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Gary Soup

the ethics of factory farming and foie gras

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One of the countless problems with the utility approach is that if many people thoroughly enjoyed torturing and killing a few animals occasionally, the calculus would pronounce that a good.

 

I honestly think utilitarianism is totally debunked (even though it does seem to be fashionable in some quarters currently).

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If I remember correctly, Singer believes that preventing predation would not reduce suffering, but would probably increase it through species growth.

 

I'm still not clear why the obligation described for act utilitarians wouldn't create a rule, since it's described in general terms. But fortunately utilitarianism isn't the only form of consequentialism.

 

I linked to his full response to the question of natural animal suffering. He gives a precautionary cop-out out of fear of destabilizing the ecosystem, but he fully admits that if there were a way to just reduce suffering (consider some hypothetical technology that painlessly euthanizes any prey animal about to be killed by a predator), that it would be morally obligatory under his ethics to do such a thing.

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Yes, obviously Peter Singer is an idiot who follows a completely debunked and discredited system of ethics.

 

Seriously?

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Yes, obviously Peter Singer is an idiot who follows a completely debunked and discredited system of ethics.

 

Seriously?

You seem to be very angry about something. I don't know why. The problems with utilitarianism are very well known. I don't think Singer is a very good philosopher. I'm not alone.

 

You might as well say Bernard Williams is an "idiot" because he (very convincingly) rejects utilitarianism. Better to make up your own mind than relying on the idea that this guy is an "idiot" and this other guy isn't.

 

Plato is wrong about all kinds of stuff. It hardly makes him an "idiot." Philosophy doesn't work like that (nor does science).

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If I remember correctly, Singer believes that preventing predation would not reduce suffering, but would probably increase it through species growth.

 

I'm still not clear why the obligation described for act utilitarians wouldn't create a rule, since it's described in general terms. But fortunately utilitarianism isn't the only form of consequentialism.

... if there were a way to just reduce suffering (consider some hypothetical technology that painlessly euthanizes any prey animal about to be killed by a predator), that it would be morally obligatory under his ethics to do such a thing.
If you look back you'll see neither Adrian nor I denied this. The proffer was simply that preventing predation as such wouldn't have that outcome; as I think Singer agrees.

 

Of course Singer thinks you "ought to" reduce any and all suffering.

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Take a look at the PhilPapers survey: http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl

 

Natural animal suffering is not a purely hypothetical position – for example, it bears on whether you should have opposed reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone or golden eagles to Ireland.

 

It's more like this is a difficult problem where there does not exist a generally accepted answer – but some are easier to talk and reason about than others.

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