The Moral Status of Animals – 1000-Word Philosophy
Some philosophers advocate the idea of a moral community. Roughly speaking, this is a group of individuals who all share certain traits in common. By sharing these traits, they belong to a particular moral community and thus take on certain responsibilities toward each other and assume specific rights. For example, in most human moral communities all individuals have the right to make independent decisions and live autonomous lives – and with that right comes the responsibility to respect others’ independence.
BBC - Ethics - Animal ethics: Moral status of animals
A being of any type that has these sophisticated cognitive capacities has FMS, and so the accounts avoid anthropocentrism. However, since most (but not necessarily all) animals lacksophisticated cognitive capacities, they are not accorded the samemoral status as an unimpaired adult human. Similarly, in the case of aliving organism such as a redwood tree or a fetus, as well asnon-individual entities, such as species and ecosystems, they would nothave FMS on these views.
The approach below is what philosophers call consequentialist. It does not argue that animals have rights. Although this line of thinking is both useful and persuasive it does lead to .
For Which Entities Does the Question of Moral Status Arise
Some non-utilitarian philosophers allow for the possibility that moral status comes in degrees, and introduce the notion of a highest degree of status: full moral status (FMS). After reviewing which entities have been thought to have moral status and what is involved in having FMS, as opposed to a lesser degree of moral status, this article will survey different views of the grounds of moral status, focusing especially on FMS, as well as the justification for treating these as grounds of moral status.
What Is the Moral Status of Non-Human Animals? …
A variety of applied ethics debates regarding how certain beings– human beings, non-human animals, and even ecosystems –should be treated hinge on theoretical questions about theirmoral status and the grounds of that moral status. It is thesetheoretical questions that are the focus of this entry, but a quicksurvey of the applied ethics debates helpfully allows us to identifywhich entities have been thought to have moral status.
What is the moral status of non-human animals
Speciesist actions and attitudes are prejudicial because there is noprima facie reason for preferring the interests of beingsbelonging to the species group to which one also belongs over theinterests of those who don’t. That humans are members of thespecies Homo sapiens is certainly a distinguishing feature ofhumans—humans share a genetic make-up and a distinctivephysiology, we all emerge from a human pregnancy, but this isunimportant from the moral point of view. Species membership is amorally irrelevant characteristic, a bit of luck that is no moremorally interesting than being born in Malaysia or Canada. As amorally irrelevant characteristic it cannot serve as the basis for aview that holds that our species deserves moral consideration that isnot owed to members of other species.
The moral status of invasive animal research | HSTalks
This distinction provided the frontier between human beings and animals, and was regarded as a suitable criterion for assessing a being's moral status.
Rollin on The moral status of invasive ..
We have already noted that, while there are disagreements from one culture to another, and even within a single culture, both historically and at any given time, there is also significant agreement, at least among non-philosophers, that all cognitively unimpaired human adults have the highest degree of moral status. But, in addition, non-philosophers in principle, if not always in practice, accept the same view regarding all cognitively unimpaired human infants as well as human infants and adults with mild to severe cognitive impairments (as we use the term, “severe cognitive impairment” excludes those incapable of consciousness). That is, they hold that infants and the cognitively impaired, whether their impairment is intellectual or emotional, have not merely higher moral status than most animals, but also have FMS. We will call this the commonsense view. By contrast, there is no such consensus about the moral status of human fetuses, humans incapable of consciousness, and even sophisticated animals like great apes.