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Stijn Bruers: Speciecism, Arbitrariness, and Moral Illusions

Wanneer:wo 12-12-2018 15:30 - 17:00
Waar:Room Omega

Paper presentation by Stijn Bruers (Ghent), organized by the Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Effective Altruism (EA)

Just as one line appears to be longer than another in an optical illusion, we can have a spontaneous moral judgment that one individual is more important than another. Sometimes such judgments can lead to moral illusions like speciesism and other kinds of discrimination. Moral illusions are persistent spontaneous judgments that violate our deepest moral values and distract us away from a rational, authentic ethic. They generate pseudo-ethics, similar to pseudoscience. The antidote against moral illusions is the ethical principle to avoid unwanted arbitrariness. Speciesism involves unwanted arbitrariness, and psychological research as well as the problem of wild animal suffering demonstrate that moral illusions such as speciesism can be very persistent.

Stijn Bruers has a PhD in physics and a PhD in moral philosophy at the University of Ghent. He is the co-founder of Effective Altruism Belgium and the Centrum voor Rationaliteit en Ethiek, and author of several books about animal rights, moral illusions and effective altruism.

In the evening on the same day, Stijn Bruers will give a talk on Wild Animal Suffering