His principle of equal consideration of interests does not dictate equal treatment of all those with interests, since different interests warrant different treatment.
Francione Place of Publication: Another, competing, basis is based on the theory of utilitarianism — the outright rejection of rights for all species and instead advocacy for equal consideration. This is the view espoused by Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation.
In this article, Professor Francione compares animal rights with utilitarianism, discussing the pros and cons of each I. Introduction In Practical Ethics, Peter Singer argues that ethics is not "an ideal system which is all very noble in theory but no good in practice.
He argues that utilitarianism does not start with rules but with goals and thus has greater normative specificity because actions are prescribed or proscribed based on "the extent to which they further these goals.
In the past five or so years, an increasing number of animal advocates have eschewed rights theory for precisely the reason that rights theory is supposedly incapable of providing determinate normative guidance.
These animal advocates express concern that rights theory demands the immediate abolition of animal exploitation, and that immediate abolition is simply unrealistic.
Instead, these advocates support the pursuit of incremental welfarist reform as a "realistic" means of reducing suffering and eventually achieving abolition.
For example, Ingrid Newkirk of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals PETA ostensibly endorses a rights position and ultimately seeks the abolition of animal exploitation, but she argues that "total victory, like checkmate, cannot be achieved in one move," and that we must endorse the moral orthodoxy of animal welfare as involving necessary "steps in the direction" of animal rights.
For example, Bernard Rollin believes that incremental change, in the form of welfarist reform, is the only realistic approach. Rollin claims that in the United States, "we have never had a social and moral revolution that was not incremental.
Part IV discusses the notion of nonhuman personhood, a notion central to animal rights theory. Part V proposes a theory concerning three components of moral theory. Singer's Utilitarian Theory Singer is an act utilitarian who believes that it is the consequences of the contemplated act that matter, and not the consequences of following a more generalized rule.
There are, of course, differing views of which consequences are relevant. For classical utilitarians, such as Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, pleasure alone was intrinsically valuable and pain alone was intrinsically not valuable.
Singer, however, claims to subscribe to a modified form of utilitarianism, known as "preference" or "interest" utilitarianism, which provides that what is intrinsically valuable is what "furthers the interests of those affected. Pleasure and pain matter because they are part of what humans and nonhumans desire or prefer or seek to avoid.
In Animal Liberation, Singer argues that in assessing the consequences of our actions, it is necessary to take the interests of animals seriously and to weigh any adverse affect on those interests from human actions as part of the consequences of those actions. Humans have failed to do this, Singer argues, because of a species bias, or speciesism, that results in a systematic devaluation of animal interests.
Singer claims that speciesism is no more morally defensible than racism, sexism, or other forms of discrimination that arbitrarily exclude humans from the scope of moral concern. But there are severely retarded humans who cannot speak or reason or, at least, can do so no better than many nonhumansand most of us would be appalled if those humans were used in experiments, or for food or clothing.
Singer maintains that the only way to justify our present level of animal exploitation is to maintain that species differences alone justify that exploitation.
But that is no different, Singer argues, from saying that differences in race or sex alone justify the differential treatment of otherwise similarly situated persons. Singer's approach is clearly more favorable toward animals than classical animal welfare, which accorded little weight to animal interests.
It is important, however, to understand that Singer's theory is not a theory of animal rights. For Singer, the rightness or wrongness of conduct is determined by consequences, and not by any appeal to right. If violating a rightholder's right in a particular case will produce more desirable consequences than respecting that right, then Singer is committed to violating the right.
For example, Singer opposes most animal experimentation, only because he thinks that most animal experiments produce benefits that are insufficient to justify the animal suffering that results. But he does not--and cannot--oppose all animal experimentation because if a particular animal use would, for example, lead directly to a cure for a disease that affected many humans, Singer would be committed to approving that animal use.
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.
Indeed, Singer himself refers to his theory as one of "animal liberation" and states that claims of right are "irrelevant. It is even more valuable in the era of thirty-second TV news clips.
A right is generally regarded as "a moral trump card that cannot be disputed. For example, overall social happiness might be increased if I were used without my consent in an experiment, the goal and likely outcome of which would result in a cure for cancer.
Nevertheless, I have a moral and legal right not to have my interests in my life or liberty traded away in order to secure that admittedly desirable result. In determining the consequences of actions, Singer argues that we must accord equal consideration to equal interests.
Singer's notion of equal consideration does not mean that animals receive equal treatment, and it does not preclude the morality of a decision to exploit a human or nonhuman. As long as an animal's interests receive equitable consideration consideration untainted by the speciesism that discounts animal interests simply because they are the interests of a supposed "inferior"Singer's equality principle is satisfied.
But this notion of equality is consistent with animal exploitation if the consequences justify that exploitation and if the decision to exploit is not based on species discrimination.
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.
Singer argues that many nonhumans, and this class apparently includes food animals, are incapable of "having desires for the future" or a "continuous mental existence. Singer believes that these characteristics become relevant, however, when the issue involves killing an animal in a painless or relatively painless manner.b.
it is an object of direct moral consideration or concern In this case, a Singer utilitarian may want to _____ the research, and a Regan animal rights advocate would want to _____ the research. a. condone; condone b. abolish; abolish Peter Singer asserts that our . The contemporary animal rights movement owes a great intellectual debt to Peter Singer's pathbreaking book Animal Liberation (), also known as ‘the Bible of the Animal Liberation Movement’.
In that book Singer made a break with the dominant but limited Kantian argument that mistreating animals is a bad – inhumane – thing for humans to do. As a life-long animal lover, I am deeply sympathetic to arguments that we should treat animals humanely.
But the moral issue of how we should treat animals is a different and much wider matter than the issue of what legal obligations there should be for protecting animals. Peter Singer: ( -)!Prof. at Princeton and Univ. of Melbourne!Author of Animal Liberation, 1st major work on “animal rights”!Applies utilitarian principles to current moral.
Peter Albert David Singer, AC (born 6 July ) is an Australian moral philosopher. He is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of plombier-nemours.com: Analytic philosophy · Utilitarianism.
Summary: Animal “rights” is of course not the only philosophical basis for extending legal protections to animals. Another, competing, basis is based on the theory of utilitarianism – the outright rejection of rights for all species and instead advocacy for equal consideration.