Humanism is Speciesism

Why is racism wrong but speciesism OK? Primarily, other species have no voice, and to have no voice is to have no say. This advert got my attention.

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Humanism is part and parcel specious Enlightenment tripe, where ‘coincidentally‘ humans put themselves at the forefront. Copernicus removed Earth from the centre — though to be fair, even Christians had elevated gender-non-specific-Man above other animals — , but Humanism makes it more poignant that it’s Man at centre not God. Gods be damned. In fact, it’s often an afterthought that humans are animals at all, despite only the slightest veneer of consciousness and, more to the point, language to separate us from them.

Otherness has proven itself to be an evolutionary survival aspect, one that has brought me to a point where I can write this, so one can call it natural, another term fraught with connotational baggage. To be able to differentiate and discriminate appear to be valuable attributes, but how much is enough, and how much is too much.

Buddhism teaches that we are all one with the cosmos and that any distinction is an illusion. Buddhist Enlightenment — not to be confused with Western Enlightenment — is to understand this, to not be bound to the illusion.

But, if racism is wrong, why is speciesism OK? Humans do give some animals some rights, and some places give different animals different rights, whilst others give animals categorically more and fewer rights. Some places ascribe divinity upon animals, elevating them above humans.

Racism seems to be more wrong because humans are more genetically homogeneous — at least phenotypically. Other mammals and herptiles don’t look so much like us. In observation, when they do, we have an additional layer of empathy, so chimps and canines with expressive eyes gain sympathy not afforded crustaceans and pinnipeds.

I don’t have an answer save to say that it’s just convenient and someday we may see a world as portrayed by science fiction where some — mostly bipedal species — live quasi-harmoniously with humans. But even there, humans are always the start, front and centre to provide to moral POV.

Homo Hubris

I’ve been engaging in a bit of friendly dialogue countering a claim citing the demise of atheism with a mate (Neal Mack) at a blog named The scientific case against evolution, but I’ve decided to pose some points here so I can leverage some of my expended energy on my own content.

Although I don’t believe in the supernatural or metaphysical, I’ve got no dog in the race as to how others believe. Where I draw the line, though, is where religious doctrine seeps into the realm of political philosophy, jurisprudence, and governance because then it’s not about a ‘personal relationship’ with God. It’s about imposing that God upon me.

Parent scolding child

As the sayings go, if you feel abortion is wrong, then don’t have one; if you don’t approve of gay marriage, then don’t marry a same-sex partner; if you don’t believe that two (or more) adults should be able to engage in safe, sane, and consentual sexual acts, then don’t participate; if you don’t believe that a woman should be able to earn money from sex, then don’t pay her any; and on and on and on and on…

if you don’t approve of gay marriage, then don’t marry a same-sex partner

But don’t impose your sense of morality on me. Keep it to yourself. If it were up to me, I would prefer that there be no religion and no superstition outside of the domain of fiction. But a key reason that these things even work in fiction is the sense that they could be or might be true. It fits into the evolutionary psychology the got humans to where we are instead of withering and dying on the evolutionary vine. But give us time. Homo sapiens sapiens is a relatively young species, and they appear on course to extinguish themselves relatively soon anyway, making all of this moot. Perhaps a more fitting name would have been Homo hubris.

I’ll keep this post short, as I’ve got nothing new to add, and it’s getting late. If you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know that I am a non-cognitivist, and I don’t believe in any objective truth. I also understand—and as Nietzsche pointed out—the difficulty in forming a cohesive society without this orientation and supporting meta-narrative. Yet, this is not my problem.