He points out that there are many physiological traits that separate humans, these traits can be used to justify human discrimination. Since as a society we consider these physical differences a mute point for equality amongst each other, Singer infers that physiological differences cannot be used as a property of any kind of discrimination, that equality is a moral idea; therefore animals should be given the same rights as humans. The situation Singer finds himself in is that speciesism is the cultural norm existent in modern society and in his opinion, contemporary philosophers are failing to make the connection that speciesism justifies human discrimination. He even goes as far to compare the discourse of speciesism to that of former slave owners. Utilitarianism is the main idea that he uses to oppose the idea of specism.
Those who oppose cognitivists are called non cognitivists and they believe that when someone makes a moral statement they are not describing the world, but they are merely expressing their feelings and opinions, they believe that moral statements are not objective therefore they cannot be verified as true or false. In this essay I will be discussing the multiple branches of cognitive theories and non cognitive theories in order to answer the Janus-like question whether or not moral statements truly hold objective meaning. Ethical naturalism is just one branch of a cognitive theory in which naturalists believe that ethical statements are the same as non-ethical ones, meaning they are all factual and can
Furthermore, Suzuki effectively discusses the quality of life for the animals being tested, and the depressing and deprived realities that these helpless animals survive. Suzuki makes valid points throughout his article including his statement, “What gives us the right to exploit other living organisms as we see fit? How do we know that these other creatures do not feel pain or anguish just as we do?”(p.91). Suzuki utilizes pathos to strengthen his argument and attempts to shape the opinion of the public. Is it intelligence that determines the animal’s self-worth and right to live, or is it that animals may possess the same if not identical Neuroanatomy of humans?
Some people believe that culture is a way that morality can be established, but morality differs from culture to culture. In Doing Ethics, Lewis Vaughn talks about cultural relativism and lays out an argument for it. In the second premise it states “If people’s judgments about right and wrong differ from culture to culture, then right and wrong are relative to culture, and there are no objective moral principles” (Vaughn 26). He makes it clear that he does not support this premise and explains his points as to why this is false. Cultural relativism is the idea that the moral principles someone has are solely determined by the culture one lives in.
Both systems are human-centric, humans are valued more over animals. Mill, a utilitarian, promotes making moral decisions while considering higher and lower pleasures and Mill would say that animals cannot experience higher pleasures which means that human pleasures should be regarded over animal pleasures when making decisions to bring about happiness. Within Christian ethics, humans are seen as more of an importance over animals, as it states in the Bible ‘So God created humankind in his own image…and God said to them… “have dominion over every living creature”…’ (Genesis 1). An example that supports this similarity of the two is the argument whether animal testing is allowable, in this situation a Utilitarian using Mills approach would come to the conclusion that animal testing should be carried out because it results in a greater happiness as it can be used to develop new medicines which benefit the majority of people, and this happiness would be considered a higher pleasure which the animals can never experience anyway. A Christian would too, come to the same decision, as God created humankind
I found this way of thinking to be narrow minded and impractical. Comparing a dolphin to a chicken in matters of importance is a difficult argument, but in terms of extrinsic worth, the dolphin holds a higher level of worth alive where as the chicken holds a higher worth dead then alive. Lane’s argument about the morality of inflicting pain on others concludes that humans should not kill and consume animals based on the value of life humans hold for other humans and that this value should transcend to animals. I found this argument to be avoidant of thought towards the human need of animals as food on both the physiological and economic level. Lane avoided this argument altogether and only presented the vegetarian argument without addressing any counter arguments.
Ethics on use of animals for research The early Greek philosophers valued reason above all else, and ascribed little moral value to animals and even to other humans that did not possess this attribute. While this viewpoint might be viewed as extreme, from a biological perspective this might be seen as competition. Using the survival advantage given to us by our capacity for reason is no less moral or ethical than another animal using its adaptations to survive. However, it should be obvious that by allowing unrestricted human exploitation of animals, there is great potential for extirpation of species. Thus, we utilize animals for food and clothing; we keep them as pets or as livestock; we plant our crops, harvest wild plant products, and build our cities and highways where animals might otherwise have lived, but we do so with restrictions on our
In contrast, animal welfare takes the position that it is morally acceptable for humans to use non-human animals, provided that the testing minimizes animal use and suffering. The debate between those who support animal research and those who don’t is often portrayed in such a way that one group appears to care about animals while the other group doesn’t. This isn’t the case at all. Fundamentally, the issue is about how to reduce the total suffering for both humans and animals and it can be done by raising concern over
Since every ethical system should evaluate itself as the best and only moral system, and every other system is flawed and immoral, it is assumed that moral judgements about ethical systems are meaningless. Moral Relativism rests on the belief that values are subjective. It is holds the belief that there is no objective morality, that there is no such thing as right or wrong, good or evil. Only that, moral systems are just made up and supported by the circumstances of the action. Moral Relativism cannot and does not accept the idea that an objective moral system exists.
1. According to Singer, should all right be equally granted? Why? Singer explains that his battle towards equality for animals doesn’t focuses on equal rights but on equal consideration. It will be unreasonable to fight for the same aspects, even on women and men.