Tim Madigan asks, what is the right attitude to take to all life?
One of the central areas of philosophy is ethics, the study of what is the right thing to do. In particular, ethics is concerned with value judgments: it not only looks at why we act in certain ways, but asks whether or not such actions are right. At least in the Western world, until fairly recently the primary focus of ethics has been on human beings. Some theists have argued that humans occupy a privileged position over other life on Earth, and all other forms of life are here to serve us, since we alone have been created in God’s image. (This attitude is now being challenged by theists who maintain that God wishes humans to be stewards, or protectors, of life on Earth – thereby showing the malleability of Scriptural interpretation.