* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
CHAPTER 16 â ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS General Overview In this final chapter our obligations to the larger non-human community and the rights that that community may have are explored, especially practices involving animals whether it be for food, sport, amusement, etc. What justifies our treatment of animals in this regard since many of our practices involve inflicting pain, injury and death? Are animals simply inferior to humans â like sticks and stones as Plato said, or soulless machines according to Descartes- such that the pain we inflict requires little or no justification? How important is the possession of reason? Are we separate from and superior to nature or inextricably bound to it? Appropriately, this final chapter raises again some of the hardest questions of moral philosophy. Class Suggestions There are numerous exercises that you might get students to engage in here for this topic. One popular scenario is to get students to imagine they have landed on a new planet with all kinds of things that they donât recognize flying, crawling and swimming. Some creatures appear to be very intelligent. Their food supplies have run out and desperation will soon set in. They will have to decide what they can eat and what they canât. What criteria do they use? This kind of activity will bring out assumptions that are often hidden, perhaps by the fact that animals seem to be almost invisibly embedded in every part of our lives and that their use is taken for granted. Other activities might include getting students to work out a hierarchy of animals based on categories like âKill /destroy it because it interferes with your quality of lifeâ or âOwn it or deprive it of its freedom without any reason,â âPerform harmful experiments on it,â etc. This will bring out many of our inconsistencies regarding how we treat animals, as would a careful consideration of pets and why this particular group of animals are given special rights and to which we, as âowners,â have special obligations. 104 Copyright Â© 2009 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.