Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Thou shalt not

This morning I am very tempted to adopt the head in the sand policy about what is going on with the world, but news just rolls these days and I find it impossible.

It doesn't help that I went to bed last night with radio headphones in, intending to listen to the last bit of Radio 4 as I dropped off, but I ended up listening to the World Service all night during my fitful sleep, and awoke saturated with bad news.

It also didn't help that I watched the shooting of the Russian Ambassador in the art gallery in Turkey, and the little detail of his tie flicking out at the front as the bullet passed through, lodged in my mind. Well it would, wouldn't it? I didn't want or need to veiw the aftermath of the Berlin atrocity.

This morning there was a debate - or a series of debates - about whether or not the Great Apes should be granted rights. Of course, it has to be a legal argument, and it is bound to end up sounding very similar to the medieval arguments about how many angels will fit onto a pinhead.

Rights come with obligations and responsibilities. If you give a chimpanzee the equivalent of human rights, should they be held accountable for murder? They kill each other all the time.

If an animal is sentient or intelligent enough to appreciate legal or moral rights, then we are not currently setting a good example to them, so they will probably avoid muder charges by comparing their behaviour to ours, with the added mitigation that they never attempt genocide as we do, even though their tribal wars are just as bitter.

Attempting to grant rights to animals is just another form of sticking our noses in where they are not needed or wanted. Far better to stick to our own moral structures when dealing with all other forms of life on earth - you know, the ones taught by all the great monotheistic religions of the world.

At this point, I have to admit to coveting other men's wives, but that's as far as I am prepared to go.

11 comments:

  1. When the wind blows hard, the trees have to bend

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    1. That is where the Paisley design comes from. Those funny shaped things represent Cyprus trees in the wind. It's an old Sufi symbol.

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    2. The trees are well bent in Trelawnyd

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  2. Yesterday's news certainly was filled with sadness. Except for two visits to the Post Office, I was at home either painting cards or baking cookies. Listening to the radio's news reports made for horrible contrasts, but I kept right on listening.

    I never knew the sources of Paisley designs before. Thank you again.

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    1. The Sufis are just as war-like as the rest of the Muslim and Christian world, but they differ in that they usually have a sense of humour. Mullah Nasrudin and all that.

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    2. Oh, and they bend with the wind - much more flexible than most.

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  3. I've been thinking about this - if you give the apes rights, they will soon be clamouring for nuclear weapons. They would not hesitate to use them at the slightest provocation either. Leave things as they are, is what I say.

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  4. I just can't bear the news these days. I try to be only dimly aware of the horrors unfolding around the world, otherwise I'll fall into a pit of despair.

    Some apes in this world already have legal rights--a particularly distasteful one just got elected president of the USA and he's appointing other thug-apes to his cabinet positions.

    (Actually, my above comment is an insult to apes. I'd rather we had elected an actual one than DT).

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    1. I would rather you had elected Norman Wisdom.

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  5. They will, of course, be demanding benefits, housing, etc, and the wealthier ones will have to pay tax. Sounds OK to me.

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    1. Well the Ourang-Outangs deserve housing benefit. We chopped down most of their houses ages ago. The wealthiest of the apes wouldn't have to pay income tax, as you must know from the example set by Trump.

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