Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Dignity of Europe

Never bet the "under" on Euro-silliness. I reported in April about the Swiss Constitution and statute enshrining "the dignity of creation"--which included protecting plants. A year ago, lawyers petitioned an Austrian court to give "human status" to a 26-year old chimpanzee. And last month, the environmental committee of the Spanish parliament approved a resolution designed, according to the "Great Apes Project" (GAP) international pressure-group, "to attain legal rights for non-human great apes." Already having gained cross-party support, the resolution seems certain to become law.

Animal-rights supporters and the mainstream media normally present ape-right proposals in their most moderate form, e.g., this from the June 26th Guardian (U.K.):
[P]otential experiments on apes in Spain will be banned within a year. . . Using apes in circuses, television commercials or filming will also be banned and while housing apes in Spanish zoos, of which there are currently 315, will remain legal, supporters of the bill have said the conditions in which most of them live will need to improve substantially.
Co-founded by Peter Singer, GAP's goals--according to the "declaration" on its website--are more expansive, demanding that apes not "be imprisoned [zoos?] without due legal process" and that "those who have not been convicted of any crime" "must have the right to appeal, either directly or, if they lack the relevant capacity, through an advocate, to a judicial tribunal." And apes aren't the end--the Spanish director of GAP, Pedro Pozas, told The Times (London) that:
the vote would set a precedent, establishing legal rights for animals that could be extended to other species. “We are seeking to break the species barrier — we are just the point of the spear,” he said.
Blogger/lawyer Wesley Smith correctly concludes:
Of course the purpose of this isn't to merely improve the treatment of great apes--which could be accomplished as it already has been in some places via normal animal welfare statutes. Rather, the explicit point of the GAP is revolutionary--to demote human beings from the uniquely valuable species and into merely another animal in the forest. Once people accept that premise, Judeo/Christian philosophy goes to the guillotine allowing the utilitarian agenda to proceed unhindered, leading in turn to the moral value of the weak and vulnerable among us becoming archaic, resulting in their loss of the right to life and being used instrumentally for those deemed more valuable. . .

In the world being born out of the ashes of the sanctity/equality of human life ethic, value will be subjective and rights temporary--depending on one's individual capacities rather than humanity. And we will see apes--animals (and eventually other animals), which are completely oblivious about the hue and cry being mounted against human worth in their names--being viewed as more important than some humans.
Sixty-one years ago, Robert Heinlein wrote about a futuristic talking ape asking a court to proclaim his humanity. The SF author's short story, "Jerry Was a Man," was classed as fantasy, allegory or provocative fun.

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that--way ahead of his time--Heinlein knew Europe. Eventually, I fear, America too.

(via reader Michael Y., Second-Hand Smoke (twice))


OBloodyHell said...

> Sixty-one years ago, Robert Heinlein wrote about a futuristic talking ape asking a court to proclaim his humanity. The SF author's short story, "Jerry Was a Man," was classed as fantasy, allegory or provocative fun.

Yes, but RAH's story was about an enhanced ape, and asked, reasonably, what makes a "man" (human, not "male", for you female chauvinist pigs) that he should have rights?

These laws, however, are not about apes brought to the status of men, but, as you note, demoting humans to the status of apes, which is very much a different beast, entirely, and literally.

Not to worry, this Euro-PC folderol will go by the wayside when it comes to Euros vs. Islamofascists -- either the Euros who survive will be the ones with a clue, or they won't survive, and their idiocy and insanity will be removed from the gene pool.

Here, I suspect it's a lot more the results of the Boomer stupidities, more than anything else. While I do fear for the Gen-Ys and the Naught Generation, I think the Gen-Xers, who have a lot more sense, will right things first.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Tucked in about the apes' right of appeal: "...if they lack the relevant capacity..."

That's rich.

bobn said...

So, while stripping humans of their rights by the gradual accommodation Sharia law, the EU wants to grant apes the rights previously enjoyed by humans?

Here's a big WTF? to our buddies across the pond.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

bobn - you've hit it! Let's let the apes live under sharia law.

Carl said...

OHB, bobn, AVI:


Anonymous said...

Seems as though the Islamic thugs are punishing Europe for their past anti-Semitism. Strange world!
Liberty and life are in jeopardy wherever people use the Koran as their bible.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Saudis are training American-looking terrorists in their school in Fairfax, VA.

After being caught with texts teaching high school students precisely how to cut off the limbs of people who decline to use the word "Allah," if they believe in God and teaching middle school kids to hate Christians, Jews and all others who have the courage and freedom to think for themselves, they make feeble efforts to remove the gross elements of the texts. Of course we may assume the destructive teachings continue with handouts or movies. Looks like we are being overly hospitable to people who are actively working to destroy us.

Are we suicidal as a nation? Is that why Bush is in the White House and the Saudis are subsidizing terrorists within our borders while we are aware of their treachery?

Carl said...


I'm aware of the Fairfax, Va., school issue you raise--but not sure what it has to do with W. Anyway, I'm curious--what would be your response?

Anonymous said...

Block Islamic immigration unless the particular Islamic people put in writing that they do not accept the portions of their bible (the Koran) that calls for murder of free thinkers and cutting off heads, hands, feet, etc., and all that other barbaric, sadistic, essentially un-American stuff (e.g., jihad, infidel). Kick out the Islamic terrorists who are now here. And more.