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Environmental ethics
 

Environmental ethics

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    Environmental ethics Environmental ethics Presentation Transcript

    • Professor Jayashree SadriAndDr Sorab SadriENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS
    • Environmental ethics is the part ofenvironmental philosophy whichconsiders extending the traditionalboundaries of ethics from solelyincluding humans to including the non-human world.What is EnvironmentalEthics?
    • For example:It exerts influence on a large range ofdisciplines including law, sociology,theology, economics, ecology andgeography.There are many ethical decisions thathuman beings make with respect to theenvironment.
    • For example:Should we continue to clear cut forestsfor the sake of human consumption?Should we continue to propagate?Should we continue to make gasolinepowered vehicles?When will this thirst for exploitation andprofit end?Why this “conspicuous consumption?”
    • For example:What environmental obligations do we need tokeep for future generations?[Is it right for humansto knowingly cause the extinction of a species forthe convenience of humanity?Is “false consciousness” combining with“conspicuous consumption”?Why do governments across the world fail to “walktheir talk”?
    • HUNTING INDISCRIMINATELYExtinction of the White Rhino (Assam) for aphrodisiacSlaughter of the Black Rhino (Central Africa) foraphrodisiacDisappearance of the White Tigers (Reva) for stupidityThe Indian Lion (Gir) and the Royal Bengal Tiger beingkilled because the Government has no will to act.Slaughter of the Seals (Antarctica) for food and oilWhale hunting (Japanese waters and China Sea) for foodFox hunting (Mark Twain’s quip on British sport)Himalayan Deer (for Kasturi)Grizzly Bear hunting (Canada – human-animal turf war)
    • Can Humans Live In Harmony With Nature?
    • Some DefinitionsMoral AgentsThose who have the freedomand rational capacity to beresponsible for choicesThose capable of moralreflection and decision.Example: adult humans ofsound mindInfants and mentally infirm adultsare NOT moral agents
    • DefinitionsMoral Standing:If you have moral standing:Your continued existence orwelfare is valuable in itself(intrinsic value)Your interests and well-being mustbe weighed when deciding what ispermissible to do.Example: humans of all kinds Babies, children, adults, oldpeople, etc. Women, different races, differentcultures
    • DefinitionsMoral Duties That which is owed by moralagents to those with moralstanding.Example: It is wrong to killour children because we have amoral duty toward them
    • Philosophical IssueWho or what has moralstanding, and why?Does the environment havemoral standing?Must look at criteria formoral standingWhat moral duty do we(moral agents) havetoward those with moralstanding?Different ethical positionssuggest different moralduties.Yosemite National Park
    • Ideas on Criteria for MoralStandingMembership in the speciesHomo sapiens Humans have a soul Humans are moral agentsand are responsible for knowingright from wrong Humans are intelligent Humans have personhoodand self-consciousness Humans have language
    • Ideas on Criteria for MoralStandingSentience, the abilityto feel painTherefore extendmoral standing toanimals.On the evolutionarychain as well as in thefood chain we are alllinked anyway.
    • Ideas on Criteria for MoralStandingBeing aliveTherefore extendmoral standing toanimals and plants:All living things.Take this understanding asyour contribution toPlant Earth for all thethings you have got fromit.
    • Ideas on Criteria for MoralStandingBeing part of natureTherefore extend moralstanding to theearthecosystems rocks rivers plants animalsthe entire natural world
    • Ethical PositionsAnthropocentrism:Human centeredmoralityOnly humans haveintrinsic value andmoral standing.The rest of the naturalworld has instrumentalvalue (use to humans).
    • AnthropocentrismWe can best protect natureby looking out for humanneeds.Ex: Ducks Unlimitedpreserves wetlandsEx: Saving therainforests will provideO2 and medicines forhumans.Problem: Would you blow upthe world if you were the lasthuman alive?
    • Ethical PositionsSentio-centrism: Sentient-beingcentered moralityAll and only sentient beings(animals that feel pain) haveintrinsic value and moralstanding.The rest of the natural world hasinstrumental value.Both humans and sentientanimals have rights and/orinterests that must beconsidered
    • Ethical PositionsBiocentric Individualism:Life-centered moralityAll and only living beings,specifically individual organisms(not species or ecosystems) haveintrinsic value and moralstanding.Humans are not superior to otherlife forms nor privileged, andmust respect the inherent worthof every organismHumans should minimize harmand interference with nature: eatvegetarian since less land needs tobe cultivated.
    • Ethical PositionsEco-centric Holism: ecosystemcentered moralityNon-individuals (the earth as aninterconnected ecosystem, species,natural processes) have moralstanding or intrinsic value and aredeserving of respect.Individuals must be concerned aboutthe whole community of life/nature,Humans should strive to preserveecological balance and stability.
    • Patriarchal DualismsGreek, Roman, Hebrew:Humans are separate from and superior to natureHuman, mind, rationality, and man are linked and superiorNature, body, feelings, and woman are linked, and inferiorJustifies domination by men over Nature WomenAristotle
    • EcofeminismRejects Patriarchal DualismsThe domination of nature by men is wrong is similar to and related to the domination ofwomen by men.Must break the pattern of "power over"relationships will benefit both women and the naturalworld.Acid attack victims
    • Feminism
    • What Price Male Chauvinism?What or who gave males the moral authority toworship a woman in a temple or a church only todefile and denigrate her at home?Do you realize that the dowry system puts up a manas a mere commodity for sale to the highest womanbidder?Honour killings are nothing but an outburst of malemental impotency and false social sanction.
    • Deep EcologyHumans are deeplyconnected with nature.If humans identify withnature, then taking care ofthe natural world willbecome part of taking careof ones self.Yet human beings destroynature and its bountifulgifts for short term andpecuniary gain.
    • Chief Sitting Bull, 1877“Behold, my brothers, the springhas come; the earth has receivedthe embraces of the sun and weshall soon see the results of thatlove!Every seed has awakened and sohas all animal life.It is through this mysteriouspower that we too have ourbeing and we therefore yield toour neighbors, even our animalneighbors, the same right asourselves, to inhabit this land…
    • Chief Sitting Bull, 1877“Yet hear me, my people, wehave now to deal with anotherrace - small and feeble whenour fathers first met them, butnow great and overbearing.Strangely enough they have amind to till the soil and the loveof possessions is a disease withthem . . ..
    • Sitting Bull, 1877“They claim this mother of ours,the earth, for their own, andfence their neighbors away;they deface her with theirbuildings and their refuse.They threaten to take [the land]away from us.My brothers, shall we submit, orshall we say to them:"First kill me before you takepossession of my Fatherland."
    • BioregionalismLead a simple life withlocal production of foodand other products bypeople that you knowIncreases environmentalawareness and caringdecreases exploitation ofthe environment andpeople.
    • RealitiesWe owe it to future generations to preserve MotherEarth since we hold it in trust for our children.The rate at which flora and fauna are disappearing isscandalous.Global warming is a great fear that we cannotoverlook
    • TRY TO SEE WHAT LIES BEHINDSunderlal Bahaguna and the ChipkoMovementThe Chilka Lake controversyThe Netarhat Firing Range scandalThe Narbada Bachao AndolanThe Clean Ganga MovementKoel Karo Project