Steve Grice was kind enough to provide a summary of last Sunday's meeting.
Here are a few items from our video and the discussion after. Near the beginning of the video, interviewer William Crawley notes that Peter Singer wrote the book "Animal Liberation", a major source in the animal rights movement. In that book, Singer argues that it is immoral for humans to inflict suffering on other species. There is no justification for this "speciesism". Human "superiority" does not give them this right.
For Singer, the core of morality is that we should not cause/facilitate suffering in others -- including other species.
Singer has made other controversial claims. One claim is that humane infanticide should be allowed for very young, severely disabled infants -- for example, an infant born with only a brain stem but no brain.
Crawly then asked Singer about the money and effort Singer spent on his mother while she had end-stage Alzheimers disease. Singer felt that money might have been better spent to reduce the needless suffering of children around the world. About 10 million children suffer and die each year from easily fixed causes. Singer urged that most of us should and could easily give up a few luxuries to help.
A few points from our discussion after the video:
Several audience members told of medical cases in which doctors' attempts to simply prolong life caused unnecessary suffering.
Another member noted the danger that infanticide might be extended to infants who were just inconvenient. Another urged that such decisions should involve more than just the parents.
Other audience members told of being very affected by seeing documentaries about cruelty in the raising and slaughter of farm animals. However, another suggested that -- in many cases -- an animal's life on a farm is less cruel than its life would be in the wild.
Another noted that meat eating was critical in human evolution. But another argued that meat eating is no longer necessary.