Should we ever let an animal go extinct without trying to help it?

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    The idea that there are certain animals that we should let go extinct seems to hinge on the assumption that there are certain “dangerous” animals that we’d be better off without. This doesn’t work, however, because if the population of an animal species is low enough to be threatened with extinction, then obviously the animal can’t be that much of a danger. Another argument in favor of laissez faire extinction is that the animal will eventually die out anyway, and our resources should be better spent in areas other than an investment in a lost cause. This is a little more plausible, but seems to fall into the ethical error that future failure (a future failure that is merely assumed rather than guaranteed) means that it is pointless to postpone it. If that were the case, then why should we, as a human species, bother keeping alive, since we’re all going to die out too? To read an interesting debate on this matter, click the citation below.

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