Erin Manning’s strange attack on environmentalists reminded me of another Crunchy Con post from long ago, in which Rod approvingly cited an article by Wesley Smith called “The Silent Scream of the Asparagus,” about the decision of a Swiss ethics committee that plants have their own dignity.
A funny title. But a foolish article. A highlight of the committee’s report:
A “clear majority” of the panel adopted what it called a “biocentric” moral view, meaning that “living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive.” Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim “absolute ownership” over plants and, moreover, that “individual plants have an inherent worth.” This means that “we may not use them just as we please…”
Wesley called this “enough to short circuit the brain.” “Asinine,” Rod chipped in. It’s astonishing that people who call themselves conservative should not recognize the panel’s statement as deeply Aristotelian and deeply Christian. Of course plants have an inherent worth. Didn’t G-d pronounce them good before humans were even created? Of course they have dignity, which is just to say there is a certain way of treating them that is appropriate for the kind of thing that they are. Of course life itself is sacred, as such. The people who disagree with these statements are disagreeing with a whole worldview — the worldview of Aristotle, the Bible, and all of Western Culture until quite recently. In what sense is it conservative (much less crunchy) to attack the sanctity of life and the dignity of the created order?