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Pick a stance on the rights of animals based on Peter Singer's article Famine - Essay Example

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Pick a stance on the rights of animals based on Peter Singer's article Famine

The concept that we try to use to extract an argument for animal rights is the concept introduced by Singer that proximity does not matter. Whilst in this particular case, the proximity spoken of was geographic, .i.e., small child in neighbor’s house vis a vis a Bengali child, the proximity could also be in terms of species. In the logic of Peter Singer, animals cannot be denied rights given humans even if they are proximally different from the latter. Animal rights can find justification in theories of right that are embedded in time. It is interesting to begin this exposition by looking at the fairly recent debate between Singer and Judge Richard Posner of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. At the heart of the debate was a statement made by Posner, that “human beings prefer their own. ...
The statement that “human beings prefer their own” should in itself be subjected to critical scrutiny. Indeed, the phrase “preferring one’s own” denotes a value choice in favour of an entity or a construct that hews closely to how one perceives him or herself and possesses many of the same characteristics that he or she has. Indeed, the very same moral intuition that drives the argument of Posner is the same so-called moral intuition that has been the basis for the discrimination on the basis of gender (e.g., the discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders), of race (e.g., the discrimination against blacks) and of religion (e.g., the discrimination against Islam.) History has amply demonstrated the folly of taking that statement, “human beings prefer their own”, as justified and benign. The moral equality theorists argue that there must be an equal consideration of the interests of human beings and animals. Peter Singer is perhaps one of the leading lights of animal ethics. He states the principle of moral equality as follows: The essence of the Principle of Equal Consideration of Interests is that we give equal weight in our moral deliberations to the like interests of all those affected by our actions.3 The main defense for this theory is that the properties that we ascribe to humans that distinguish them from animals are not properties that all human beings have, and thus, the logic deployed by those who distinguish humans from animals as a means to justify unequal treatment of humans and animals may give rise to a case of discrimination. For example, not all human beings are capable of rational thought – an example would be infants. Some humans have dementia or schizophrenia. Does the argument then ...Show more


Peter Singer and the Morality of Animal Rights This paper will look at Peter Singer’s moral equivalence argument in support of animal rights and draws from his article entitled “Famine, Affluence and Morality1” – demonstrating how the moral prescription underlined in his seminal work also make the case for the inescapability of human rights…
Author : bell55
Pick a stance on the rights of animals based on Peter Singers article Famine
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