Environmental Ethics - Sentient Beings Essay

1387 WordsJun 11, 20126 Pages
Peter Singer; a lanky bald Australian professor of Bioethics at Princeton University wrote his book “Animal Liberation” in 1975 and in a sense started the animal rights movement. Throughout the texts covered in class, Singer argues for giving animals “equal consideration of interests.” Having said so; Singer starts off by presenting an analogy between racial and gender discrimination in the past, and “speciesism” nowadays. Speciesism; a term developed by Richard Ryder means the hold of an “unjustified bias that favours one’s own species over every other.” Therefore, similarly to those who once thought that it would be absurd to consider women as equals to men or that people of a black ethnicity should be treated in the same way as Caucasians are treated, it is the case that now speceists ridicule the idea that animals should be given equal considerations. Singer develops his argument by saying that, all humans in reality are not equal. He states, “... if the demand for equality was based on actual equality of all human beings, we would have to stop demanding for equality. It would be an unjustifiable demand.” Therefore if we want to overcome speciesism and secure equality for our species, a moral principle of equality should be established. At this point, anyone would ask but why? What do we, as human beings, have in common with animals? Singer says the answer is sentience. What equalizes all sentient beings is our ability to suffer. Singer adds, “Equality is a moral ideal, not a simple assertion of fact. The principle of the equality of human beings is not a description of an alleged actual equality among humans.” By that, Singer is in a way blocking absurdity. He does not imply that all sentient beings should be treated in the exact same way, he extends his argument furthermore to say that even among humans, equality in its whole sense does not exist, but

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