RELI 226-601 Midterm, Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Ch. 1-9: https://net.bible…
RELI 226-601 Midterm
Lecture 4: Animal-Human Ethics
"All Animals Are Equal"
Principle of equal consideration of interests (suffering)
Philosophers typically do not take in to account other animal species as individual beings.
Bentham promotes utilitarianism
Decartes Claimed that animals "do not suffer"
animal is there in absence (in meat)
reveals "taste" as being privileged over animal rights
Based on the assumption that all people have equal access to non-animal protein sources
"a liberation movement means being prepared to rethink fundamental attitudes"
"equal consideration for different beings may lead to different treatment/rights"
"equality is a moral idea, not a simple assertion of fact"
"In Defense Of Animals: The Second Wave"
radical approach to stop hunting of animals
Ethics - agreement that if I do not harm you, you do not harm me. Animals cannot reciprocate this, but neither can small children
Speciesism: the idea that it is justifiable to give preferences on beings simply on the grounds that they are members of our own species
argue there are morally relevant differences between human beings and other animals that entitle us to give more weight on them
Australian moral philosopher
He argued for animal rights and against boundaries between humans and animals in ethical theory
“Beyond ‘Compassion and Humanity’: Justice for Nonhuman Animals,” in Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions,
beings entitled to dignified existence
Kantian contractarianism: indirect duties, duties of compassion
emphasis on rationality and capacity for moral choice
choose principles for themselves
Types of dignity and flourishing:
extending capabilities approach
"there is a waste and tragedy when a living creature had the innate or basic capabilities for some function - but never gets the opportunity to perform those functions"
Lecture 9: Animality and Blackness
Boisseron, "Is the Animal the New Black?"
Calls for an intersectional approach to address the way forms of oppression combine and interact to cause specific struggles
Discusses issues with comparative approaches, cannot separate animal and racial conversations or use one as a means for an end of the other
State of momentum v. state of completion
Consider individuals, not ideas in the abstract/absent referents
Avoid trivializing suffering of various oppressed groups
Lecture 13: Animals in Judaism
Writing Humanimals: Critical Animal Studies and Jewish Studies
“‘Animality makes anthropocentrism visible by pointing to “the constructedness of species difference and to the violence done to other species and to some human beings by that construction.’ Animality can be linked to ‘a human exceptionalism that privileges not only human beings over other species but also some human beings over other ones,’ and animality thus forces us to pay attention to ‘the ideological deployment of species difference’”
Literary approaches can engage real-world ethical issues
Critical animal studies interrogates how the human/animal binary has been constructed alongside other hierarchical and damaging boundaries such as male/female, civilized/primitive, body/mind”
Challenges us to question how animal representations influences other binaries
Lecture 7: Animals, Gender, and Sexuality
Name of Authors and Readings
Vint, "The Female is Somewhat Duller': Gender and Animals," in Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal
Key Concepts: Western cultural construction of gender binaries, the control of animal sexuality: neutering, spaying, breeding, exploitation of animals and women
Male: human, rational, head..... Female: animal, emotional, body
man is against others... especially animals
Quote: Animals become part of human discourses of gender through language in the prevalent use of animal names as sexual appellations for women (fox, chick,bird) and also in the way domesticated animals are often differentiated by specific terms for the male versus the female of the species (bull/cow, dog/bitch, stallion/mare).
sexualized names for women: chick, fox, bird
Le Guin, “She Unnames Them,” The New Yorker
Key Takeaways or themes: Power, an ecofeminist approach, everchanging reality.
Thesis: Le Guin uses the names of animals to portray the deception of association with an animal. In the reading, Eve feels close with an animal because of its existence rather than its name.
Quote : "None were left now to uname, and yet how close I felt to them when I saw one of them swim or fly or trot or crawl across my way or over my skin, or stalk me in the night, or go along beside me for a while in the day."
