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Why Animal "Abusers" Aren't Concerned with Offending Us
- abuse - offend - alienation -

Comments by Maynard S. Clark - 8 November 2001

Excellent analysis, Steve.

The topic of "alienation" has been studied extensively in the past several decades, not only by social scientists (psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, sociologists, etc.), but also by ministers and clergy, theologians, seminary professors, and the like.

Paul Tillich wrote extensively about what he considered to be the the "ontological ground" of alienation.  Even Tillich's sermons addressed this topic.  I remember his sermon, "An He was alone..." addressed how our physical separateness is an inescapable condition of our aloneness, but that social and spiritual conditions bring about a different dimension of "alienation".

But yeah, it surely is an issue, and often I puzzle why there is any sentient life at all (if it didn't merely happen, unplanned, even accidentally, since there seems to be absolutely NO moral rhyme or reason why there should be any sentient life at all, born into conditions of misery, pain, and suffering).  The classical religious "answer" is that all this sorrow, misery, suffering, etc. is for the greater glory of God to be disclosed historically.  But while all that's happening, the vast majority of suffering persons of any species, including our own, suffer (many excruciating pain and loss) and some of the most indefensible recklessness and folly continue.   Seems like a "roll of the dice", doesn't it?

Last week a religious friend (an ex-nun and schoolteacher) at a vegetarian society event told me, "Well, I don't explore issues like that so deeply", after she had spent about 3-4 minutes hoping to talk me out of my "detachment".

OTOH [on the other hand], last night another set of ethical vegetarian friends (at a different vegetarian society event) and I discussed our "moodiness" and the shifts we know between realizing the tragedy and its inherent sorrows for sensitive folk like ourselves, and our renewed energies and enthusiasm for doing good work on behalf of others for whom we study and toil.

However, it's ALSO interesting to note that the public social services of religion (which we see -- or "hear" as radio broadcasts) address problems around marital (and relational) infidelity, which is rampant.

Maynard

(d-3)

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