An essay on peter singer and animal ethics

References and Further Reading 1. Applied Ethics as Distinct from Normative Ethics and Metaethics One way of categorizing the field of ethics as a study of morality is by distinguishing between its three branches, one of them being applied ethics. By contrasting applied ethics with the other branches, one can get a better understanding what exactly applied ethics is about. The three branches are metaethicsnormative ethics sometimes referred to as ethical theoryand applied ethics.

An essay on peter singer and animal ethics

DONATE Utilitarianism Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that defends that we should act in ways that bring about as much happiness as possible in the world. This theory defends the following three things: One particular form of utilitarianism focuses not on the total sum of positive wellbeing and suffering, but on minimizing the total sum of suffering.

This is called negative utilitarianism. Another perspective defends that we should increase not the total sum of happiness which could lead to one entity enjoying great bliss while everyone else suffers but the average happiness enjoyed by all sentient individuals.

Standard utilitarianism, though, defends that there should be as much happiness as possible, which is calculated by considering all the positive happiness that exists and subtracting from it all the suffering that exists. According to utilitarianism, the wellbeing of every individual counts.

If in our moral decisions we fail to take into account the interests of someone who has positive or negative experiences, then we are failing to consider the total sum of happiness.

This means that discrimination against sentient nonhuman animals, who have positive and negative experiences or preferences, is incompatible with a theory such as utilitarianism. This theory must take into account every bit of suffering and every bit of happiness, which means taking into account the experiences of nonhuman animals as well as humans.

For this reason, the first utilitarian theorists, such as Jeremy Bentham, 1 John Stuart Mill 2 and Henry Sidgwick, 3 argued for the moral consideration of nonhuman animals. They stated that the interests of nonhuman animals should be respected as equal to those of humans.

However, they failed to see the practical consequences that follow from this, such as the rejection of animal exploitation. In recent times, theorists such as Peter Singer 4 and Gaverick Matheny 5 have examined what follows from the inclusion of the interests of nonhuman animals implied by utilitarianism.

For utilitarianism, the use of nonhuman animals can be acceptable only if the happiness their exploitation causes is greater than the harm it causes. But it is very hard to think of any way in which this could be the case. Nonhuman animals are abruptly and painfully deprived of their lives after having been deprived of most of the positive experiences they could have had, and after having been made to suffer terribly.

Because it takes so much suffering to produce such momentary pleasures as tasting animal products, using animals does not increase the sum of happiness in the world, but actually decreases it, and very much. Therefore, such exploitation cannot be considered morally legitimate according to utilitarianism.

Utilitarianism claims we should be concerned with the happiness of all who can be happy. If there is something reducing the happiness of animals, then we should try to work against it, whatever it may be. So, given the many terrible ways in which wild animals are harmed in nature, their plight should be very important to utilitarians, as well as to those who follow certain other ethical approaches.

Its levels, methods and point, Oxford: Sidgwick and contemporary ethics, Oxford: For and against, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.

In defense of animals: The second wave, Malden:Rosalind Hursthouse Applying Virtue Ethics to Our Treatment of the Other Animals Applying virtue ethics to moral issues should be straightforward.

Essay/Term paper: Animal ethics Essay, term paper, research paper: Animal Rights. I will first look at the views of Peter Singer, who is a utilitarian. A utilitarian is someone who believes the greatest amount of good for the greatest number. Singer wants the suffering of animals to be taken into consideration.

Free argumentative essay on why kids should get vaccines papers, essays, and research papers. Animal Rights And Animal Welfare - Although farming is usually depicted as wide open fields with animals freely roaming and grazing, the harsh reality of animal treatment is vastly different.

Applied Ethics. Under what conditions is an abortion morally permissible?

An essay on peter singer and animal ethics

Does a citizen have a moral obligation to actively participate (perhaps by voting) in the democratic process of one’s nation (assuming one is living in a democracy)?

Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential philosopher. He is also one of its most controversial. The author of important books such as Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, and The Life You Can Save, he helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the .

Animal Liberation Analysis - Peter Singer - Sample Essays