1NC Universe

The universe is expanding, but we do not know what it is expanding into. This makes the universe simultaneously all-encompassing and incomplete. The universe is therefore both all and none. This makes life itself an unanswerable paradox, and you should default to the only logical explanation: the universe does not even exist. Vote negative on presumption because the expansion of the universe is the foremost metaphysical question and until that question is answered there is no value to the 1AC.

htm] Epistemic pessimism is about these motives. is the world which Science presents for our belief. but ultimately science does not make sense of the world." and that "his hopes and fears. The last clause in the quoted sentence is obscure. but it suggests that we should not look in some "beyond" for explanations and purposes: what you see is what you get. It is the "most abyssmal thought. but even more purposeless. In the face of the affirmative we offer a counter-advocacy: Vote negative to endorse an act of radical suicide. under the influence of Nietzsche. to their consternation. that is remarkably like the short account of failed knowledge above. Philosophy at the University of New Mexico. for Nietzsche. in outline. Only within the scaffolding of these truths. of course. into all eternity is chaos. . It cannot overcome death of either the individual or the species. unpublished works. Consider the following passage. We offer a few net benefits: First is Value: The affirmative is the wrong solution to the world’s chaos. The most life-affirming path is to end life Joanne Faulkner. are yet so nearly certain. What we disagree with is the affirmative’s reaction to those conditions of existence. unknowable. 4 This pessimism about knowledge is based partly on the fact that technology's successes are temporary.21 The adoption of such a lofty perspective can be regarded as a means of sublimation. a way of trying to handle it. this doctrine presents the world as one with which we can do nothing." If the universe lacks laws. but theater parlance also gives “the gods” to refer to the highest viewing areas. And he concludes that nothing can be done with it. I will have it performed again. all the inspiration. And. they finally discovered. without allying himself with Nietzsche or expressing any appreciation of his import. as told by Mephistopheles to Dr. his hopes and fears. One does not know how to interact successfully with it. and it has no order into which we can successfully fit our human lives. including essays called "On the Pathos of Truth" and the better known "On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense": "In a remote corner of the universe there was once a star on which clever animals discovered knowledge. culminating in tragedy. that all the labours of the ages. Only the counterplan can solve Jerry Sherman 2k. namely that it has a `necessary' and `calculable' course. our ideals must henceforward find a home. It is the story of a heartless creator who performs a pointless drama of human existence and then says. . and ultimately filled with unending suffering. In this respect. An eternal affirmation of suffering throws people in to a state of perpetual suffering that collapses can only upon itself. He begins his 1903 essay." he sees the power of knowledge reduced in the long run to impotence." If our ideas are the product of accident. 2008 [The Journal of Nietzsche Studies Spring/Autumn] We could envisage a style of subjectivity responsive to the innocence of becoming in terms of Nietzsche’s remarks regarding Dionysus. then one cannot do much with it. wherein the most unbearable aspects of one’s life are transmuted and refined to become most beautiful (GM II:7)."6 It is a chaos that lacks order but not necessity--the same point made above in Beyond Good and Evil: it is a "necessitous chaos. his growth. his loves and his beliefs. but because they are absolutely lacking.com/sherman01. He also agrees with Nietzsche's pessimism when he says that "man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving. and necessity: for if nothing else. No matter how much we try to kid ourselves. Russell did not enter into the great distrust of rationality that Nietzsche was bringing into the twentieth century. "A Free Man's Worship. ." It shows us that "The collective character of the world. but only a minute. Let me show some examples. where Nietzsche writes: "[A new interpreter] might." with a story. for while they were priding themselves on having discovered so much. . are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms. After this story. Faustus. and every power draws its ultimate consequence at every moment. that technology is a successful interaction with a lawful world. at least our tribulations entertain the immortals (GM II:7). are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. We believe that life is chaotic. And in this manner the gods also performed the curious function of . his loves and his beliefs. and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins--all these things. And it was time. pain. that his origin.1NC CP We agree with the affirmative on a lot of things. no heroism. if anywhere. that no fire." In Heidegger's eyes. is Heidegger. Nietzsche has a strange bedfellow in Bertrand Russell. They died and cursed truth as they died. and who clearly interprets Nietzsche in this epistemically pessimistic way. only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair. It was the proudest and most deceptive minute of world history. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving. Greek tragedy is thus unconcerned with such moral affairs as sin and the punishment of sinners (GS 135). Amid such a world. about what we are trying to do. can the soul's habitation henceforth be safely built . are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms. such as the balconies). that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. "It was a good play. Dionysus figures in Nietzsche’s analysis of tragedy as its progenitor (BT “Attempt at Self-Criticism” 1)—tragedy incarnating the Dionysian state or affect (BT 8)—and as its hero. They would like you to believe that the solution to all of your problems is simply to realize that they exist." Suffering and pain are an intrinsic part of existence. Nevertheless. tragedy is a transfiguring celebration of life’s difficulty. but consider first the passage already seen from Beyond Good and Evil 22. In BT Nietzsche poses the question of why Greek tragedy came into existence (along with the equally significant question of why it eventually went out of favor). Nietzsche understands knowledge as an attempted power-relationship with the world. but he is not enthralled with this ability."7 Furthermore. if not quite beyond dispute. refers to the ability (or art) of regarding one’s own suffering from the heights (the gods’ perspective. how likely is it that they can successfully get a grip on this world and turn it to human advantage? Russell comes close to saying that this world is one with which we can do nothing. that all their knowledge had been wrong.5 Russell expressed these sentiments early in his career and shortly after Nietzsche's death." the "greatest burden. all the noonday brightness of human genius. Rather. Russell preaches an existentialist message: Such. The clearest statements of this view come from the early. He does this through the way he understands Nietzsche's doctrine of "eternal return" or "eternal recurrence of the same. except for a possible aesthetic mastery. the world as presented through the eternal return is "the necessitous chaos of perpetual becoming. can preserve an individual life beyond the grave..20 The Dionysian attitude. not because laws obtain in it. Nietzsche knew. and endure those experiences. University of New South Wales. no intensity of thought and feeling. His pessimism keeps sight of the fact that in the long run technology does not solve the human problem. of course. no date [http://evans-experientialism. end by asserting the same about this world as you do." It is as if Russell were writing his own version of Nietzsche's eternal return. We can do limited things. more void of meaning. to stop worrying about them. this condition of life is inescapable. After nature had taken only a few breaths the star began to grow cold and the clever animals were forced to die. when he says that "all the noonday brightness of human genius [is] destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. But the person who says that directly. which appears with slight variations in three places in the early Nachlass. all the devotion. nevertheless.freewebspace.

