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Animal Rights And Euthanasia Essay

2022 words - 8 pages

Animal RightsAnimal rights is a topic that has been debated for an extremely long time. Many argue for and against it without having any grounds to why they feel either way. The majority does not even know what animal rights entails and therefore a valid argument cannot be made. By exploring what animal rights really means, arguments for and against them can arise; thus allowing the moral implications behind each argument to be seen.Defining animal rights depends seriously on how one views the issue as a whole. Lewis Vaughn writes:"The traditional attitude toward animals is that they are merely resources that humans dispose of as they see fit; animals have instrumental value only. But many reject this traditional view and put forward reasons for supposing that animals have moral status…a suitable candidate for moral concern or respect in its own right" (Vaughn, 564)Therefore according to Vaughn, how one views an animal morally can strongly dictate how one views their rights as animals. For example Peter Singer has one of the most famous arguments for animal rights based on his view that animals have moral rights to happiness and therefore should be treated as moral agents. Likewise it is equally important to look at arguments against animal rights to see the differences within each.Peter Singer believes strongly in Bentham Mill's view on happiness. Happiness should be whatever causes one the most amount of pleasure, free from pain. This view is the basis of Singer's argument for animal rights. Singer's argument in a nutshell consists of this:Animals can feel pain.If anything can feel pain it is a moral agent and should be treated with moral consideration.Therefore an animal is a moral agent and should be treated with moral consideration.The main goal of his argument is to show that humans and animals are equal in their necessity for moral consideration based on the pleasure they experience free from suffering. Singer writes, "If a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for refusing to take that suffering into consideration. No matter what the nature of the being…" (568). Therefore animals should be treated with respect to their right to a life free of suffering caused by actions of humans or anything else for that matter. Singer draws no real line in his distinction between animals and humans, saying they both deserve the same consideration to be treated morally just and thus show no real differences.Yet at the same token there is an argument against animal rights as well. If one was arguing against animal rights they could use a deontological view point. According to deontology one has a right or an obligation to act in a certain way. In the Bible in the book of Genesis, God tells Adam and Eve to "Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and conquer it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of the heaven and all living creatures on earth" "Genesis 1:28). Therefore if one has a moral duty to follow God's words...

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