absolute morality and killing sentient beings


What is right for human behavior is determined by human nature.  … So if humans are natural omnivores, then you can’t say it is wrong for humans to eat meat. 

As far as I can make out, there are two ways of looking at life. The first is that a god made our existence with humans (usually men) at the pinnacle of its creation – shaped and programmed with ‘morals’ by this creator deity. The second is that life has evolved naturally and that our current human state has been shaped by the whatever survival characteristics brought us to this point.

If you believe we have been programmed with morals by a creator deity, you also probably believe that your creator deity made you prone to overriding your moral programming because you’re essentially created to be evil. It’s a compelling argument.

If you believe that our sense of what is right and wrong is determined by the basic understanding of empathy and co-operation that has been so essential to our survival, you probably acknowledge that these instincts are subject to cultural, historical and circumstantial changes. Because if you are not completely devoid of any understanding of history or other cultures, you are probably aware that there are no fixed or absolute morals that have reigned supreme throughout the history of the world.

I think it’s fair to say that it is ‘wrong’ for humans to consume the flesh of any sentient beings. Most of us eat animals because we grow up in societies where everyone else eats meat. We eat meat because it’s cheap and it tastes good. It’s not wrong because it has always been wrong, and it’s not wrong because a god is transmitting magic morality instincts to us. It’s wrong because animals are thinking, feeling and fascinating creatures who don’t ever need to suffer on our behalf. And if you don’t understand that, you’ve probably got some evolving to do.