|Purred: Mon Jul 7, '08 11:36am PST |
|Meowmy has actually read part of Singer's Animal Liberation. That said she has nor read much of Singer's newer works. The gist of what she has read is not that it is unethical for animals to be used by humans per se, but that if any such use should be made, it should be ethical, that is humane. No raising cattle in stalls, or forcing circus animals to perform by using violent means (it does happen, with circus animal trainers).
As to whether human rights should be extended to an ape, mom goes back to the idea (not Singer's own, but part of a long tradition of philosophical thought) that we extend full human rights to classes of persons (newborns, people with MR or Mental Illnesses, and geriatric patients who cannot self-govern) based on their potential to actualize into autonomous beings, so that they have access to rights that they might actually not be capable to use, but which are granted to them nonetheless (the right to self-govern, the right to free speech, a right to life, and so forth) based on the idea that they would either have possessed them previously and cannot use them through no fault of their own, or that they might potentially grow into a being that can in effect understand and cherish those rights.
Do apes have that kind of potential? If it can be demonstrated to be so, then it follows that they should be granted human rights too. Mom is no ethicist, but she trusts that many ethicists can answer that question one way or the other.
Edited by author Mon Jul 7, '08 11:38am PST
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