Deontological perspective animal rights

There are many different ethical theories, which differ according to the way in which they require us to act and in the arguments that support them. Whatever dilemmas arise in our own case between our feelings for the animal under our care and the task we may be committed to, let us not be tempted to dismiss our sentiments out of hand or ruthlessly suppress our better feelings.

Animal rights theory

Many would rightly recoil in horror at the account of one of the very early recorded animal experiments in the West. Kamm, F. The context of Singer's comments involves an examination of the argument that meat eaters actually do animals a favor by causing them directly or through consumption demand to come into existence in the first place. Click here to watch an influential speech by Regan, where he so eloquently and concisely describes his theory and responds to the common objection to the philosophy of animal rights. These institutions cannot exist without individual moral agents who choose to participate directly in the institutionalized exploitation. In other words, if the positive or negative wellbeing of all individuals could be added together, that total is what should be maximized. In determining the consequences of actions, Singer argues that we must accord equal consideration to equal interests. Indeed, a long line of scientists since the distant past have progressed knowledge so that some of that human and animal suffering has been alleviated; sometimes, of course, by the use of animals. Unger, P. People have always had to emphasise differences between man and beast to maintain and defend their belief in human superiority. Tom Regan, for example, follows Kant in rejecting utilitarianism as an adequate moral theory in favor of a theory emphasizing rights that cannot be overridden merely because such an override would yield good consequences for everyone affected.

Deontology is one of three fundamental ethical theories that can guide our thinking about moral questions and how we might resolve them.

Immanuel Kant was another philosopher who used a deontological approach to his ethical arguments on human rights.

deontology animal experimentation

Lab Animal Europe ;1 No 5 In a very early classic case involving animal cruelty under English law in the s Richard Martin of Martin's law fame rescued his case from defeat by bringing the abused donkey into court. For example, Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA ostensibly endorses a rights position and ultimately seeks the abolition of animal exploitation, but she argues that "total victory, like checkmate, cannot be achieved in one move," and that we must endorse the moral orthodoxy of animal welfare as involving necessary "steps in the direction" of animal rights.

kant animal rights

Each theory focuses on a different attitude to morality, reveals a unique insight into moral problems and suggests a different way for resolving moral questions. The spiritually inclined believe animals are not made in the 'image of God' and, although some of them appreciate and admire animals as God's creatures, many of them are largely unresponsive to animal misfortune and distress.

So, we do have duties to nonhuman animals, but these duties are weaker than our duties to persons. This confusion and uncertainty, and the resultant tension between rejecting speciesism but purporting to judge the morality of acts based solely on consequences, makes Singer's theory even more difficult to understand and to apply.

deontology vegetarianism

For example, Singer's long-term goal is to ensure that equal human and nonhuman interests receive equal consideration in a balancing process that is as free of speciesism as is possible.

Animals and humans are similar. He does claim that at least all normal mammals older than 1 yr are subjects of a life.

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Moral status of animals