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quote icon Moyers: What if we are wrong about human nature? Adler: If we are wrong about human nature, if we are not different from the animals in kind, if we differ only in degree from the higher mammals, I cannot state a rational justification for a different treatment of men and beasts. The Roman law made the fundamental distinction between persons and things. The word "person" is a very important word. I have never found anyone who is willing to call a cow a person. Or a dog a person. Now why not? Why do we refuse the word person to these animals we love and care for, our domestic pets. We sometime joke "my cat is like a person" but we know we are joking, that they are not persons. Now that word person means that we by being persons, not things, have a dignity. And all of us, every human being from the least to the greatest in terms of all the difference talents and aptitudes is a person, has personal dignity, and the rights that we have, the right to freedom, the right to political liberty, are our personal attributes.

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