Monday, October 15, 2007

Jail Time for Beasts Gone Wild? [SK]

Elephants in India have nearly destroyed a village. Why not prosecute them for destructive behavior? After all, if self-aware animals have the same value as humans, let's make the former take responsibility for damage done to the latter.

Hey PETA, it's only fair, right?

As Wesley J. Smith points out, we won't prosecute the beasts because we don't expect them to act like us:

If humans had done this to the village, it would rightly be condemned as an evil act of aggression and lawlessness. But elephants are amoral. They are just being elephants. They are indifferent to the suffering they are causing to another species.This illustrates one of the crucial differences between human beings and animals. Only we are truly moral beings understanding of right and wrong, good and evil. And we have a unique capacity to empathize with "the other." We care about them, even if they can't care about us. That is one reason we try to save elephant habitats and protect these magnificent beasts from poaching, while they will destroy villages, kill the unwary, and generally disrupt human life without a moment's hesitation. And that is a distinction between us and animals with a huge difference.
HT: Second Hand Smoke

1 comment:

  1. Dolphins have been known to beat young dolphins to death with repeated blows from their bottle noses to the torso. Chimpanzees rip monkeys limb from limb while they are still alive before they eat them. All of this incredible cruelty in these majestic creatures? Or maybe they are not moral agents after all, in which case they are just animals being animals.

    Either these animals are sadistic and cruel beings, or they are animals pursuing their basic nature. These people need to choose.

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