as does any other animal. In this sense we are always stricken with death. What is unknowable—the difference between the utterers—what can only at best be death itself. we cannot define death. What should it be called? As a philologist and man of words I baptized it. of teleology. as an instinct speaking on behalf of life. your death. It is this impossibility of distinguishing. as a narrative." ‘you’. the poles of elocutionary and referent—the binary of subject and object—are imploded. insofar as we are free. death as a pure name. one’s limits. To the extent that it is aligned with a Dionysian affect. "your difference. we participate in a complex web of interactions through which our agency is bounded and context dependent. One must never forget that we can only see ghosts when we are not looking for them. we are forced to peer into the terrors of individual existence—without turning to stone. especially if we take seriously the conviction each of these philosophers holds to. At the end. to utter one-self into being. your lover. transience. another potentially more if one only knows" one knows one does not know. even putting aside his rather romantic framing of the problem here. in all its immanence. naming nothing except for the fact that it is naming. Your mother. a part of us that is always already (n)either within us (n)or without us. There is no true knowing of death because if someone were to experience it then we could not speak to tell our experience. importantly. every time something is known. sometimes the most life-affirming path (and the moment of optimal agency) would be to end life. It is with this in mind that we approach Marguerite Duras' beautiful tale The Malady of Death.absorbing the Greeks’ guilt (rather than sin) and warding off bad conscience (GM II:23). In either the difference between knowing and not knowing is blurred. perhaps the 'he' — interjects. your father. But it is not as if one ever knows how death affects one: "one knows without knowing how"17 and more than that. the agony. and invented for itself a fundamental counter-doctrine and counterevaluation of life. we humans are not invulnerable to external events that act on us. your dog. one would then evaluate life more positively. an anti-Christian one. nor are we self-caused. and of the “moral world order”—all of which circumscribe. a purely artistic. Since life demands of each of us that we must die. of the overwhelming fertility of the world-will” (BT 17). according to death’s own inevitability and within a context that sees the body becoming an active participant in the causes that determine it. that all events are already determined. and somewhat counterintuitively. Death is an unknowable phase and to speak like we do know of it leads to being terrorized by the world’s inevitable hauntings. By taking Dionysus as one’s godhead rather than Jehovah. death that is a pure void. It is clear.: 16-18) Death is this unknowability that resides in every act of knowing. And also because he's like to die without any life to die to." 1° posited—is . and dissolution—but.22 It might assist our understanding of this very specific account of agency at this point to consider its connection to the philosophy of Nietzsche’s forerunner. [T]he struggle. . and without even knowing that's what he's doing. Each withering away. that opens the question of referentiality. there is always already something unknown within it.":15 the first register it opens is 'whether one can know they don't know something'. death as a negativity to life.14 not just an 'I don't know' in terms of a lack of knowledge. by Nietzsche’s lights. and suffering.23 The aspects of Spinoza’s work that particularly appealed to Nietzsche were his denial of free will.. they are no longer antonyms but rather parts of each other: in other words. The only difference that is posited between the ‘I’. an end-point that is always already taken into consideration in advance. there is a conversation This suggests that between a 'you' and a 'her': at first glance. drunkenness. An echo of this is found later in the line "you think you know you know not what . every attempt to know: not a death that is merely a phase of life.. that for Nietzsche what is at issue is a willingness to be aware of one’s possibilities—and moreover. the annihilation of phenomena now seem necessary to us. all the plants and trees in the forest are all death. if one is never able to discern who is uttering the utterances.24 Yet at first glance this would seem a rather impoverished sense of freedom. . Baruch Spinoza. that brings the 'she' into question. and ‘her’ is found in the line. Jeremy Fernando 2010 (“The Suicide Bomber. that can at best be constituted as a catachrestic metaphor." one is attempting to name oneself as well. we would be most empowered by taking an active part in this process at its most advantageous moment: “We should recognize how everything which comes into being [End Page 77] must be prepared for a painful demise. instance. all you can say about the status of referentiality in the text. of separating the 'he' and the 'I' within the text. it would seem that it is between a man and a woman in a room by the sea. that at best we might begin to approach it but that it will always already slip away from us. Perhaps in this non-direct way. not without taking a certain liberty—for who knows the true name of the Antichrist?—with the name of a Greek god: I called it the Dionysian” (BT “Attempt at Self-Criticism” 5). then whether something is known or not known is now unclear'. agency would thus involve an embrace of death. is "I don't know". as fiction. for Spinoza. This is why the tale is named The Malady of Death: death is always within one (one is a carrier of death from the very beginning) and always also from without (death ultimately claims you). . Occasionally an 'I' —perhaps a narrator. a kind of freedom embedded within his determinism and an understanding of agency and ethical capacity that remains unpolluted by conventional morality. Rather. In The Malady of Death. Continuous with our environment. one that we can at best glimpse as a metaphor. of death. that is always already of the self. Death is everything and everything is death. "whoever has it doesn't know he's a carrier. but more precisely an 'I don't know who the I that is uttering this statement 5 in