Some might be surprised to learn that an organization devoted to space colonization is dedicated to the cause of animal welfare. But those people overlook the fact that space colonization is for us not an end on itself, but rather a mean towards the end of creating a new society based on humanist values. Continue reading Space colonization and animal welfare
Humanism is about behaving like the best of civilised, thoughtful, responsible, considerate moral agents. We talk about being humane towards animals; that is, acting with the consideration and kindness that arise from conscious interest in their welfare.
A. C. Grayling in The God Argument p. 196.
As a humanist organization, Republic of Lagrangia puts great importance to animal welfare. Space colonization should not only be used to found a better society for humans, but the creation of a new society should also an opportunity to raise animal welfare to a higher level.
Here on Earth proposals aimed at the improvement of animal welfare, are too often resisted by established interests. In space, however, such interests do not exist, at least not yet. This enables us to introduce the best animal welfare legislation, we have to forge the iron when it’s still hot.
The first measure we should take, is the prohibition of intensive animal farming. Not only is intensive animal farming bad for animal welfare, it also constitutes a serious threat to animal health. Diseases in livestock can, when they jump to humans, cause pandemics. Instead space settlements should promote vegetarianism and encourage developments like in vitro meat.
A second measure is to ban the commercial exploitation of animals in the entertainment industry. No wild animals in circuses, no bull fighting and related blood sports, and no animal racing. Rather than betting on horses or dogs, people should bet on the 400m hurdling.
The third issue we have to consider is animal testing. Unlike the previous two topics, simple prohibition is here problematic. On one hand we do not want to inflict suffering on animals, but on the other hand we want to know whether the stuff we use is safe. This does not mean, however, we can’t and shouldn’t take steps to address this issue as well.
We should limit animal testing to those cases, in which the necessity of these experiments can be proven beyond reasonable doubt. Next we should encourage research to reliable alternatives for animal testing. New scientific developments suggest that most, if not all, experiments on animals could be eliminated in the near future.
If we will succeed in eliminating animal testing without compromising scientific and medical progress, we have made an important step in the development of civilization.
In this post we will defend the case for the establishment of a secular, liberal and humanist Republic. We believe the establishment of such state is necessary, but it is almost impossible to create such state on earth.
What is secularism?
First we should explain what secularism is. Unlike what some religious motivated demagogues pretend, secularism is not about prohibiting religion in all aspects of life. The real meaning of secularism is the separation of religion and politics. Secularists believes that religion is a matter for one’s own conscience, whilst politics is about public affairs.
What is liberalism?
Classical liberalism is the tradition within political philosophy which advocates a limited government, especially by imposing constitutional restrictions on the scope of permitted governmental actions. Individual liberty is restricted only by the liberty of other persons.
What is humanism?
Humanism is the world view that humans and humanity are the cornerstone of both society and ethics. Human life is not a mean but an end in itself, therefore both society and ethics should be based on their dedication to human dignity. Humanism can be either religious or secular.
Why a secular liberal and humanist Republic?
Currently there are no states in the world that enshrines the principles of secularism, liberalism and humanism. Many societies have religious inspired laws or are giving a special status to religion. Even in nominal secular societies, such the USA, religious groups are able to influence public policy even if they are an minority.
In order to protect the legacy of the Enlightenment, it is necessary that secular, liberal humanists will unite to form a new society, which explicitly based on these values. Once such society is established all immigrants and public officials has to sign a pledge to uphold these values.