This assignment is worth 22 points — a substantial portion of your final grade. While there is no set length, I would think one would need at least a page or so to do the question justice. Attend to all parts of the question and give a thorough account, explaining the respective positions. You will also want to argue for one approach over another, offering reasons that would appeal to the fair-minded or neutral reader, one interested solely in learning the truth.
Do not quote other sources — either within the course or from without — back to me. Put matters in your own words. Know, too, that while I am interested in your views here, they should be views informed by the reading.
On the first day of the new year, extraterrestrial aliens arrive on earth. The aliens proceed to round up millions of humans in order to conduct unspeakable medical experiments. Other humans they corral and slaughter for food. When we object, they say their treatment of us is no different from our treatment of cattle and fowl.
Are the aliens doing anything wrong? Do we do anything wrong in our treatment of animals?
Explain how Kant on the one hand, and Singer on the other, would reply. Be sure to discuss speciesism as well as Singer’s argument from marginal cases. Next, explore how Steinbock would respond; you’ll want to consider her Catholic charity example in the course of your account. Who makes the best case?
Finally, talk about how you would answer these questions. Take a stand and go into detail in defending your position.
Grading Criteria for the essay are as follows:
A strong essay will lay out the respective positions in clear and detailed terms, emphasize the strengths and weaknesses of each, and offer convincing reasons to show why one approach is superior to the other. The accounts should display a ready and thorough knowledge of course material. (20-22 points).
An adequate essay will set forth the main outline of the respective positions, though some detail may be lacking and the accounts may not always be clear. The reasons given for supporting one approach over another, while relevant, may not prove compelling. (16-19 points)
An inadequate essay will confuse the positions involved or fail to articulate their key elements; the language may exhibit a poor grasp of the central points of contention. The account might well convey an insufficient understanding of course material or prove otherwise unclear, and the reasons offered in favor of one approach over another will mischaracterize essential philosophical paradigms. (15 points or below).
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