Speciesism, arbitrariness and moral illusions

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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  1. Pingback: Arguments for an impartial preference for human lives | Stijn Bruers, the rational ethicist

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