Environmental Ethics


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Environmental Ethics

  1. 1. Living in the Environment 14 th Edition Chapter 28 Shohail Choudhury ENVIRONMENTAL WORLDVIEWS, ETHICS AND SUSTAINABILITY
  2. 2. <ul><li>Environmental worldviews are how people think </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the world works, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>where they fit, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and ethics. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environmental worldviews can be </li></ul><ul><li>human-centered or </li></ul><ul><li>Earth-centered, </li></ul><ul><li>or some combination of both. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Philosophers for right and wrong environmental behavior. Universalism, (Plato and Kant) ethics and rules of right and wrong that are unchanging. Utilitarianism, (Bentham and Mill), :an action is right if it produces satisfaction for the greatest number of people. Consequentialism : consequences determine whether an action is right or wrong. Relativism, promoted by Sophists, says that cultures, eras, and situations determine whether an action is right or wrong. Rationalism, (Decartes, De Spinoza, and Leibniz): right and wrong are determined by analyzing the situation. Nihilism, (Nietzsche): life is meaningless except to strive to live in what might be right.
  4. 4. Life forms have instrumental value or intrinsic value. Instrumental, or utilitarian, values life forms because they are useful to the biosphere or us. Intrinsic, or inherent , values life forms because they exist. Anthropocentric instrumental values view life forms as valuable only if they are useful. Biocentric intrinsic values view life forms as valuable because they exist.
  5. 5. <ul><li>Human to be the most important species and stewards of the earth. </li></ul><ul><li>Planetary management worldview :humans are the dominant species. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans should manage the earth. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All other life forms have some sort of instrumental value. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems can be solved with more economic growth and development, and better management and technology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The planet should have a free-market global economy. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Stewardship worldview: humans have an ethical responsibility to care for the earth. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans should make the world better. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans should pay back our debt to the earth by leaving it better than before. </li></ul></ul>Human-centered views
  6. 6. <ul><li>Doubts that we can effectively manage Earth because of our lack of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>B. Humans have an ethical responsibility to avoid causing the premature extinction of species. </li></ul>Life-Centered and Earth-Centered Worldviews C. Environmental wisdom worldview : humans are not in charge and should study the history of the earth to determine how it has maintained itself. D. Deep ecology worldview : obligations of humans to all life forms and not reduce the interdependence and diversity of life. E. Ecofeminist environmental worldview : women should be equal to men in the human quest to develop more sustainable societies. F. Environmental degradation can be slowed by using images of catastrophe and economic and ecologic collapse.
  7. 7. <ul><li>Environmentally literate citizens are needed to build a more environmentally sustainable society. </li></ul><ul><li>This requires an understanding of </li></ul><ul><li>how the earth works , </li></ul><ul><li>our interactions with the earth, </li></ul><ul><li>and the methods we use to deal with environmental problems. </li></ul>Living More Sustainably Nature must be experienced directly to complete environmental education.
  8. 8. Living More Sustainably Affluenza is the addiction to over-consumption and materialism in developed countries. Symptoms: high debt level, declining health, increased stress, more bankruptcies. Causes: credit cards enable instant gratification, easy money, and selfishness. Solutions: consume less, live more simply, and spend less.
  9. 9. Effective environmental citizens avoid mental traps that lead to denial and inaction and instead enjoy life and keep empowered feelings. The environmental revolution is a positive outlook and a call for leadership, ideas, and solutions to current environmental challenges. Conclusion
  10. 10. Next Class <ul><li>Quiz 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter 4 and 28 </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter 26: </li></ul><ul><li>Economics, Environment and Sustainability </li></ul>