Utilitarianism, otherwise known as consequentialism, is an ethical framework that considers actions morally correct or right is their outcomes or consequences: A person’s actions are considered moral if the outcome brings out the greatest and most amount of good. Even if a person has good intentions to conduct the action, a utilitarian would not consider this morally significant if the consequences are not positive. Something is “good” if it fulfills an entities base desires but their pleasures are also part of the equation; utilitarianism can become quite complicated when one must consider all the desires of everyone affected, equally considering each one individually. The Animal welfare philosopher Peter Singer, has several ideas regrading …show more content…
Singer accuses humanity of thinking this way if animals’ rights are not given fair representation. Non-human animals can suffer, that is, we all have the same interest in living: Singer comes to this conclusion by rationalizing that all other species are sentient and can suffer, suffering is bad, therefore, non-human animals should be included in daily-decisions for a utilitarian. Sentience is defined as the capacity to feel meaning they can feel suffering. For instance, when humans adopt pets and keep them in their homes we treat them as members of the household respecting them as equals: The pets return love and appreciation. In an alternative case, if the owner suddenly became aggressive and harmed the pet putting its safety at risk, the animal would naturally defend itself against the hostility. Vice versa, humans would defend themselves against hostility as well to prevent the suffering they might experience. In this context, both parties experience suffering since they both act to prevent harm for themselves. I appreciate the conclusion based on sentience and the ability to suffer, however, using Hobbes’ idea of contractualism it is difficult to exit an inherently anthropocentric view of …show more content…
In the case of house pets, one can argue we bring them into our homes for companionship rather than a need to be there. According to Hobbes, humankind created society to enter into an agreement that involves seeking peace and denying the “state of nature” to avoid the lack of laws and civil authority: This pre-arranged contract has evolved from the need to protect oneself knowing that everyone is capable of killing each other. Participating in the contract and keeping peace encourages the attitude that lacks sympathy for non-human species. For centuries, humankind has separated itself from nature and this has not been truer than presently where cities hold the largest concentration of human animals that are dependent on technology and other human conventions for survival. I can understand how one can argue against animal welfarism when humankind has been conditioned to lack appreciation for non-human animals and use them for our own self-interest. On the other hand, there is an element of natural instinct that I believe is not considered when discussing contractualism related to animal
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There has been a lifetime of examples like this from other pets that show that, although not verbal, animals can and do communicate and act with autonomy in profound and meaningful ways, which raises’ the question of the moral implications of domesticating or caging
Michael Pollan brings to our attention the arguments that relate to the treatment of animals. He begins his essay with examples talking about how pigs are seen as nothing more than meat and how dogs get their own birthday and Christmas presents. Here he questions how certain animals receive different attitudes from us and makes us think about how each animal has a different fate. Pollan wants us to question ourselves and to look at animals from another perspective and see if they deserve more equality or if we need to have a different attitude towards them all together. These arguments are very effective in that they make us question of whether or not our attitude towards certain animals are different because of how they are used or in our eyes some are just more important than others.
I will argue in favor of Regan’s principle that non-human animals should have moral rights. Tom Regan, a famous philosopher, proposed the idea “that animals have rights based on their inherent value as experiencing subjects of life” (Regan). For thousands of years, animals have been used for as pets, food, and labor. Throughout the past century, many philosophers, including Regan, have raised arguments on how we, as humans, are treating animals poorly.
The article mainly focuses about this issue, not mentioning the aspects of animal rights. The authors argue their points well but can have counter-arguments against some
This quote essentially is a blueprint for the entirety of the argument, as it concludes that if an being can experience suffering, it is entitled to rights. The author explains that suffering is a vital element that gives a being the right to be considered equally. If a being is able to experience joy and suffering, it has the ability to develop and have interests. Singer gives an example of a rock vs mouse incident, to prove this claim, “A stone does not have interests because it cannot suffer. Nothing that we can do to it could possibly make any difference to its welfare...
