New PDF release: Animal Rights And Wrongs

By Roger Scruton

ISBN-10: 1900512815

ISBN-13: 9781900512817

Roger Scruton units out a compelling account of the way we must always take into consideration the morality of our relations to different animals. He argues that it really is mistaken to think that animals instantly have rights, yet indicates we owe them tasks reckoning on even if we're treating them as pets, for laboratory experiments or for meat. this is often crucial examining within the gentle of the hot public problem over matters resembling veal calf exportation and the BSE situation>

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Example text

But it is precisely because there are animals who are not persons that the moral problem exists. And to treat these non-personal animals as persons is not to grant to them a privilege nor to raise their chances of contentment. It is to ignore what they essentially are and so to fall out of relation with them altogether. The concept of the person belongs to the ongoing dialogue which binds the moral community. Creatures who are by nature incapable of entering into this dialogue have neither rights nor duties nor personality.

Secondly, we should not think that all pain is an evil or that it is always wrong to inf lict it. A just punishment is painful: but it is also right both to suffer and to inf lict this pain, even if no other benefit proceeds from doing so. It is one of the well-known paradoxes of utilitarianism that it cannot justify this conclusion; nevertheless, it is a conclusion towards which our moral intuitions naturally incline us and one in which we should see the mark of the moral law. Punishment, it seems to me, is a necessary feature of any community which recognises the freedom and responsibility of those who compose it.

Nevertheless, piety is not, in any clear sense, amenable to reason. Indeed, it marks out another place where reasoning comes to an end. The same is true, it seems to me, of many moral attitudes and feelings: while it is supremely rational to possess them, they are not themselves amenable to reason, and the attempt to make them so produces the kind of ludicrous caricature of morality that we witness in utilitarianism. This does not mean that we must simply accept one another’s prejudices. On the contrary, morality fails its purpose if people cannot reach agreement and amend their views and feelings in the light of experience, with a view to accommodating others.

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Animal Rights And Wrongs by Roger Scruton

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