The moral relevance of human intelligence

Animal rights proponents often assert that “sentience” is the only morally relevant characteristic. In their view, we owe the same moral consideration to all sentient living beings, which must include the same basic rights to life and freedom. The animal rights philosopher asks -- Why does it matter if humans can compose a violin concerto … Continue reading The moral relevance of human intelligence

Cat Helicopter Exposes Moral Confusion Among Animal Rights Activists

Animal rights theorists argue that our moral consideration for a living being must rest exclusively on its intrinsic properties -- the notion of moral individualism. I explained earlier that accepting such an idea would imply our use of human or animal remains for an art project in school would be equivalent to using play-dough or … Continue reading Cat Helicopter Exposes Moral Confusion Among Animal Rights Activists

Objections to the Marginal Case Argument

Scientists are often challenged with the so-called marginal case argument. We are asked to spell out the criteria that make our experiments justifiable in animals but not in humans with comparable abilities and therefore comparable interests. These criteria, we are told, must be evaluated for each individual separately (so-called moral individualism). The resulting argument against … Continue reading Objections to the Marginal Case Argument

Singer Slips Up Over Science of Signs

A guest post today is courtesy of Mark Seidenberg addresses the errors of Peter Singer in his recent piece in the New York Review of Books. Mark was a graduate student at Columbia during the research on Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee which scientists attempted to teach sign language to. This piece is the second time … Continue reading Singer Slips Up Over Science of Signs