Term Paper: Animals Have Rights? Tabor

Pages: 2 (605 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Animals

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Machan states that animals and humans are fundamentally different, and that one of those fundamental differences is the ability to make moral decisions. However, he bases his argument more on the presence of self-consciousness than on reality. Animals rarely, if ever, kill except for food or self-defense. Humans, on the other hand, kill other humans for a number of unethical, morally unjust reasons. Animals, because they would never perform such actions, could be considered morally superior to human beings. Machan's conclusion is correct: animals and humans are different. However, that difference is due more to brain functions and not morality.

The main ethical principle used by the author is the "respect for persons." Machan argues that human autonomy is superlative to any other ethical notion. While Machan sounds utilitarian at times, especially in regards to his views on animal testing, his utilitarianism is limited to human beings and does not extend to other sentient beings. While Machan urges people to develop moral virtues so as to not grossly mistreat animals, his argument is not virtue-based.

While I agree that human beings are superior to animals because of our greater brain capacity, I do not believe that animals are undeserving of protection. Animals may not be able to think rationally, but they are still sentient beings. To assume that animals are inferior might be a fallacy; because human beings have a deplorable record of mistreating both animals and fellow humans, it seems that human beings can be considered inferior to animals on a number of accounts. I do, however, agree that using animals to benefit human beings is acceptable in some instances. Those instances are basically the same for humans and for animals: food and self-defense. To abuse and exploit the animal kingdom is a fundamentally… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Animals Have Rights? Tabor.  (2003, April 23).  Retrieved December 10, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/animals-rights-tabor-r/7089957

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"Animals Have Rights? Tabor."  Essaytown.com.  April 23, 2003.  Accessed December 10, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/animals-rights-tabor-r/7089957.