Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - January 17, 2019
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Original Sin part 60, Truth, part 4
  2. David Clough - On Animals II: Theological Ethics on Tour
  3. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Original Sin part 60, Truth, part 4

Last week, I discussed how humans mischaracterize nonhumans because supposed human superiority is needed to justify the harmful exploitation of animals. If humans merely performed better on certain mental tests, this would no more justify abusing animals than it would justify abusing humans who have reduced cognitive skills. It is crucial for the abusers to claim that humans are morally superior to nonhumans. This conviction is both dubious and dangerous.

Many nonhumans display altruism. Nearly everyone who shares their lives with dogs can give examples. Among many other examples, rhesus monkeys frequently refused to eat when they recognized that their taking food resulted in a painful electric shock to a fellow rhesus monkey, and rats can be altruistic.

While everyone acknowledges human frailties, people frequently assert that human moral superiority justifies animal exploitation and abuse. The hypocrisy of this position – that moral superiority justifies immoral behavior – appears to be lost on nearly everyone except animal advocates. Moreover, belief in our general moral goodness can make us blind to our capacity to join the scapegoating mob and participate in violence. This has happened repeatedly throughout history, including in Nazi Germany, perhaps the world’s most educated nation at the time. The most effective way to avoid the temptation to participate in scapegoating process is to recognize our capacity for evil. Only then might we recognize that what appears to be true and good is actually unjust victimization.

Therefore, if we are to address the original sin of participating in scapegoating, we must recognize our capacity for evil. As long as people try to justify exploitation of animals on the grounds of human superiority, humans will continue to abuse both humans and nonhumans. Humanity continues to manifest original sin – the consequences of which now threaten the viability of human civilization – by choice.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. David Clough - On Animals II: Theological Ethics on Tour

During February 2019, David Clough is touring North America, speaking at 20 universities, seminaries, and churches. Check the list below to find the one closest to you. The events provide a unique opportunity to hear about his new work On Animals Vol. 2: Theological Ethics first-hand. Both this volume and On Animals Vol. 1: Systematic Theology have been praised highly by leading academicians.

If you can’t get to one of the events, but would be interested in hosting a virtual lecture at your institution or church, contact Creature Kind. Details for each event will be posted on the Events page as they become available.

11:30 am–12:00 pm (ET)
Yale Divinity School Chapel New Haven, CT

12:15–1:15 pm (ET)
Boston University School of Theology Boston, MA

12:00 pm–1:00 pm (ET)
Harvard Law School Cambridge, MA

10:10 am (ET)
Christ Episcopal Church Rockville, MD

12:00 pm (ET)
Lunch Talk & 7:00 pm (ET)
Georgetown University Washington, DC

12:00 pm–1:30 pm (ET)
Wesley Theological Seminary Washington, DC

4:00 pm (ET)
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA

4:30 pm (ET)
High Point University High Point, NC

Evening Lecture Duke Divinity School Durham, NC

4:00 pm (CT)
Wheaton College Wheaton, IL

11:45 am–12:15 pm (CT)
Chapel Presentation Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary Elkhart, IN

5:15 pm (CT)
University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN

12:00 pm (PT)
Santa Clara University Santa Clara, CA

3:00 pm–5:00 pm (PT)
Fuller Theological Seminary Los Angeles, CA

6:00 pm (PT)
Azusa Pacific University Los Angeles, CA

7:30 pm–9:00 pm (PT)
Regent College Vancouver, British Columbia

7:00 pm (PT)
Vancouver Central Library Vancouver, British Columbia

11:00 am–12:00 pm (PT)
University of Victoria Victoria, British Columbia

3. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

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