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Rights for Apes in Spain

Here is one consequence of evolution being used to justify strict continuity between humans and other forms of life. Discovery Institute’s persistent stress on humans being made in the image of God and that not being a privilege extended to the rest of the animal world makes more and more sense. This action in Spain may for now seem benign, but I sense lunacy around the corner (nice to know that Peter Singer is in on this):

Spanish parliament to extend rights to apes
Wed Jun 25, 2008 4:27pm EDT
By Martin Roberts

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.

Parliament’s environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.

“This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity,” said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project.

Philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri founded the Great Ape Project in 1993, arguing that “non-human hominids” like chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and bonobos should enjoy the right to life, freedom and not to be tortured.

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27 Responses to Rights for Apes in Spain

  1. This is great! No doubt the freedom to assemble, free speech, and free movement is included. So apes can congregate on street corners, make whatever noice they want, and move freely in restaurants and other public venues.

    So, when they grab the nearest Paella off someone’s dinner plate, will they also stand trial for petty larceny? Will they testify on their own behalf, if they so choose?

    This is sounding like a bit of the Materialists’ version of cows roaming free in India. Whether justified on the basis of reincarnation or genetic kinship, the results will be the same. Personally I would prefer the cows, a lot more docile and quiet. And kids love their milk.

    By the way, as of a few years ago when visiting Spain, bullfighting was still super popular, and extremely brutal. So much for consistent treatment of animals. Quick, give PETA some passports, they will straighten things out.

    On another note, notice the spin on the Mars Phoenix Lander. Before the soil sampling took place the big hype was the expectation of finding life. Now the big hype is that the conditions could have supported life. The implication is that life is, or more likely was, somewhere on/in Mars, but of course this small sample did not find it.

    Now, practically any soil sample of the earth, regardless of where taken, will result in evidence of life, microbes and the such, would it not?

    Retreating while pretending to advance. Something no military could ever get away with, but no problem for our Materialist friends.

  2. 2

    Hey! They believe we’re monkeys…

    …so why not act and think more like a monkey?

    Look at king Nebuchadnezzar… He rejected God, and became a beast. That’s what man is apart from God; a family that is ‘multi-headed’ and one giant beast.

    And who can make war with him? This is MAN we’re talking about; proud and sure.

    Job 41

    1 “Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? 2 Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? 3 Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words? 4 Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life? 5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls? 6 Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? 7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? 8 If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again! 9 Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering. 10 No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?

    11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. 12 “I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form. 13 Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle? 14 Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth? 15 His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; 16 each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. 17 They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted. 18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. 20 Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. 21 His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. 22 Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him. 23 The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable. 24 His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone. 25 When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing. 26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin. 27 Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood. 28 Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him. 29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance. 30 His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge. 31 He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment. 32 Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair. 33 Nothing on earth is his equal– a creature without fear. 34 He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud.”

  3. I checked my calendar. It doesn’t look like April 1st….

    I think the next line of action is to do something about the atrocious housing and healthcare condition of the Simeon Spaniards–let alone the inherent employment bias!!

    I can’t imagine that such a bias could be maintained without some sort of “hate speech” in the form of a slur against the faculties of our Simeon brothers.

    [Checks calendar again...]

  4. The Monkey Theme – video – parody

    Music for Hairless Apes

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....e4e416871e

  5. On the topic of human concepts of dignity and rights being extended to apes, check out the story on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross about the recent killings of a group of gorillas in the Congo.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/s.....d=91835032

    Certainly a severe crime that should concern us, but listen to the tone, the choice of words and the ideas discussed. The killings are called murder, with no qualification. Gross went so far as to seriously float the notion that the count of murders should include the unborn child one of the females was carrying.

    Can you imagine this forum giving sympathetic coverage of the effort going on to enact laws in our society allowing unborn human beings to legally count as victims of murder when the woman carrying them is a victim of violence? (yes, some states have such laws, remember Mr Peterson was convicted of murdering his wife and unborn child in CA).

