argument top image

Is animal testing ethical? Show more Show less
Back to question

The ethics of animal experimentation is a topic of hot debate in academia. Animal rights groups consider animal testing unethical due to the harm inflicted on animals. The other side of the debate justifies the harm because animal testing will bring greater benefits to the world.

Animal testing is ethical Show more Show less

Unlike humans, animals lack moral judgment and possession of rights. Therefore, animal testing cannot violate animal rights. Humans need to conduct animal experimentation to further science, which makes the use of animals in research ethically justifiable.
(1 of 3) Next position >

Engaging in research is a part of human nature

It is an essential trait of humans to strive for knowledge through experiments, regardless of whether they involve animals or not. Indeed, it is morally wrong to restrain humans' intrinsic desire for knowledge by forbidding animal experimentation on ethical grounds.

The Argument

From earliest infancy, humans sort the world into categories, predict how things work, and test those predictions. On evolutionary terms, scientific thinking is essential for human survival.[1] Therefore, it is an innate trait of humans to seek knowledge through methodological inquiry. The presence of such a trait means that research activity holds an intrinsic value. This value is independent of the value of the research’s results. To use an analogy, undertaking research (including that involving animals) is equal to the value of nest-building for birds or foraging for apes.[2] In expecting humans to cease undertaking animal studies, we want them to abandon their natural behavior. Overall, it is ethical to conduct animal testing. Expecting humans to cease animal testing would be ethically wrong.

Counter arguments

The alleged natural drive for humans to undertake research would not be irredeemably frustrated if they refrained from using animals in research. Human creativity, which is also innate, can produce other solutions to achieve the same research goal. While conducting animal research is allegedly a means to satisfy one of the humans’ natural drives, it is also a means to undermine one of the animals’ natural drives (namely, survival). Animals do not have the option to not participate in an experiment; they are forced by humans. Such an argument for animal research is, therefore, anthropocentric. It does not make animal research ethically justifiable.[2]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21428610-400-human-nature-being-scientific/#ixzz6aZ7YB6sn
  2. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj0xY7Ls6zsAhVDURUIHeM6BEUQFjAAegQIAhAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fnuffieldbioethics.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FThe-ethics-of-research-involving-animals-full-report.pdf&usg=AOvVaw05ng7SodIKbnVg8ecUN1kI
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 14 Oct 2020 at 02:15 UTC

Explore related arguments