Thursday, March 13, 2003

Animal Liberation(part 1)

A while ago I asked a question about the source of right we grant to ourselves in using other living creatures for our own benefit. Some famous types of liberation have been Black Liberation, Gay Liberation and Women’s Liberation, with the latter one thought by many to be the end of the road. History has taught us that we should be more wary of such judgments. Sexual discrimination has been practiced even among liberal circles, which prided themselves on their freedom from racial discriminations. One thing we can learn form these movements is that we seldom are aware of the ways we discriminate while we are doing it. I’ll try to deal with this issue and I need your insights, feelings and thoughts on the matter.
One of the problems a skeptic may have about Animal Liberation is that: if we support Black Liberations or Women Liberation, it is because they are in fact equal to whites and males, but animals are obviously different, and justice is to treat equals equally, so treating humans and animals differently cannot be injustice.
Though it may seem a tempting look at first glance, lingering longer tells us that it is not as simple as this. The first thing this way of looking does is that it commits the non-racist and non-sexist to the belief that blacks and women are just as intelligent , able, etc, as whites and males. Though this can be the case, it makes them vulnerable to any scientific finding against it. Although there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence of genetic difference in these respects between different races or sexes, staking our claim for equality on this assumption is wrong. Moral equality is distinct form factual equality. There is no doubt that humans as individuals have different levels of IQs and any other ability we can think of, but it doesn’t entitle them to exploit each other. So the question is that : why a higher level of intelligence or any other kind of ability should bring with it the entitlement for exploitatoin for the superior side- humans- over the weaker side - animals-, while we have accepted that it doesn’t have this effect on a human-human interaction.
(posted by Farid)

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