There have been a few attempts to change the legal status of some nonhuman animals from property to persons. Hart, London: Methuen, 1982 Athlone Press 1970. Why Animals have Direct Moral Status The argument in support of the claim that animals have direct moral status is rather simple. As it turns out, none of these activities is uncontroversially unique to human. Some people may think that Kant is advocating animal cruelty or minimizing its impact.
Morality or moral rule is the law that was formed on the basic how the society is structured as in determining the limits of what is acceptable, and defining what is normal or expected… Immanuel Kant, like his predecessors John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, believed morality was based on standards of rationality. Those who advocate suicide and teach that there is authority for it necessarily do much harm in a republic of free men. On the other hand, if we revaluate inclination such that we provide a binding proscription of acts such as rape, then we must extend similar consideration to all inclination-based ends, whether or not they happen to reside in a creature with a capacity for reason. There is one imperative which immediately commands a certain conduct without having as its condition any other purpose to be attained by it. He thought that it was necessary for him to die. It depends, deeply, on the kind of relations they can have with us.
It follows that those that do sacrifice their good for the sake of others are owed greater concern from those that benefit from such sacrifices. But this reason is equally contingent and indirect, for even though it governs our treatment of animals, it does so only for our own benefit: abusing animals is wrong because it might hurt us. Then, once an end meets the requirements of the moral law, it commands our respect wherever it may be found—be it in a rational agent or in a nonrational animal. Other feminist philosophers have taken issue with the supposedly morally neutral methods of argumentation used to establish the moral status of animals. The general idea is that the justification for attributing sentience to a being grows stronger the more analogous it is to human beings.
Besides, we have good reason to reject the argument that we can attribute rights to beings based on rights they may one day have. The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics, New York: Oxford University Press, chapter 8. Everyone always lies on a loan application when he is in severe financial difficulty and there is no other way to obtain funds, in order to ease the strain on his finances. Singer also condemns experiments that are aimed at preventing or curing human diseases. Rationality is the ability to be governed autonomously and make advised decisions of what is right and wrong. After all, the desire for rape as well as the aversion to it is a physical and psychological drive that has no direct impact on our capacity for reason.
If intelligence were the decisive factor then it would follow that people who are intellectually superior should be treated with superior moral standards. He is currently planning to pursue a graduate education in philosophy with an emphasis on ethics, philosophy of law, and political philosophy. My argument here is that we are correct in interpreting rational nature as sufficient for direct status, but not in interpreting it as necessary. Moral equality theories extend equal consideration and moral status to animals by refuting the supposed moral relevance of the aforementioned special properties of human beings. For that reason, even though speculation at this point might be premature, I suspect that when the theoretical dust settles and this may not happen for quite some time , Kantians will emerge as dedicated proponents for the animal liberation movement. Given that animals suffer under such conditions and assuming that suffering is not in their interests, then the practice of factory farming would only be morally justifiable if its abolition were to cause greater suffering or a greater amount of interest frustration. Freedom thus conditioned is noble.
Thus, it is in the self-interest of humanity to treat animals humanely, at least most of the time. To use someone as a mere means is to involve them in a scheme of action to which they could not in principle consent. The same inanimate object can move in and out of moral standing based entirely on external factors: for example, whether a human being values it, or whether it continues to benefit humans in general. Kant's view proves that the act of killing the dog is not morally wrong, in and of it self. Bitten by a mad dog, a man already felt hydrophobia coming upon him. We must, however, by way of introduction, make the following observations. This follows from the idea that suffering is intrinsically bad.
These preliminary remarks are sufficient to show that man cannot rightly have any power of disposal in regard to himself and his life, but only in regard to his circumstances. Original is Anthropologie in pragmatischer Hinsicht, published in the standard Akademie der Wissenschaften edition, volume 27. We participate in activities and institutions that directly or indirectly harm others by creating negative experiences, depriving them of their well-being, or denying them opportunities to be who they are and pursue what they care about. Descartes' position on these matters was largely influenced by his philosophy of mind and ontology. Thus morality, and humanity as capable of it, is that which alone has dignity. I'm not helping that person out of m.
In our dealings with animals, as in our dealings with other human beings, we have obligations that do not arise from claims against us based on rights. But to use the power of a free willfor its own destruction is self-contradictory. Whether we are required to refrain from painlessly killing animals will depend on whether animals have an interest in continuing to exist in the future. When someone rapes a woman in a coma, or whips a severely brain damaged child, or sets a cat on fire, they are not simply disrespecting humanity or themselves as representatives of it, they are wronging these non-persons. Consequently, while autonomy may be the source of moral obligation, it cannot be its sole object, because through our acts of willing we endorse and pledge to preserve all permissible inclination-based ends, whether we find them in other humans or in animals. This also has been used to justify such practices as experimentation on animals, raising animals for food, and using animals in such places as zoos and rodeos. Notwithstanding all such complications, this much is clear about rights in general: they are in every case claims, or potential claims, within a community of moral agents.
Since animals cannot act morally, they will not sacrifice their own good for the sake of others, but will rather pursue their good even at the expense of others. The first argument is The Argument from Marginal Cases; the second is an argument against the Kantian account of indirect duties to animals. Should they then have the right to vote? Insofar as these needs and desires are valuable for agents, the ability to experience similar needs and desires in patients should also be valued. Therefore, animals really should be treated with equal moral standards, and those who do not equate moral rights are guilty of speciesism. Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant. But as I mentioned at the outset, my purpose in this argument is not to be the last word on the discussion. It is then difficult for us to be cruel in thought even to a wolf.
Second, philosophers have argued that whether or not a being will have rights will depend essentially on whether or not it has some other lower-order property. Does it follow that those with greater capacities should be given more consideration than those with less? Of course, the fact that people care for these things is contingent. Sophistication, even though well meant, is not a good thing. Those who advocate suicide seek to give the widest interpretation to freedom. The sovereign can call upon his subjects to fight to the death for their country, and those who fall on the field of battle are not suicides, but the victims of fate.