the first place'. itself: each time one utters "I don't know. that doesn't allow the self to totalize. after the death of God: a commitment that. to borrow a phrase from the very first time the 'I' appears. To understand agency according to this “instinctual affirmation of life” we would have to take into account the dual creative and destructive dynamics of life. but death as such. but a death from within that remains unknowable to us. as embodied subjects—or subjected bodies (GM II)—we occupy a place in a physical ecosystem. Spinoza’s influence on Nietzsche’s thought is already well established. It is not as if we cannot know death because it is beyond us— in fact it is part of us. In this respect. Second is agency: The way the 1AC conceptualizes death is flawed. The unknowability is not only in the content the object to which the utterance refers to—but more radically in the relationality of the subject to interesting register is. and her gift of death” Pgs. The 1AC’s attempt to securitize the world is flawed because it always begins with the conclusion that death is bad and sees it as the ultimate universal truth. in the context of the excess of countless forms of existence which crowd and push their way into life. we might begin to catch a glimpse of the unknowability that haunts the self. He writes in BT: “So my instinct at that time turned itself against morality with this questionable book. This determinism emerges from a thoroughgoing materialism. every second of every day.

That is. And it is to this kind of immortality that we are condemned today. from that point onwards. to offer her/his self—as a stake. nor even in terms of the body. had gained a measure of Dutch courage’ from the amphetamines. but he was not. either willingly or not. and sublimates the individual to pure becoming. And like any true stake. to In the concentration camps. and one can then ascribe this action. immortal in terms of the code. In the past. Otherwise. he is already a dead man: his life and his death—has already been offered during the ritual. the life processes become indestructible. We are never quite as afraid when something opposes the order of reason: in fact by opposing it. tragic form ~in the destiny of the higher mammals. .The nexus between our illusion of death and the soon to be immortality of the human race generates a system of confusion between life and death that causes annihilation and destroys value to life Jean Baudrillard 1992 (French Philosopher. the Kamikaze pilots would gather for a last meal. It’s not a programmable or mapable action it is the act of self-annihilation. Suicide bombing is a mode of becoming.an action that is beyond explanation itself. Today. when someone is willing to give themselves as a gift of death. there is no denying that the pilots themselves were fully aware of their status as the order of the Divine Wind the moment they began their training. reason itself is preserved. his actions to the effect of drugs—another favorite is social pressures. and her gift of death” Pgs. 98-99) There are several forms of death: a differentiated. For not only was the pilot willing to die—in some way all soldiers who enter a war zone. a change in mental state: in that way reality is preserved. which has disappeared. we are beings for whom there will soon no longer be death. The Illusion of the End. ascribe. The typical Western analysis usually involves pointing out the fact that before flying. to the negative immortality of what cannot end and thus reproduces itself indefinitely. biological and genetic processes. a last cup of sake and a bow to the Emperor. without believing it. as we are condemned to an absence of destiny. the Kamikaze pilot was indeed of a divine wind. but that is beyond understanding itself . either by the definitive autonomization of multiple functions or by reduction to the smallest possible elements. it was merely an instrument which aided their task. or brainwashing by the Japanese military machine—or any other cause is an attempt to reinscribe the actions of the Kamikaze pilot back into a cause and effect analysis. disappeared. the sacrifice had long ago been made. that it was the drugs that made them into suicide bombs. a last cigarette. which is disappearing. undifferentiated form — a recessive stage which harks back to the molecular and protozoan stage of living beings. enter a complicity to death. And there is the asexual. how can one even begin to deal with a phenomenon that not only escapes one’s comprehension. which is linked to sexuality — in a way. to return it to the order of reason. leaving them no other form of destiny. we no longer believe we are immortal. Pgs.to another reason: more importantly. Which is what we are doing when we their unceremonious obliteration. and it is by the automatic working of these processes that we are exterminating death by easy stages. even more than life. Hence. The attempt to explain away. It was with this form of immortal life. Locked into their undifferentiated forms. man thought himself immortal. by the mere fact of the confusion of the limits of life and death. dual. without wishing it. It is of no coincidence that the most feared figure of the Second World War was the Kamikaze pilot. However this misses the point as it assumes that it is only due to the drugged state that the pilots become suicide bombers. the pilots were pumped full of amphetamines in order to allow them to fly their planes directly into targets. he would not have needed to believe it. attempt to capture immortality in anatomical. or a last meal of a condemned inmate-which allows the Kamikaze pilot to sever himself from the real order. one is trying to establish that their actions are the result of an illusion. that Freud associated the death instinct. the underlying assumptions are strengthened. becoming quietly immortal without knowing it. The prisoners were dispossessed of their deaths — deader than dead. of a divine nature. Jeremy Fernando 2010(“The Suicide Bomber. their lives had already been offered as a sacrifice: if the amphetamines had anything to do with it. but in terms of the formula. Or rather he secretly doubted that he was not. a singularity. nor even — and this is the worst — illusion of death. And it is the ritual— of which there are echoes of a Last Supper. a sexed form of death. remains in the dark