Gaps in the Mind
Dawkins (Richard)
Source: Cavalieri & Singer - The Great Ape Project - Equality Beyond Humanity
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Conclusion

  1. The world that would be so shaken, by such an incidental event as a hybridisation1, is a speciesist world indeed, dominated by the discontinuous mind.
  2. I have argued that the discontinuous gap between humans and ‘apes’ that we erect in our minds is regrettable. I have also argued that, in any case, the present position of the hallowed gap is arbitrary, the result of evolutionary accident. If the contingencies of survival and extinction had been different, the gap would be in a different place. Ethical principles that are based upon accidental caprice should not be respected as if cast in stone.
  3. Nevertheless, it must be conceded that this book’s proposal to admit great apes to the charmed circle of human privilege stands square in the discontinuous tradition. Albeit the gap has moved, the fundamental question is still ‘Which side of the gap?’ Regrettable as this is, as long as our social mores are governed by discontinuously minded lawyers and theologians, it is premature to advocate a quantitative, continuously distributed morality. Accordingly, I support the proposal for which this book stands.

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1:

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2021
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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