Applied Ethics - Animal Rights

  • Created by: Elena.S
  • Created on: 28-12-16 19:13

Utilitarianism and Animal Rights (12)

  • If abusing animal rights brings general pleasure, it is morally justifiable
  • Singer: all sentient beings have an interest in avoiding pain; no ethical justification for abuse; infliction of pain is wrong rather than killing them therefore painless death in good conditions is acceptable
  • Bentham: "The question is not can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer?"
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Kantian Ethics and Animal Rights (12)

  • Animals aren't rational therefore can be treated as means to end
  • Not morally wrong but it can lead to harshness of character (cruelty to humans)
  • Kant: "For he who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men"
  • Regan: Inherent worth in subject of life; exploiting them is to use them as means to end; animals as living beings have inalienable right to life
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Virtue Ethics and Animal Rights (12)

  • Classical: eudaimonia restricted to interactions with other humans
  • Modern: someone who treats animals badly unlikely to flourish/likely to have multiple vices; treating animals well shows virtues i.e. Generosity
  • Behaviour only shows character not moral choices
  • Kindess shows virtues; being vegan/vegetarian shows virtues i.e. temperance/magnanimousness; to be cruel to animals we are emotionally attached to is essentially to be cruel to family members
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