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Singer vs Regan 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 Singers utilitarianism and the rights view At the end of Singers reply to Regan Singer mentions The practical value of Regans 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
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