By Gill Langley
This ebook addresses functional and philosophical matters concerning the use of animals in biomedical examine, trying out and educating. It does so with the purpose of offering proof and arguments to inspire scientists to re-evaluate their perspectives approximately animal experiments.
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Extra info for Animal Experimentation: The Consensus Changes
When, as now, we turn our attention to this item on our agenda, we must anticipate that the full weight of this challenge cannot be borne here. Although preference utilitarianism is not the adequate position its advocates suppose, the emphasis it places on treating individuals as equals is an important corrective to less egalitarian visions of morality. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, for example, offers a perfectionist moral theory: people are better (and so deserve more) than others if they have a certain cluster of intellectual and artistic excellences (virtues).
Suppose, for the sake of argument, that a difference in species membership is a morally relevant difference. If it is, and if A and B belong to two different species, then it is quite possible that killing or otherwise harming A is wrong, while doing the same things to B are not. T. 's friends show up on Earth. Whatever else we may want to say of them, we do not want to say that they are members of our species, the species Homo sapiens. T. and the other members ofhis biological species by hunting for sport, for example, even though it is wrong to do this to members of our species for this reason.
It is wrong to torture children. But it is wrong to do this because in doing it we violate a duty we have directly to individual children quite apart from what their parents (or anyone else) happen to think or feel. And the same is true in the case of other harms we might visit upon other human incompetents. We owe it to them directly not to harm them. If others benefit in the bargain when we do as duty requires, they may count themselves lucky. But whether or not others benefit as a result of our refusal to harm human incompetents is, strictly speaking, morally irrelevant to whether we have duties to them.