Our Silence About Animal Abuse Promotes Abuse of Humans
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Our Silence About Animal Abuse Promotes Abuse of Humans
Comments by Stephen Kaufman - 27 Aug 2003

Re: Mike Shaw's comments

I do think that people believe that their actions are justified. This makes it difficult for an individual to judge fairly whether he/she is doing the right thing and is good cause for both humility and for obtaining external opinions regarding the path of righteousness.

Mike argues that to kill animals for food, sport or medical research is objectively wrong. While I am not disagreeing with his conclusion, I wonder how he got there. To claim objective truth, one needs an external, objective frame-of-reference. Mike rejects the Bible as that inerrant, objective frame-of-reference. So, Mike, what is your source?

Mike says: "Sin, like breaking earthly law, is wrong whether we know it or not... Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

There seem to be two points here. One is tautological. Sin is wrong--that's what makes something sinful. I can't disagree with this. The second point is judgmental--ignorance is no excuse. I don't agree here. If we are entitled to judge (a dubious claim and one that, one might argue, conflicts with core Christian teachings), even then I don't think we should condemn those who sin out of ignorance. I tend to agree with James, who wrote, "Whoever knows what is right to do and fails to do it, for him it is a sin" (James 4:17).


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