Phl 118, Exam #3 Pg. 292-303
Phl 118, Exam #3 Pg. 292-303 PHL 118
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jalena Williams on Thursday March 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 118 at Central Michigan University taught by Mark Shelton in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see moral problems in PHIL-Philosophy at Central Michigan University.
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Date Created: 03/03/16
Puppies, Pigs, People: Eating Meat and Marginal Cases Alastair Norcross Norcross defends vegetarianism that morally requires us to refrain from eating the meat of factory farmed animals. He argues that there is no difference between Fred who enjoys the taste of chocolate which he can only get from torturing puppies and people who eat factory farm animals while knowing about how they suffer. If torturing puppies for the sake of gustatory pleasure is wrong, then so is eating factory farmed animals because of the way they taste. Norcross attacks Steinbock who believes that humans have higher moral status than animals because normal humans have moral and rational capacities that most animals lack. First, he discusses marginal cases. He finds that most people will find marginal humans having the same moral status as animals wrong. Second, he find that even if animals cannot be moral agents that they can be moral patients, which is the only thing he feels is required to give animals full moral status. Fred’s Basement: Police arrive at Fred’s home due to complaints from neighbors of hearing strange noises. Upon entering the basement, they see 26 wire cages each containing a puppy all making noises. The puppies range in age from newborn to six months. He claims that he keeps them for six weeks and then butchers them while holding them upside down. Fred slices off their noses and paws and feels that he shouldn’t be punished due to his love for chocolate. He was involved in a car accident which caused damage to his Godiva gland, which releases cocoamone. Fred was informed that there was no way to collect cocoamone that can be used by another person. A forensic veterinary surgeon, discovered that puppies can produce high levels of cocoamone in the brain due to extended periods of stress and suffering. He claims he did what any chocolate lover would do. Six months of torture to the puppies provided him with a week worth of cocoamone. Fred says if there was another way of obtaining the cocoamone without torturing the animals he would do it. He also adds they he receives no personal pleasure of torturing the animals. Fred wanted the court to decide it was feasible to torture the animals because human pleasure was at risk, which means he thinks that humans are more important than animals when suffering is involved. The majority of meat comes from confinement facilities. However, humans can survive without having meat in their diet. One of the benefits from factory farming is that it will increase gustatory pleasure which is the same thing Fred wanted to receive from torturing the puppies. Fred’s behavior compared to our behavior: Fred tortures animals himself while Americans purchase meat that comes from animals that were tortured by other people. Fred was unaware of the suffering he caused to the puppies while consumers are sometimes unaware of the suffering caused to the animals who are used to produce meat in factory farms. A consumer may argue that they are different from Fred because the suffering he caused to the puppies could have been prevented because he was aware while consumers are not. Another consumer argument is that animals are going to suffer anyways so why not have them suffer for the sake of providing meat to humans. A response to the consumer’s claim is that a morally decent person wouldn’t be even eat anything that they knew animals were being tortured to make. Another response to the consumer’s argument is that denying you stop buying an eating factory farm meat won’t make a difference. It will gradually make a difference as larger numbers of people stop buying and eating the meat. Another difference between Fred and the factory farm animals is that his acts were abominable due to the fact that puppies are different from other animals. Puppies count morally while factory farm animals do not. Puppies count more than farm animals because humans care about them more. Human feelings determine the moral status of animals. However, not all humans’ feelings count only those who are morally sensible. There is no difference between Fred and the consumers. Texan’s Challenge: Norcross’ Modus ponens= If it is wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure, it’s wrong to support factory farming. It is wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure. Therefore, it is wrong to support factory farming. Texan’s modus tollens: If it’s wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure, then it’s wrong to support factory farming. It’s not wrong to support factory farming. Therefore, it’s not wrong to torture puppies for gustatory pleasure. They may support Kant and say someone that could torture puppies may do the same to humans. They may also agree that all animals deserve equal consideration of interests. They could claim that sentimental attachment is a reason not to kill puppies, kittens, and similar animals but not factory farm animals. They could argue that humans in general just have a higher moral status. Humans vs. Animals Ethical Status The Rationality Gambit: It has always been thought that rationality is what separates humans from animals. Steinbock argues being able to find a significant difference in human capacities when compared to those of animals can justify human interests as being primary. Warren argues that people are at least sometimes capable of being moved to action or inaction by the force of reasoned argument. Cohen argues that humans have rights, which is a moral status that is different from that of cats and rats. Both Steinbock and Warren stress that animal interests need to be seriously taken into account. Warren claims that animals have important rights but they are not as important as humans. Cohen argues that we should increase the use of animals. The Challenge of Marginal Cases: Cohen argues that the capacity for moral judgement that distinguishes the difference between humans and animals is not to be a test administered to human beings one by one. He feels marginal people should not be excluded from the human group. White argues that animals don’t have rights, on the grounds that they cannot intelligibly be spoken of in the full language of a right. He says animals cannot claim, demand, assert, insist on, secure, waive, or surrender a right. Schmitz argues that we can, we do, and we should make decisions based on our recognition that mice, chimpanzees, and humans are relevantly different types. Agent and Patient The Speciesists Central Confusion: Norcross concludes that Fred’s behavior isn’t morally impermissible because humans basically do the same thing.
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