So according to Jamison, since we can spin a wing nut - we are justified in all we do to animals... Man's might deems it, and no further investigation is required.
I disagree. I think it's precisely because we've evolved both physically and intellectually that we have a duty to examine to every degree our influence on others. I believe we are all connected. And that we live on a planet meant to be shared with others... not ravaged for our own frivolous fancies.
Minister Jamison also said that the bible has told him that any and all use man has of animals is sanctioned by God... But we know that there are many bibles and many different beliefs of what God intended in regards to our treatment of animals. And too there is "free will" which enables us to question what our relationship with other living beings should be.
So the idea that "animal rights" has already been settled is far from true. In fact, as we become more enlightened and our social progress expands so does our interest in establishing justice for those who are being exploited. Even as a "non-theist", I would think this is exactly what any "god" would want man to do.
Furthermore, our increasing knowledge of the intelligence and emotional complexity of animals raises questions regarding what constitutes a just relationship between animals and humans. These concerns are a responsibility to discover, not only to animals but to ourselves... It is our duty to ourselves as a species... the most "entitled" one at that, to seek proper ethical solutions in our universe. This task is charged to everyone regardless of their faith. An objective, fair and rational position must be established in regards to animals, or we are doomed to remain with a club in our hands and our feet stuck in primordial goo.
But since Preacher Jamison has chosen a religious vent I'd like to argue a few points with him regarding what he believes is his favor according to "god". Using this "license" is supposed to put to rest any questions... "Anything goes" according to what was written, or (might have been) said 2,000+ years ago.
But I think it's dangerous to leave a topic as important as killing another being... unquestioned. In fact, the taking of an other's life goes against all religious teachings, of all cultures. It deserves serious deliberation and debate. It is against the primary mandate - The First Order... A Commandment of Highest Consequence... "Thy Shalt Not Kill".
Unfortunately we're such a clever species that we manage to disregard that first rule with an assortment of footnotes that make breaking it okay... Animal killing is the biggest *exception* that come to mind... And the reason we give for killing 10 billion animals yearly in the U.S. is for replaceable food. But Minister Jamison says that God gives us accolades for doing such.
Yet, there are other views, Christian ones as well... According to the King James version
Genesis 1:29: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” And if this is true... that we can thrive on a Vegan, plant based diet... and that the innocent creatures we slaughter is totally unnecessary... then God is hardly pleased at all...
There are also the Essenes, who believe in the Gospel of Peace. And some Christian scholars have concluded vegetarianism to be the more consistent ethic with respect to the spirit of Christ's teachings. http://www.ivu.org/history/christian/christ_veg.html
There is also the fundamental ethical virtue of the Jains of India, Ahimsa. Which translates roughly into non-injury to living beings or dynamic harmlessness. http://www.ahimsa.com/
Buddhism, and Hinduism also believe in non violence to all... These theologies are in line with a God who is loving and does not want any of creation to suffer.
But modern factory farming and the unnecessary butchering of animals is in opposition to what people respect as the wishes of God... Neither is the Christian ideal of the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd does not harm his flock... he protects it. Animal agriculture defiles the first mandate, and does so for the lust of money, and physical pleasures. It also causes damaging consequence to the environment and human health. And through meat eating sins, and agri-business excesses, it also neglects his fellow man... who starves for want of the grain that is fed to fatten animals instead.
So as to the debate of why animals matter, it is becoming increasingly clear that this topic has a place in the social justice considerations of not only Christians, but to all. Animals are in the scope of man's moral concern, regardless of how Minister Jamison seems to think that evolution has dealt the cards.Finally, he says that animal rights advocates will appeal to people who have no knowledge of the doctrines of their sect. That these "unguided" people will be lead to believe that a compassionate God would not be pleased with selling flesh on the temple stairs. And on this Mr. Jamison, I agree with you whole heartily.
Rebuttal to Jamison/religion part 1 of 3