Animal Rights

Animal Rights - PHIL 120: Animal Rights Regan vs Cohen Tom...

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PHIL 120: Animal Rights Regan vs Cohen Tom Regan: ‘The case for Animal Rights’ Conc: (SAR) the strong animal rights position . Animals have equal moral rights to human . Explaining the Meaning of SAR: i) A particular moral right : If some entity has a moral right to use some particular object or a liberty (a freedom to do something) then it is wrong for anyone to interfere with that entity’s use of that object or their liberty. Impliction : ‘Rights are Trumps’ -- that interference is wrong even if would cause good consequences. ii) The General Right to be Treated with Equal Respect : If some entity has a moral right to be treated with respect then it is wrong to treat them as a mere means (a tool for causing an end) in any circumstance. The general right to be treated with respect is the basis for ascribing particular moral rights. iii) Non-Derivative Moral Rights: Animal rights are not derived from human rights (e.g. you are obliged not to kick my dog) but from the general right of animals to be treated with equal respect. iv) Equal Weight” Particular animal rights are as weighty as human rights such that if an animal right conflicts with a human right the 1
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animal and human rights have the same content e.g. animals may not have a right to freedom of expression.) Some Practical Implication of SAR : a) Total abolition of the use of animals in science b) total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture c) total elimination of commercial and sporting hunting and trapping Simply minimizing animal pain does not go far enough. The Argument for SAR: 1. The best moral theory is ‘rights-based’. It holds that people have rights that are basic or underived (not derived from other sources like a social contract, or the principle of utility). 2. The basis for possessing rights is a lowest-common denominator property: a property that is common to all members of the human species, like sentience (having the capacity for experience). 3. Many non-human animals are also sentient. 4. Therefore, many non-human animals have basic or underivative moral rights. The Arg for (1): Regan provides a brief criticism of some rival moral theories, like contractarianism. Utilitarianism, like Singer’s, is criticized on the ground that it treats people like ‘receptacle for pleasure’. 2
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Animal Rights - PHIL 120: Animal Rights Regan vs Cohen Tom...

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