3 weeks ago
🔶Utilitarianism: A teleological (outcome-based) moral theory. Focus is on the consequences = outcome of actions. We shall act to maximize total happiness, resp. fulfilled preferences (and lack of suffering) among all sentient beings. The morally relevant feature of an entity is sentience - being able to have hedonistic states of mind, t.i. being able to suffer/to be happy. On animals: Utilitarians, such as Peter Singer, argue that human and many nonhuman animals must be included into the moral circle for all of us are capable of suffering, hence, have preferences, e.g. the preference to not suffer. Such preferences ought to be equally considered when deciding which action is right for the one action is the morally best which brings about the most happiness/fulfilled preferences. => Utilitarianism says: Do good. 🔶Deontology: A duty-based moral theory. Focus is on the process used, e.g. doing social duty, follow strict moral principles / laws, etc. On animals: Animal rights theories acknowledge that animals being subjects-of-a-life (SoL) have lives that matter to them; lives that can be good or bad in their own sense. Therefore, it is any SoL‘s (moral) right to not be treated as mere means to human ends, to be treated with respect, including to not be harmed. AR theories demand abolitionism/animal liberation. => Deontology says: Do right. 🔶Virtue Ethics: A character-based moral theory. Focus is on whether a virtuous person would do the act. We should cultivate the virtues and act in accordance with them. Virtues include compassion, justice, honesty and more. On animals: “I can [not] think of myself as compassionate while I am party to such cruelty than I could think of myself as just if, scrupulously avoiding owning slaves, I still enjoyed the fruits of slave labor“ (Hursthouse). Virtue Ethics says: => Be virtuous. ❗️Obviously, there are fundamental differences which might lead to different results via different ways. ✳️ Yet, there is consensus about the DIRECTION amongst the animal ethicists: Human-animal practice is wrong and must be changed! We must reduce animal suffering, resp. establish animal rights, resp. be virtuous people.