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we might be concerned about a parent who was always prepared to see the merits of other children above his or her own. If you accept that such an exaggerated concern for the interests of our own offspring is morally acceptable and perhaps even required, then you might be prepared to accept the view that the same sort of reasoning applies by analogy to members of our own species. The argument is that we are morally justified in treating members of our own species like members of our extended family (which in a sense they are), and so giving them special treatment relative to other animals

Nigel Warburton, Philosophy The basics

What does "which in a sense they are"mean? What does "they" refer to?

Thanks

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What does "which in a sense they are"mean?

We don't commonly think of all the members of our own species as part of our extended family, but in a way it's true..


What does "they" refer to? members of our own species


What does "which in a sense they are"mean? y think of members ofour own species as What does "they" refer to?

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XVIwe are morally justified in treating members of our own species like members of our extended family (which in a sense they are)

~ we are morally justified in treating members of our own species like members of our extended family (and, in a certain way, they (i.e., members of our own species) are members of our extended family)

The basic structure of the construction above is also contained in this shorter sentence, where it may be easier for you to see:

Inez should be treated as a genius, which she is. >
Inez should be treated as a genius, [which]genius [she]Inez is.

CJ

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XVIWhat does "which in a sense they are"mean?

It means "which they are, in a sense (perhaps not quite literally, but when you consider the matter in a certain way)". We humans are all blood relatives if you accept the theory of evolution.

XVIWhat does "they" refer to?

"members of our own species"

 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
anonymousWe humans are all blood relatives if you accept the theory of evolution.

Evolution? According to Biblical accounts we are all descended from Adam and Eve. I don't see how acceptance of evolution is required to arrive at the view that we're all related.

CJ

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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJim
anonymousWe humans are all blood relatives if you accept the theory of evolution.

Evolution? According to Biblical accounts we are all descended from Adam and Eve. I don't see how acceptance of evolution is required to arrive at the view that we're all related.

CJ

Yeah, but I never could figure out where Cain's wife came from.

anonymousYeah, but I never could figure out where Cain's wife came from.

Well, that is an unsolved theological mystery. But that is a red herring.

We, as descendants, (in theory, at least) should be able to trace our ancestry back to one of the three named children of Adam and Eve: Cain, Abel, or Seth, and from them, back to their parents.
Maybe Cain's wife is the source of the Neanderthal DNA which is measured in some modern humans.

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anonymousYeah, but I never could figure out where Cain's wife came from.

Indeed, it's a puzzle, but please don't lose sleep over it. Emotion: smile

CJ