Moral status of animals in the ancient world

Moral status of animals in the ancient world - Moral status...

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Moral status of animals in the ancient world Main article: Moral status of animals in the ancient world Michelangelo 's The Creation of Adam . The Book of Genesis said God gave humankind "dominion" over non-humans. [6] The 21st-century debates about how humans should treat animals can be traced to the ancient world. The idea that the use of animals by humans—for food, clothing, entertainment, and as research subjects—is morally acceptable, springs mainly from two sources. First, there is the idea of a divine hierarchy based on the theological concept of "dominion," from Genesis (1:20–28), where Adam is given "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Although the concept of dominion need not entail property rights, it has been interpreted over the
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centuries to imply ownership. There is also the idea that animals are inferior because they lack rationality and language, and as such are worthy of less consideration than humans, or even none. [6] Springing from this is the idea that individual animals have no separate moral identity: a pig is simply an example of the class of pigs, and it is to the class, not to the individual, that human stewardship should be applied. This leads to the argument that the use of individual animals is acceptable so long as the species is not threatened with extinction. [7]
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This note was uploaded on 03/26/2012 for the course SCIENCE 103 taught by Professor Na during the Spring '12 term at American International.

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Moral status of animals in the ancient world - Moral status...

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