Many animal rights ideologies deny the existence of human exceptionalism. Some going so far as to call the idea, "Speciesism." But, if we drop this idea of human exceptionism for some utilitarian style of ethics, wouldn't the whole idea, as currently understood of human rights, fall with it?
The UN charter itself states: "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person..."
but if we disregard this inherent "dignity and worth" of the human person, what becomes of human rights? If we take a view that a eating a retarded human is no different than eating a retarded pig (an opinion I read in one of the responses here), then what becomes of human rights, and our inherent "dignity and worth"?
And aside from the utilitarian implications of human exceptionalism (inherent human rights) don't you think that humans do inhabit a special place in the world? Are we not, something more than mere animals? Basically does the human soul exist?
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