Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. Morality and Environment Essay Sample Introduction The understanding of the notion of morality is always different to different people. To many people and societies, morality is the obedience and respect to the authority, either parents or leaders in the society. This notion is very dangerous and has led to abuse of authority and other social evils.
The Challenge of Environmental Ethics Suppose putting out natural fires, culling feral animals or destroying some individual members of overpopulated indigenous species is necessary for the protection of the integrity of a certain ecosystem.
Will these actions be morally permissible or even required? Is it morally acceptable for farmers in non-industrial countries to practise slash and burn techniques to clear areas for agriculture?
Consider a mining company which has performed open pit mining in some previously unspoiled area. Does the company have a moral obligation to restore the landform and surface ecology? And what is the value of a humanly restored environment compared with the originally natural environment?
If that is wrong, is it simply because a sustainable environment is essential to present and future human well-being?
These are among the questions investigated by environmental ethics. Some of them are specific questions faced by individuals in particular circumstances, while others are more global questions faced by groups and communities.
Yet others are more abstract questions concerning the value and moral standing of the natural environment and its non-human components.
The former is the value of things as means to further some other ends, whereas the latter is the value of things as ends in themselves regardless of whether they are also useful as means to other ends.
For instance, certain fruits have instrumental value for bats who feed on them, since feeding on the fruits is a means to survival for the bats. However, it is not widely agreed that fruits have value as ends in themselves.
We can likewise think of a person who teaches others as having instrumental value for those who want to acquire knowledge. Yet, in addition to any such value, it is normally said that a person, as a person, has intrinsic value, i.
For another example, a certain wild plant may have instrumental value because it provides the ingredients for some medicine or as an aesthetic object for human observers.
But if the plant also has some value in itself independently of its prospects for furthering some other ends such as human health, or the pleasure from aesthetic experience, then the plant also has intrinsic value.
Many traditional western ethical perspectives, however, are anthropocentric or human-centered in that either they assign intrinsic value to human beings alone i. For example, Aristotle Politics, Bk. Generally, anthropocentric positions find it problematic to articulate what is wrong with the cruel treatment of non-human animals, except to the extent that such treatment may lead to bad consequences for human beings.
From this standpoint, cruelty towards non-human animals would be instrumentally, rather than intrinsically, wrong. Likewise, anthropocentrism often recognizes some non-intrinsic wrongness of anthropogenic i.
Such destruction might damage the well-being of human beings now and in the future, since our well-being is essentially dependent on a sustainable environment see Passmore ; Bookchin ; Norton et al.
When environmental ethics emerged as a new sub-discipline of philosophy in the early s, it did so by posing a challenge to traditional anthropocentrism. In the first place, it questioned the assumed moral superiority of human beings to members of other species on earth.
In the second place, it investigated the possibility of rational arguments for assigning intrinsic value to the natural environment and its non-human contents. It should be noted, however, that some theorists working in the field see no need to develop new, non-anthropocentric theories.
Instead, they advocate what may be called enlightened anthropocentrism or, perhaps more appropriately called, prudential anthropocentrism. Briefly, this is the view that all the moral duties we have towards the environment are derived from our direct duties to its human inhabitants.
Enlightened anthropocentrism, they argue, is sufficient for that practical purpose, and perhaps even more effective in delivering pragmatic outcomes, in terms of policy-making, than non-anthropocentric theories given the theoretical burden on the latter to provide sound arguments for its more radical view that the non-human environment has intrinsic value cf.
Nortonde ShalitLight and Katz Furthermore, some prudential anthropocentrists may hold what might be called cynical anthropocentrism, which says that we have a higher-level anthropocentric reason to be non-anthropocentric in our day-to-day thinking.
Suppose that a day-to-day non-anthropocentrist tends to act more benignly towards the non-human environment on which human well-being depends. This would provide reason for encouraging non-anthropocentric thinking, even to those who find the idea of non-anthropocentric intrinsic value hard to swallow.
The position can be structurally compared to some indirect form of consequentialism and may attract parallel critiques see Henry Sidgwick on utilitarianism and esoteric morality, and Bernard Williams on indirect utilitarianism. The Early Development of Environmental Ethics Although nature was the focus of much nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, contemporary environmental ethics only emerged as an academic discipline in the s.Cabrillo College Claudia Close Introduction to Philosophy – Philo.
4 Summer Case Study #1: Ethics of Whistleblowing Read the ethics section in our text and the attached op-ed piece from The Guardian, CBS News and NPR, then answer the following .
Topics discussed include the environment as an ethical question, human morality, meta-ethics, normative ethics, humans and other animals, the value of nature, and nature's future. The discussion is accessible and richly illustrated with examples. Introduction to engineering ethics / Mike W.
Martin, Roland Schinzinger.—2nd ed.
p. cm. Rev. ed. of Introduction to engineering ethics / Roland Schinzinger, Mike W.
Martin. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN —ISBN (hard copy: alk. paper) I. Schinzinger, Roland. Introduction to engineering . sphere of morality to avoid conflations of religious and legal questions.
Attempting to draw the distinction between the legal and the moral, and to understand exactly what makes some social prescriptions part of the moral code as opposed to the legal or religious code, is in part, what some ethicists do.
Case study method guide is provided to students which determine the aspects of problem needed to be considered while analyzing a case study. It is very important to have a thorough reading and understanding of guidelines provided. Moral intuitions and critical reasoning 13 This unit provides an introduction to the study of ethics and a brief overview of some of the main branches of philosophical thought about ethics.
As well as introducing the The case against moral pluralism. Environmental Ethics 12(2)