PETER SINGER PRACTICAL ETHICS PDF
Peter Singer's remarkably clear and comprehensive Practical Eth- ics has become a classic introduction to applied ethics since its publication in and has. For thirty years, Peter Singer's Practical Ethics has been the classic introduction to applied ethics. For this third edition, the author has revised and updated all. Peter Singer's Practical Ethics has long been one of the most popular ethics texts, Individual chapters are dedicated to the ethics of killing animals (Chapter 5).
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"For thirty years, Peter Singer's Practical Ethics has been the classic introduction to applied ethics. For this third edition, the author has revised and updated all. ought, morally, to do about several practical issues and what means we are of ethics require so much of us, they may ask, should we bother about ethics at all. Practical Ethics (; second edition ; third edition ) is an introduction to applied ethics by bioethical philosopher Peter Singer. Archived from the original (PDF) on Retrieved ^ "Practical Ethics". Retrieved.
Taking life: animals; 6. Taking life: the embryo and the fetus; 7.
Taking life: humans; 8. Rich and poor; 9. Climate change; The environment; Civil disobedience, violence and terrorism; Why act morally? It is a widely read and widely taught introduction to the philosophical dimensions of practical moral problems All of the chapters have been revised and updated, and a chapter has been added on climate change.
If the being eaten were all, there is very good reason why we should be suffered to eat such of them as we like to eat: we are the better for it, and they are never the worse.
They have none of those long-protracted anticipations of future misery which we have.
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But is there any reason why we should be suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be suffered to torment them? Yes, several. Given that animals are sentient, we must not hurt them, though it may be admissible to kill them; which is not the same in moral terms. The principle of equal consideration of interests makes any sentient being the equivalent of other such beings.
However this principle does not apply if a being is incapable of suffering or of feeling either pain or happiness. In that case there is no compelling interest to take it into account.
A stone has no interest in not being kicked along the road, contrary to a mouse, which makes sentience, in other words the capacity to feel pleasure and pain, the only objective criterion from a moral point of view. Plants do not react to pain in the way that humans and animals do, nor do they possess a nervous system.
This however, should be qualified, according to Singer. Questions consequently arise about the degree of sentience, if any, as regards some animals such as insects, molluscs, crustaceans, in fact, most invertebrates or as regards plants, in which case the question has not been absolutely settled.
For Singer, the debate about taking animal lives is peripheral 15 because in the state of things, considerations of pain and suffering are paramount. Though he suggests that it is not necessary to refer to specific scientific discoveries showing precisely which animals suffer and to what extent, Singer admits that it is difficult to draw a definite boundary between the animals that may be killed and those whose interests must be taken into account.
Peter Singer on Killing Persons and Non-Persons
In a particular passage of Animal Liberation on the practical consequences of the movement against speciesism the prejudice based on species membership and on vegetarianism more specifically, he takes a stand against eating mammals, birds, fish or molluscs.
He draws a potential line of demarcation between shrimps and oysters, based on the nature and capacities of these animals. An Ethical Revolution 23Using his principle of equal consideration of interests, Singer comes to the idea of an extension of fundamental rights to those animals that, due to their abilities, their way of life, or their genes closely resemble humans.
Cavalieri, P. Singer Ed. At present, only members of the species Homo sapiens are regarded as members of the community of equals. The inclusion, for the first time, of nonhuman animals into this community is an ambitious project. The chimpanzee, the gorilla, Gorilla gorilla, and the orang-utan, Pongo pygmaeus, are the closest relatives of our species. Because of this, Singer advocates a levelling up rather than a levelling down process, which means that animals should be treated like humans and not that infants and the severely handicapped should be treated like animals.
I do not wish to suggest that intellectually disabled humans should be force-fed with food colourings until half of them die […].
I would like our conviction that it would be wrong to treat intellectually disabled humans in this way to be transferred to nonhuman animals at similar levels of self-consciousness and with similar capacities for suffering. He takes it even further. Within that framework, the relevant ontological distinction is not one that opposes animals and humans, but rather one that differentiates a person from a non person.
Persons are defined as beings that possess self-awareness, autonomy, and a capacity to feel pleasure and pain, to which is added a sense of the future. Not all human beings are persons in that sense. Comatose patients, or newborn children, for example, are not.
Animals such as apes, dolphins and other superior mammals though can be persons in the sense defined above.
Their lives consequently have more value than the lives of non persons. Calling certain animals persons while excluding some humans from that category is severely criticized. It sounds odd to call an animal a person. This oddness may be no more than a symptom of our habit of keeping our own species sharply separated from others. We need to be aware both of the fact that animal lives have a value, since animals are sentient, and that human lives are not sacrosanct simply because they are human.
Singer, like Bentham, rejects all absolute moral obligations in that respect. The last part will deal with the challenges such positions pose for the majority of people.
In the manuscripts, indeed, Bentham legitimates certain cases of infanticide or torture. None of the two acts should be absolutely prohibited. Torture may be admissible if it aims at wresting capital information out of someone, in view of the general interest.
In addition, for Bentham, murder is a serious misdeed neither because it takes a human life, nor because it causes suffering to the person killed, but because the idea of such an act arouses terror among other people.
It may come as a surprise that the philosopher who had been advocating animal liberation for forty years should not be adamantly opposed to animal experiments.
The answer is probably that he defends that position for the same reasons that led Bentham to defend torture. As suggested above he considers it to be legitimate in some rare cases, because one cannot say, from a utilitarian point of view, that an act is intrinsically wrong. An act, as already mentioned, is judged according to the consequences it brings about.
Singer, Animal Liberation. If torture were the only way in which we could discover the location of a nuclear time bomb hidden in a NYC basement, then torture would be justifiable.
Similarly, if a single experiment could cure a major disease, that experiment would be justifiable. But in actual life the benefits are always much, much more remote, and more often than not they are nonexistent. If the experimenter is ready to replace the animal by a human being with an equal or lower level of self-consciousness, an anencephalic child or a comatose patient for instance, then the experiment is legitimate.
From this perspective, Singer concludes, most experiments now conducted are unacceptable. Life has no absolute value in itself, so that some lives had better not be lived at all. These thinkers have also vehemently opposed utilitarian views on allegedly aberrant sexual activities.
This is yet another challenge faced by utilitarian philosophers. I have been tormenting myself for years to find if possible a sufficient ground for treating them with the severity with which they are treated at this time of day by all European nations: but upon the principle of utility I can find none.
It is, in his view, the ultimate sexual taboo.
Other sexual activities were seen at best, as wanton lust, or worse, a perversion. Many taboos have since fallen. Contraception is publicly encouraged, sex toys are freely sold, masturbation and sodomy are not systematically stigmatised.
Yet, sexual relationships between humans and animals are still strongly prohibited. This reveals nothing but our ambivalence towards animals, Singer claims. If a sexual act involving a dog and a human being is satisfying to both parties, why should it be so potently proscribed?
Only one reason would make it unacceptable: if it was cruel to the animal.
There is no clear answer for all the other cases. The similarity of their positions in the field of sexuality bears witness to the coherence of utilitarian thinking over the long span, though the particular issues are time specific. The same coherence can be identified as regards two other ethical issues: abortion and infanticide. Twining and P. Parekh Ed.Add to Wishlist Add to Wishlist. Singer studies a number of ethical issues including: Read more Read less.
The similarity of their positions in the field of sexuality bears witness to the coherence of utilitarian thinking over the long span, though the particular issues are time specific. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. In Practical Ethics he explores a number of topics with ethical implications.
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