from. the Kamikaze pilot has no idea what the reciprocation is. But death can also be exterminated by the creation of indestructible life-processes. this nostalgia for a pure contiguity of life [le vivant] and its molecular sequentialiry. it the unknowability of the suicide bomber that obliterates the categorization of life. No longer immortal in terms of the soul. because he was already dead. what the effects of his sacrifice are: all that he knows is that he has offered himself: everything else he remains blind to. it was death that was exterminated. By the time the pilot actually climbs into his cockpit. accept in some way the possibility of their death—but more profoundly. Even if they . what defense is there any longer? And more than that. a full embracement of mysticism and chaos it cannot be understood only interpreted. yet it is precisely now that we are becoming so.:137-139) When someone is willing to give up their life. nor representation of death. Before each squadron was sent off. And this is what the offering of drugs as a reason attempts to do: by claiming that the pilots are flying in a drugged state . the moment they become pilots.

and the easiest one to For some people however. less attached consciousness may be more effective. Australian environmentalist and director of the Rainforest Information Centre. and we will be the same after death. As the fog of amnesia disperses. Then follows the realisation that the distinction between "life" and "lifeless" is a human construct. beyond knowing: for in that way it always remains an enigma to us. That is. Human chauvinism.TOWARDS A COUNCIL OF ALL BEINGS. "I am protecting the rainforest" develops to "I am part of the rainforest protecting myself. Similar to sexism. and upon all the fishes of the sea. nuclear holocaust or destruction of the rainforest gene pool do not corrupt. It is part of the great and timeless excellence of things. what is this very moment of death. rust. http://www. Every atom in this body existed before organic life emerged 4000 million years ago. beyond explanation. this change of perspective follows from actions on behalf of Mother Earth. you start to get in touch with yourself as mammal. apart. We are the same cosmic dust that existed 4 million years ago. We are the rocks dancing. as vertebrate. although the fear and anxiety which were part of our motivation start to dissipate and are replaced by a certain disinterestedness. . It is they that are immortal part of us. and as you stop identifying exclusively with this chapter. Remember our childhood as minerals. and upon every fowl of the air. is extinguished. as lava. Threat of extinction is the communicate. any species that is unable to adapt. of controlling it. that of what is to be dead. The commitment to save the world is not decreased by the new perspective. there is a transformation in your relationship to other species. of being able to discipline it.org. A little scraping of the walls of dishonest contractor's concrete Through a shower of chips and sand makes freedom. as rocks? Rocks contain the potentiality to weave themselves into such stuff as this. Of all the species that have existed. THINKING LIKE A MOUNTAIN . This mountain sea-coast is real For it reaches out far into the past and "Anthropocentrism" or "homocentrism" means human chauvinism. But before we go on thinking the figure of the suicide bomber. there is an identification with all life. thinking like a mountain (3). As environment changes. we have to make a momentary diversion. I am that part of the rainforest recently emerged into thinking. Some teachers of meditation are embracing deep ecology (5) and vice versa(6). as a species only recently emerged from the rainforest. Alienation subsides. no hope. and we have no ability. and open another register of thinking. All evolution takes place in this fashion In this way an oxygen starved fish. that our actions on behalf of the environment are purified and strengthened by the experience. The disinterested space we find here may be similar to meditation. upon returning to present day consensus reality. sometimes referred to as "deep ecology". but actions from a disinterested.(2) When humans investigate and see through their layers of anthropocentric self-cherishing. "And the fear of you and the dread of future. when the action itself is beyond reason . Shake the dust from your hair. and upon all that moveth on the earth. (4) If we embark upon such an inner voyage.htm) "But the time is not a strong prison either. Your humanness is then recognised as being merely the most recent stage of your existence. The rest are extinct. and in your commitment to them. the instant of death itself? Third is human-centeredness: The idea that humanity is something to be preserved is a product of anthropocentrism that prevents an authentic relationship to existence. into your hands they are delivered". we may find. Activists often don't have much time for meditation. the measure of all things.What frightens us the most is when there is no reason for action. The human is no longer an outsider. Extinction is inevitable and human life is not special. Why do we look down on them with such a condescending air.we must embrace this impending catastrophe to break down human centered value systems Seed ‘88 (John. to evolve. The intellect is one entry point to the process outlined. We act because life is the only game in town. As your memory improves. it is estimated that less than one in a hundred exist today." What a relief then! The thousands of years of imagined separation are over and we begin to recall our true nature. as the implications of evolution and ecology are internalised and replace the outmoded anthropocentric structures in your mind." (1) you shall be upon every beast of the earth . the change is a spiritual one.au/deep-eco/Anthropo.rainforestinfo. ancestor of yours and mine. commenced to colonise the land. but substitute "human race" for "man" and "all other species" for "woman". a most profound change in consciousness begins to take place. and the question of. the idea that humans are the crown of creation. What is described here should not be seen as merely intellectual. is deeply embedded in our culture and consciousness. We have found here a level of our being that moth. the source of all value. to change. of putting it under us.

