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Horse Sense

Wesley J. Smith

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Editor's note. This piece is rough but it shows another area where utilitarian ethics will lead us.

The debate in Washington state about bestiality is actually a fight over human exceptionalism.

A WASHINGTON MAN died recently from internal injuries he sustained while having sex with a horse. After his body was dropped off at a hospital, police discovered that out-of-towners had rented a rural farm and then made local animals available for use in bestiality. Yes, video taping was involved.

This disgusting story should have had a quick ending with the arrests of the operators of the human/animal sex farm and their swift punishment. However, police discovered that there is no law against bestiality in Washington. So, even though a man is dead from a very intimate injury, even though police confiscated hundreds of graphic videotapes of people having sex with animals, apparently nothing is to be done about it...

And this brings us back to Peter Singer, the world's most famous bioethicist and philosopher, who clearly does understand that the crucial moral issue of our time is whether human life has intrinsic value simply--merely--because it is human. Indeed, Singer is an avowed enemy of human exceptionalism.

Thus, it is no surprise that when he was asked in 2000 to review a book extolling bestiality for an online pornography magazine, he leaped at the chance to bestow his approval. In "Heavy Petting" Singer, in often vulgar language, asserted that since both humans and animals copulate and both have the same sex organs, the continuing "taboo" against bestiality merely reflects "our desire to differentiate ourselves, erotically and in every other way, from animals."

In support of his thesis that this distinction is irrational, Singer writes of attending a conference and speaking to a woman who had been sexually assaulted by an orangutan while visiting an animal rehabilitation center. When she called out for help, the operator of the facility, a woman named Birute Galdikas, told the distraught woman not to worry because orangutans are not well endowed. (The animal lost interest before completing the assault.)

Read the entire article on the Weekly Standard website (new window will open).

Posted: 04-Sep-05



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