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Environmental Studies, Ethics Essay Example

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Environmental Studies, Ethics

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Unfortunately, none of these arguments recognizes the true feelings of these animals, but instead argue that they should not be treated as ends-in-themselves. Attention is given to human beings are seen to be supreme and only to be served by these animals. These non-human animals are not treated as ends-in-themselves. Immanuel Kant is an opponent of animal rights who argues that human beings have no obligations to non-human animals. According to Immanuel Kant, human beings need to be kind to other non-human animals because it is an indirect duty to other humans. By being kind to animals, human beings will have good character that will help them treat fellow human beings well. Kant’s argument is based on the idea that non-human animals are not rational and self-conscious. Human beings therefore have no direct duty to foster the ends of non-human animals. Kant fails to understand that animals, just like humans, have feelings and emotions that need to be considered. Non-human animals should not be taken as beings whose main purpose is to serve humans. Kant also argues that by being cruel to animals, a person will develop a cruel heart that will make him treat other human beings in a cruel manner. According to Kant, it is important to remain kind to animals because this is in the self-interest of human beings. Kant asserts that “Our duties towards animals are merely indirect duties towards humanity” (Kant, 64). In his arguments, Kant fails to recognize the feelings of these animals but instead centers his arguments on the value of human beings alone.When such arguments as those advanced by Kant are analyzed from the lens of animal rights proponents such as Peter Singer, one realizes that the true feelings of these animals are not considered. First, Kant’s arguments can be compared to the actions of racists. Singer rightfully argues that racists generally violate the equality principle by giving greater weight to their own interests and those of their race. This is done when there is clash between their interests and those of other races. It can be seen that Kant’s arguments put the interest of human species ahead, and neglect the interests of other species. For this reason, Kant is actually violating the equality principle. Secondly, Kant’s arguments can be criticized based on the idea of killing. Peter Singer argues that it is not right to argue that the lives

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Reference

Pojman, L & Pojman, P (Eds.). (2008). Environmental Ethics. Thomson Wadsworth.
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