Jeff: Proposed regulations concerning the use of animals in scientific experimentation would prohibit experimentat...

Avi on July 3, 2020

C vs. E

I am a bit confused by this question. I picked choice C because that eliminated miranda's argument. Isn't that what we are trying to do? I see why it doesn't necessarily establish his premise because we can't just reverse but E doesn't eliminate her possibility.

Replies

Shunhe on July 5, 2020

Hi @avif,

Thanks for the question! So let’s go over the stimulus real quick. Jeff is basically saying that regulations prohibit experimenting on some species. But research has shown that all mammals can feel pain. So, says Jeff, experimentation on all mammals should be prohibited.

Then Miranda comes in, saying the main issue isn’t pain. The main issue is that of consent, and since only humans can consent and nonhuman animals can’t consent, experimenting on nonhuman animals undermines respect for life itself. And if something undermines respect for life itself, it diminishes the quality of our lives, and so the new regulations should ban all experimenting on animals in general.

Now we’re looking for a principle that would support Jeff’s conclusion over Miranda’s. Take a look at (C), which says that only those experiments on animals known to cause those animals pain should be prohibited. Remember that only introduces the necessary. So this is saying

Prohibit Experiment —> Animals feel pain in experiment

And this is backwards from what Jeff was saying; this is a mistaken reversal. And so (C) isn’t going to support Jeff’s conclusion.

(E), on the other hand, does support Jeff, since it says if a creature can feel pain, scientific experimentation on it should be prohibited. In other words ??Animals feel pain in experiment —> Prohibit experiment

And this is what Jeff was getting at, so it’s correct.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.

Avi on July 6, 2020

I get that. I was just wondering that C if we do the contrapositive it negates Miranda's argument which in a way is also a support for Jeff. That is what confused me.

Shunhe on July 6, 2020

The contrapositive doesn't quite negate Miranda's argument, since she can still think that all animals feel pain, so the principle would never apply. And it wouldn't really "make" the focal point pain if that's what you're getting at.