By Mark Rowlands
During this 2d variation, the writer has considerably revised his booklet all through, updating the ethical arguments and including a bankruptcy on animal minds. Importantly, instead of being a polemic on animal rights, this ebook is additionally a thought of and ingenious review of ethical concept as explored throughout the factor of animal rights.
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Extra resources for Animal Rights: Moral Theory and Practice
This sort of consideration is often referred to as a side effect. However, we can eliminate these sorts of complications by a slight articulation of the scenario. Suppose, for example, the names of the convicts were drawn by public lottery a week or so before their fight. Viewers then had a week to register a complaint, and the prisoner would go to the arena only if no one of the general populace objected. Presumably, gladiatorial candidates would be harder to fi nd in these circumstances, but, in principle, there might well be enough friendless and family-less death row convicts to meet the network’s requirements.
There may, of course, be other reasons for thinking that the case against speciesism is disanalogous to the cases against racism and sexism. If one could show, for example, that there were morally relevant differences between humans and non-humans, while there were not between male humans and female humans, or between white humans and non-white humans, then one would have justification for one’s claim that the cases are disanalogous. In any event, the crucial premise in the above argument for animal liberation is P2: the claim that there are no morally relevant differences between human and non-human animals which could justify the claim that the former are morally entitled to be treated with consideration and respect while the latter are not.
Pleasure is the primary human good because it is the one good which is an end in itself, to which all other goods are merely means. Bentham, one of the founders of utilitarianism, notoriously said that ‘pushpin is as good as poetry’ if it gives the same intensity and duration of pleasure. Poetry is better than pushpin only if it gives people more pleasure. The problems with hedonistic utilitarianism are well known. 3 It seems that if pleasure were our greatest good, then logically we should all want to be hooked up to this machine for ever, living a life of nothing but intense pleasure (suppose, to make the choice stark, once you are hooked up, you cannot be unhooked).