Animal Rights First, we will consider the traditional view, which is that animals have no rights.
Indirect Theories On indirect theories, animals do not warrant our moral concern on their own, but may warrant concern only in so far as they are appropriately related to human beings.
The implications these sorts of theories have for the proper treatment of animals will be explored after that. Finally, two common methods of arguing against indirect theories will be discussed.
One of the earliest and clearest expressions of this kind of view comes to us from Aristotle B. According to Aristotle, there is a natural hierarchy of living beings.
The different levels are determined by the abilities present in the beings due to their natures. While plants, animals, and human beings are all capable of taking in nutrition and growing, only animals and human beings are capable of conscious experience.
|The Moral Considerability of Animals||Messenger The traditional point of view in western intellectual thought — and one which is reflected in our own day-to—day views — is that of human exceptionalismor anthropocentrism: We see this belief time and again throughout our intellectual heritage.|
|An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.||We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals|
This means that plants, being inferior to animals and human beings, have the function of serving the needs of animals and human beings. Likewise, human beings are superior to animals because human beings have the capacity for using reason to guide their conduct, while animals lack this ability and must instead rely on instinct.
It follows, therefore, that the function of animals is to serve the needs of human beings. This, according to Aristotle, is "natural and expedient" Regan and Singer, Following Aristotle, the Christian philosopher St.
Thomas Aquinas argues that since only beings that are rational are capable of determining their actions, they are the only beings towards which we should extend concern "for their own sakes" Regan and Singer, Aquinas believes that if a being cannot direct its own actions then others must do so; these sorts of beings are merely instruments.
Instruments exist for the sake of people that use them, not for their own sake.
Since animals cannot direct their own actions, they are merely instruments and exist for the sake of the human beings that direct their actions. Aquinas believes that his view follows from the fact that God is the last end of the universe, and that it is only by using the human intellect that one can gain knowledge and understanding of God.
Since only human beings are capable of achieving this final end, all other beings exist for the sake of human beings and their achievement of this final end of the universe.
Remnants of these sorts of views remain in justifications for discounting the interests of animals on the basis of the food chain. On this line of thought, if one kind of being regularly eats another kind of being, then the first is said to be higher on the food chain.
If one being is higher than another on the food chain, then it is natural for that being to use the other in the furtherance of its interests. Since this sort of behavior is natural, it does not require any further moral justification. Kant developed a highly influential moral theory according to which autonomy is a necessary property to be the kind of being whose interests are to count direclty in the moral assessment of actions Kant, According to Kant, morally permissible actions are those actions that could be willed by all rational individuals in the circumstances.
While both animals and human beings have desires that can compel them to action, only human beings are capable of standing back from their desires and choosing which course of action to take.
This ability is manifested by our wills. Since animals lack this ability, they lack a will, and therefore are not autonomous. According to Kant, the only thing with any intrinsic value is a good will. Since animals have no wills at all, they cannot have good wills; they therefore do not have any intrinsic value.
Rather than simply relying on the fact that it is "natural" for rational and autonomous beings to use non-rational beings as they see fit, Kant instead provides an argument for the relevance of rationality and autonomy.The argument in support of the claim that animals have direct moral status is rather simple.
It goes as follows: If a being is sentient then it has direct moral status. (Most) animals are sentient; Therefore (most) animals have direct moral status.
"Sentience" refers to the capacity to experience episodes of positively or negatively valenced awareness. View Homework Help - Discussion on Moral Status of Non-Human Animals from ENVS at Denison University.
A forum for the discussion of the moral status of (non-human) animals.
or happiness of our world. I think we should not interfere what animals do, because, it is a part of nature. I remember talking about this issue in class on 6th Sep. Morality and our lives with animals become bogged down in attempts to prove that animals have enough similarity to humans to warrant their inclusion in our moral This is part of a.
- Our moral common sense suggests there must be some sort of difference between the moral status of most humans and that of most animals. - Mary Anne Warren: Animals do indeed have some moral rights, but there are reasons for thinking that these rights .
Moral status of animals is not equal to that of humans and opting out of animal research condemns patients to pain and suffering. Ringach recognizes our moral obligation to the welfare of animals and the need to look for alternatives to animals testing, but with our current capabilities, he (as many researchers and even ethicists would agree) that the good outweighs the harms in these cases.
This study is one of thousand of studies on prosociality / premorality / morality in our animal cousins. It's part of evolutionary morality. "Many social animals such as primates, dolphins and whales have shown to exhibit what Michael Shermer refers to as premoral sentiments.