Protectionism : applying ethics consistently
Protectionism: Applying Ethics Consistently focuses on the discrepancy between morality amongst human beings as opposed to morality with regard to all other life forms. The introduction explains important terminology, terms, methods and goals. The chapters that follow examine four prominent contemporary ethical theories that extend ethics to protect other life forms. Each chapter presents one of the four theories, immediately followed by a discussion of that theory. The first chapter discusses the work of Tom Regan, a philosopher who asserts that certain non-human animals hold rights, and that people are obligated to uphold corresponding duties to respect these rights. The second chapter examines the work of the philosopher Peter Singer, who recommends protection for some non-human animals based on sentience and utilitarian principles. The third chapter is dedicated to the work of Andrew Linzey, a theologian, who indicates a Christian obligation of servitude toward non-human animals based on Jewish and Christian scripture. The fourth chapter presents and examines the work of Paul Taylor, a philosopher who offers a theory of environmental ethics based on the inherent worth of certain plants and animals. The fifth chapter has two sections. Section A expands on Linzey's work to demonstrate consistency across faith traditions. Without focusing on any one tradition, this section highlights protectionist qualities within the Vedic/Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Islamic, and Indigenous religious traditions. Section B is an exercise in consistency in applied philosophy, which offers an ethical theory, the Minimize Harm Maxim. This theory is not my personal theory, but merely results from philosophic consistency and impartiality in applied ethics, based on current Western ethics regarding human life. The conclusion restates the ethical dilemma - a discrepancy in our current ethical system - and reaffirms the need for continued philosophical explorations of ethical theory and practice with regard to life, toward a morality that is less partial and more consistent.