PHIL 2380 Jan 30 2014
“All the arguments to prove man’s superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering
the animals are our equals.”
“The question is not ‘can they reason?’ nor, ‘can they talk?’ but ‘can they suffer’?
“Such acts as torturing a cat for fun are wrong because they are cruel. They betray an
indifference to suffering that may manifest itself… with that person’s dealings with other
rational agents. So although the action may not infringe any rights… it remains wrong
independently of it effect on any animal lover”
It is a zoocentric view
Do the effects of adverse climate change on animal welfare and animal habitats provide
additional ethical reason for policies of mitigation?
What kind of policies concern animal welfare?
Mice (can sing and suffer)
We should not be testing on animals at all
Singer says we should test on children with mental disorders
I say we test on old people with terminal illnesses
Indirect vs. direct arguments
Pain and suffering
Sufficient vs. necessary conditions of moral standing
Is it necessary to be a part of the human species?
Only beings that are rational are capable of determining their
actions, they are the only beings towards which we should extend
concern “for their own sakes”
Western religious worldview: God told Adam to name all
the animals, as they’d be below him Kantian Theories
Only human beings are capable of standing back from their
desires and choosing which course of action to take. This ability is
manifested by our wills. Since animals lack this ability, they lack a
will and therefore are not autonomous
Focuses on what humans have and what animals lack
Animals are automata that might act as if they are conscious, but
really are not so
Humans are capable of complex and novel action, not just
responses to stimuli. We have souls.
Conscious vs. NonConscious Pain
Carruthers (89) argues that if there are conscious and nonconscious pains,
animals are only capable of the latter
Higher order thought: ability to think about thoughts
To have higher order thought (humans) is to feel conscious pain
He argues that those who only experience nonconscious pain cannot be said to