Tom Regan (1985) and Peter Singer (1989) agree that we have moral responsibilities toward animals, but disagree about the best approach to animal ethics.

Each week you will participate in topic-related conversations with your classmates using the discussion forums. Below is the topic for the first discussion during this week:
Tom Regan (1985) and Peter Singer (1989) agree that we have moral responsibilities toward animals, but disagree about the best approach to animal ethics.

What basic conclusions do they agree about (be specific)?

How would you explain the basic difference in their approach? Specifically, explain how Singer’s argument represents a utilitarian view, referring to John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism for the basic framework of a utilitarian theory of morality. In what way is Regan’s view a non-utilitarian one? Name at least one argument he makes that is non-utilitarian, and compare it with an argument from Singer that is utilitarian.
(Remember that the aim in this discussion is to unpack the utilitarian approach to ethics, not simply to discuss our responsibilities toward animals.)

Finally, share your responses to either or both of the arguments and any of the other material on animal ethics from this week.

When responding to your peers, consider what Singer and/or Regan would say in response to their remarks, think about whether what a peer calls a non-utilitarian consideration might be, after all, a utilitarian one, or vice versa, or think of strengths and weaknesses in their argument that they might not have considered.

Multimedia
Alfie A. (2010, November 22). Meet your meat [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/32IDVdgmzKA
This is a brief exposé about how farm animals raised for food are treated on today’s factory farms. It is a bit difficult to watch, yet important to get a glimpse of the realities behind much of what we find in restaurants and the supermarket. Transcript
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Garcia, P. (Director). (2004). Ethics: What is right? [Series episode]. In C. Scherer (Executive producer), Great ideas of philosophy I. Retrieved from https://secure.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx?Token=32706&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref=
Watch this video between the 25-minute and 31-minute marks. This segment of the video discusses the history, development, and core principles of the ethical theory of utilitarianism

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