Adams, "The sexual politics of meat"
Key concepts: Feminism and vegetarianism are connected, we rename animals to help us cope with their death, there is an overlap between violence with animals and violence with women
Three ways animals become absent referents: literally, definitionally, and metaphorically.
Patriarchal culture treats women and animals through objectification, fragmentation, and consumption.
Quote: "animals are made absent through language that rename dead bodies before consumers participate in eating them" (pg. 72)
Lecture 5: Animal Humans: Ancient Origins
Cavelieri, The Animal Debate: A Reexamination
Descartes's ideas are being challenged now, animals have agency
Rene Descartes - Vivisection and the "beast-machine" theory - argues for Cartesian dualism in order to preform experiments on amimals
Thinking about Aristotle's hierarchies and how they became so influential, author argues that they don't have to exist
Aristotle, History of Animals
Natural hierarchy in which humans dominate over animals
Body vs. soul
Animals are body without soul and are naturally lower than humans
Male over female
Lecture 12: Animals in Judaism
"Hope for the Animal Kingdom: A Jewish Vision"
humanitarian concerns are written in the Hebrew bible, animals are respected and treated kindly
scripture implies stewardship, not dominion
some parts of the scripture imply that animals are of equal standing with humans in relation to the divine
Multiple voices within Judaism
Kosher eating is important to some people practicing Judaism
Kosher involves: not eating meat and dairy at the same time, Kosher slaughter, and only eating certain animals
Certain animals are viewed as "unclean," you don't eat them because it would separate you further from the divine (make you more "unclean" like the animal)
motivation = to make conscious, holy decisions and to achieve holiness
Talmud: records wide ranging debates between different rabbis about Jewish law and practice
Kosher: satisfying the requirements of Jewish law; prepare (food) according to the requirements of Jewish law
Midrush: term in Hebrew for searching through the text
Lecture 6: The Descent of the Human Animal
Darwin, Comparison of the Mental Powers of Man and the Lower Animals
Thesis: Difference in mind is in degree of abilities, not the kind
Humans descended from "lower animals"
Contrast to Cartesian ideas of animals being simply bodies
Attention, reason, imagination, etc. are not solely human abilities
Dawkins, Scientific Basis for Assessing Suffering in Animals
Suffering identified in animals mainly by physical health, physiological signs, and behavior
"Asking the animals" by letting them choose options that are more desirable through moving towards or away from an environment or through a use of conditioning; shows problem with anthropomorphic understandings of suffering
Suffering is subjective, animals do not have the same experience as humans just as humans do not have the same experience as others
Issues with logocentrism
communication should not be limited to linguistic ability (actions speak louder than words anyways)
Lecture 8: Animals, Colonialism, and Race
Maneesha Deckha, "Postcolonial"
Key concepts: binaries, veganism, Cartesian dualisms
binary opposition: a pair of related terms or concepts that are categorized as opposites
male vs female, subject vs object, active vs passive, living vs dead, power vs powerless, human vs machine, domesticated vs wild, civilized, noncivilized
binaries: align with demarcation between animal and human
problems with modern veganism: ignores rich history of plant based diets and makes it into a Western phenomenon.
ecofeminism addresses the various ways that sexism, heteronormativity, racism, colonialism, and ableism are informed by and
support speciesism and how analyzing the ways these forces
intersect can produce less violent, more just practices’
Representation of race and culture are deeply mediated by constructs of animality and species.
Question: Should we think of veganism as a from of Western culture or of imperialism?
Lecture 3: Animal Studies and Religion
"Seeing Spirituality in Chimpanzees"
This piece discussed that humans are not the only species that exhibit spiritual/religious behavior and rituals, suggesting that animals have a sense of spirituality.
Jane Goodall: studied the chimpanzees "rain dances", explained this was their way of expressing their spirituality.