Analysis: Animal Liberation by Singer Animal rights is a controversial topic that doesn’t seem to be taking any significant strides towards its goal. However that does not mean that there are not any individuals trying to stop mass animal abuse throughout the world. Peter Singer is one of those advocates for animal rights and his voice can be heard through his essay titled, “Animal Liberation.” Singer expresses how cruelly animals are treated for the purpose of humans and expresses a number of eye opening comparisons. Animals can not fight for their rights like humans can.
They are capable of experiencing different emotions, such as fear, joy, and love, as well as pain, suffering, or other negative feelings. It is only reasonable to acknowledge their inherent value and their right to be accorded respect, dignity, and compassion in light of these abilities. Also, just as we have a moral obligation to defend the rights of other people, it is our duty as humans to support the welfare of animals and prevent their exploitation. By not doing so, we are sustaining an oppressive system that undercuts the moral ideals of fairness, empathy, and equality. Research on animal sentience and cognition, which has demonstrated that many animals have complex emotional lives and social relationships, is another source of evidence.
According to Elizabeth Harman, an action that kills an animal even painlessly, is an action that harms the animal. If we indeed have strong moral reasons against causing pain to animals, Harman argues we must also have strong moral reasons against killing animals. This raises an objection to the Surprising Claim, which states that we have strong reasons against causing intense pain to animals, but only weak reasons against killing animals. The First View claims that killing an animal deprives it of a positive benefit (future life) but does not harm the animal.
In the article “A Change of Heart about Animals” Jeremy Rifkin includes ideas that support the argument that a Bill of Rights will protect animals from being neglected and uncared for by their owners or caretakers. When discussing studies regarding pigs’ social
Therefore, rather than basing rights off of those traits make it a vulnerability discourse. There are two main animal equality arguments, Peter Singer’s Utilitarian theory, and Tom Regan’s moral recognition theory. Singer argues, “human preference for humans rests on an unsupportable biological distinction vis-a`-vis all other animals”. While Tom Regan states, “that all beings who are ‘‘subjects-of-a-life” should receive the moral recognition and legal protection that rights afford”. The problem with the
These captured animals may have tags on one ear, have a piece of an ear cut off or dyed, and are kept tied up and abused (US, Public Health Service 192). Moreover, it is known that when pet animals bite a child, or become violent, they are put down, or are sent to a pound, which is equivalent to taking away their freedom. These animals therefore get removed from the general public, just in the same way that criminals became slaves and were kept together, separated from society (More 30). Hence, More believed that when humans gave into their violent tendencies, they should be treated like animals, but if they followed the rules of society and did not commit crimes, they were allowed the privileges that humans do, like freedom, and maintained the intelligence that made us better than animals
Utilitarianism is a normative moral theory based on consequentialism-its fundamental idea is that “do what produces the best consequence”. In more detail the theory dictates that actions are only right if they promote happiness and produce the greatest amount of happiness; “actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. ”(Mill 1863) http://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm Utilitarianism states that pleasure and happiness are intrinsically valuable and that pain and suffering are intrinsically invaluable and that every action that has value should either promote happiness or impede suffering.
Utilitarianism is an ethical theory, according to which the right moral attitude is an action that causes the greatest possible benefit. According to utilitarianism, the good is determined regardless of the right, and then the right is defined as what maximizes the good. This principle focuses on the consequences of the actions, and not on some features of the actions themselves. Suppose, for example, that a woman is in a coma, an electroencephalogram shows only minimal brain activity, an artificial respiration device is required to maintain her breathing. Another patient has just been taken to the hospital after a car accident.
Also, the desire to take a photograph with its dead body and mutilate its carcass so that it may become a 'trophy' completely undermines Singer's principle of equality, wherein the individual's best interests are taken into account to ensure that each being is treated humanely. Singer argues that the principle of equality should be extended to non-human animals as the main qualifier for ethical treatment is sentience, and since