Isn’t it contradictory to ascribe human-based rights to animals? Surely
it is absurd to apply a purely human concept to an animal who has no hope of ever understanding such a thing?
Zaki Nahaboo, London
Not at all. Anyone who ascribes rights to babies or humans with intellectual disabilities must be willing to attribute rights to beings who can’t understand the concept. It’s the moral agents, the ones who are acting, who need to understand the concept. Those to whom we attribute rights, do not need to understand these concepts.
He’s a utilitarian, i’m more of a virtue theorist, but unsurprisingly most of his ethical answers are similar to mine.