Stone throwing = sacred activity or ritual
"Animal Others and Animal Studies"
We should rethink religion alongside animals to prevent them from being an "absent presence"
Violations to the ethical treatment of animals parallels those of humans
the way we perceive ourselves depends on other animals, and often times othering the animal
"remains unstable, disputed, and negotiated"
"critical lens like that offered by race of feminist theory"
"Introduction: Species, Religious Studies, and the Affective Turn"
religion is neither exclusively cognitive nor exclusively human
waterfall dance from chimpanzees is liked to religious rituals
Lecture 11: Animals in Hebrew Scriptures
Lecture 10: Philosophies of the Human/Animal
Derrida, The Animal That Therefore I am
Deconstruction: critical analysis that emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems
Nothing of essence that justifies animality as different from humanity
animals as entities and not just symbols or allegories
Language can perpetuate divisions between the animal and human
"je suis" - means both I am and to follow so Derrida means that in saying “the animal that therefore I am” is the same thing as saying “the animal that therefore I follow”
"ani-mot" - emphasize the individuality of the animal
Lecture 14: Animals in Christian Scriptures
"Jesus and Animals: A Different Perspective"
The universe was created for God, not for humanity
Creation exists for God, not for humanity
God loves all creation
God put himself into creation, and died for it on the Cross
Since God cares for all creation so much, human beings should care for all creation too
Human beings should care for animals, because they are part of God's creation
Doing wrong to an animal is wronging God by violating his right to have the whole of his creation respected.
challenge the unilateral view that Christianity has always been and is always bad for animals
Canon Vs Apocryphal text
The Mule that Jesus Healed
The Created Order and Jesus Birth
"The new Testament and the Lamb of God"
In the Hebrew bible, animals do not have a human voice except for two exceptions
THESIS: Animals were present in the New Testament, not for their own sake, but either directly or metaphorically for human purposes; there is a lack of focus on real animals and they are seen as slaves to the humans
Lamb of God: symbol pointing to the divine, not an actual animal
Lecture 2: Animal Studies & Religion
Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics
"...one cannot explore religious traditions adequately, nor really understand them well, without coming to terms with the diverse roles played out in their idea about animals
Raven vs raven: one is seen as a trickster and another is a predator
Communion of subjects: animals should be seen as their own beings not as objects for use
Animals play a diverse role in religion, so conversations about religion shouldn't be had without animals
Traditional Views of
Animals in Religion
define themselves, their own characteristics, their values, their
laws, their immediate world and even their gods in terms of these
species that are so other –
We find throughout world religions a tendency for humans to
Anthropomorphism: The attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.
We can see this through Disney movies and many stuffed animals. It had started to become popular in the Genre of Children's literature, making it seem like this action itself results in the devaluing and mockery of the object being anthropomorphized
Anthropocentrism: regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or animals
VERY VERY SELFISH
Hebrew Bible: Genesis, Ch. 1-9:
(Focus on 1:20-1:30; 6:9-9:17)
• Stone, “Introduction,” Reading the Hebrew Bible with Animal Studies, p. 1-9
Important Takeaways: :
In Genesis: References animals multiple times
Discusses relationship between God, Man, and All other living creatures who move
Man is given “dominion” over animals, but this can translate to different things such as stewardship and responsibility
-permission for humans to eat animals after Noah’s ark, but comes with limitations and conditions to make animals “fit for consumption”
emphasizes compassion for animals and the least amount of suffering, even placing higher value on helping a sick/hurt animal on the Sabbath than practicing it
In Stone’s reading: Discusses biblical interpretation of the Hebrew Bible and how many of the texts, especially Genesis, refer to animals in a compassionate way and emphasizes their importance - Discusses ideas taken from the text and the implications it has on human perception of our relationship with animals -
animals playing a prominent role in texts
interpretations of the Hebrew Bible can vary
-clean vs. unclean animal
-value of animal concerns in relation to human concerns
using relationships with animals and animals themselves as symbols to understand ourselves as humans and our relationships to others and God
-modern interpretations of the Bible which justify the contribution of suffering on a mass scale