"As often as Herman had witnessed the slaughter of animals and fish, he always had the same thought: in their behaviour towards creatures, all men were Nazis. The smugness with which man could do with another species as he pleased exemplified the most extreme racist theories, the principal that might is right... for the animals, life is always Treblinka."
It is almost impossible to comprehend the terrible tragedy of billions of other sentient beings who live brief unnatural lives to feed human gluttony, vanity, or sociopathic so-called scientific experiments. The current scale of human abuse of nonhuman sentients is the most appalling crime of our, or any age. And this is what sentientist consciousness realises.
Sentientism, Pathocentrism, or Painism are varying overlapping or perhaps synonymous terms for that the ethical philosophy that says that all sentient beings, that is, all beings that are conscious and have feelings and experience pain, have moral status.
I originally was using Pathocentrism, and before then experimented with the neologism Animacentrism, but the word Sentientism has a nicer ring to it. Sentientism is a non-sectarian term to include ahimsa and Animal Rights. Although ahimsa means non-harmfulness, it doesn't convey the emphasis on the ethical rights of beings in themselves that sentientism does. While "Animal Rights" is not sweeping enough, because sentientism includes all sentient beings: animals, humans, and future entiries such as A.I.s, sentient robots, and so on.
As I define it, Sentientism means that all sentient beings - all beings that feel and can suffer - have intrinsic moral value and rights. In fact, they have equal rights, so the pain of a non-human animal is not somehow "less" than the pain of a human animal (i.e. a human being). Sentientism rejects outright both the religious fallacy that "only man has a (Divine) soul" and the materialistic fantasy that only humans are conscious or self-conscious; both these fdallacies are intrinsically forms of specieism. In fact, as Marc Bekoff has shown, animals posess the full gamut of consciousness, rich emotiobnal life, intellgence, and moral consciousness.
It is my strong opinion that sentientism is the most inclusive and profound ethical system ever formulated. this is because it is the only ethical system that goes completely beyond any trace of humanocentrism or aesthetism. Acknowledging the terrible atrocitries humanity inflicts daily on countless highly sensitive and loving beings, is the first, absolutely essential, stage in any Integral (and not just mental, emotional, physical, egotistic, or individual) planetary transformation.
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