Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on environment ethic. “Ethics has something meaningful to do with the environment. It questions humanity’s relationship to the environment, its understanding of and responsibility to nature, and its obligations to leave some of nature’s resources to prosperity” (Pojman, 1997). These ethical questions are dealt as environmental ethics, a sub-discipline of philosophical science.” Environmental ethics is concerned with the moral relations that hold between humans and the natural world” (Taylor, 2011) and the ethical principles lays down the principles which direct human activities, responsibilities and other obligations to the natural around. Should we destroy invasive species? Should we destroy forest lands to build roads and medical centers? Should we exterminate wild plants to grow food for humans? These questions give us a good understanding as to what ethics are. To answer each of them appropriately it is essential to have knowledge about ethical theories. Traditionally, most ethical perspectives were anthropocentric in nature i.e. the value of human beings were of great importance while the role of other living things as well as nonliving ones were purely instrumental in nature, this makes up the Value theory. However, with the emergence and popularity of environmental ethics, the traditionally anthropocentric perspective has been met with criticism. Questions have been raised about the purpose of the assumed supremacy of the human race over all other living beings. The sole purpose of environmental ethics, “is to provide moral grounds for social policies aimed at protecting the earth’s environment and remedying environmental degradation” (Brennan & Lo, 2008). In spite of being a philosophy sub-discipline, environmental ethics is multi-disciplinary in nature and requires specific knowledge in biology, physics, law, psychology and philosophy. In the 21st century, environmental ethics has new perspective that is not human-centric at all and is known as Ecologism. Axiology of Environmental Ethics The Axiology approach is also known as the Value theory. Philosophers and environmentalists have long argued on the values to be assigned to the components of the biosphere. The axiological perspective comprises of three kinds – Anthropocentrism, Sentientism and Ecologism. The issue faced in the 21st century is the confusion whether or not to assign equal intrinsic values to humans, nonhuman living things and non-living things. The Anthropocentrism perspective puts humans’ above all living things as well as non-living things. If there is a pollution problem today, then according to this approach, the problem of pollution will only be identified as an ethical issue if it affects humans in any way. Sentientism approach is based on the measurement of pleasure and pain, but the perspective lacks in the sense that it is obviously not possible to judge the extent of either of the feelings in non-human living things. According to Ecologism, all living creatures as well as non-living entities such as mountains, rivers, seas etc should be assigned intrinsic value. Thus, the entire biosphere has high intrinsic value. Thus, any action for example destruction of forests is considered an ethical issue because even if the forests are destroyed for human advancement, it affects the habitats of wildlife.
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