Analysis of Tom Regan's

Length: 5 Pages 1296 Words

“A good ends does not justify an evil means” (Olen and Barry, 476). In other words, treating animals as though they are our property, using them only to benefit us and in most cases hurting them is not morally justifiable. In Tom Regan’s article “The Case for Animal Rights”, he defends the point that the center of our moral concern should not be, as John Stuart Mill claims it should, to diminish suffering and amplify pleasure but, to the contrary, to treat every individual animal in certain a way, despite the consequences. Regan defines inherent value as the state in which a being is more than a mere receptacle, and concludes that all who have inherent value are to have it equally. Regan argues that if a thing has inherent value, it is wrong not to show respect for its value, i.e. to treat it as a mere resource for the use of others, as a means to an end. Animals are included among the things that have inherent value, therefore it is wrong to use them as a means to an end. Regan states that animals are holders of inherent rights, and due to this fact, it is justifiable to completely abolish the use of animals in science, agriculture, hunting, and so forth. Some contend that particular uses of animals are wrong, but Continue...


Unless we as a society believe this is true, we cannot justify the claim that all human beings have the same inherent value, nor can we deny the claim that animals possess this same value. Regan believes that using animals as resources for our exploitation is morally unjustifiable, and the entire system of our attitudes towards animals is wrong. This person may also claim that what determines one's inherent value is whether or not they have an immortal soul, which only human beings possess. A person would establish this point by illustrating the factual differences between humans and animals, for example, the factors of intelligence, emotion, or the ability to reason. Regan believes that the indirect duties view, the contractarian view, and the Utilitarian view fail to account for the value of individuality. To treat it as a mere resource for the use of others, as a means to an end is inherently wrong. Regan view is that if something has inherent value, it is impermissible not to show respect for this value. They do this by virtue of being conscious, having wants, desires and needs, and being able to feel pain and pleasure, they are the subjects of a life. He creates three of his own views on the subject. The Utilitarian view contains two main points, the principle of equality and the principle of utility. A problematic feature of the Utilitarian view is that what has value is the individual's interests, but not the individual. The contractarian view states that morality is only a set of rules that individuals agree to abide by, as if they were all signatories to a contract. That the animal rights movement is part of the human rights movement. That the rights view is categorically abolitionist. It is obvious from the material presented, that Regan's viewpoint can be backed by solid arguments in every case.