Assignment 8 - senile –who plainly lack those capacities...

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Emily Leung AD08 Josh Moulton November 4 th , 2009 “The Case for the Use of Animals for Biomedical Research (excerpt)” by Carl Cohen attempts to argue that animals are “not beings of a kind capable of exercising or responding to moral claims…therefore have no rights, and they can have none” (Cohen 2). Before stating the original argument, Cohen decides to define who is capable of rights, whom rights are held for, and what exactly is a right. In this excerpt Cohen concludes that rights are defined as the following: “they are in every case claims, or potential claims, within a community of moral agents” (Cohen 1). Cohen argues that animals lack “moral capabilities” and that is a key concept for having rights. For further examples, the author then tries to demonstrate how objections against his argument fail. The objection that is brought as an example, is that if having rights means the ability to make moral claims then humans such as the “the brain damaged, the comatose, the
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Unformatted text preview: senile –who plainly lack those capacities must be without rights”. This opposing view fails because animals are incapable of giving or withholding “voluntary” consent and are incapable of making moral choices. Another opposing perspective argues that animals communicate, care, and show desire and preferences just like humans. I think the author did a good job rejecting other perspectives about the topic, and that all of the reasoning tied together very well. He made a very good argument in how animals are hard to distinguish if they are able to actually have voluntary consent. I believe that animals do have rights, but it is hard to establish that they understand what rights are, and it is also hard to control and tame animals unlike humans. Overall I thought Cohen had some valid points supporting his argument, and it was done in a good manner....
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This document was uploaded on 10/26/2011 for the course PHIL 164 at UMass (Amherst).

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