Darwinian account of the origins of the various animals in the classic verse of Genesis. • • •

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Ethics and Animals – Peter Singer

Text is from one of the four lectures Singer gave for the 10th Dasan Memorial Lectures, Korea, in 2007

Throughout Western civilization, nonhuman animals have been seen as beings of no ethical significance, or at best, of very minor significance. Aristotle thought that animals exist for the sake of more rational humans, to provide them with food and clothing. In the book of Genesis, man is given dominion over the animals, and only humans are made in God’s image. St Paul asked “Doth God care for oxen?” but it was a rhetorical question – he assumed that the answer was obviously no. • • •

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Vegetarian/Vegan Starter PDFs

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