Is There a Moral Obligation to Stop Someone Torturing a Kitten?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Praktisk filosofi

Abstract: The paper presents the theories of Peter Singer and Tom Regan concerning the moral status of animals and why both deem animals to have a moral standing similar to humans. The two theories differ in their approaches to justifying the moral standing of animals and humans but have very similar conclusions. The paper then goes on to show how both theories have potential problems in justifying that there is no moral obligation to prevent animal suffering at the hands of animals if there is such an obligation to prevent animal suffering at the hands of humans and enters into a brief discussion of how addressing the difference between animal and human suffering may lead to more serious problems for the two theories with regards to animals and humans alike depending on how they justify dealing differently with the problem of suffering of animals compared to humans in the dilemma of “someone torturing a kitten” depending on who the torturer is.

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