Animal rights and ethical theories essay

Assume that my overall goal is to achieve a completely pacifist world in which there is no violence.

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These are three very different aspects of moral theory. It is nearly impossible to compare an insect to a wolf for example. I cannot destroy your car if I desire to do so because it is your property, and by harming it I will thereby harm you.

Animal rights and ethical theories essay

The mechanistic explanation of behavior does not apply to human beings, according to Descartes, for two reasons. If, however, we recognize that animals are not "things," that their basic right to physical security cannot be sacrificed merely because we think the consequences justify the sacrifice , then we can no longer justify the institutionalized exploitation of animals for food, experiments, clothing, or entertainment. James M. Basically testing on animals would be looked upon as cruel and inhumane so therefor when not caring about the outcome, it just would not happen. In other words, recognition of the basic right to physical security is a right as a matter of law irrespective of whether the state enforces this right in an even-handed manner. However, when the interests of animals and human beings conflict we are required to give greater weight to the interests of human beings. If violating a rightholder's right in a particular case will produce more desirable consequences than respecting that right, then Singer is committed to violating the right. Those who represent animal rights generally argue that much of what we do to other animals is immoral because nonhuman animals have rights that ought to be respected. Third, and related to the problem of inter-species comparisons of pain and suffering, is Singer's analytic framework. Aquinas believes that if a being cannot direct its own actions then others must do so; these sorts of beings are merely instruments. The Three Components of Moral Theory To evaluate Singer's claims about the normative indeterminacy of rights theory, I will identify three separate normative components, or levels, of moral theory, and I will explore the relative normative guidance of the utilitarian and deontological approaches with respect to each component. A right is generally regarded as "a moral trump card that cannot be disputed.

The way in which society deems something to right or wrong, or good or bad is through a system of moral principles known as ethics. In such cases, rights theory may become more complicated because criteria would need to be devised to decide what to do when rights conflict.

Harper Perennial Modern Classics, The attributes of rationality, autonomy, and self-consciousness confer a full and equal moral status to those that possess them because these beings are the only ones capable of attaining certain values and goods; these values and goods are of a kind that outweigh the kinds of values and goods that non-rational, non-autonomous, and non-self-conscious beings are capable of attaining.

why animals should not have rights

This intuition is one that any acceptable moral theory must be able to accommodate. In a recent count, it was determined that 8, animals were being used for research at MSU, 8, of them rodents - rats, mice, hamsters and gerbils.

As Henry Shue has argued in the context of human rights, there is a logical distinction between what Shue calls "basic" rights and "non-basic" rights. Animal rights philosophy is distinct from proponents of animal welfare who argue that we must provide adequate conditions for animals in our care — a position held by the RSPCA among others.

Animal rights essay titles

Writing during the time when a mechanistic view of the natural world was replacing the Aristotelian conception, Descartes believed that all of animal behavior could be explained in purely mechanistic terms, and that no reference to conscious episodes was required for such an explanation. However, the racist is wrong in this factual judgment; it is not true that all members of any one race are smarter than all members of any other. These are just a sample of the many questions raised by our use of nonhuman animals. Should animals be lower than humans or the same? In this chapter Regan clarifies the distinction between animal welfare and animal liberation — Regan aligns the latter with animal rights. Feinberg, Joel. Bernard E. The moral relevance of human intelligence. For Singer, the rightness or wrongness of conduct is determined by consequences, and not by any appeal to right. During this paper I will present the views of both sides. Moral Equality Theories The final theories to discuss are the moral equality theories. Two pieces follow that are likely to be of interest to a broad spectrum of readers, follow. As long as an animal's interests receive equitable consideration consideration untainted by the speciesism that discounts animal interests simply because they are the interests of a supposed "inferior" , Singer's equality principle is satisfied. More generally, it has been argued that if we wish to deny animals rights and claim that only human beings have them, then we must focus not so much on rights, but rather on what grounds them.

Rather, it is simply his assessment of how intelligence or rationality is distributed among human beings that is mistaken. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press,

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Animal Rights Essay