How to you respond to objections that Animalism is a Natural Fallacy?
Clearly all animals do not all behave in exactly the same ways – few people would recommend that humans emulate the social behaviors of ants! However, if one’s a priori assumptions do not come from observation of the natural world, they must either be plucked from thin air or copied from others. Animalism contends that optimizing human morality cannot be left to the whims of metaphysics and tradition but can be formulated through observation, empiricism and logic.
Bonobos are peaceful. Why do you think that aggression is so crucial to human behavior?
Unlike bonobos, humans have depended on hunting and eating meat for millions of years. We may not have claws and fangs, but our brains require much larger quantities of protein and fat to function properly, and these very brains are also predisposed to high predatory intelligence and the capability of making and using weapons. We are true apex predators, and such predators that have few predators of their own tend to control their own population through fierce territoriality and aggression. This doesn’t mean that they are killing each other all the time – the limiting affect of territoriality on resources results in decreased fertility levels and lifespans.
What do you think about homosexuality?
Bisexual behavior is commonplace among many animals, including our closest relatives the chimpanzees and bonobos. In these animal societies, non-reproductive “sexual” behavior clearly plays an important role in bonding, reconciliation and the maintenance of social cohesion and order. On the other hand (for obvious reasons) exclusive homosexuality is extremely rare. In addition, it is a good idea to avoid certain behaviors with high risk for the spread of deadly STDs.
Why is your community polyamorous?
In spite of thousands of years of repression, the natural tendency to have numerous mates is still prevalent throughout the human world. In addition, to create strong group bonds among newly formed communities, it is important that each father treats all children as his own – such coalitions are central to the cohesion of both lion and chimpanzee societies.
What religions and philosophies are similar to Animalism?
Animalism is adjacent on the ideological spectrum to Neotribalism, Anarcho-Primitivism, and Egoist Anarchism.
Do you hate Christians and Humanists?
Not at all. Even though Christianity is on the opposite end of the memetic spectrum, true kindness such as that of Jesus is a rare and admirable trait. However, the Universe is simply far too dark a place for me to accept that God is loving, all-powerful and all-knowing. In addition, I utterly detest the hypocrisy and incoherence of the majority of people who claim to be Christians and humanists yet behave like the devil.
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. --Revelations 3:15-16
What are your personal beliefs about God?
I am agnostic. I do not know if there is a god or gods, but based on what I have seen in Nature, I tend towards a kind of panentheistic animism in which the entire Universe is alive with opposing forces in a cosmic dance of dynamic equilibrium. I extend the definition of life to galaxies, stars and the earth itself – emergent dynamic and complex systems that are far from entropy. I believe that if the Universe was created by a higher power, the nature of that Universe reflects the nature of God(s). The Universe is filled with beauty, splendor and love, but it is also brimming with almost unspeakable unbridled pain and brutality. I choose to embrace all of it.
Do you believe in life after death?
The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless. -- Steven Weinberg
According to our current understanding of physics, it is inevitable that one day the earth will be vaporized by an expanding sun and that ultimately the Universe itself will fade into oblivion. If the Universe has an expiration date, it probably had a beginning, and if it had a beginning, there must be a transcendent power to kick-start that beginning and reverse entropy. It is also possible that our current understanding of quantum physics and thermodynamics is severely flawed (like the epicycles of geocentricism) and that the Universe is eternal. If our current understanding of physics is correct and there is no afterlife, life is indeed a nightmarish, sadistic, pointless and torturous tragedy as we struggle through hardships and build loving relationships only to be thrust into oblivion for all eternity. Any god who created such a Universe would rightly be considered a monster.
However, if in either case life does not end at death, hope overcomes all suffering and the experience of beautiful moments makes it all worthwhile. The darkness accentuates the light. I do not claim to have any idea what form such an afterlife might take – reincarnation, merging with Forces and entering unseen dimensions are all possibilities, but these are all in the realm of metaphysics and speculation. The “knowledge” of death that emerged through the mutation of language truly was the “forbidden fruit.” Wild animals seem to be oblivious to the fact that one day they will die. They live in the moment, following the course that Nature has laid out for them. Like animals, I try to avoid thinking about death and focus on living what I believe to be the way that Nature intended.
I also said to myself, “As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are but animals. Surely the fate of humans is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same spirit; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot. For who can bring them to see what will happen after they die? --Ecclesiastes 3:19-22