Stefan Molyneux has occasionally some really interesting writings on his blogcalled Freedomain.
One post titled “Universal Morality: A Proposition” includes the following:
Newton’s challenge was not to convince people that apples fall down, but that the same force that moves apples also moves everything else. Extending the principle of gravity from immediate experience to interplanetary motion is quite a mental feat – and even more is demanded from libertarians! Our real challenge is to extend the moral principles everyone already accepts – thus if we lack a solid argument for the universality of those moral principles, we are unlikely to gain much ground. I believe that our lack of a compelling argument for universal principles is one reason we have made so little progress over the last century or so. If moral rules are accepted (i.e. murder = evil), but universal consistency is optional, we have no real leverage to change people’s thinking. Everyone thinks that apples and planets move according to separate – and probably opposing – principles.
There’s of course a lot more to that post, but I’d like to make my small attempt of unification. As I am little radical in that respect that I’m both quite libertarian anda vegan, I have sometimes wondered why more people don’t see that both positions can be justified from the very same principles. You see, libertarians think that it is not justified to force other people to do your bidding (for example by taxing them without their consent because you think they ought to pay for your health care you are in need of because of yourown unhealthy habits) and vegans think that it is not justified to use animals just because you can and you like to eat meat no matterthat to do that in a modern world youmostlikely support growing animals in oftenquite horrible environments before having them butchered. The only generalization(orunification) that is needed is the realization that both other humans and animals have their own goals (however primitive they may be for some animals) and are sentient (which makes their well-being something to take into considerations.. though of course I can’t prove animals are sentient but neither can you prove that other humans are sentient and some animals do indeed have very similar brains as humans do and they certainly act like they would feel; based on the evidence I can hardly ignore their possible suffering) and thus if you shouldn’t have the right to force humans to do some things, you shouldn’t have the right to force animals to do some equivalent things.
Also, many people do justify their meat-eating by some weak arguments (such as that because animals eat other animals too and I’m on the top of the food chain so I’ll eat them if I want!) But then again, if you want to be consistentandnotholdarbitrarilydifferentstandardsindifferentdomains and *if* you agree with something like that (might makes right – and as animals are in no position to say no, I can eat them) then you probably should think that if somebody can beat you to pulp he has the right to do it or some equivalent craziness not that many people agree with who nonetheless are quite happily eating animals.
Anyway, I have now lived more than 7 years on mostly vegan diet and so far I’ve been feeling quite good (and of course I plan to live forever on my reasonably healthy vegan diet without harming any animals unnecessarily!!!).