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Singer Vs Reagan
Despite their rather different philosophical foundations, both philosophers arrive at basically the same conclusions. Singer takes a utilitarian approach, while Regan takes a deontological "rights" and "inherent value" position. In the end they both take a position of vegetarianism and advocated banning animal experimentation and sport hunting. In an exchange of letters in the April 25, 1985 issue of The New York Review of Books, Regan writes: "Singer and I have been independently applying and developing very different ethical theories to ... the treatment of non-human animals." He continues that "it is difficult to exaggerate the radical moral difference between Singer's utilitarianism and the rights view". At the end of Singer's reply to Regan, Singer mentions: "The practical value of Regan's book (All the dwell Therein) lies in its attack on our social practices of using animals as research tools and as mere lumps of palatable living flesh. On these practical issues Regan and I are in full agreement. Viewed from the perspective of a society which continues to accept these practices, the philosophical differences between us hardly matter."
In 1975, Australian philosopher Peter Singer wrote a book called Animal Liberation. In this book Singer argued that humans should not use animals, all based on utilitarianism. Utilitarians say actions should be judged strictly by their consequences. An action is good if it will provide the greatest benefit to the largest number of individuals. Singer did not stop there, and said that when we calculate consequences, we must take into account the interests not only of human beings but also of animals. If we fail to consider these animals' interests, or if we give human beings special consideration, we are guilty of "speciesism." To Singer, animal research is morally acceptable if the benefits to humans or animals used clearly outweigh the harm to the animals used in the research. He usually concludes that the cost to the animals outweighs the benefit to others.
Singer's contender, Tom Regan set forth another animal rights view in a 1983 book, The Case for Animal Rights. Regan emphasizes that not only people, but also many animals are entitled to certain rights. He bases his reasoning on the idea that both humans and animals have an elementary understanding of the world and know generally what they desire from life. Regan's rights-based philosophy says that most mammals older than one year qualify for basic rights. Furthermore, Regan argues that it is wrong for humans to use animals for their own needs and in general, to deprive animals of their rights.
Regan disagrees with Singer's utilitarian program for animal liberation. Regan allocates intrinsic value to animals and humans. This value describes the animals', or human's right to life and concern for them. Regan feels that the utilitarian view lacks this intrinsic value. In addition, he states the goals of his theologies: "The total abolition of the use of animals in science, the total dissolution of commercial animal agriculture, and the total elimination of commercial and sport hunting and...
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Singer Vs Reagan. EssayMania.com. Retrieved on 12 Oct, 2010 from