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Do Animals Have Rights?

Do Animals Have Rights?
Morality or ethics requires free will and a standard of\nvalue. Philosophers have debated these issues for as long as\nwe have been aware of them, and they will continue to do\nso. But this does not mean there is no answer, only that\nanswers are not easy or uncontroversial.\nAs far as the issue of free will is concerned, this is vital for\nthe present discussion, because a standard of value concerning\nanimal life is not that difficult to identify. It simply\nconsists of whatever enhances their health and welfare. This\ncan sometimes involve the complications of psychological\nwell-being; but even here matters can be quite straightforward.\nWe are able to know, to a great extent, when animals\nare well, when they are ill.\nBut the idea of well-being does not make morality\nrelevant to anipials, unless one tends to confuse value\ntheory with morality. Hedonism and to some degree\nutilitarianism do tend in this direction. From these perspectives,\nall that is at stake is maximizing pleasure or some\nother measurable value. But that is one reason why utilitarians\nand hedonists have a difficult time with morality.\nThe moral viewpoint requires a concern for what we\nought to do, not just with what is good and bad. We could\nwell ha\\e a theory of good and bad but still no idea what we\nought to do, since moral obligation is also concerned with\nwhat we can do, our freedom to choose. This is why the\nfree-will issue is crucial for this debate.\nIt is interesting that the animal liberation...

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