Rights of the Transformed:
Rights? What Rights?
by Rt. Rev. Nehemiah Gish
©2005 Rt. Rev. N. Gish -- all rights reserved
Do transformed humans have rights? Should they? Maybe so, and maybe not. Either way, the fact of the matter is that no amount of poring over arcane legal codes can possibly help anyone find an answer to that question. Those legal codes say that 'humans' or 'persons' have rights, to be sure, but they do not define what a 'human' or 'person' is!
This, of course, begs the question of whether our laws even should define 'human'. After all, do you really want the legal system to have the power to declare anyone or anything human, or not, according to the whims of whichever judges and lawyers are attached to whichever case? I certainly don't! One need look no further than the Dred Scott decision to see that judges and lawyers are no better equipped to define 'human' than anybody else. And there's one little point which is consistently, and curiously, overlooked: Show me a judiciary with the power to declare an animal to be human, and I'll show you a judiciary with the power to declare a human to be an animal.
To put it bluntly: Do you want to take a chance on having some superannuated, unelected, unaccountable old fogey strip you of your very humanity by judicial fiat? Remember Dred Scott; remember that the Supreme Court has consistently refused to make the obvious ruling that the military draft is involuntary servitude; remember also this Court's recent decision that no one's property is safe from any real-estate developer who can buy a 50%-plus-one majority of a town's ruling council. Do you honestly believe this Court is, in any way, either willing to or capable of defending your humanity against any powerful faction which might find short-term advantage in denying it?
In short, forget human law -- it's worse than useless here. If we want a sensible, reliable means of distinguishing between 'human' and 'animal', we must look elsewhere.
Ideally, we'd like to see an objective definition of 'human' which anybody can uniformly apply to any living creature, and yield the same result no matter what. Well, 'objective definition' is what science is all about, isn't it? And for our purposes, the most relevant field of science is, obviously, biology. Unfortunately, biology is of no help whatsoever! Humans have DNA; so does everything this side of a virus. Humans breathe oxygen; so does any animal worth bothering with. Human bodies are constructed from the same amino acids as every other living thing. Humans have five-fingered hands; so do our biologically-anointed 'cousins', chimpanzees and other apes. In fact, the great 17th-Century biologist Carolus Linnaeus, who invented the species nomenclature used by all secular scientists, famously complained that he could not find a physical characteristic by which he might distinguish between humans and apes!
In short, there can be no definition of 'human' which derives from brute physical characteristics. In that case, how about mental characteristics? To start with one superficially tempting option, you could try to use sentience as the quality which separates 'human' from 'animal'. Unfortunately, how can you know whether or not a creature possesses 'sentience'? The answer is, you can't. Don't tell me that you can infer sentience from a creature's behavior; there is a computer program called ELIZA, written by Joseph Weizenbaum back in the 1960s, which uses utterly brainless text-manipulation to simulate conversation -- and which, in spite of its simplistic underlying code, has successfully decieved untold numbers of people into believing that ELIZA is a real, thinking being!
How about language use? No -- not unless you want to declare the sub-imbecilic ELIZA program to be 'human', that is. And, of course, there those apes, perhaps the most famous being Koko, who have been taught to use sign language. Clearly, language use is not a valid discriminant for our purposes!
Well, maybe emotions are the touchstone -- everyone agrees that human beings can feel guilt, regret, and so on. Sadly, we again run into the question of 'how do you know?' There are large numbers of people who possess unshakable faith in the doctrine that dogs, cats, and other animals have the same sorts of emotions we humans do, never mind how uniformly primitive these animals' nervous systems are in comparison to our own. Therefore, regardless of how false these animal-worshippers' faith may be, the fact that they have that faith is a clear indication that the presence or absence of emotion cannot be a reliable means of distinguishing humans from animals.
At this point, some of you may be wondering why anybody should care that it is so hard to distinguish between 'human' and 'animal'. Indeed, why should we even bother to make that distinction in the first place? This position is far from unheard-of; a socialist academic named Peter Singer is only the best-known of the many intelligent, well-educated fools who have baldly asserted, in so many words, that animals should have every last one of the rights of humans!
Gives you pause, doesn't it? And it should give you pause. Even the most cursory examination of Singerite doctrine reveals it to be irreparably riddled with absurdities from stem to stern. Human rights include the right to vote; how, exactly, does one go about securing the franchise of hummingbirds, orcas, eagles, and flatworms? Since many animals have lifespans far shorter than 18 years, laws about alcohol consumption clearly discriminate against these longevity-challenged creatures. And don't forget that Presidential candidates must be a minimum of 35 years old; not even the Constitution itself is immune to Singerite manipulation and degradation!
Of course, Singerites immediately backpedal when confronted with the utter senselessness of their position. "Oh, no," they will assure you, "just because we clearly and explicitly said so, we didn't really mean that animals should have all human rights. We only meant to grant animals the most fundamental and basic rights -- the right to life, for instance." Isn't that interesting? According to Singerites, the right to vote isn't 'fundamental and basic'. It would seem that the right to vote is nothing special -- so all those who have fought and died to establish democracy must have been a bunch of real morons, apparently.
Be that as it may, Singerite cult beliefs don't just savage basic American principles on the conservative side; they also make a mockery of the liberal so-called 'value' of multi-culturalism. You see, Singerite theology holds that the Inuit people are genocidal monsters for practicing their traditional culture. To a Singerite, all hunters are serial killers; all pet shop owners are slave traders; all medical researchers are gratuitously sadistic; and as far as any Singerite labor board would be concerned, every blind person simply must have a 401K retirement plan for their minimum-wage-(or better!)-earning guide dog. And, of course, under a Singerite perversion of law, every carnivorous animal must be tried for multiple counts of murder. Good God! as if our court system isn't overloaded enough already!
Does anyone still need to ask why it's important to distinguish between 'human' and 'animal'? I thought not.
When all is said and done, there is but one real criterion by which we can distinguish between 'human' and 'animal': Humans have souls, and animals do not. All living things were created by God, but only one species did He make in His image -- and that species is Homo sapiens sapiens! You say this is a religious argument? You're right. It is. And it is, equally, a religious argument to say, as pagans, animists, and Singerites do, that animals do have souls. Therefore, if the law were to be amended or interpreted in such a way as to define animals as 'human', the law would necessarily be discriminating against God-fearing Christians in favor of pagan animists. But the principle of 'separation of church and state', currently enshrined in the Constitution, requires our Government not to spit upon Christianity by this sort of blatant, legally-sanctioned disregard for the faith on which the United States was founded!
In sum: There is no valid secular criterion for distinguishing between 'human' and 'non-human'. As a result, if the Government acknowledges any 'rights' of the transformed, by that acknowledgement it gives legal sanction to pagan animist dogma over sensible Christian faith. Therefore, the very concept of 'transformed rights' is necessarily a violation of the Constitution!