Thursday, March 15, 2012

ARZone Podcast 33: Philosopher David Pearce


David Pearce is without doubt a controversial figure within the animal advocacy movement. He is a British negative utilitarian and transhumanist philosopher and author of the online text calling for the end of suffering for all sentient life, The Hedonistic Imperative.

In 2002, David Pearce co-founded the Abolitionist Society, which has "Towards the abolition of suffering through science" as its subtitle. Pearce is the author of "The Abolitionist Project" (which includes a 34 minute podcast) which is about "getting rid of suffering."





Please listen HERE or visit this webpage to subscribe using iTunes.





6 comments:

davidpearce said...

Perhaps it's worth stressing that advocacy of a pan-species welfare state is utterly different from so-called welfarism, i.e. the belief that humans have the right to use nonhuman animals as we see fit as long as they are treated "humanely".

Animal advocates - and many meat-eating "animal lovers" - already aim to provide something like a welfare state for "domestic" animals. Of course, we often do so incompetently. Many of us argue that sentient beings shouldn't be bred as "pets" at all. But we all agree on the need for compassionate care of dogs, for instance. So what should be the limits of our interventions?

Whether for "free living"
http://​www.dailymail.co.uk/news/​article-2059502/​Baby-elephant-mother-pulled​-muddy-grave-conservation-​workers-Zambia.html
or "domestic"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/​uk-england-essex-17005566
animals, we would all go out of our way to help a distressed animal we came across. So I think the real question is whether our compassionate interventions should be piecemeal - essentially, whether seeing another creature's plight upsets _me_ - or instead ethically impartial and systematic?

Right now, however, IMO our first systematic intervention should be closing down factory farms.

Roger Yates. said...

Thanks for that, David. I have been made aware that there is an Irish discussion thread talking about your position: http://www.politics.ie/forum/education-science/184084-can-hi-tech-end-all-suffering-world.html

Ian from The Vegan Option said...

Listeners might be interested to hear the Lab Meat episode of "The Vegan Option" podcast, in which David Pearce puts the vegan case in favour.

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