This response is right if God is thought of as a third party, as a being like others with a point of view and interests and powers—a being, that is, who exists in essentially the same way that we do. The third is that it lives and is sentient, being therefore a self and the subject of a life.
Rather than identifying intrinsic or innate properties that non-humans share with humans, some feminists have argued instead that we ought to understand moral status in relational terms given that moral recognition is invariably a social practice. However, others criticize the lack of certainty with which Regan's "inherent value" or "subject-of-a-life" status can be determined, and note that the sufficient conditions he lists—for example, having sense-perceptionsbeliefsdesires, motivesand memory —in effect reduce to "similarity to humans".
If, to draw on an overused and sadly sophomoric counter-example, one person can be kidnapped and painlessly killed in order to provide body parts for four individuals who will die without them, there will inevitably be negative side-effects that all things considered would make the kidnapping wrong.
Rumbaugh, Duane M. If there is a theory of morality that discredits animals as experiencers of life, then that theory is inadequate. However, this should not matter too much, for we accept that young children have inherent value in their lives because they too are subjects-of-a-life.
Our lives can go better or worse for us.
Humans have developed moral systems as well as a wide range of other valuable practices, and by creating these systems, we separate the human from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Since animals too are subjects-of-a-life, they too possess inherent value.While Regan believes that animals have rights and should be owed the duty of respect because they are subjects-of-a-life, he does not merely assume that others take his notions to be true. Moore scholarship[ edit ] In the s, Regan published three books on G. As Immanuel Kant put it, "Tender feelings toward dumb animals develop humane feelings toward mankind," and, "[H]e who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men" Personhood is not, in fact, coextensive with humanity when understood as a general description of the group to which human beings belong. When discussing a direct duty view, Regan wants to note two forms of utilitarianism. Following from the previous two chapters, Regan relates that we should first observe the duty of respect to our fellow human beings. Increasingly, philosophers are arguing that while our behavior towards animals is indeed subject to moral scrutiny, the kinds of ethical arguments that are usually presented frame the issues in the wrong way. The fact that those who are not part of the contract are excluded from the rights or benefits of those who do participate in the contract is a problem. Regan points out that we routinely ascribe inherent value , and thus the right to be treated with respect , to humans who are not rational, including infants and the severely mentally impaired. The notion of personhood identifies a category of morally considerable beings that is thought to be coextensive with humanity. Persons generally have interests in continued existence, interests that, arguably, non-persons do not have. When someone rapes a woman in a coma, or whips a severely brain damaged child, or sets a cat on fire, they are not simply disrespecting humanity or themselves as representatives of it, they are wronging these non-persons. For Korsgaard, however, not all selves are persons. What the veil of ignorance does is that it has the leaders assume that they do not know which land or people they will rule over.
This means that in certain cases it might be morally justifiable to impede on a person's or animal's negative moral rights.