Friday, September 23, 2005

A Note On Definitions

My significant other and myself got into a debate the other night over the contents of this blog. She, being an animal lover, thinks that it’s inappropriate to group organizations like PETA and SHAC with the National Alliance and David Duke. Her argument is that unlike the white supremacists, the radical animal rights groups are actually doing some good. In a way, I agree. I’m much, much more sympathetic with the aims of PETA than I am with those of the National Alliance. But that’s not really the point. This is a blog dedicated to describing the ideas and actions of extremists. I am defining extremism for the purposes of this site as being any person or group that seeks to force us all to think as they do. Clearly PETA, like the white power groups, fits the bill. PETA may in fact be partially right in their beliefs. But that is not enough to place them above criticism for their monist tendencies.


Blogger The Bookhouse Boy said...

From my perspective, their position on animal testing of medical procedures qualifies them as far-gone radicals ... to place animal life above humans removes you from anything close to normal thought. they've probably helped reduce some of the animal cruelty in the world with their fast-food campaigns. But every radical movement has one or two aspects to it that could improve society, perhaps.

There's nothing wrong with the Humane Society. That's why they don't show up here.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Henry Garfield said...

I try use a tighter definition of what constitutes an extremist. If went with one that includes anyone who departs from “normal thought”, I’d have to write about people who believe that they were taken up in UFOs or think that they saw Elvis at the gas station last week.

1:20 AM  
Blogger The Bookhouse Boy said...

Well, all right, I guess I mean normal moral and political thought ... most people, including myself, find equating human and animal life to be morally repugnant, and to lobby to save animal live at the expense of human lives is radical, in my opinion. And while most people don't like the idea of hurting animals, if they understand its a choice between animals dying and their diabetic friends dying, they understand that PETA's position is insane.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Henry Garfield said...

I generally agree, but would note that if someone holds a political opinion that most people find repugnant, I would not automatically classify them as an extremist. I hold some political beliefs that most Americans would strongly disagree with. I will only become an extremist if I try to force society as a whole to adopt my beliefs.

10:20 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home