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Humanities LibreTexts

3.6: Discussion Questions

  • Page ID
    31057
    1. For many ethical issues, a good place to start is to reflect on “common views” about the issues. Suppose you surveyed a range of people and asked them what kind of moral obligations we have towards animals (perhaps you should ask about specific animals or different kinds of animals). Focusing on possible broadly “pro-animal” responses, what are some of the most common answers that would be given? What reasons would you often hear in favor of these answers? Are these reasons generally good reasons or not? Why?
    2. For an audience who has not read the texts, explain Singer’s view about what moral obligations we have towards animals and his main arguments favor of that view. What questions and objections do you have for him? How would he respond? Are his arguments sound? Why or why not?
    3. For an audience who has not read the texts, explain Regan’s view about what moral obligations we have towards animals and his main arguments favor of that view. What questions and objections do you have for him? How would he respond? Are his arguments sound? Why or why not?
    4. For an audience who has not read the texts, explain Rowlands’ view about what moral obligations we have towards animals and his main arguments favor of that view. What questions and objections do you have for him? How would he respond? Are his arguments sound? Why or why not?
    5. Should people find any (or all) of the cases given in defense of animals to be persuasive? Which, if any, is strongest, in your opinion, and why? If you think people should be persuaded, why is it that they often are not? (If people should not be persuaded, why are some people convinced?). Any other questions or objections from anything from this section can be asked here.

    Of course, always feel free to raise any other questions, observations, criticisms and any other responses to the Chapter’s readings and issues.

    Paper Option

    For an audience unfamiliar with ethics, logic and animal ethics, explain the strongest broad moral case to be made in defense of animals (this could be a single theorist’s approach, or perhaps it could be a combination approach). Explain what this case implies in general for animals and how one defends or supports such a theory about how animals deserve to be treated. Raise and respond to at least three of what you think are the most important objections to your arguments or your position. 4-6 pages.