By Marcia S. Freeman
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Extra resources for Animal Lives
In fact, I think something like this is probably true, and I will return to the topic later in chapter five. At this point, however, we face the more philosophical question of how moral value can be grounded in subjective perception and judgment. That is to say, if it is true in the factual sense that humanity is not at the center of the universe, that human beings are in effect “the third [species of] chimpanzee,”41 that there are no distinguishing features separating us from other sentient creatures Page 19 whose pleasure and pain ought therefore to count for as much as ours do, and that killing an innocent human being can be justified when the benefits to others warrant it and the life of the individual involved has lost quality below a sufficient level, then how can anybody possibly claim that the old ideas of human dignity and the sanctity of human life are anything more than subjective prejudices that fly in the face of the facts?
Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau We humanize each other by our willingness to include others within that basic fellowship—the sick, the deformed, the retarded, the old. We have not become fully human unless we recognize their humanity. It is a mark of the humane to extend its own obligations—even to a kindness toward animals. —Gary Wills, Under God: Religion in American Politics Page viii This page intentionally left blank. Page ix Contents Acknowledgments xi Introduction xiii Chapter One The Goal of Ethics 1 Chapter Two The Source of Moral Value 25 Chapter Three The Role of Reason in Ethics 47 Chapter Four The Principle of Equal Consideration of Interests 67 Page x Chapter Five Why Singer’s Principle of Equal Consideration Is a Threat to Morality and to Human Values 97 Chapter Six On Human Dignity 119 Select Bibliography 125 Index 129 Page xi Acknowledgments This book could not have been written without a lot of help from my friends.
He infers that because the percentage difference is slight, therefore the real difference is slight. But that does not follow. Why not infer, instead, that the great and obvious difference is clearly not accounted for on a quantitative basis, in other words, that percentages of DNA tell us very little about the Page 15 qualitative differences between species? As a matter of fact, it is quite possible for species with a high percentage of DNA in common to differ sharply from one another. This is becauseso-called “geneexpression’’ is also an important factor.