Intro to Ethics
Outline over “Utilitarianism and Vegetarianism”
I. Tom Regan argues Peter Singer’s utilitarianism obligation to be vegetarian. A. Singer touches on methodology in ethics first to help explain point of view to Regan’s argument. B. Singer then turns to the substantive issue of “what are the implications of utilitarianism for our treatment of animals?”
II. In regards to methodology, Singer claims Regan recommends abandoning utilitarianism in favor of a rights-based theory without having made a single point against utilitarianism, besides that utilitarianism does not support vegetarianism. A. Singer gives points like “Our moral convictions are not reliable data for testing ethical theories” i. Regan suggests that by basing the case for vegetarianism on animals’ rights Singer could dish out with the need to investigate systematically the likely consequence of changing our eating habits.
III. In regards to the substantive issue, Regan “equality of interests” principle entitles that animals, because they can experience pleasure and pain are more like humans than rocks, entitling them equal treatment—with respect to utilitarianism. A. Singer reflects his statements in Animal Liberation “The basic principle of equality does not require equal or identical treatment; it requires equal consideration.” i. Singer stresses the fact that the principle of utility gives animals moral standing, and gives their interests equal weight with the like interest of humans, but denies animals this equal moral standing. ii. Using examples of philosophers (i.e. Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, and John Rawls) and their views on animal/animal rights to strengthen his argument. All of which obviously view human rights superior to animals in the gist of things. IV. Singer gives three ways which a utilitarian condemnation of the treatment of farm animals falls short when entitling we should switch to a vegetarian diet. A. Firstly, if the objection is not to all raising...
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