Compare Tom Regan, Carl Cohen and Peter Singer in Terms of Animal Rights
Animal rights are one of the most controversial issues today. There has been endless debate about whether or not animals have rights. Philosophers attempt to come up with the moral conclusions by taking in account the many different standpoints and presenting their related arguments. In his essay “The case of animal rights”, Tom Regan, a professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University, defends his view that the center of our moral concern should not bring the suffering on animal as well as treating animals in a certain way.
In other words, we should treat animals as if they are our property. We should only use them to benefit us and hurting them is an action that is not morally justifiable. In addition, in his article “All Animal Are Equal”, Peter Singer, an Australian philosopher, has many points which show us that we have responsibilities to protect animal rights. Singer’s argument in his essay gives us a great support to the argument that Reagan trying to discuss in terms of morally equal.
In contrast, “The case of the use of animals in biomedical research” by Carl Cohen, a philosophy professor at University of Michigan Medical School, although he agrees with Regan’s idea in terms of moral rights as well as practices that essentially involve harming animals are morally unjustified, he strongly supports for the use of animal in medical research, and scientific experiments to avoid risking human lives. “The case of animal rights”, “all animal are equal” and “The case of the use of animals in biomedical research” introduce to us a new thinking about treating animals.
In his essay, Tom Regan points out theories are deficient in animals. The author discusses “Indirect duty view” which humans should recognize that animals should have the same rights as humans and they have the duty to uphold these rights. Besides that, Regan states in the “Contractarianism” that humans have rights and can protect their rights under the terms of the contract they signed. However, he indicated that animals have no rights because they cannot sign the contract. We humans should have direct duties to all animals.
Even the views including “Indirect duty view,” “Cruelty-kindness view,” and “Utilitarian view” fail to protect animal rights, he promotes the right view, which is the inherent value view. The author states that all individuals, including human and nonhuman animals, who are experienced the subject of life, should have equal inherent values and equal rights while being treated with respect. In addition, Peter Singer agrees with Regan that all animals are morally equal, at least with regard to their suffering. Peter Singer argues the point that animals and humans should be granted “equal consideration. Granting equal consideration means that humans and animals do not need to be treated exactly the same way, but that they need to be treated in an appropriate manner. Singer believes that suffering is “the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration”. If all beings are able to suffer, animals should be treated with consideration equal to humans in most circumstances. Moreover, in his essay “All animals are equal,” Peter Singer points out the case for women’s rights and refers to similar arguments of animal’s rights.
Since animal’s rights were absurd, the argument for women’s rights must be mistaken. In contrast with both Regan and Singer’s views, Carl Cohen gives us strong evidences to demonstrate his standpoints why animals have no rights. He claims rights only exists within a community of moral agents who can make moral claims against each other and just human can exercise moral judgment. He thinks we must at least treat animals humanely, but this does not mean we need to treat them as if they have rights.
He also compared the differences between animals with brain damaged persons, senile or young in terms of the ability to make claim which is essential to being a person. That’s why these people are still part of our moral community, but animals are not. Moreover, he strongly supports to the increasing in the use of animals for medical experiments. He agrees that we actually need to increase the number experiments to avoid risking human lives because the increase in longevity , decrease in pain , the significant numbers of lives saved , the quality of human life all depends on such those research or experiments.