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Utilitarianism and Animal rights (Essay Sample)


The paper was expected to focus on animal rights which form an integral part in the determination of moral philosophy and the limits of ethics in any contemporary society.

Utilitarianism and Animal Rights
[Name of student]
[Name of Institution]
Animal rights form an integral part in the determination of moral philosophy and the limits of ethics in any cotemporary society. Animal welfare is the responsibility of humanity and this should encompass all the parameters of their wellbeing, from prudent nutrition to preventive care, sound treatment of disease to humane euthanasia. However, there exists a conflict of interest when it comes to animal welfare and human rights. Utilitarianism is a school of thought that majors on the overall goodness calculus of an action. This theory seeks to attain balance between happiness and relief as the determinative elements of any moral choice in any undertaking. However, on the basis of ethical dimensions, the general outlay and the universal welfare should embrace all species, human and non-human, in all capacities. True goodness therefore should focus on utilities and welfare which is not limited to cognitively advance mammalian species, like man alone. The institution of utilitarianism affirms personal autonomy over specific interest .This paper sheds light on the philosophical thinking with regard to moral importance of animals and their rights. The paper also analyses the school of thought of utilitarianism, and the underlying moral and ethical philosophy.
In various life contexts, the basic utilitarian calculation of the good and bad effects of events or actions has been the guiding principle adopted by mankind to evaluate the moral philosophy of issues in the society. Although utilitarianism is thinking directed primarily at human issues, it is also important in analyzing animal rights with respect to the domains of morality. Utilitarianism is not based merely on rights, but rather on interests. This school of thought has its foundations in calculating interest that produces a lot of good, at al cost. Moreover, the notion of rights is based on deontology, which stresses on the protection of the interest of the right holders no mater the extent of good it might compromise is such rights are overridden. Utilitarian thinking and deontology are used in the contemporary world in myriad of ways which often harm the lives of other animals. Utilitarian thinking often subordinates the rights of other animals since it is based wholly on human interests, for the sake of human benefits. There are various kinds of utilitarianism. These include act Preference and rule utilitarianism. In, Act Utilitarianism there is has no prior moral rules required, meaning that individual situations necessitate separate actions. On the other hand, Rule Utilitarianism postulates that laws are prepared to uphold the supreme happiness and contentment for the greatest majority. Preference utilitarianism identifies the good to be realized as the ultimate achievement of a person’s preference, which is in line with the right to do the actions with best consequences. Such consequence in preference utilitarianism goes with rationality and institutions like pure hedonism. Preference utilitarianism is favorable since it subscribes to the moral philosophy and rationality (Regan, 2004).
Admittedly, calculations of utilitarianism are based on human favors and it is from a classical animal’s rights point of view to observe this unfair situation. Fundamental protection should extend beyond the human species and therefore animals deserve rights just as humans. The heart of true ethics therefore should rise to the level of principle of no harm to such species. The doctrine of animal protection should therefore originate from the mind. Contrastingly, utilitarianism is based on the pillars of preference and interest which postulate the need to intrinsically value the interests of the affected ones. As a result of such dogmatic thinking of utilitarianism, there has been failure by Humans to uphold the necessity of animal rights due to species bias, or speciesism, thereby resulting in systematic devaluation of the rights of animals. On the same moral footing, the requisite line between all humans and nonhuman animals should be identified (Franklin, 2005).
The case for animal testing
I will argue that using utilitarianism, if the act of testing on animals will produce overall happiness that will reduce suffering then I will say that it is the right. When researchers make medical breakthrough at the expense of animals, the debate is usually whether those who get cured, their happiness is greater than the animal that undergo suffering through experiments. Many will argue that someone’s happiness, after getting cured would last much longer than the self-gratifying happiness of the animal. Utilitarianism looks at all the instances of the animal testing, and then determines if the resulting consequences are better when the animal is tested on or if it were not. The last issues regard the cost-benefit analysis. This issue seems to be in agreement with the act of animal testing. This is because innovations in the field of medicine means that money is generated and saved will be on health care. The testing is therefore beneficial because of the money it produces. So, if the question is to test or not, then testing will be the best thing to do in this scenario (Dawrst, 2009).
The case against animal testing
On the other hand, cases arise against animal testing. The main concern lies on the pleasure that is produced. In reality, the amount of suffering that an animal undergoes during the testing and experimentation procedure is more than the pain that will reduce if cure to a certain disease was found. Anti-animal testing advocates will never experience any pleasure while those involved in testing the animal will not find happiness s they watch the animal as it suffers. The utilitarian rule is best applied in this scenario. This is because it allows one to consider the consequences that result from those who test the animal. Given that there is a lot of freedom in testing animals, and a lot of negative consequences result, the best action will be therefore, to ban the testing practices. This is because testing on animals does not have a moral worth irrespective of the consequences (Kriesberg, 2007).
Utilitarianism in most cases will tend to absolve an individual from personal responsibilities and actions. This is because one can rationalize a way of carrying out a wrong act to anger a few individuals, but for the benefit of the many. Utilitarian...
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