Deontological perspective animal rights

Kantian Duty Based (Deontological) Ethics

So, we do have duties to nonhuman animals, but these duties are weaker than our duties to persons. In this article, Professor Francione compares animal rights with utilitarianism, discussing the pros and cons of each I.

For example, it would be absurd to discuss the rights of animals to drive or to vote or the right of an animal to get a scholarship to attend college.

However, many theories contest this view and contend that nonhuman animals should also be considered rights holders see the different ethical approaches that defend nonhumans as rights holders.

This is not to say that these negative consequences would not necessarily outweigh the animal interests involved in not experiencing pain and suffering incidental to intensive agriculture; it only says that if the issue hinges on the aggregation of consequences, it is unclear whether it would be morally right under Singer's view to abolish factory farming.

Deontology and Animals

The respect principle states simply that no individual with equal inherent value may be treated solely as a means to an end in order to maximize the aggregate of desirable consequences. Similarly, the individual participates directly in the exploitative institutions by eating meat or dairy products, wearing animals, or using them in experiments.

Importantly, this position includes a strong critique of the non-profit system, which she argues is an extension of capitalist exploitation that nullifies important radical social change efforts. Indeed, Singer has acknowledged that under some circumstances, it would be permissible to use nonconsenting humans in experiments if the benefits for all affected outweighed the detriment to the humans used in the experiment.

That is precisely what it means to be property.

Duty-based ethics

Indeed, Singer acknowledges that he "would never deny that we are justified in using animals for human goals, because as a consequentialist, [he] must also hold that in appropriate circumstances we are justified in using humans to achieve human goals or the goal of assisting animals.

So, there can be considerable controversy as to whether the horse's mental capacities, which differ from those of the human, will result in more overall suffering by the horse, who may be terrified to a considerable degree for a short period of time as the result of the blow, or the human, who may not only experience the pain, but who may experience anxiety over a longer period of time, or who, as a result of different mental capacities, may anticipate another blow or be more distressed by the blow because of memories of physical abuse suffered earlier.

Deontology and Animals

As Henry Shue has argued in the context of human rights, there is a logical distinction between what Shue calls "basic" rights and "non-basic" rights. Do they advance or oppose virtue? Singer's approach is clearly more favorable toward animals than classical animal welfare, which accorded little weight to animal interests.

Indeed, Lawrence Finsen and Susan Finsen argue that although Singer defends a utilitarianism theory, he "presents an important objection to the current treatment of animals that is not based on a utilitarian calculation but expressed in terms of demanding that we avoid speciesism.

If we acknowledge that Simon is not a "thing," the protection we have given Simon is at the same time quite significant after all, the basic right to physical security is a prerequisite to all other rightsbut also the bare minimum needed to distinguish Simon from being a thing.

If we continue to see animals as tools, even when using them nicely, we impede the path to justice for nonhuman animals. Indeed, Singer himself refers to his theory as one of "animal liberation" and states that claims of right are "irrelevant. It also acknowledges the relevance of intention in morality.

Fifth, as the preceding points make clear, Singer's rejection of speciesism when "cashed out" is really quite formalistic and is almost impossible to apply in concrete circumstances because of the difficulty of assessing inter-species pain and suffering in the absence of considering species differences, which, when applied to make relative assessments of pain and suffering, and for the purposes of determining the morality of killing animals, make any practical application virtually impossible.

Sixth, although Singer is an act utilitarian, it is not ever clear whether, on the micro-level of moral decisionmaking, Singer requires an application of his utilitarian theory--or whether he argues for something else. You can read a short article which summarizes his rights theory here.


As I argue below, the reduction of suffering--and not that moral agents should assess what action will most reduce suffering--is certainly what Singer advocates on the macro-level of social and legal change.Deontology (Duty Ethics) can guide you about moral questions in animal rights.

Deontology asserts that the right moral action is founded on an objective duty or. Summary: Animal “rights” is of course not the only philosophical basis for extending legal protections to animals.

Rights theories: the general approach

Another, competing, basis is based on the theory of utilitarianism – the outright rejection of rights for all species and instead advocacy for equal consideration. Deontology and Animal Rights More free graphics Deontology is a theory that evaluates moral actions based only on doing one’s duty, not on the consequences of the actions.

Rights theories: the general approach. Rights theories maintain that there are things we cannot do against individuals, because they are holders of moral rights. Having a right means having a special protection. It means that an interest that the right defends should not be frustrated.

Bringing animal ethics back in: one could imagine an original position that includes nonhuman animals, such that those in the original position would be more inclined to pick a society that treats sentient animals well, whether due to a stewardship mentality or a rights-based ethos.

A (strong) deontological animal ethic ultimately aims at the abolition of nonhuman animal use and exploitation in agriculture, entertainment, science and medical research, the fur industry, and so forth.

The aim is not ‘‘reformation’’ of current practices or ‘‘reduced’’ suffering: the aim is complete abolition.

Deontological perspective animal rights
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