whose 4000 million year race is run. A key implication of Patterson’s theory is that human liberation is implausible if disconnected from animal liberation. here we are back on the wheel again. ignorant ways. warfare. we must fully face up to our impending extinction (the ultimate environmental pressure). one that is sustainable and in harmony with life again. Speciesm is the foundation of all other hierarchies and the root cause to all violence. Surely consciousness emerged and evolved according to the same laws as everything else. Best 7 (Associate Professor. Departments of Humanities and Philosophy University of Texas. 2002. Governor of California. social conflict. the rainforests. as well as how the human exploitation of animals is a key cause of hierarchy. to evolve. The term "deep ecology" was coined by the Norwegian professor of Philosophy and ecoactivist Arne Naess. Molded by environ mental pressures. A core thesis of what I call “animal standpoint theory” is that animals have been key driving and shaping forces of human thought. The Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust New York: Lantern Books. 280 pp]) While a welcome advance over the anthropocentric conceit that only humans shape human actions. in the fascinating interviews and narratives of Part III. he shows how these connections exist not only in the realm of ideology – as conceptual systems of justifying and underpinning domination and hierarchy – but also in systems of technology. and history overall. Finally. psychology. Yet I see the day in our own lifetime that reverence for the natural systems . may give us the courage to face despair and break through to a more viable consciousness. the environmental determinism approach typically fails to emphasize the crucial role that animals play in human history. which form of religion is beneficial for all life on the planet as a whole.000 years of written history does not offer much hope that we can change our warlike. greedy.(7) A biocentric perspective. El Paso [Steven. "Protecting something as wide as this planet is still an abstraction for evolutionary and ecological inheritance. an epiphany that led them to adopt vegetarianism. slavery. The Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust. racism. We ARE the fish. such as it emerged some ten thousand years ago with the rise of agricultural society. and thus humanism -.. the vastly longer fossil history assures us that we CAN change. the soil .will be so strong that no narrow ideology based upon politics or economics will overcome it". The main argument of Eternal Treblinka is that the human domination of animals. In Part II. Deep ecology is the search for a viable consciousness. More specifically. others recognized the profound similarities between how Nazis treated their human captives and how humanity as a whole treats other animals. Patterson describes how personal experience with German Nazism prompted Jewish to take antithetical paths: whereas most retreated to an insular identity and dogmatic emphasis on the singularity of Nazi evil and its tragic experience. such that the tools and techniques humans devised for the rationalized mass confinement and slaughter of animals were mobilized against human groups for the same ends. he demonstrates that animal exploitation and speciesism have direct and profound connections to slavery. animal standpoint theory argues that the oppression of human over human has deep roots in the oppression of human over animal. A certain confidence ( in spite of our recent "humanity") is warranted. Patterson lays out his complex holistic argument in three parts. moral and social life. the grasslands. and all other living things . we must consciously remember our We must learn to think like a mountain. (8) Jerry Brown. and environmental breakdown. To survive our current environmental pressures. and the myriad other death-defying feats of flexibility which a study of evolution reveals to us. hides in intoxication or busyness from the despair of the human. and that roots go deeper that 4000 million years. This means acknowledging that part of us which shies away from the truth. the realisation that rocks WILL dance. In this context. And while it is true that the "human nature" revealed by 12. The change that is required of us is not some new resistance to radiation. If we are to be open to evolving a new consciousness. the mind of our ancestors must time and again have been forced to transcend itself. "The essence of deep ecology is to ask deeper questions. The human species is one of millions threatened by imminent extinction through nuclear war and other environmental changes. and anti-Semitism.collapses under the weight of its logical contradictions . articulates the animal standpoint in a powerful form with revolutionary implications. the US and Australia. and has been taken up by academics and environmentalists in Europe. In Part I. which education. Charles Patterson’s recent book." The impact is mass genocide. but a change in consciousness.. colonialism.potter's hand that molds all the forms of life. many. was the first hierarchical domination and laid the groundwork for patriarchy. We ask which society.a speciesist philosophy that constructs a hierarchal relationship privileging superior humans over inferior animals and reduces animals to resources for human use -. Charles Patterson. whose organic life is a mere hair's breadth from finished.the oceans. and other systems of violence and power. genocide. From this point of view. the threat of extinction appears as the invitation to change. After a brief respite from the potter's hand. to become advocates for the .