  6. Happy to grant them right, just submit the request in triplicate :)

  7. I would suggest that Singer invites one of the apes over to his apartment to celebrate.
    Y’now..put on some soft music, dim the lights.
    Pour some wine, set out some chocolate, maybe a banana…

  8. If we accept naturalist assumptions, what living things are not “our evolutionary comrades?” Mammals, birds, fishes, insects, microorganisms… it’s all one big interconnected tree of life, whose unthinking, deaf, dumb and blind watchmaker doesn’t recognize–cannot recognize–differences between any of them. Why limit such protection to apes? More importantly, given this foundation, what basis is there to apply protections to any living thing, when the only moral foundation that naturalism can supply is survival of the fittest?

  9. I agree this is bill is over-the-top, but there is legitimate ground that those of religious faith could stake out in regards to how we treat and protect the creatures of God from abuse or cruelty. From ancient times, for instance, Jewish practices of slaughter have sought to minimize the suffering of the creatures involved.

  10. “Discovery Institute’s persistent stress on humans being made in the image of God and that not being a privilege extended to the rest of the animal world makes more and more sense.”

    So when the Discovery Institute talks about an Intelligent Designer, it really does mean God?

    Thanks for finally clearing that up.

  11. Clarence

    So when the Discovery Institute talks about an Intelligent Designer, it really does mean God?

    In the same manner as when the National Center for Selling Evolution (NCSE) talks about the theory of evolution they mean that God is a superstitious fantasy and living things are really all just purposeless bags of chemicals – assembled by cosmic accident.

    I hope that clears things up for you.

  12. Dave,
    if you mean that

    persistent stress on humans being made in the image of God

    implies “design by some unknown agency” rather than “created by god himself” we are left with a guy who was nothing more than a template for a human being.

  13. Well so much for medical research in Spain.

    I will bet they don’t ban drugs that were tested on apes. Hypocrites.

    If the Spaniards really had the courage of their convictions they would grant visas to any ape that wants to avoid persecution for medical research to come live on the streets of Barcelona and throw feces at each other.

  14. 15

    Right to life? So these apes will have more rights than a human infant, according to Singer. He’s argued elsewhere that infanticide is not morally wrong. Evidently, human babies don’t have a right to life, but apes do. Materialistic utilitarianism at its best!

  15. Discovery Institute’s persistent stress on humans being made in the image of God and that not being a privilege extended to the rest of the animal world makes more and more sense.

    The bible teaches us that when God created the world there was no pain, no suffering, no destruction, and no death. That was in ALL the world including the animal world.

    What makes more and more sense is that as we grow in our God-given ability to eliminate pain and suffering in the fallen world we do as much as humanly possible to restore the world to the state of perfection.

    My personal opinion is that God gave us, as part of being created in His image, the ultimate ability to restore paradise. To make sure we don’t forget our mission we have a highly developed sense of empathy so that we may know when other living things are in pain and when they are not. When we become indifferent, uncaring, unkind, and cruel to the animal world we become more like animals and less like the image of God.

    Of course that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong… maybe God wants us to ignore the pain and suffering of other living things. I highly doubt it though…

  16. DaveScot:

    I am totally with you on that. I am not interested in the political aspects and all the rest, but I am always in favour of a greater compassion and understanding towards animals.

    I think that’s perfectly consistent not only with religious considerations, but also with the strictly scientific ID view: after all, we believe that they are preciously designed just as we are. If the darwinist point of view tends to underestimate the true nature of living beings, including humans, ID should on the contrary give us a deeper appreciation of the beauty and value of all living things.

    Love and compassion for all nature, and especially for its highest expressions in the animal world, should naturally ensue from that, as they should also ensue from religious considerations like those in your post.

  17. Although animals may not deserve as many rights as humans, they do have some rights. Wanton violence against any of God’s creatures is an egregious crime. This is a very delicate subject that lends itself to excesses on both sides.

    On one side, we have the earth-kissing new agers who question the Divine image in our souls and characterize us as mere indeterminate creatures, unrelated to any kind of ontological hierarchy. Although they insist that we are all connected to “oneness, they do, nevertheless, practice a kind of selective morality that prompts them to “kill the babies” and “save the whales.”

