Animal Rights - 6

Topics: Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, Tom Regan Pages: 3 (951 words) Published: December 15, 2005
Upon laying my eyes on this piece of "fine literature", I knew that I wasn't going to enjoy it too much. To my surprise, once I read each line at least twice, and broke each sentence down, I was able to actually from an a opinion, actually, more than one opinion. In the essay, I found that there are many things that I agree with, many that I disagree with, and many that I have mixed feelings about.

When I read Thomas Aquinas' quote, "That animals are intended for man's use in the natural order. Hence it is not wrong for man to make use of them, either by killing or in any other way whatever." I formed my first opinion. In my heart I know that animals weren't just put on this earth to be used by man, animals feel pain, and have feelings, and we have a moral obligation to respect that. Joseph Rikaby said, "Brute beasts, not having understanding and therefore not being person, cannot have any rights. The conclusion is clear." This, as you can see, is just the opposite of my beliefs.

Moving on to Peter Singer and Tom Regan, I adore how they both have the same opinion in the end, but I absolutely love how different their reasons of reaching their opinions are. In this essay, Quamen has a very brilliant quote from Jeremy Bentham that stood out to me, "The greatest good for the greatest number." I agree with this simple idea, however I do not agree when Quamen says that the idea put forth by Singer, "in other words, the interests of every being affected by and action are to be taken into account and given the same weight as the like interests of any other being" is a "precise summary" of Bentham's idea. What I do agree with is Singer's declaration, "if a being suffers, there can be no moral justification for disregarding that suffering, or for refusing to count it equally with the like suffering of any other being." When I read this with my father, he uses my dog as an example. If my father comes up to me and kicks me, then goes outside and kicks my dog, then he...
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