they could be hunted down like animals . In the fifteenth century. The sexual subjugation of women. developed as an extension of animal domestication practices. branding their skin with a hot iron to mark them as property. Stealing Africans from their native environment and homeland. anti-Semitism.” Thus. models. racism.” In animal domestication (often a euphemism disguising coercion and cruelty). Vietnamese.” For just as humans had subdued animals with their superior intelligence and technologies. The domination of animals paved the way for the domination of humans. they treat other people like animals and do the same to them. slavery and the Holocaust being but two of the more dramatic examples. was modeled after the domestication of animals. for speciesism provided the conceptual paradigm that encouraged. slaves were managed like livestock. and the Holocaust. Not coincidentally.” “monkeys.” “swine. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. wrapping chains around slaves’ bodies. and technologies used to exploit animal slaves were applied with equal cruelty and force to human slaves. “Throughout the history of our ascent to dominance as the master species. the easier it is to kill them. when Europeans began the colonization of Africa and Spain introduced the first international slave markets. The first exiles from the moral community. once characterized as animals. “our victimization of animals has served as the model and foundation for our victimization of each other. and branding irons. however.” Hierarchy emerged with the rise of agricultural society some ten thousand years ago. Patterson underscores the crucial point that the domination of human over human and its exercise through slavery. In the shift from nomadic hunting and gathering bands to settled agricultural practices. then. The study of human history reveals the pattern: first. breeding them for service and labor. such as castrating males to make them more docile. exploiting them for profit. humans exploit and slaughter animals. In Patterson’s model. domination. to enforce repressive sexual norms. clothing. By the time of Aristotle. Patterson suggests. humans developed numerous technologies. As he puts it. Iraqis. such that men began to control women’s reproductive capacity. and transportation. and to rape them as they forced breeding in their animals. humans lost the intimate connections they once had with animals.” “beasts. As they gained increasing control over the lives and labor power of animals. western aggressors engaged in wordplay before swordplay. collars. and so many others. Patterson argues. plowing. It differs as well from the social ecology position of Murray Bookchin that domination over humans brings about alienation from the natural world. and with the bigoted assistance of medieval theologians such as St. American colonialists. such as pens.” “pigs. theorists typically don’t even mention human domination of animals. subjugated peoples were treated accordingly.” Patterson writes. the `lower’ and more degraded the human victims are. so many Europeans believed that the white . As the domestication of animals developed in agricultural society. and justified western brutality toward other peoples. the metaphors. shipping them in cramped quarters across continents for weeks or months with no regard for their needs or suffering. provokes hierarchical mindsets and institutions. In areas like Sumer. Filipinos. In the case of Marxists. milk. and hierarchy involves human domination over animals.” Whether the conquerors are European imperialists.animals. anarchists. humans bred them for desired traits and controlled them in various ways. as Patterson describes. auctioning them as servants. and genocide typically begins with the denigration of victims. “the exploitation of animals was the model and inspiration for the atrocities people committed against each other. or German Nazis. ropes. breaking up families who scream in anguish. humans began to exploit animals for purposes such as obtaining food. Japanese. The connections are clear: “For a civilization built on the exploitation and slaughter of animals. in fact. and. colonialism. warfare. they will kill each other" –Pythagoras It is little understood that the first form of oppression. and is the root of the long-standing western goal to “dominate” nature. the human subjugation of animals is the first form of hierarchy and it paves the way for all other systems of domination such as include patriarchy. But the means and methods of dehumanization are derivative. and other unfortunates – with opprobrious terms such as “rats. Native Americans.” Once perceived as brute beasts or sub-humans occupying a lower evolutionary rung than white westerners. humans began to establish their dominance over animals through “domestication. let alone assign it causal primacy or significance. chains. was a “natural extension of human supremacy over the animal kingdom. sustained. Patterson’s thesis stands in bold contrast to the Marxist theory that the domination over nature is fundamental to the domination over other humans. slavery emerged in the same region of the Middle East that spawned agriculture. and males were castrated and forced to work along with females.” and “filthy animals. western humanity had developed an explicitly hierarchical worldview – that came to be known as the “Great Chain of Being” – used to position humans as the end to which all other beings were mere means. and develop a far broader and more inclusive ethic informed by universal compassion for all suffering and oppressed beings. and killing them in vast numbers – all these horrors and countless others inflicted on black slaves were developed and perfected centuries earlier through animal exploitation. vilifying their victims – Africans. The Origins of Hierarchy "As long as men massacre animals. beating them in rages of hatred and anger. colonialism. To conquer. and claim animals as their own property. certainly. animals provided a convenient discard bin for oppressors to dispose the oppressed. enslave. cages.

