This is a provocative question. I believe that there is a greater likelihood that a Christian will declaw his cat than an atheist. Here are my reasons. I respect the views of others as I respect all animals.
Christianity has moved on, become more modern. That is obvious and it was necessary because for centuries it was frankly a brutal and ignorant religion that caused a great deal of suffering. I would urge people to read these books:
Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason and Sir Ludovic Kennedy’s It’s All in the Mind.
From the animal’s viewpoint, the trouble with Christianity is that well known passage in Genesis:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26, NIV).
For most of the history of Christianity (and even to a certain extent today as far as I am concerned) “Christians largely ignored animal suffering” (Andrew Linzey). Christian thinkers believed and believe that humans were very superior to animals. I think that that legacy is still with us although many modern Christians believe that mistreating animals is a sin. However it is the idea that people are hugely superior to animals and that they can do as we please with them that encourages Christians to think of declawing as acceptable. Declawing fits in nicely with the traditional Christian view and there are still many traditional Christians.
For example, there are many Americans who vigorously reject Darwin’s theory of evolution as set out in his famous book, On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, and believe that God made man. Evangelicalism and bible bashing businessmen preachers are big in the USA. Socially conservative evangelical Protestantism occupies the so called bible belt, a large segment of the United States of America:
Wikimedia Commons image.
It would be interesting to do research on whether there is more declawing in the bible belt region than elsewhere. Christian theologians don’t believe that animals have souls. They are not intelligent enough they say. How do you measure intelligence, I say. Humans don’t look that intelligent do we? I am referring to the general way we conduct ourselves on this planet.
Christians have a collective thought, whereas atheists on the other hand have individual thought. Of course atheists declaw cats – some of them. But it is less likely that they will declaw their cat because they are more likely to take a more enlightened viewpoint..
Note: common sense dictates that declawing a cat is morally wrong and indefensible. Any right minded person would agree that.
What do you think?!
Update about a month later:…I read that surveys suggest that in the United States of America four in ten people believe in the biblical account of the origins of Man. These people are Creationists. Perhaps I should have mentioned the creationist movement in America. Here is a chart that shows the difference between creationism and science:
Mr Ham, a fervent creationists and the co-founder of Answers in Genesis provides educational material to schools.
If we believe in science (and all of humankind will believe in it, in 200 years or so) we understand that we are a part of all animals. We are ourselves human animals, scientific name: Homo sapiens. This discourages cruelty against our fellow animals. Declawing of cats is an act of animal cruelty under statutory legislation in the UK.
In contrast, if we believe in the text of Genesis in the bible, we are slightly encouraged (or not discouraged) to believe that we can declaw cats as they are lesser creatures and humans have dominion over them as stated in the bible.
This does not mean that fundamentalist Christians and creationists automatically declaw cats, far from it. It just means that there is an underlying belief that frees the mind into allowing declawing to become possible. USA is a civilised country but the belief in creationism is a throwback to earlier times.