Is Anyone An “Animal”?

"For secularists to claim “no one is an animal” is actually highly inconsistent. They want to believe evolutionary ideas (e.g., man is just an animal) while still believing humans are somehow unique"  AiG

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Larry Nelson's picture

"Published in 1975, [Singer's book] Animal Liberation has been cited as a formative influence on leaders of the modern animal liberation movement. The central argument of the book is an expansion of the utilitarian concept that "the greatest good of the greatest number" is the only measure of good or ethical behaviour, and Singer believes that there is no reason not to apply this principle to other animals, arguing that the boundary between human and "animal" is completely arbitrary. There are far more differences, for instance, between a great ape and an oyster, for example, than between a human and a great ape, and yet the former two are lumped together as "animals", whereas we are considered "human" in a way that supposedly differentiates us from all other "animals."

He popularised the term "speciesism", which had been coined by English writer Richard D. Ryder to describe the practice of privileging humans over other animals, and therefore argues in favour of the equal consideration of interests of all sentient beings." -


In his mind, there can be no such thing as Imago Dei [ ]. 

Andrew K's picture

A Utility Monster is a thought experiment by Robert Nozick, which critisizes utilitarianism. He asks us to imagine a monster which recieves more utility (more pleasure basically) from each unit of resources than any humans do. It is therefore logical, and indeed morally required, to give everything to the monster. For example, if we had a piece of cake, the Utility Monster would get 1000 times more joy out of eating it than any human, so the action that would cause the most total pleasure would always be to give the cake to the monster.

The pun based 'Utility Monster' depicted in the comic gets a great deal of pleasure from destroying pipes. Apparently that pleasure is so great it outweighs the pain it would cause us to have the pipes destroyed. Since that would still result in more net pleasure, it is morally required to destroy the pipes. Peter Singer is a contemporary utilitarian.