Taking seriously the idea of global suicide is one way of throwing into question an ideology or dominant discourse of modernist-humanist action. and the sexist mentality splits men and women into greater and lower classes of beings. among others. absurd as it may seem to some readers by its nihilistic and radical 'solution'. The term 'speciesism'. Most individuals may not even be conscious that they hold such an attitude. or many would simply assume that their attitude falls within the . white. [4] In this respect. women. it was a short step to begin viewing odd. by first using non-human animals as the measure of alterity. an ecologically devastated Earth is an example at hand. subhuman. many still think and act in ways that are profoundly 'speciesist'. the same criterion created to exclude animals from humans was also used to ostracize blacks. Borderlands. moments of suffering. alleged rational beings (i. and sexism is the product of a bigoted male supremacism. so far. linguist and translator. The arguments European colonialists used to legitimate exploiting Africans – that they were less than human and inferior to white Europeans in ability to reason – are the very same justifications humans use to trap. confine. coined by psychologist Richard D. animals) is deficient in rationality in ways crucial to their nature and status. the very act of moving away. and Noam.. moments of destruction. and kill animals. technological innovation and action. been unavailing . and animals alike was grounded in an argument that biological inferiority predestined them for servitude.The endorsement of human suicide as a thought experiment breaks down humancentered value systems Kochi and Ordan ‘08 (Tarik. a variety of negative consequences of human action. Ryder and later elaborated into a comprehensive ethics by Peter Singer (1975). Israel. and eccentric peoples and types as non. p. conducts research in Translation Studies at Bar Ilan University. There are important parallels between speciesism and sexism and racism in the elevation of white male rationality to the touchstone of moral worth. Northern Ireland. Augustine (1998. However. women.race had proven its superiority by bringing the “lower races” under its command. Such an approach involves a moment of reflection--previous errors and consequences are examined and taken into account and efforts are made to make things better. Thus. or nonhuman.33). which can itself be called a 'human-centric' view or attitude. hunt. 'enlightened' humans generally abhor racism.e. colonialism. The purpose of such a proposal in response to Hawking is to help show how a certain conception of modernity. believe in the equality of all humans. as well as on the environment.namely. December)//RSW The version of progress enunciated in Hawking's story of cosmic colonisation presents a view whereby the solution to the negative consequences of technological action is to create new forms of technology. The idea of a better future informs reflection. Our proposed conclusion is that the only appropriate moral response to a history of human destructive action is to give up our claims to biological supremacy and to sacrifice our form of life so as to give an eternal gift to others . Indeed. and therefore are deemed and treated as inferior. people of color. [3] By imagining an alternative to the existing state of affairs. Once western norms of rationality were defined as the essence of humanity and social normality. Belfast. While many modern. refers to the attitude by which humans value their species above both non-human animals and plant life. condemn slavery and find cannibalism and human sacrifice repugnant. we wish to open up a ground for a critical discussion of modernity and its negative impacts on both human and non-human animals. women.e. The CP solves. From the outset it is important to make clear that the argument for the global suicide of humanity is presented as a thought experiment . is the form of reflection offered by Hawking broad or critical enough? Does his mode of reflection pay enough attention to the irredeemable moments of destruction.” The oppression of blacks.or sub-human. is problematic. of which his approach is representative. which however was Judaic moral baggage official Chistianithy left behind. Quite typically humans conceive non-human animals and plant life as something which might simply be used for their benefit. Queen's University. Conversely there are a number of conceptions of the good in which humans do not take centre stage at the expense of others. which may not be redeemable or ever made better. more generously. 'An argument for the global suicide of humanity'. the arrogant belief that humans have a natural or God-given right to use animals for any purpose they devise or. harm. we attempt to draw attention to some of the asymmetries of environmental reality and to give cause to question why attempts to build bridges from the human to the non-human have. western males) pronounce that the Other (i. within the moral boundaries of welfarism and stewardship. Whereas the racist mindset creates a hierarchy of superior/inferior on the basis of skin color. by giving voice to the idea of a human-free world. New action and innovation solve the dilemmas and consequences of previous action. or rather evacuating. and numerous other groups from “humanity.. Indeed. What we try to do in this paper is to draw out some of the consequences of reflecting more broadly upon the negative costs of human activity in the context of environmental catastrophe. after all. new forms of action. this conception can be traced back to. survival and complicity. elite. As racism stems from a hateful white supremacism. exotic. so speciesism stems from and informs a violent human supremacism -. pain and suffering inflicted historically by human action upon the non-human world? There are. In the major strain of western thought. the speciesist outlook demeans and objectifies animals by dichotomizing the biological continuum into the antipodes of humans and animals. different. lecturer in the School of Law. Subjects of ethical discourse One dominant presumption that underlies many modern scientific and political attitudes towards technology and creative human action is that of 'speciesism'. This involves re-thinking a general idea of progress through the historical and conceptual lenses of speciesism.

