Tag Archives: Slippery Slope

Wesley J. Smith and the Moral Vacuity of Human Exceptionalism

The default monotheistic position denies animals a significance in themselves and enforces an imaginary gulf—spiritual and moral—between humans and the natural world. When it comes to that divide, modern theologians are as hard line as ever. They see any compromise as a threat to self-identity, the idea of human dignity, and a sense of significance in the world. So nothing is outlandish or extreme enough for modern religious apologists opposed to animal advocacy in the larger defense of an inflated sense of human importance and their own fragile insecurities.  • • •

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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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