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There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory

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There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 12 Oct 2019, 00:06
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based on 90 sessions

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There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory today for the Draize test, immobilized by their positions in their small containers, with only their heads sticking out. An assistant is placing a drop of the newest cologne or perfume directly into each of the animal‘s eyes. The bucking and kicking of these small subjects seems to indicate that they are experiencing severe pain as a result of this experiment. Yet it seems necessary in order to ensure that humans do not experience eye injuries resulting from the use of this product. Thereafter the animals will be analyzed and destroyed.

Is it right under any circumstances to experiment with animals? Do we have a moral obligation towards animals? What is an animal? Certainly, most humans would think of these small rabbits as animals that deserve our protection. But, do humans generally consider that mosquitoes, spiders, or ticks deserve the same protection? Probably not. They are not ―fubsy‖; the term used to describe the cuddly soft, furry, larger mammals that we generally fawn over and feel the desire to protect.

Recognizing this intrinsic tendency and attempting to override it, let us then define animals as any non-human organism. Yet, this is such a wide definition that it could pertain to potential aliens. Will we witness an Alien Rights movement soon? We are then forced to narrow our field to nonhuman organisms that remind us of humans and, thus, provoke empathy in us. However, to most advocates this would seem rather unsatisfactory because it is not ―fair‖.

Historically, philosophers like Kant (and Descartes, Malebranche and even Aquinas) did not favor the idea of animal rights. They said that animals are the organic equivalents of machines, moved by coarse instincts, unable to experience pain (though their behavior sometimes might deceive us into mistakenly believing that they do). Thus, any moral obligation that we have towards animals is a derivative of a primary obligation, which we have towards our fellow humans.

Empathy as a differentiating principle is of little use because it is primarily structural. If the animal looks like me, resembles me, behaves like me — then he must be like me in other, more profound ways. However, this is a faulty method when used to prove identity; empathy is defined in the dictionary as pathetic fallacy. The method is too dependent upon historical, cultural, and personal contexts. That another organism looks like us, behaves like us and talks like us is no guarantee that it is like us. The creature is not capable of want, and if it were, it would neither necessarily want nor deserve our pity. We cannot determine whether another creature, like another human, is experiencing pain, through empathy.

Additionally, pain is a value judgment and the reaction to it is not only relative, but also culturally dependent. In some cases, it can actually be perceived as positive, and be sought after. If we, humans, cannot agree and separate the objective from the subjective, the rational from the cultural — what gives us the right to decide for other organisms (without getting their approval)? We cannot decide right and wrong, good and evil for those with whom communication is barred

1. The author implies that an animal does not:

A. have enough ‗fubsy‘ characteristics to be considered human.
B. communicate effectively.
C. benefit from human empathy.
D. empathize with humans. .
E. deserve human sympathy



2. It has been said that animal experimenters ―are using more and more animals whom they consider less ‗cute‘, because, although they know these animals suffer just as much, they believe people won‘t object as strenuously to the torture of a pig or a rat as they will to that of a dog or a rabbit‖. The author would probably disagree by saying that:

A. dogs and rabbits are less ―cute‖ than pigs or rats.
B. people will usually object strenuously to an experiment in which any kind of animal is suffering.
C. the experimenters cannot know how much the animals suffer.
D. the experimenters probably realize that non-human organisms cannot suffer as we do.
E. there should be no discrimination on the basis of ‗cuteness‘


3. The passage indicates that its author would NOT agree with which of the following statements?

A. Animals communicate effectively though non-verbal means.
B. The reaction to pain is culturally dependent and relative.
C. An organism may look like us, behave like us and talk like us, yet not be like us at all.
D. An animal‘s reaction to a certain stimulus might not lead us to believe that it is experiencing pain.
E. Animals deserve our love and sympathy


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Originally posted by sandysilva on 22 Feb 2018, 05:11.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 12 Oct 2019, 00:06, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (939).
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Re: There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 11:47
1
It took me nine minutes to read the passage and answer all the questions. However, I only answered question 2 and 3 correctly. I found question 1 pretty difficult, albeit the correct answer makes more sense to me after reading the passage again.

All in all, it's an interesting and controversial topic, thumbs up from me.
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Re: There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2018, 13:29
OEs
1) The author states, ―We cannot decide right and wrong, good and evil for those with whom communication is barred‖. Communication between animals and humans is mentioned with finality in this last sentence. The implication of a large portion of the passage is that direct or effective communication with animals is impossible and without direct communication, we are unable to ―determine whether another creature is experiencing pain‖. ‗B‘ clearly follows from this.

(A): The author never implies that ―that an animal does not have enough ‗fubsy‘ characteristics to be considered human.‖

(B): The correct answer

(C): The author never implies ―that an animal does not benefit from human empathy.‖ In contrast, his references to ‗fubsy‘ admit that some animals are at least considered for protection.
(D): Out of scope
(E): The author actually attempts to state the opposite in the passage that animals do deserve human sympathy

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Re: There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2018, 13:30


2) You should immediately grasp the flavor of the quote because of the word ―torture.‖ We are looking for an answer whereby the author would disagree. What would the author‘s response be? The recurrent theme throughout the passage is that animals cannot tell us if they are suffering, how much they are suffering, or whether or not they want to suffer. ‗C‘ states this the best.
(A): The author would clearly discount any efforts to quantify the unquantifiable; i.e., ―cute.‖ Therefore, he would never respond with ―less ‗cute‘.‖ Additionally, he discounts structural differentiation and fubsiness thoughout the passage.

(B): In the passage the author makes very few sweeping statements about animals. This answer is an all-inclusive type of statement, which you should be wary of. The author does imply that we would not care if ―mosquitoes, spiders, or ticks‖ were suffering

(C): The correct answer

(D): This is not the one best answer. Again the author argues that animals cannot tell us if they are suffering, how much they are suffering, or whether they want to suffer or not. According to the author, we actually cannot know, and do not know.

(E): Not as specific an answer as C


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Re: There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2018, 13:31

3) The author clearly feels that non-verbal means are a poor method of communication, and what meaning there might be could be misconstrued; remember, empathy is apathetic fallacy. Thus the author would never agree with Option ‗A‘

(A): The correct answer

(B): The author would agree. This statement is essentially one of the author‘s own lines and advances the author‘s thesis.

(C): The author would agree. This statement is also rewritten from a passage sentence and it, too, advances the author‘s thesis.

(D): The author would agree.

(E): The author would agree.

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Re: There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2019, 04:52
Topic and Scope
To question the moral validity of using animals for experimentation in laboratories

Mapping the Passage

¶1 provides an example of the suffering animals have to go through during the
process of experimentation.
¶2 compares different classes of animals and states that humans sympathise with
those that display fubsy characteristics
¶3 tries to define ‗animal‘
¶4 discussed the views of historians such as Kant who were not much sympathetic
towards the plight of these animals.
¶5 discusses one way in which humans decide which animals to show sympathy
towards
¶6 concludes by stating that we cannot decide on behalf of animals what is be good
for them and what is not be good for them‘
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Re: There are over one hundred small white rabbits here in the laboratory   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2019, 04:52
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