Jeremy Bentham's Theory Of Utilitarianism And Nonhuman Animals

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What do we, as humans have to do in order to give nonhuman animals the proper treatment and equal moral consideration as we owe for other humans? Some, such as Jeremy Bentham would address that, “The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation” (99). Other moral philosophers, like Henry Sidgwick, however reject the theory of utilitarianism thinking that is pleasure all that really matters and are consequences all that matters (111-112)? Humans use nonhuman animals for one purpose; pleasure from using their skins for luxury goods. In this paper, I will explain and examine what Jeremy Bentham is trying explain in his argument, and will attempt to show that his argument is a plausible one, by replying an objection against his utilitarian view. Utilitarianism is the doctrine that an action is right in so far as it promotes …show more content…

So by the natural order of things, we can treat animals in any way we like (106). The second assumption is, Animals have no moral standing of their own; we’re free to treat them in any way we desire or please (107). Before moving along, it’s an essential to comprehend what Bentham means by “God’s image” and “no moral standing.” Bentham defines God’s image as, the humans that are relatable to him because God is depicted as a human and not a nonhuman (106). No moral standing can be explained as this, it’s the concept that nonhuman animals don’t have the same morals as we humans have therefore, in this case, we can treat them in harsh, mistreating ways in order to get want we want from them. For example, in this passage, Bentham argues mistreatment of nonhuman animals for our luxury goods isn’t that of unequal moral consideration for nonhuman animals, but it’s the reason that has to do with human welfare, not the welfare of nonhuman

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