Animal rights painting & prints
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Animal Rights Encyclopedia entries
  1. Absolutism
  2. Altruism
  3. Animal Ethics
  4. Animal Rights - see 'Rights'
  5. Animal Rights History
  6. Animal Rights Motto
  7. Animal Rights vs Animal Ethics
  8. Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare
  9. Animal Rights vs Conservation
  10. Anthropocentrism
  11. Anthropocentrism, Enlightened
  12. Anthropomorphism
  13. Aquinas, Thomas
  14. Aristotle

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Bearskin Hats
  2. Beef Cattle Statistics
  3. Bestiality - see 'Zoophilia'
  4. Behaviourism
  5. Bentham, Jeremy
  6. Brain, Milestones of Understanding
  7. Bushmeat

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  1. Cat Traffic Training
  2. Chickens - Broiler Hens
  3. Chickens - Egg-laying Hens
  4. Chickens Statistics
  5. Clever Hans the Counting Horse
  6. Consciousness
  7. Consequence Ethics (Consequentialism)
  8. Consideration, Equal
  9. Contractarianism
  10. Copernicus, Nicolaus
  11. Creature Harmony
  12. Cruelty

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  1. Darwin, Charles
  2. Deep Ecology
  3. Descartes
  4. Dogs - Communication & Control
  5. Duty Ethics (Deontology)

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  1. Emotivism
  2. Environmental Ethics / Environmentalism
  3. Ethical Egoism
  4. Ethical Theories & Animal Rights
  5. Euphemisms
  6. Expanding the Circle
  7. Experimental Animals - see 'Laboratory-Experimental Animals'

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  1. Factory Farming
  2. Fish Statistics
  3. Five Freedoms
  4. Foxhunting with Hounds
  5. Fur Animal Statistics
  6. Fur Brushes & Bows
  7. Fur Farming
  8. Fur Marketing
  9. Fur Morality
  10. Fur Species
  11. Fur Trapping

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  1. Golden Rule
  2. Goldfish Bowls
  3. Great Apes

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  1. Han means He or She
  2. Human Overpopulation
  3. Human Superiority

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Interests
  2. Interests - see Consideration, Equal
  3. Intrinsic Value
  4. Is Ought Fallacy
  5. It - Stop Calling Animals It

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Laboratory-Experimental Animals
  2. Legalism

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Meat Statistics
  2. Mirror Test of Animal Consciousness
  3. Moral Agents & Patients
  4. Moral Autonomy
  5. Moral Status or Standing
  6. Moral Theory Choice
  7. Moral Values & Judgements
  8. Mutilation of Farm Animals

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  1. Naturalistic Fallacy
  2. Natural Selection
  3. New Welfarism - see 'Welfarism, New'
  4. Number Fallacy

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Painism
  2. Passenger Pigeon
  3. Pigs / Hogs Statistics
  4. Predation

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  1. Reciprocal Morality
  2. Religious Tradition
  3. Rights

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  1. Sheep & Goats Statistics
  2. Soul
  3. Subjectivism
  4. Subject of a Life

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Terrorism
  2. Therianthropy

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  1. Universal Declaration on Animals
  2. Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare
  3. Utilitarianism

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Vegetarianism
  2. Vermin
  3. Virtue Ethics

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  1. Welfarism, New
  2. Wolf Ethics

Home - Animal Rights Encyclopedia
  1. Zoophilia
  2. Zoos



Subjectivism  Subjectivism is an ethical theory asserting that morality depends entirely on the attitude of each individual. Thus, attitudes are neither right nor wrong but merely statements about how you feel and moral judgements are just statements about the thoughts and feelings of the person saying them. When people disagree about what moral behaviour is, according to Subjectivism, they are not engaging in rational debate, but are voicing differences of attitude. Subjectivism opposes the belief in the objectivity of moral truth that is Absolutism.

Subjectivism declares that when you say animals are worthy, you only mean you like animals, and that when you say killing animals is wrong, you only mean you are against killing them. Subjectivism says that when people's attitudes differ they are simply disagreeing and that is all. Someone claims hunting animals for sport is good. You maintain hunting animals for sport is bad. Your statements are true only in that they are about what you believe, otherwise they are neither true nor false, neither right nor wrong, neither good nor bad.

Subjectivism seems to be agreeable in so far it acknowledges that people have different moral opinions, encourages personal feelings, and dispenses with any need for moral facts that may confuse matters. Subjectivism allows everyone to develop their own position without being forced to agree with views of other people that they may find objectionable.

Subjective impressions.

A big downside of Subjectivism is that you cannot resolve moral disputes if everyone is simply talking about their personal opinions. Someone's beliefs are as valid as anyone else's beliefs, so there is no way of saying whether an act is moral or not. Nobody is ever wrong in the subjectivist view.

People make many moral judgements apparently based on rational decisions. It is reasonable to believe that setting a living animal on fire for pleasure is wrong, for instance. Rationalising, you could claim that the pain suffered by the animal would be disproportionately greater than the pleasure of the villain who started the blaze (see Utilitarianism), or that God gave us a moral duty to care for those who are weaker than ourselves (see Religious Tradition: Modern Interpretation). Surely, therefore, not all moral judgements are necessarily subjectivist. There may, at the least, be a core of rationalizable values shared by everyone.

Compare with Emotivism and Relativism.



Page revised Nov 2010.
Web site established Nov 2009.