My friend Linda gives us a heads-up on a Weekly Standard column by Wesley Smith in which he foresees very disturbing consequences of Spain's recent decision to confer certain rights upon apes that heretofore had been reserved solely for human beings. Smith asks:
But why grant apes rights? After all, if the Spanish parliament deems these animals insufficiently protected, it can enact more stringent protections, as other countries have. But improving the treatment of apes--of which there are few in Spain--is not really the game that is afoot. Rather, [as animal rights activist Pedro] Pozas chortled after the environment committee of the Spanish parliament passed the resolutions committing Spain to the Great Ape Project, this precedent will be the "spear point" that breaks the "species barrier."
And why break the species barrier? Why, to destroy the unique status of man and thus initiate a wholesale transformation of Western civilization.
Specifically, by including animals in the "community of equals" and in effect declaring apes to be persons, the Great Ape Project would break the spine of Judeo-Christian moral philosophy, which holds that humans enjoy equal and incalculable moral worth, regardless of our respective capacities, age, and state of health. Once man is demoted to merely another animal in the forest, universal human rights will have to be tossed out and new criteria devised to determine which human/animal lives matter and which individuals can be treated like, well, animals.
The Great Ape Project does indeed seem to be a logical consequence of the loss of belief that we are created in the image of God. Indeed, in a secularized, Darwinized cultural environment we truly are descended from apes, and a number of bleak consequences follow from no longer regarding human beings as if they were in some sense special. Smith talks about some of these consequences in the rest of his fine article.RLC