Re: Extropians and animal rights

Terry Donaghe (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 08:03:53 -0800 (PST)

What does Ayn Rand say about rights as far as humans are concerned? Something about us being the only animal capable of rational thought
(any arguments on that point?), and without certain rights such as the
right to ourselves (no one own's us) and the right to keep what we earn, we're unable to excersize rational thought which reduces us to the realm of animals (those without the capacity for rational thought). That's a very abbreviated version, but close, I think. Correct me if that's wrong.

That said, our only "rights" are the right to self and the right to property. All other "rights" either flow from those two (like gun ownership, police protection) or are bogus, nonexistent rights (rights to medical care, "fair" wages, protection from "evil" monopolies, etc.).

If animals are incapable of rational thought, then do they deserve the right to themselves, i.e. can we own them? Should we free heards of cows to fend for themselves? My opinion is that animals which are incapable of rational thought can and should be treated in any way wished by those who own them.

Animals certainly can't earn things of their own volition, so I don't think there's a question of animal property rights.

Are there any other "rights?" If I can own an animal, then I can treat it as I wish. If you (or government or whatever) decides that I can only treat my property (an animal in this case) in certain ways, then I don't truly OWN it. I'm just borrowing it from the government which is nice enough to let me use it for certain pre-approved functions...

Terry Donaghe:

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