Philosophy: Moral Status [6:58]


It’s not clear that a chimpanzee can make moral decisions, but it’s pretty obvious that we shouldn’t needless torture them.  They still matter or factor into for our moral decisions.  Professor Jeff Sebo discusses what it takes for something to be a subject of moral concern, or have moral status, and how our answers to this affects our daily lives.

Discussion Questions

  • We treat rocks different than animals, and then animals different from people, why?  What about these kinds of things makes them different ‘moral subjects’?
  • Are humans unique in the animal kingdom?
  • Do you think we should treat humans differently just because we are humans?  What do you think of ‘speciesism’?
  • Do you think sentience is what ultimately matters?  What about being alive or having life?
  • If we expanded our ‘moral circle’ how would that affect your everyday life?

Keywords: Ethics, Moral Theory, speciesism, animal rights, vegetarianism, utilitarianism, Singer


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