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Philosophy: Speciesism in Humans - Essay Example

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Philosophy With the last man departing from this planet, it is true that the instrumental value of redwood turns to nil from human view point but not from the view point of other species as they will continue to live on this earth. Redwood continues to have intrinsic value as many species of birds and mammals make their nest high in the canopy of redwood trees and survive…
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Philosophy: Speciesism in Humans
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Philosophy: Speciesism in Humans

It would be worth exploring the view points of Peter Singer and Holmes Rolston with regard to the last redwood remaining on this earth and how they would have preferred to deal with this enigma. Speciesism in Humans Peter singer argues that human beings since their beginning have indulged into speciesism – a domineering human behavior over nonhumans and that needs to be condemned. Currently, humans treat nonhuman animals in the same fashion as Blacks were treated in the British rule. Peter argues that suffering is the primary feature that brings all animals on the common platform. He cites Bentham's view point and emphasizes that all sentient beings, all human and nonhuman animals included, should be given equal consideration. Using other Animals as Food Peter singer calls human beings as speciesists having a sole intention of dominating other species on this earth. That is why humans use other animals as their food. According to Singer, humans have instrumental value for animal life that is why they use animals to please their palate. It is incorrect to say that animal flesh is needed to fulfill the human needs of proteins. The fact is that many plant proteins such as soy beans and its derivatives provide equally good and high levels of proteins discarding the need of any animal flesh. In this process, humans inflict a great suffering to the animals by killing them. Animals are machines for humans that convert feedstock into meat. At times, animals are confined to a small enclosure until fit to give flesh. Can there be a larger example of human speciesism than this? Suffering – a Sole Decider for Equality Singer further emphasizes that a being, which does not suffer or feel happiness may be treated as unequal. A stone is a typical example of non-suffering when hit by a person on the road. That is how Singer draws a line between all animated and unanimated things in this universe and considers suffering as decisive and sole criteria of equating humans and all animals on the common platform. Philosophers’ Viewpoint Singer states that philosophers mostly defend their preconceived notions of the society they are part of and that also confirms about humans’ speciesist views. While discussing moral and political philosophy, they mostly speak in terms of human equality but never stretch the issue of equality to the other species. Extending this debate Singer asks why Hitler, Stalin, infants and mentally retarded people has a kind of dignity or worth that other animals can never achieve. There are humans that do exist below the level of awareness or self-consciousness due to brain damage yet philosophers never group them with the nonhumans. Rolston and Environment Ethics Rolston's argument goes beyond the humanist way of thinking. He speaks about the environmental ethics that knows no human cultures. Humans know about the ethics in the terms of business ethics, medical ethics, death and life, peace and war but the environment ethics go much beyond. He speaks about the biological conservation that comes out breaking open the shackles of human ethical boundaries. Organism – a Unique Biological Identity Rolston asserts that true respect to the life is possible only when we start thinking in terms of sentient to insentient life. An organism does have its own ... Read More
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