Created from Animals

Created from Animals : The Moral Implications of Darwinism

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Description

Since the Origin of Species was first published, Darwinism has been attacked for undermining traditional morality. In particular, because it emphasizes the kinship between humans and other animals, Darwinism seems incompatible with the traditional idea of human dignity - that human life has a special value, while other animals may be sacrificed for any purpose that humans choose. This book argues that Darwinism does undermine the traditional idea of human dignity; however, this is not a reason for rejecting Darwin's outlook. Instead, it is a reason for rejecting human dignity and replacing it with a better moral view, a more enlightened ethic regarding both the value of human life and our treatment of nonhuman animals. This important book, presenting Darwin's scientific and non-scientific views as one united theory, will stimulate all those interested in evolution, morality, religion, and animal rights to re-examine their views.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 250 pages
  • 127 x 198.12 x 20.32mm | 294.83g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0192861298
  • 9780192861290
  • 483,842

Review quote

'His description of the development of Darwin's ideas about the mechanism of evolution is one of the best succinct summaries I have read.' Eugenie C. Scott, National Center for Science Education, Inc, Journal of Human Evolution (1993) 24 `Rachels spells out some practical consequences of abandoning special category status for human beings.' The Heythrop Journal 'it provides an excellent introduction to the whole of Darwin's life and thought' Ethology Ecology & Evolution 4: 1992 'His style is pleasant, thoughtful, fair-minded and well-argued; and if the Christian reader is not convinced of the case Dr Rachels espouses he will nevertheless find this an interesting, instructive and rewarding study. ... this is a fascinating and worthwhile book.' Science & Christian Belief 'this ambitious book, like Rachels' previous books, is easy to read and is accessible to the many who want to know about how evolutionary biology, cognitive ethology and philosophy inform and motivate each other in coming to terms with many of the complex issues surrounding the treatment of non-humans by humans. But just because Created From Animals is an easy read, this does not mean that Rachels compromises quality. Rachels should be congratulated for his forthright, clear, and novel presentation, and also his willingness to argue openly a case that many would rather see argued behind closed doors or not at all.' Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, Environmental Values vol.1, no.1 'In his most engaging way, James Rachels ... shows how Darwinism undermines the traditional idea of human superiority, producing a book that is a powerful weapon in the war against speciesism.' RSPCA Journal 'lucid, thoughtful and well argued book ... Forceful, but never strident, it offers a moral perspective which thoughtful people, inside and outside the laboratory, would do well to ponder.' Philip Kitcher, University of California at San Diego, Nature 'A remarkably clear, straightforward, and brief discussion ... of the implications of Darwinism for animal rights.' Kirkus Reviews 'he presents a stimulating argument in lucid prose, and demonstrates without question the relevance of Darwinian theory for ethics' Times Higher Education Supplement `James Rachels can take a complex theory or tangled issue and make it lucid. The book is philosophically sophisticated, yet never obscure, pedantic, or muddled. The book should appeal to any thinking person who wishes to become better informed on the best current philosophical thought from the "animal rights" point of view.' Journal of Value Inquiry `Professor Rachel's study of ethics and evolution is an example of polemical writing at its best.' The Tabletshow more

About James Rachels

James Rachels is author of The End of Life (OUP, 1986)show more

Table of contents

Darwin's discovery; how evolution and ethics might be related; must a Darwinian be sceptical about religion?; how different are humans from other animals?; morality without the idea that humans are special.show more

Rating details

72 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 50% (36)
4 28% (20)
3 17% (12)
2 6% (4)
1 0% (0)
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