Re: [stoics] Stoicism and Animal Rights
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From a Stoic point of view, "rights", animal or otherwise, are not a consideration. On the other hand, if you decide that not eating animals is a good, then you are obligated to act according to your judgment; and not adopting a vegetarian diet would be unethical.
--- On Sun, 7/1/12, callmedax <daxten.reiter@...> wrote:
From: callmedax <daxten.reiter@...>
Subject: [stoics] Stoicism and Animal Rights
Date: Sunday, July 1, 2012, 2:20 AM
OK this is a big one for me. Now that I am forming a solid framework on the Stoic viewpoint of ethics, I would like to discuss the concept of animal rights in a Stoic perspective.
I have been a vegan for over two years now, and my reasoning has been ethically motivated. Personally I feel that it is wrong to purposely kill another animal simply to please my palette and my taste buds. However, for this argument to have validity, I must suppose that I have a rational reason for animals to be in my ethical view-scope, as it were. So let me reason this out, and perhaps some members here can have a go at my logic.
Now, the decision of whether or not to eat meat can be decided upon simply by removing emotions, desires, and prejudices from reasoning, yes? And since (from what I am discovering) Stoicism rejects moral relativism, then it would follow that choosing to eat meat is an absolute ethical or unethical decision, yes? So the final problem comes down to whether animals "deserve" ethical consideration. Does Stoicism have a method for determining this?
Arguments based on animal intelligence don't hold much sway with me, especially since reading some very cogent arguments by utilitarian Peter Singer in his book, Animal Liberation. I am currently the most intrigued by arguments based on sentience, since animal sentience is known to exist and this does distinguish them from lower-order species (such as plants). So, in a Stoic viewpoint, does sentience provide a species with the right to an ethical consideration? And if not, then what would determine a human to have an ethical consideration and not another animal?
I also quite enjoy reading the thoughts of Gary Francione. His ideas are insightful and well-spoken. If anyone wants a bit more argument on the subject, he answers a few common questions on his blog, here: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/faqs/
- View Sourcedo you think kevin that nature always will do the lesser of two evils by way of natural programing.
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