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Humanities Ethics - Coursework Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Humanities Ethics Chapter 7: The Moral Status of Animals 1. Singer introduces the term "speciesism." What does he mean by this term? How is it relevant to his argument? How would Scruton respond to this concept? Singer uses the term speciesism to refer to the belief that human beings are more important than no-human animals simply because they belong to the species Homo sapiens…
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Humanities Ethics

He notes than humans use this criterion as a moral importance that they believe succeeds in excluding all animals and including all humans. He points variations that exist among humans themselves that sometimes could undermine the essence of equality among human beings themselves. For instance, he argues that there exist essential differences among humans such as different sizes and shapes, different intellectual abilities, differing moral capacities, differences in ability to communicate effectively, different capacities to experience pain and pleasure, differences in the amount of benevolent feeling and sensitivity towards others. According to singer, humans equally have differences as mentioned hence it could be incredibly erroneous to assert that there should be equality among humans when the differences are profound. In other words, Singer posits that humans then, have only a common ground in which they share a fundamental characteristic. That is, all human beings belong to the species of Homo sapiens. So the existence in the human species confers the moral responsibility of humans to control the lives of other non-human beings. He considers this understanding arbitrary and that human beings should not take advantage on the difference that exist among groups to see themselves as morally important. According to him, “speciesism” exists and human beings have hijacked the differences in species to confer among themselves moral importance vis-a-vis that of animals (White, 328). Scruton would almost go contrary to the assertions of Singer. But certain distinction need to be made in Singer’s argument, he defends animals and demand that there should be equality. This simply does not mean that animal right should be exactly comparable to that of humans, or to any extent supersedes that of human. Scruton believes that it may be essential to defend the life and rights of animals but, he makes an emphasis that doing so at the expense of human life makes no sense. He believes that human beings have interests while non-humans do not have interests. They may feel the same pain and pleasure but that ends just there, while humans tend to look at the outcome or how certain actions would impact on them. He then believes that it is not appropriate my any mean feat to terrorize the lives of humans for the sake of protecting the interests of animals. On his radar is the Animal Liberation Front in Britain, which he sites as the most dangerous terrorist groups. He also criticizes the Parliament for acting as if they are the representatives of animals. 2. Human “animal use” runs the gamut from use for food, research, recreation (fighting/hunting), to protection. How would you differentiate between killing bacteria (antibiotics), cockroaches (bug spray), or a rogue tiger, where they pose a real danger to humans? What about using animals in medical research that may save human lives, although the animals may suffer, or die? Should all living things be grouped together under the same rules? Explain. There are very serious moral issues that Scruton cites with relation to animal rights. For instance, he uses the example of fur trade that has seen serious resistance from animal activists. He also cites the situation the Oxford Professor, ... Read More
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