Comparing the Wrongness of Killing Humans and Killing Animals

In Andrew Linzey & Clair Linzey (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Practical Animal Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan Uk. pp. 349-361 (2018)
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Abstract

Virtually all persons—philosophers and laypersons alike—agree that, special circumstances aside, killing humans is more morally objectionable than killing animals. I argue for a radical inversion of this dogma: all else being equal, killing nonhuman animals is more morally objectionable than killing humans. We will discover that the dominant reason for the pervasive belief that killing humans is worse than killing animals—that the human kind of animal uniquely has the capacities for self-consciousness and self-reflection—can be implemented to demonstrate the very opposite conclusion.

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Mark Bernstein
Purdue University

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