The Rights Of Animals Essay example

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<a href="http://www.geocities.com/vaksam/">Sam Vaknin's Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web Sites Animal rights is a catchphrase akin to human rights. It involves, however, a few pitfalls. First, animals exist only as a concept. Otherwise, they are cuddly cats, curly dogs, cute monkeys. A rat and a puppy are both animals but our emotional reaction to them is so different that we cannot really lump them together. Moreover: what rights are we talking about? The right to life? The right to be free of pain? The right to food? Except the right to free speech – all the other rights could be relevant to animals. But when we say animals, what we really mean is non-human organism. This is such a wide…show more content…
The Jewish Talmud says: “Do not do unto thy friend that which is hated by you”. An analysis of this sentence renders it less altruistic than it first sounds. The reader is encouraged to refrain from doing only things that he himself finds hateful (SS men, for instance, did not find killing Jews hateful). In this sense, it is morally relativistic. The individual is the source of moral authority and is allowed to spin his own moral system, independent of others. The emphasis is on action: not to DO. Refraining from doing, inaction, is not censored or advocated against. Finally, the sentence establishes an exclusive moral club (very similar to later day social contractarianism) of the reader and his friend(s). It is to his friends that the reader is encouraged not to do evil. He is exempt from applying the same standard, however lax, to others. Even a broader interpretation of the word “friend” would read: “someone like you” and will substantially exclude strangers. Empathy as a differentiating principle is wrong because it is structural: if X looks like me, resembles me, behaves like me – than he must be like me in other, more profound and deep set ways. But this is a faulty method used to prove identity. Any novice in mathematics knows that similarity is never identity. Structurally and behaviourally monkeys, dogs and dolphins are very much like us. It is a question of quantity, not quality, that is used to determine the answers to the
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