Is Moral Status Good for You?
Should we cognitively alter animals in ways that might change their moral status? There has been some discussion of this question. For example, Chan (2009) and Chan and Harris (2001) consider whether we should radically enhance the cognitive capacities of animals, while Thompson (2008) and Shriver (2009) argue that we should in fact substantially disenhance some animals to protect them from suffering. More controversially, some have countenanced radical and possibly moral status-altering transformations of human persons. ... One question relevant to all of these discussions is whether it is good for a being to have moral status; whether a being’s moral status contributes to its wellbeing or (as I take to be equivalent) has prudential value for that being.