Speciesism, arbitrariness and moral illusions

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In this ar­ti­cle I pre­sent sev­eral top­ics re­lated to the moral philos­o­phy of an­i­mal rights:

  • Defin­ing moral illu­sions: per­sis­tent in­tu­itive moral judg­ments that vi­o­late our strongest and deep­est moral val­ues.

  • De­tect­ing moral illu­sions: look­ing for un­wanted ar­bi­trari­ness (pick­ing an el­e­ment from a set with­out fol­low­ing a rule and with the rea­son­able ob­jec­tion of at least some­one).

  • Defin­ing the most fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ple in ethics, based on the idea to avoid un­wanted ar­bi­trari­ness: for ev­ery choice you make, you have to be able to give a jus­tify­ing rule of which you can con­sis­tently want that ev­ery­one fol­lows that rule in all pos­si­ble situ­a­tions.

  • Defin­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion: treat­ing A bet­ter than B in a way that B can­not want, based on ar­bi­trary crite­ria and with­out tol­er­at­ing swap­ping po­si­tions (treat­ing A like B and vice versa).

  • Ar­gu­ing why speciesism (valu­ing hu­mans higher than non-hu­man an­i­mals) is a kind of dis­crim­i­na­tion be­cause it in­volves un­wanted ar­bi­trari­ness.

  • Defin­ing the right to bod­ily au­ton­omy: we are not al­lowed to use some­one else’s body against that per­son’s will.

  • Ar­gu­ing why this right to bod­ily au­ton­omy is the most fun­da­men­tal right, be­cause it does not im­pose nega­tive ex­ter­nal­ities (a cer­tain kind of costs) on oth­ers.

  • Ar­gu­ing why ve­g­anism is a moral duty based on the prin­ci­ples of an­tidis­crim­i­na­tion and the right to bod­ily au­ton­omy.

  • Ar­gu­ing why speciesism is a per­sis­tent moral illu­sion, with the ex­am­ple of wild an­i­mal suffer­ing.

  • Ar­gu­ing why we should start do­ing sci­en­tific re­search in welfare biol­ogy to look for safe and effec­tive meth­ods to in­ter­vene in na­ture to im­prove wild an­i­mal well-be­ing.

  • Ex­plain­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween pseudo-ethics and pseu­do­science: both in­volve avoid­able and un­wanted ar­bi­trari­ness.

The full ar­ti­cle can be down­loaded here: Speciesism, ar­bi­trari­ness and moral illusions

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