The less radical environmentalists talk about future human generations so. Western view of the 'subject' as purely human-centric. LaFollette & Shanks. That is. what remains central is a practice of sacrificing the lives of other species for the benefit of humans. Such a position involves differing metaphysical commitments to the notions of being. One approach is of course to adopt the approach taken by Singer and many within the animal rights movement and remove our species. however. Certainly some within the scientific community. according to this approach. Western human-centric view of the subject and to question what happens to it in the field of moral action when environmental catastrophe demands the radical extension of ethical obligations to non-human beings. but also the lives of other species. homo sapiens. In this sense such thinking does not greatly depart from any school of modern ethics. and follow seriously the extension of ethical obligations to non-human beings.g. we share some of their criticism of bourgeois green lifestyles.255). colonisation is often justified. that this philosophical approach can be taken a number of steps further. cyclical theories of the earth's temperature change) and over whether phenomena such as global warming can be halted or reversed.'natural order of things'.30). That is. Further. This would include rivers. Rather he argues that the term 'life' should be used in a comprehensive non-technical way such that it refers also to things biologists may classify as non-living .29). contest aspects of this claim and argue that experimentation on animals is beneficial to both human and nonhuman animals (e. whose slogan is "Now. in that they hide the relative distinctions of value that underlie a moral justification for sacrifice within the practice of experimentation (cf. the subject is expanded so that it may include the environment as a whole. they enlarge the group of subjects to which ethical relations apply. Such an attitude thus resides deeply within modern human ethical customs and rationales and plays a profound role in the way in which humans interact with their environment. However. That is. 'y' includes a projection into the future to encompass the welfare of hitherto non-existent beings. If we were to colonise other planets. In this instance. at the expense of other forms of life which would justify our taking over a new habitat and altering it to suit our prosperity and desired living conditions? Generally. between "shallow" and "deep ecology" or between "light" and "dark greens" per se. intelligence and moral activity. the animal rights movement responds to the ongoing colonisation of animal habitats by humans by asking whether the modern Western subject should indeed be the central focus of its ethical discourse. according to Naess. but rather a broader re-drawing of the content of the subject of Western philosophical discourse and its re-definition as 'life'. modern science needs to ask the question of: 'Who' is the best candidate for 'sacrifice' for the good of the environment and all species concerned ? The moral response to the violence. p. The use of the term 'colonisation' is significant here as it draws to mind the recent history of the colonisation of much of the globe by white. And from this point we suggest that it is the operation of speciesism as colonialism which must be addressed. to the extent that the living environment as a whole can come to be considered the proper subject of morality. In eco-ethics. such as the 'deep ecology' movement. what form of 'racism' would underlie our actions? What higher value would we place upon human life. Such an approach would thereby take into account not only human life. European peoples. already. with suicide as its outcome. then we would suggest that what we find is that the utopian demand of modern humanism turns over into a utopian anti-humanism. 1979. Such actions were often justified by valuing European civilisation higher than civilisations of non-white peoples. The moral act would be the global suicide of humanity. especially that of indigenous peoples. For tomorrow". landscapes. the role of the subject and its relation to ethics is treated a little differently. p. The possibility of the destruction of our habitable environment on earth through global warming and Hawking's suggestion that we respond by colonising other planets forces us to ask a serious question about how we value human life in relation to our environment. This blurring and re-defining of the subject of moral discourse can be found in other ecocentric writings (e. 1989. Our position is that regardless of where one stands within these debates it is clear that humans have inflicted degrees of harm upon non-human animals and the natural environment. from the centre of all moral discourse. if we stick with the modern humanist subject of moral action. Rather than reject this common reasoning of modern science we argue that it should be reconsidered upon the basis of species equality . Grasson. Lovelock. We would suggest. 1997. That is. . if one considers the modern scientific practice of experimenting on animals. both the notions of progress and speciesism are implicitly drawn upon within the moral reasoning of scientists in their justification of committing violence against nonhuman animals. One way of attempting to re-think the modern subject is thus to throw the issue of suicide right in at the beginning and acknowledge its position in modern ethical thought. From this perspective the statement 'x harms y' renders 'y' somewhat vague. cultures. Eckersley. If the standpoint that we have a moral responsibility towards the environment in which all sentient creatures live is to be taken seriously. For scholars such as Edward Said (1978). p. on the other hand. however. all understood as "the living earth" (Naess. 'life' is not to be understood in "a biologically narrow sense". such as physiologist Colin Blakemore. and ecosystems. the practice of colonialism is intimately bound up with racism. upon the human race. What survives when humans no longer exist? There continues to be a debate over the extent to which humans have caused environmental problems such as global warming (as opposed to natural. Such claims are 'disingenuous'. The typical line of thinking here is that because animals are valued less than humans they can be sacrificed for the purpose of expanding scientific knowledge focussed upon improving human life. For others. however.g. then we perhaps have reason to question whether there remains any strong ethical grounds to justify the further existence of humanity. our approach is to stay partly within the position of the modern. This would be to recognise that the question of suicide resides at the center of moral thought. 2000. but simply extends ethical duties and obligations to non-human animals. Such an approach is prevalent in the Green Party in Germany. If there is a benefit to non-human animals this is only incidental. For example. What occurs is not so much a conflict over the degree of ethical commitment. animal rights philosophers wish to incorporate in 'y' non-human animals. suffering and damage humans have inflicted upon this earth and its inhabitants might then be to argue for the sacrifice of the human species. In saying 'x harms y'. legitimated and driven by a view in which the right to possess territory and govern human life is grounded upon an assumption of racial superiority. [5] In part our approach bears some similarity with these 'holistic' approaches in that we share dissatisfaction with the modern. 1992) and in other philosophical approaches.

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