Environmental ethics poses numerous issues, such as what responsibility do humans have towards the world in which they live? How should we use the earth’s resources and treat other species? What are our environmental obligations to future generations? The issue of whether there is a moral imperative to care for the environment is an on-going debate. However further analysis shall make this matter clearer.
By using the ideology of dominion it could be argued that there is not a moral imperative to care for the environment. The reason being is according to the dominant western tradition; the natural world exists for the benefit of human beings. Additionally according to the dominant western tradition God does not care how we treat the environment because human beings are the only morally important members of the world. This is an anthropocentrism way of thinking which means human centred. It could be argued the dominion argument is very selfish because it disregards the environments role in sustaining life. If it wasn’t for plants we would not be able to breathe because they provide us with oxygen therefore to not recognise how humans are not the only important members of the world and to believe there is no moral imperative to care for the environment could be deemed ignorant.
The idea of stewardship agrees with the idea of “dominion” in the sense that it recognises that humans are the peak of creation. However stewardship states the only reason we are the peak of creation is because we have the role of stewardship. This means there is a moral imperative to care for the environment because it is up to humans to care for and conserve creation because it belongs to God. Humans are therefore merely caretakers of God’s property, which in turn means we indefinitely have a moral imperative to care for the environment. Humans are co- creators with God and need to use and transform the natural world with care. Creation is made by God and is good, and so must be preserved because it has intrinsic value so to do otherwise as “dominion” suggests would be wrong because it would not be taking care of God’s property.
Conversely a right- wing fundamental group of Christians in the Usa known as rapture believe that it is not a moral imperative to care for the environment. They argue that humans have “dominion” and that the Genesis story teaches that “man” is superior to nature and can use its resources. Furthermore they believe that destruction of the environment is to be welcomed, and even helped, because it’s a sign of the coming of the Apocalypse and the second coming of Christ. Some may argue that it is an absolute ridiculous and incoherent idea to believe destruction of the environment should be welcomed because it is a sign of the coming apocalypse. For example if a river which provided people with drinking water was polluted rapture would infer that…