Human beings are not animals

The replacement of the phrase “animals” with the new phrase “non-human animals” has become increasingly common in many publications these days. The reason for the use of this phrase is to reinforce the false belief that humans are in fact nothing more than animals. This marks an extreme point in the obsession that the modern world has for devaluing and degrading human life, particularly in removing its moral qualities.

Animals, unlike human beings, do not have moral dilemmas; they do not have the choice between right and wrong, their lives are simply about survival and as they have no rational faculties, unlike humans, they can not comprehend a moral framework. What an unburdening it would be for us humans if we could simply classify ourselves as animals and be done with all those pesky moral issues.

Unfortunately, for those who loathe their own humanity, that doesn’t work. The consequences of our actions don’t disappear because we claim they happened reflexively due to “instinct,” “genetic pre-disposition” or “neurological determinism,” and neither does the fact that we had a choice in the first place. Instead, this evasion of our volition rationalizes wrong choices and actions, neutralizing the motivation to correct our mistakes.

The compulsion of modernity to eradicate the human soul and all notions of its existence has its source in the idea that its elimination would allow for the creation of a utopia. In fact, in the modernist view, it is the removal of the moral choice of human beings that is required for the existence of a harmonious society, so that individuals will no longer make choices for themselves, but rather some perfectly logically method will make choices for them.

It would go beyond the scope of this article to analyze the unending fallacies of the modernist pipe-dream, but what can be said of interest is that logic alone does not answer moral questions, or allow for the harmonious arrangement of society. This is because life is not merely mechanical and material as the modernists insist, but has a spiritual element which defies the bounds of logical tools. It is the development of this spiritual element which is also an important distinction between humans and animals, as humans uniquely possess the ability to express this spiritual element through symbolic forms such as language, art and religion.

Denying the human race its spiritual element and higher dignity than the animal kingdom is not an act of humility or scientific accuracy. It is a justification for the degeneration of our society to the most abominable behaviors and an amnesia of all the noble works and efforts in the history of our race. It has been rightly said by ancient writers that when men follow their lowest instincts they become worse than beasts. Let us not have to relearn this lesson the hard way.