Environmental Ethics compete notes

Full notes on OCR Environmental Ethics 

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A2 Ethics
Environmental ethics
Key Scholars
Considers ethical relationships between people and the natural world
Should we cut down trees/manufacture petrol cars?
Obligations to future generations
Religious approaches
Anthropocentric approach ­ humans above all others
The world exists for our benefit, god does not care how we treat it
Tamed for human use ­ weeds in gardens
Aristotle and Aquinas ­ humans are morally important
No intrinsic value I the natural world
Bible is not always clear about dominion
o `let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air'
o `she (nature) has made all animals for the sake of man (Aristotle)
o Story of creation is different to modern ideas of dominion
Singer ­ this approach is the root cause of all our problems
Care for and conserve creation ­ belongs to god, we are caretakers of his property
Humans are the peak of creation because we have the role of stewardship
Creation is made by god and is good ­ must be preserved because it has intrinsic value
Man was put into Eden to protect it ­ `to till it and keep it'
Humankind is responsible to god for looking after his creation
Value of creation
God is seen to value the natural world ­ `god saw that it was good'
God is shown as having continued concern for creation ­ not even a sparrow falls without gods permission
If god values creation then the bible suggests it has intrinsic value.
We are made in gods image ­ special and apart from other beings
Assiss suggested god communicates with us through the natural world ­ sin to destroy them
Natural world is inherently good and a sign of gods goodness
All creatures have the ability and duty to worship god
Effect of man's sin
The fall is seen by some as the reason for our environment problems ­ became poor stewards
`the earth lies polluted under its inhabitants for they have transgressed laws
Christians teach that we should use our increasing knowledge to rectify this
The environment must be protected
Avoiding needless exploitation of the natural world will bring about peace, harmony and justice
Love of god and ones neighbour are fundamental in Christian ethics ­ applicable to the environment
Rapture and end-time theology

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No need to have concern for the earth as we have no future in it
Destruction of environment is acceptable as it's a sign of the apocalypse
Martin Luther ­ judgement day would be preceded by destruction
Eschaton ­ end of days ­ book of Daniel
The rapture in the book of revelations & second coming of Christ
Popular with American Christians in a position of power
Secular approaches
Three main ethical approaches
o Deep ecology
o Eco-holism (Gaia hypothesis)
o Shallow ecology
Libertarianism ­…read more

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Rejected by scientists, Neo-Darwinists etc.…read more

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Not treated as a means to an end ­ immoral and irrational
Naurtue is intrinsically beautiful
Virtue ethics
Looks at what characterises an environmentally good person
Condsiers who we are and how we live in the natural world
Extremes of behaviour unhelpful to both society and the environment
Virtuous life in nature is necessary for human flourishing ­ eudaimonia
The telos of environmentalism ought ot be sustainability
4 tests to ensure sustainabaility
o Repression ­ will people be repressed
o Alienation test ­ alienation of…read more


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