Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Having a whale of a time..

It looks like the ongoing talks about the whaling industry have broken down for now, apparently the constituents at the IWC (international whaling committee) can't agree on even the major issues. It seems obvious to me we should have a *good* reason to engage in the wholesale slaughter of members of another sentient mammal species, essential food production is a good reason, medical research is another good reason but the only reason I have seen from the pro-whaling countries (like Japan and Norway) is "its our culture". In this politically correct, relativist society that we seem to have evolved it would appear that pretty much *anything* is allowable and unquestionable so long as you apply the tags "cultural" or "religious" to it, you only have to look at the way we pander to various discriminatory Christian and Muslim weirdness to see this in action.

Culture is a conceptual thing, it ebbs and flows over the generations as certain tribes prosper and others decline, if we are comparing it to survival then its purely a "nice to have", an emergent property. On the other hand if we look at this purely from a rational standpoint extinction is not a conceptual thing, it's exactly the opposite. People make a big thing about preserving their "culture" as if we have some unchanging absolute measure of it; like morality, people make cultures and cultures change, what "our culture" means is an abstract idea, it requires a human brain in order to exist, whales do not require a human brain to conceive of them in order to do the same.

So, until a more compelling circumstance emerges that necessitates we kill whales then I say to those who offer culture as a reason, "then, your culture stinks!".

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