Tuesday: “Ethics and Animals”

http://www.corsodireligione.it/attualita_1/immagini/peter_singer.jpgPeter Singer is controversial not because his philosophy is especially profound — it’s a heavily utilitarian moral philosophy based on derivations from a few simple first principles, which are themselves attempts to capture those characteristics that make humans empathetic and sympathetic to one another.

Rather, he’s controversial because he dares to say stuff that people will gleeful pounce upon and strive to misconstrue, and calls them out on their own contradictory behavior.  When he asserts something that sounds like, to paraphrase, “A three-year old dog is more empathetic and intelligent than a 3-month old human baby, and therefore no more deserving of harm,” he’s not suggesting the we hurt the baby.  He’s suggesting that we be gentle to the dog.  You can tell him just what a vile so-and-so he is, at Brown, tomorrow:

Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, will discuss “Ethics and Animals: Where We’ve Come From, and Where We Need To Go.” A Q&A session will follow his talk. Presented by the Brown Animal Rights Club, this event begins at 7 p.m. in MacMillan Hall, Room 117.

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