chapter  4
14 Pages

Suffering, sentientism, and sustainability

An analysis of a non-anthropocentric moral framework for climate ethics
WithRebekah Humphreys

Sentientist philosophers have presented convincing arguments to show why the interests of sentient animals are of direct moral concern, and no more so than Peter Singer, who may be seen to exemplify the sentientist stance, at least with regard to his position on that which has moral standing and why. A coherent sentientist ethic of climate change either must reject the claim that all suffering is intrinsically bad or reject the claim that all suffering should be prevented or reject both. Besides, endorsing a form of holism would fail to account adequately for the individual interests of creatures affected or which stand to be affected by climate change. With regard to the sentientist’s concept of a morally relevant interest, however, direct moral relevance is tied to sentience, but the possession of sentience is not a necessary condition for moral standing.