Human Exceptionalism

Chimp Commits Chimpicide

An adult chimp has killed a baby chimp at the LA Zoo. From the story:

The first chimpanzee baby born at the LA Zoo in 13 years was mauled to death Tuesday by an adult chimp in front of a crowd of visitors, including children, zoo officials said.

Did the baby chimp have a “right to life?”  Ridiculous.  Did the killing chimp violate the infant’s rights?  Nonsensical, on its face. Was the chimp evil for exposing the human children to such violence? I can’t imagine anyone so thinking.

Yet, they are supposedly “persons.”  But morality and adherence to duties are not part of chimp nature, despite their relatively high intelligence. Not true of us: Moral agency is an inherent part of being human.

That is why if I had commited the chimpicide, it would create an outcry of righteous moral outrage. I have human duties–again, there is no such thing as chimp duties–for which I can be held to account. That is a distinction with a moral difference.


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