Saturday, June 20, 2015

Astounding Issue: Kill All Carnivores?

From a Vox interview with philosopher Peter Singer:
Dylan Matthews:How do you think about the suffering of animals in the wild? Jeff McMahan has written a few interesting papers and essays implying that the controlled extinction of carnivorous species might be morally necessary, if it's even ecologically possible. Should we care about improving preyed-upon animals' lives, just as we care about animals in captivity?

Peter Singer: I welcome the discussion of that question. I think it's a good thing that people are taking this seriously and looking at it. What I think should be done about it at the moment is that people should keep thinking and talking about it and doing research into it. I don't think at the moment we've got to the point where we know enough about the suffering of wild animals, and I also don't think there's actually much of a constituency there for doing a lot about it at the moment. So I think that the research and discussion thing is where that issue should be at the moment.
IMHO this is an example of how reasoning without confronting opposing views and stubborn facts can lead to ridiculous ideas (I write "ideas" rather than "conclusions" recognizing that Singer applauds only the process, not endorsing the end.)

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