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What do you think?

  1. Dec 14, 2008 #1
    My teacher asked me an interesting question.

    Do we as human have the right to kill animals just because we don't like them?

    what do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2008 #2


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    'Rights' are a human concept. People have them only because some of our governments say so. I don't personally believe in unnecessary killing, such as trophy hunting, but it's not my place to say whether or not someone else can. Without societal interference, someone can do absolutely whatever s/he wants to.
  4. Dec 14, 2008 #3

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    note: moved to Philosophy from Biology forum.
  5. Dec 14, 2008 #4
    Well ... we have the 'right' to protect them as well.
    Depends on the individual's opinion.
  6. Dec 15, 2008 #5


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    Why do you say we don't like them? I certainly enjoy a good steak!
  7. Dec 22, 2008 #6

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    The thing is, the great majority of humans just don't do this. There are a great number of reasons for killing animals (for food, disease control, because they are nuisances, etc), but "just because we don't like them" is not one that is seen very often. Even a psychopath who kills and tortures animals might have reasons other than hatred of them, such as the pleasure derived from power over something weaker.

    The most common examples I can bring to mind of humans killing animals "just because they don't like them" are instances of humans killing other humans. Bigotry and homophobia come to mind. But scratch the surface and you might find even deeper reasons (however illogical) that are the rationale for this violence. You can think over for yourself all the reasons someone of a particular race, sexual orientation, [insert group membership here] might be perceived as a threat by someone who is not a member of that group.

    I am reading an interesting book right now on "animal rights and human morality" by Bernard Rollin. If you want to dig into that topic, it is an excellent and clear read. What he argues regarding animal rights is that the single, logically defensable right that they have is to be "objects of moral concern" by those capable of making moral decisions. In other words, they have the right for some careful thought and decision about their treatment and should not be cavalierly used as "means to an end" to suit our purposes.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  8. Dec 23, 2008 #7
    Well, that all depends upon your definition of "animal". Is an insect an animal? If not, then yes you have the "right" to kill them. Killing pretty much anything else will get you thrown in jail for cruelty... even your own dog if the right people find out about it. As far as hunting goes, you can buy the right to kill CERTAIN animals by buying a license. This is mostly for sport and food, though.
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