Thursday, April 5, 2018

Part 2: Do Animals Have Rights?

It seems that sentient animals do have inherent worth.
(Only some religious and atheistic leaders deny that.)

But do such animals have rights?

First, one needs to carefully define what "rights" are.

Second, one needs to clarify, why do many think that humans have rights?
After all, humans are one type of primate, which is one sort of ‘animal.’

Third, there is the question of whether any inanimate matter has worth and rights. Does it?

Do rocks, gravel, seas, waterfalls, mountains, tectonic plates, copper, oxygen, hydrogen, planets, stars?

4. How about animate matter--weeds, wheat fields, strawberries, shrubs, trees, and so forth?

5. How about basic life forms? Do termites, ants, mosquitoes, clams, shrimp, salmon, cod, lizards, turtles?
Some of those are sentient, able to feel, and appear to have rudimentary consciousness.

6. What about more intelligent animals--dolphins, squid, whales, some birds?

7. One way of considering this question is to ask,
when do animals reach a point of aware consciousness?

8. When do they gain the sense of “ought,” of right and wrong, good and bad?

9. When do they become ethical beings who struggle with decisions?

10. When do they become rational, or at least able to reason a little, able to make plans, rather than only respond in instinct to circumstances?

11. When do they have a sense of life, of existence, of the cosmos?

12. When do they begin to ask, why do we exist?

13. Why do those questions make a difference?

14. Or do they?

Please share your own perspective, thoughts, questions, and ruminations
(chewing the human cud of philosophy, biology, and ethics).

To be continued--

In the Light,

Daniel Wilcox

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