Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, May 05, 2008

New Euro-Crime: Perp Kills ... Plants!

A Swiss farmer walking back from killing a whole field full of wheat swings his scythe and cuts decapitates some wildflowers alongside the road. With those corrections, I have the verbs right, according to Swiss law.

Cutting wildflowers isn't just one of those things, anymore in Switzerland, not since the Swiss government added some language to their constitution requiring "account to be taken of the dignity of creation when handling animals, plants and other organisms."

Welcome to the New Age. Welcome to the secular state where humans are just more primordial ooze not to be considered any higher or better than anything else, be it another mammal, a plant or ... virus?

Note the last bit of the addition to the Swiss constitution: "other organisms." In this new way of thinking, who knows whether it would be appropriate for a mere human to kill a bunch of viruses or bacteria in order to overcome a sickness? Who are we to say we're better than any of our Ooze Brothers?

Indeed, who knows? Here's what the Weekly Standard has to say about how the Swiss dealt with the hypothetical farmer -- was he a murderer, or just some guy whacking some flowers?
No one knew exactly what [the new words in the Swiss constitution] meant, so they asked the Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology to figure it out. The resulting report, "The Dignity of Living Beings with Regard to Plants," is enough to short circuit the brain.

A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please, even if the plant community is not in danger, or if our actions do not endanger the species, or if we are not acting arbitrarily."

The committee offered this illustration: A farmer mows his field (apparently an acceptable action, perhaps because the hay is intended to feed the farmer's herd--the report doesn't say). But then, while walking home, he casually "decapitates" some wildflowers with his scythe. The panel
decries this act as immoral, though its members can't agree why. The report states, opaquely:
At this point it remains unclear whether this action is condemned because it expresses a particular moral stance of the farmer toward other organisms or because something bad is being done to the flowers themselves.
I say if the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (and I pray to the high heavens we have no such federal committee here!) cannot decide why the act is morally condemnable, then it's not.

Under this interpretation of the rules, PETA will change its name to PETPA, and demonstrators will be splashing fake blood on customers at flower shops, for what right do we mere humans have to use plants for anything beyond mere survival? Trimming hedges? Forget it!

This is the expansion of secularism, from the shocking idea a few years ago that animals should have the same rights as people to today, when humans are advocating that they're no better than plants. No wonder they can't fight wars anymore!

It's particularly bad in Europe, where participation in Judeo-Christian religions has dropped off to the point where American Christian missionaries now see the continent as a priority area for missions. Without the anchor of God and a belief that there is divinity in our creation, anything goes, proving C.S. Lewis right. If a continent believes in nothing, it will believe anything.

hat-tip: Jim

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