Monday, December 17, 2007

Is "Futilitarianism" an Insult?

I have criticized the futilitarians in the past for engaging in insulting behaviors. For example, calling anyone such as me a “new welfarist” is an insult since it is not descriptive and is evidently just intended to upset people. However, futility is a key theme descriptively and truly associated with Francione’s anti-“welfarism.” It is even more descriptive than “animal rights fundamentalism,” which only examines one aspect of the futilitarian position. It is not ad hominem, or directed against anyone’s personal characteristics, but rather impersonal exposition. It is not even an exaggeration. Is it satire in the sense that it is intended to make us laugh at the foibles of people who are lost in ways of error and causing harm? I have to agree with that assessment, but satire is not insult, but rather a civilized substitute for insult. Satirists invite deserved ridicule of a position that involves vice or folly. Futility deserves to be highlighted as a fault if it is indeed a shortcoming as it extensively is with the futilitarians. It may be insulting to subject someone to an indignity. It is indeed undignified to carry on with futile behaviour. However, I am not “subjecting” the futilitarians to that. They are engaging in existential absurdity of their own accord, however unwittingly. I apologize in advance if anyone feels insulted by the label. “Futilitarianism” is intended to be purely descriptive and satirical, or to highlight an irony in a certain movement that purports to be full of activist and noble purpose. Few would consent to be satirized, but few would consent to abolishing satire itself. For satire is a valuable tool for social criticism and social change.


A Selection of Related Articles

Sztybel, David. "Animal Rights Law: Fundamentalism versus Pragmatism". Journal for Critical Animal Studies 5 (1) (2007): 1-37.

go there

Short version of "Animal Rights Law".

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Sztybel, David. "Incrementalist Animal Law: Welcome to the Real World".

go there

Sztybel, David. "Sztybelian Pragmatism versus Francionist Pseudo-Pragmatism".

go there

A Selection of Related Blog Entries

Anti-Cruelty Laws and Non-Violent Approximation

Use Not Treatment: Francione’s Cracked Nutshell

Francione Flees Debate with Me Again, Runs into the “Animal Jury”

The False Dilemma: Veganizing versus Legalizing

Veganism as a Baseline for Animal Rights: Two Different Senses

Francione's Three Feeble Critiques of My Views

Startling Decline in Meat Consumption Proves Francionists Are Wrong Once Again!

The Greatness of the Great Ape Project under Attack!

Francione Totally Misinterprets Singer

Francione's Animal Rights Theory

Francione on Unnecessary Suffering

My Appearance on AR Zone

D-Day for Francionists

Sztybel versus Francione on Animals' Property Status

The Red Carpet

Playing into the Hands of Animal Exploiters

The Abolitionist ApproachES

Francione's Mighty Boomerang

Dr. David Sztybel Home Page

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