    On the other side, we have knuckle heads like Ted Nugent, who spend their leisure moments hunting down animals and killing them for sport. Worse, there are sub-humans who, for the sake of their own amusement, pit one animal against another in a cage and let them fight to the death. That is one of the many reasons, by the way, why we should believe in hell. People who torture animals for fun should be given the appropriate accommodations after death.

  18. Yes, but until the fundamental right of female apes to abort their young is recognized, will they be truly free?

  19. I still think the image of God is man-kinds’ ability to design codes and machines and apply those concepts onto matter. No other animal can do that, and we can clearly see that the intelligent designer of biology seems to have done a better job of it.

    Is technology more than tools, machines and codes?

    I believe technology exists precisely because we are created in God’s image.

  20. Apes cannot create a code or a machine. An ape cannot produce technology. An ape possesses no image of God.

    DaveScot #18,

    That’s pretty neat. I never thought of it that way, this Spain issue is a reaction to a sense of wanting to restore things away from misery and pain. That would have to also be unique to humans. The ape does not care about our well-being. Its not a two way street apparently.

    More human exceptionalism found, excellent point.

    StephenB says it well in #18.

  21. I meant DaveScot #16, silly error.

  22. 23

    Slightly related to Dave in 16:

    Alter Bridge – Rise Today

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRUpbkzEdrY

  23. I think apes should be able to get drivers licenses. Anthything less is animal cruelty and a violation of animal rights.

  24. I don’t know about apes but I think the lion in this video should be given some special rights:

    http://www.godtube.com/view_vi.....7cb44d4816

  25. Right to life? So these apes will have more rights than a human infant, according to Singer. He’s argued elsewhere that infanticide is not morally wrong. Evidently, human babies don’t have a right to life, but apes do. Materialistic utilitarianism at its best!

    Singer also adovates use of living, breathing, already born baby humans for experimentation. Such humans will be conscripted against their will for the sake of “science”.

    See:All Animals are Equal

    If the experimenter is not prepared to use an orphaned human infant, then his readiness to use nonhumans is simple discrimination, since adult apes, cats, mice, and other mammals are more aware of what is happening to them, more self-directing and, so far as we can tell, at least as sensitive to pain, as any human infant. There seems to be no relevant characteristic that human infants possess that adult mammals do not have to the same or a higher degree. (Someone might try to argue that what makes it wrong to experiment on a human infant is that the infant will, in time and if left alone, develop into more than the nonhuman, but one would then, to be consistent, have to oppose abortion, since the fetus has the same potential as the infant—indeed, even contraception and abstinence might be wrong on this ground, since the egg and sperm, considered jointly, also have the same potential. In any case, this argument still gives us no reason for selecting a nonhuman, rather than a human with severe and irreversible brain damage, as the subject for our experiments).

    The experimenter, then, shows a bias in favor of his own species whenever he carries out an experiment on a nonhuman for a purpose that he would not think justified him in using a human being at an equal or lower level of sentience, awareness, ability to be self-directing, etc. No one familiar with the kind of results yielded by most experiments on animals can have the slightest doubt that if this bias were eliminated the number of experiments performed would be a minute fraction of the number performed today.

    He views the practice of using animals instead of humans for experiments as a form of discrimination.

    Once we ask why it should be that all humans—including infants, mental defectives, psychopaths, Hitler, Stalin, and the rest—have some kind of dignity or worth that no elephant, pig, or chimpanzee can ever achieve, we see that this question is as difficult to answer as our original request for some relevant fact that justifies the inequality of humans and other animals.

    Note: Singer lumps infants with Hitler and Stalin.

    I was wondering if the Chimp community is intending to reciprocate by passing laws in their Chimp legistlature to treat humans like chimps.

  26. The monkey brained drones are taking over the Spainish parliment!
    Resistence is futile!
    Pierre Boulle’s ‘The Planet of the Apes’ is coming true!

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