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The Question of Animal Rights Ð'- a Critique of Louis Pojman's Thoughts

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The Question of Animal Rights Ð'- A Critique of Louis Pojman's Thoughts

The fundamentals of philosophy are based upon human beings' ability to examine the "marvels and mysteries of the world" (Pojman xi) we live in. Keeping in mind that only a human being has the intellectual capacity to take on such deliberation, humans should be the sole beneficiaries of any morals or ethical rights derived from philosophical inspection. To suggest the possibility that our ethical rights could be transferable to non-human animals is a direct slap in the face to every philosopher that ever existed.

According to Pojman, ethics include both theory and application. Yet non-human animals do not have the ability to comprehend such complex human theory, nor do they show evidence of applying such theories. Therefore, non-human animals should not be considered to be ethical beings equivalent to humans.

There are those that propose such rationale is faulty if one takes into consideration the existence of humans who are also unable to grasp the complexity of ethical theories. However, although young children and mental retarded humans, for example, also lack the aptitude to understand the principles involved in such complicated issues, they are still under the protection of the parents or guardians responsible for them. In our society, children are not allowed to legally make decisions for themselves until they are eighteen years of age. This is not to suggest that eighteen is some magic number, rather at that point an individual should be intelligent enough to think for themselves. Non-human animals, however, never reach this point.

As far as I'm concerned, the discussion of animal rights is a waste of time. We live in a world in which our fellow men sleep on the street, millions of people starve everyday, women are raped, and so when the human species is already suffering, I don't understand those who dedicate their time to helping other species. Animals are fine just the way they are. Anyone who watches Animal Planet can see that animals already have enough rights. In fact, some animals share a few of the same basic rights humans have. What some see as a herd of elephants, I see as elephants exercising their right to peaceful assembly (1rst Amendment). Some see bees flying around a hive, I see a well regulated militia necessary to secure their free state (2nd

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