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What Might Christians Think About The Use Of Animals In Medical Research?

1070 words - 4 pages

What Might Christians Think About The Use Of Animals In medical Research?One of the questions facing society today is whether animals should be used in scientific experimentation. In the midst of this controversy, many ideas about nature, primarily animals, are formed. Each side has different arguments, each one posing questions on the place of humans with respect to animals and the rest of the natural world.Many people argue against using animals for scientific experiments based on the human and nature relationship philosophies of Peter Singer, that humans are not completely above nature, focusing primarily on animals. Singer calls many of the attitudes human beings have toward other animal's speciesism, a concept that can be found throughout history.Aristotle held the view that nature is a hierarchy in which those with less reasoning ability exist for the sake of those with more reasoning ability. Therefore plants exist for the sake of animals, and animals for the sake of man. He based his belief in slavery on the concept that humans with less reasoning ability existed for the purpose of serving more rational humans. Although the view that less rational humans exist to serve rational ones has been rejected by society.Speciesism is practiced by Jews and Christians who base their superiority on God's words in Genesis. They believe that man alone is created in God's image, and man alone is given dominion over all the animals on earth.The scientists of today who lock up chimpanzees in research centres, sometimes under horrendous conditions, to be used in experimentation, practice speciesism. These same scientists, however, would never consider doing that to any human being; even one whose intelligence level was below that of the chimpanzee. The only reason for this difference is that the chimpanzee is not human, no matter how smart it is; but a human, no matter how unintelligent, is still a human. The concept of speciesism is considered by Singer to be as indefensible as racism. Singer bases part of his argument on the utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham, who stated, "The question is not `Can they reason?' nor `Can they talk?' but `Can they suffer?'" All animals feel anger and fear, pleasure and pain, just like humans, and their equality comes from their ability to feel pain.Those in favour of animal experimentation argue that if animals are not on equal moral status with humans, we are under no moral obligation to restrain from using them. Since anything that is not morally wrong is morally acceptable, then it is morally allowable to use animals in experimentation.Most people supporting the use of animals in experimentation do not feel this means that we are free to harm or abuse animals whenever we wish or that we lack grounds for having moral concerns over animal suffering, especially when caused by humans, but if either a human or animal is to suffer, then it is better for the animal to suffer, because human suffering is generally of more...

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