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Swiss government supports granting plants rights

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By David from Truth, Justice, and the American Way,cross-posted by MetaBlog

If you thought the animal rights movement could not get any more insane after the Spanish government granted apes rights, here is a new low:

The Federal Ethics Committee of the Swiss government has unanimously concluded that the right of plants should be recognized. Their conclusions (PDF) of their statement on the “moral consideration of plants for their own sake” includes the following:

 

  • “Harm caused to plants”, including the “decapitation of wild flowers” is “morally impermissible”
  • Plants should be “excluded for moral reasons from absolute ownership”
  • Genetic engineering is acceptable only as long as their “reproductive ability and adaptive ability are ensured” and “always involve consideration of conserving and safeguarding the natural, i.e. not man-made, network of relationships”
  • The “patenting of plants as such is morally impermissible and contradicts the dignity of living beings” [minority opinion]
  • “the complete instrumentalisation [i.e. domestrication] of plants – as a collective, as a species, or as individuals – requires moral justification”

 

You can laugh now, but not so long ago, the vast majority of people of people would have laughed at the idea of “animal rights.” To the extent that governments recognize the rights of any animals, plants, or rocks to exist for their own sake, they equally restrict the rights of human beings, since human civilization is only possible by the manipulation, exploitation, and appropriation of nature to suit the selfish interests of human beings. The call to recognize animal or plant rights is ultimately nothing less than a call for the xenocide of the entire human race.  For more see the ARI mini-site Environmentalism and Animal Rights

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http://ObjectivismOnline.com/archives/004194.html

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Rights for plants is something as stupid as rights for cars or your alarm clock you hit(initiate force on it :dough: ) every morning.

Plants(and cars, for that matter) don't feel pain and, therefore, never suffer. I could argue that animals should not be made to seriously suffer from bad conditions or injuries, but plants....

Will you ask a tree to sign 'a declaration of sacrifise' for you?

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Rights for plants is something as stupid as rights for cars or your alarm clock you hit(initiate force on it :dough: ) every morning.

Plants(and cars, for that matter) don't feel pain and, therefore, never suffer. I could argue that animals should not be made to seriously suffer from bad conditions or injuries, but plants....

Will you ask a tree to sign 'a declaration of sacrifise' for you?

Pain is not what gives us rights. It is our faculty of reason.

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The paper is full of philosophical gems such as

The role of intuition in ethical discourse

God counts for his own sake. A living being counts because of its relationship to God.

not every change brought about by humans should be valued as morally negative per se, and should not be equated with harm or destruction in every case [well, that's a relief]

«handling with restraint» may also include absolute prohibitions, e.g. a prohibition against instrumentalising plants so that they lose their ability to reproduce and adapt [no more strawberries, bananas, or seedless grapes?]

Not quite half of the members are doubtful, based on current knowledge, that plants are sentient. Conversely, a small group considers it probable that plants are sentient [what?? thinking plants?!]

But it could be that plants nevertheless

fulfil the necessary conditions for

a kind of sentience. Although plants

do not have a central nervous system,

the question arises of whether

sentience necessarily depends on a

central nervous system, and whether

disturbances have to be perceived

consciously. Since we do not have the

kind of access to plants that would enable

us to answer this, we simply do

not know. It is nevertheless imaginable

that plants have other possibilities for

experiencing harm or benefit. Studies

in cell biology...

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Pain is not what gives us rights. It is our faculty of reason.

I know. But we shouldn't pill off the skin from a live cow. Animal's suffering is not something that makes you a productive person, unless you do it for a research beneficial to you in a long term. For example, I wouldn't cut cat's leg off and watch how it bleeds to death only for fun. Don't know and can't do anything about the rest of the people, thought.

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But it could be that plants nevertheless

fulfil the necessary conditions for

a kind of sentience. Although plants

do not have a central nervous system,

the question arises of whether

sentience necessarily depends on a

central nervous system, and whether

disturbances have to be perceived

consciously. Since we do not have the

kind of access to plants that would enable

us to answer this, we simply do

not know. It is nevertheless imaginable

that plants have other possibilities for

experiencing harm or benefit. Studies

in cell biology...

This is really what any such argument comes down to - "we don't know! we just don't know! it's better to be safe than sorry!" The only thing that this "we don't know" stance breeds is more ignorance.

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I know. But we shouldn't pill off the skin from a live cow. Animal's suffering is not something that makes you a productive person, unless you do it for a research beneficial to you in a long term. For example, I wouldn't cut cat's leg off and watch how it bleeds to death only for fun. Don't know and can't do anything about the rest of the people, thought.

EDIT: Somehow what *I* wrote got lost, here it is:

I think you have this right. Doing so to a cat would not violate its rights (it has none), but it would say a lot (all of it bad) about the person doing it. (Yeegh)

Edited by Steve D'Ippolito
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As Michelle Malkin is fond of saying, "You just can't parody these people." Because theire serious actions are parody itself. The notion of plant rights is hilarious, agreed, and jokes rush unbidden into the conscious mind just hearing about it (will wild herbivores be arrested en masse? what will they be fed? Perhaps volunteer, self-sacrificial plants?, etc)

But David makes a hell of a point:

You can laugh now, but not so long ago, the vast majority of people of people would have laughed at the idea of “animal rights.”

So I ask: how do we fight this?

I think pointing out the absurdity inherent in granting plants any sort of rights would be ineffective. After all, it seems too much as if one is taking self-parody seriously. therefore the strategy should be to define rights, forcefully, as a concept appliable only to human beings.

BTW, this was a long time coming. How long have various environmental groups been protesting logging?

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That's alright, as long as that apple has been tagged "Morally Acceptable for Consumption".

Luckily, the apple consented, stating that it was a necessary sacrifice for it's anthropomorphic brethren. The plants being sentient, have also voted to approve altruism as their cultural moral standard.

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