Dolphins and whales on the Southern Baptist menu?
Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, returned from a tropical vacation admiring and willing to eat whales and dolphins, despite scientific evidence that dolphins are second only to human beings in the size and complexity of their neural architecture and that they “have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.”
In extreme circumstances he would reluctantly dine on them with his family because his young earth creationist fundamentalism dictates that there is a “crucial and categorical distinction between human beings — created in God’s own image — and the rest of the created order. We must reject the very notion of ‘non-human persons.'”
Indeed, he argues that attempts to secure them against arbitrary captivity, slavery and potentially a place on his dinner plate by creating for them the status of “non-human persons” creates “confusion about the distinction between humans and animals serves to threaten human dignity.”
Thus scientific debate about the significance of the ratio of neocortex to the primitive brain, the meaning of dolphin tool use or self-recognitition seems to be of no consequence to Mohler. As made, his argument suggests that dolphins could learn to read the bible underwater and form and attend Cetacean Southern Baptist Churches without being due protection from being slaughtered and served to Japanese school children as “whale meat,” as documented in The Cove.
Although Mohler and his family would partake only “if no other food could be obtained,” as he says. Which may be no reassurance to intelligent, self-aware cetaceans.
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