Slides in this set
Environmental ethics considers the major concerns about the environment and
evaluates these against the various ethical theories and the other ways in which
the environment is shown to have value. It considers the relationship between
humans and the natural world and how and why we make decisions about the
There is no agreed environmental ethic and no international code. Environmental
ethics attempts to look at different ways to solve environmental problems.
Does the environment have intrinsic or instrumental value?
What is humanity's relationship to the environment? Should humans dominate
and use natural resources for their own good, or enable them to flourish or
To what extent do future generations need to be considered?
What is the status of animals? Do they have the same rights as humans?
Are all living things, ranging from people to plants, of the same moral value?…read more
Dominion = The foundation for many Christian approaches to the environment
is to be seen in the Bible, although issues are not clear cut.
The idea that humans have `dominion' over the natural world is seen by many as
Aristotle influenced Aquinas who continued to view humans as the only morally
Humans have a special place in the natural world and have responsibility for it.
Nature exists for the benefit of human beings.
Stewardship = Humans may be the peak of creation but only because we have
the role of stewards, we are to care for and conserve creation because it belongs
to God, we are merely caretakers looking after God's good creation.
Creation has intrinsic value and is make by God so we need to preserve it.…read more
OTHER RELIGIOUS APPROACHES
The Fall = is seen is some of the evidence for environmental problems because it
shows us as poor stewards of creation. We have caused environmental problems
from disobeying God.
Christians teach that we need to use our increasing knowledge to rectify this and
re-establish the bond between God and man and the natural world.
Rapture and End-time theology = Those who believe in `end time' feel that
concern for the earth and the natural world is irrelevant because they have no
Destruction of the environment is to be welcomed and even helped along as it is a
sign of the coming of the Apocalypse and the second coming of Christ.
Pastor John Hagee from Texas suggests that environmental and social crises of
today are portents of rapture.
Once the battle is won, Christ will send all the non-believers to hell and re-green
the Earth where he will reign in peace with his followers.…read more
EVALUATING CHRISTIAN APPROACH
Humans are stewards responsible to God for their use of God's creation.
Christians can be called to reject lifestyles that disregard and damage
Creation has value in itself and reveals God.
However, some believe humans have `dominion' over the earth
which can be interpreted differently. Lynn White argued that only
when the Christian view is rejected can the ecological crisis be solved.…read more
SECULAR APPROACHES SHALLOW
Also known as conservation ethics which looks at the value that the
environment has to us as humans and how its welfare will effect us.
Effectively, the environment is only a MEANS TO AN END, the end being the
survival and well-being of humans.
Plants and animals only have instrumental value as their usefulness only lies in
their usefulness to the human race.
Anthropocentric human centred.
Michael La Bossiere suggested such approach can be justified as part of the
natural order of evolution e.g. if animals became extinct due to human
activity it can be seen as natural taking its course.
If avoiding pollution and being resourceful is beneficial to humans it should be