The Human Prejudice
October 15, 2002. Walter E. Edge Lectures
Many people think that “humanity” is an ethical idea, and that it makes a basic moral difference whether a creature they are dealing with is another human being or not. This is implicit in such as ideas as “human rights”, and in one sense of “human values”. Some philosophers attack this outlook as a prejudice, similar to racism or sexism. I shall argue that their view is based on a deep misconception, which itself involves an attempt to project human attitudes on to the universe. The only way forward is to argue out from what we care about, and to consider who might belong with “us”.