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Of Animal and Human Rights Apr 20, Summary Although human rights are only partially secured around the world, since the s a growing movement for animal rights or animal liberation has emerged. The animal rights movement is inspired by a genuine and commendable compassion for animals that have been mistreated, exploited, and abused by human beings.
It is also motivated, however, by an implicit or explicit rejection of God as Creator and of humans as made in His image and hence distinct from the animal world. Founded both on sentiment and on several unexamined, unprovable, and, I believe, false presuppositions, it has attained considerable influence, defended by individuals of ability and passion.
If carried to its logical end, it will do far less to ennoble animals than to debase man. At this inauguration inPresident Jimmy Carter quoted Micah 6: After the economic crises of the 20th century and the terrible atrocities of World War II, more and more emphasis has been placed on human rights,1 again with the understanding that such rights pertain to individuals because of their basic nature.
Unfortunately, the modern scholar and pluralistic mentality no longer see man2 as what he is, the creature of a God who has created him in a distinctive way and for a purpose. As time has passed, this assurance of the distinctive nature and calling of man has been lost.
Human rights are now increasingly seen as resting only on constitutions, governmental enactments, and international conventions rather than on any sense that there is a divinely constituted Order of Being that is to be respected by all.
One of the bizarre symptoms of this loss of a biblical understanding of man is the current animal rights movement.
Now that God has generally been forgotten or systematically excluded from human policymaking, human rights lose their objective justification and become sentimental or even irrational.
If man is no longer seen as something special because God has made him that way, it becomes progressively harder to assign special rights to him in the order of existence.
Indeed, rights rather than responsibilities take center stage, but it is no longer possible to limit them to humans. Things that previously ought to have been done by humans out of a sense of duty to God, to our fellow-humans as His creatures, and to the other creatures entrusted to our supervision and care by Him, have to be argued in a different way.
There are two fundamental reasons for the current interest in animal rights: The second is the loss of any conviction that there is anything special about man. Without a God in whose image we were made, the behavior of fallen man is often so deplorable that comparisons with our animal coinhabitants of the planet can turn to our disadvantage.
Compassion, therefore, is argued not on the basis of any duty to God or even of any innate responsibility to human dignity as such, but by means of minimizing and virtually denying the difference between animals and ourselves. We have rights, or so we believe, and we want them to be respected.
Animals are different, that cannot be denied, but mere differences do not create special rights and privileges, and animals are not so different from us. If we have rights, they must have them as well.Linzey's main argument is distinct: he claims that it is precisely human-animal differences that form the ground for including animals in the moral sphere.
In particular, it is animals' inability to give or withhold consent, to verbalise their interests or to understand our motives, together with their innocence and vulnerability, that offer the basis for stronger (rather than weaker) responsibilities toward animals.
Of Animal and Human Rights. Apr 20, · Linzey, Andrew. Animal Theology. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, well-intentioned, and innocent it seems to be, becomes in the last analysis a rejection of what Eric Voegelin calls the Order of Being, and with it, of the Creator who established it and of man made in his image.
/ Gary A. Kowalski --The theological basis of animal rights / Andrew Linzey --No place to hide: spirituality, avoidance, and denial / Roger S. Gottlieb.
pt. IV. Ecotheology in an age of environmental crisis: ecofeminist spirituality --Ecofeminism: symbolic and social connections of the oppression of women and the domination of nature. The books of Andrew Linzey are a good way into the current literature on this topic.
See, for example, his Christianity and the Rights of Animals (Crossroad, ), or the more recent Animal. For example, see Andrew Linzey, â€œThe Place of Animals in Creation, A Christian Viewâ€ in Animal Sacrifices: Religious Perspectives on the Use of Animals in Science, ed.
Tom Regan The analysis of the epigraphical and literary evidence for sacrifices to heroes in these. Linzey, Andrew. Animal Rights: A Christian Assessment. Linzey, Andrew. famously asserted, "The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but it will require serious reappraisal of the place of domestic animals in society, and of human behavior.