Environmental ethics revision

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  • Environmental ethics
    • Environmental ethics is concerned with our attitudes towards and impact on the biological and geological dimensions of the planet and humanity.
    • Some argue that:
      • Earth's systems, which nurture and sustain life, are breaking down
      • Natural resources are being depleted unsustainably
      • Environmental damage disproportionately affects the poor
      • Industrialisation and technological and scientific development have reduced biodiversity
    • Others argue that:
      • This is a simplified distortion of a far more complex picture
      • The situation is improving
      • Not running out of energy resources
      • Fewer people are starving
      • Development protects us from the environment
      • An environmental ethic that constrains the development might actually might the situation worse for humans
    • Deep ecology:
      • Deep ecology = attempt to provide a secular environmental ethics
      • LEPOLD - moral community to include soils, waters, plants + animals
      • NAESS - deep ecology sought to 'preserve the integrity of the biosphere for its own sake', not for human benefits
      • Well-being of human + non-human life on Earth = valued
      • Humans can only reduce earths richness +diversity to satisfy vital needs
      • SYLVAN + PLUMWOOD - must not 'jeoparduse the well-being of natural objects without good reason
      • DEVALL + SESSIONS - 'all organisms +entities ecosophere - part in intrinsic worth'
      • NAESS + SESSIONS - flourishing of human + nonhuman lifeforms - value
      • LOVELOCK - ecosystem as a whole - moral deliberation
      • TAYLOR - respect for every life - pursing its own good in its own unique way
      • SINGER - justifiable intrinsic value to sentient life forms (plants) - cannot truly be said to desire to flourish or have experiences
    • Christian approaches:
      • SINGER argues - Hebrew + Greek traditions leave environment as morally insignificant
        • SINGER points to a Judeo-Christian emphasis on human domination of world
      • AQUINAS - 'All animals = naturally subject to man'
      • Positive view = Christian environmental ethics = theocentric, anthropocentric + geo/biocentric, as creation = g-d made + so = good in itself
      • ANDERSON - 'Recognition that nonhuman creatures = intrinsic value = present in Christian tradition'
      • Concept = stewardship in Bible means humans = responsible to G-d for use of His world
      • Humans = special responsibility to care for it
      • Creation = good + = loved for its own sake. Humans = co-creators with G-d but sin distorts the relationship between man + natural world
      • Christians relationship with G-d = affected by how they use creation

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