The, Moral, And Moral Relativism

1556 Words Sep 15th, 2014 7 Pages
On the perfectionist account there exists an established categorization of the moral status of conscious persons or beings. The moral perfectionist maintains that morality is hierarchical, which is to say that they hold that differentially weighted considerations should be given to different beings depending on the level to which they possess certain characteristics. For example, throughout the history of western philosophy one of the most popularly touted of the characteristics of higher order moral agents has been the possession of formal language. Consider, then, the non-human animal from this perspective - from a Heideggarian perspective, if you will. According to Heidegger (2001), the Animal does not die; it merely perishes and is, therefore, vulnerable to light-hearted killing. Why is this so? Because, for Heidegger, the value of the human is that they live inside of language. This, he suggests, is not so for the non-human, the Animal. This is not a trivial reflection on the views of one man; it reflects a wider trend, particularly in notions of human ethical primacy. It serves as a demonstration of typical justifications for a structured differentiation between humans and non-humans; it is the structuring of moral value.
The Animal, therefore, becomes the lowest tier of the perfectionist’s hierarchy. It is considered, par excellence, as a diminutive form for comparison – used primarily to enact the primacy of its alternative: the Human. It plays a role in…
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