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ethics and animals

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Ethics Lecture November 14, 2011 Ethics and Animals Utilitarianism and Kantianism • Utilitarianism [hedonist]: pain and pleasure are all that matter, non humans can experience pain and animals have to count in utilitarian calculations • Kant: only humans have reason, only humans have rights and duties [duty to follow categorical imperative comes from our reason], therefore, animals have no rights and we have no duties to them. He acknowledges that animals can suffer. o Violation of humanity when we use animals in a way that are not necessary for our needs; it’s a violation because as humans, we have the capacity of empathy for suffering. So if you have no empathy to animals, you likely don’t have empathy for human suffering Singer: All Animals are Equal • Not claiming their equal in the normal sense of equal • Not ‘rights’ but interests • Not ‘equal treatment’ but ‘equal consideration’ • Singer realizes because of our reason, humans can anticipate suffering and pain in a way animals presumably cannot • Sometimes having reason makes it worse, and sometimes it makes it not as bad • We need to consider animals capacity relative to their other capacities • We have to be
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