Environmental ethics is a relatively new field, but it already gives rise to numerous debates among philosophers and scientists. The articles that are included in this portfolio are aimed at discussing the ways in which people should think about nature and other species.
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The authors discuss a variety of approaches to this problem, for example, deontological perspective or utilitarianism. In my view, people have to accept the premise that their survival is dependent on the sustainability of environment.
Overall, it seems that in the future, environmental ethics can shape laws, and daily activities of companies or individuals, yet, at its principles have not been fully articulated.
One of the issues that are highlighted by the authors is the anthropocentrism of contemporary environmental ethics.
In other words, even people who are not indifferent of environmental problems, think about them only because they can have an impact on human life.
For instance, people can focus on such issue as water and air pollution, oil spills, or the depletion of natural resources. Yet, very little attention is paid to inherent value of environment.
This framework implies that nature has to be fully subordinate to the people. This perspective also suggests that many environmental problems can be overlooked provided that they do not directly affect the activities of people.
For example, the extinction of many species can be made acceptable because it does not impact people. I agree with scholars who critique this utilitarian interpretation of environmental ethics.
The thing is that ecosystem is not a set of independent elements; in most cases, they are closely interconnected. For instance, the extinction of birds or animals can eventually affect forests and even lead to deforestation of many areas.
This is why one should not look at the environment only from utilitarian perspective. The problem is that many people cannot see the inherent value of nature.
This question is not only theoretical because it can affect various human activities, for instance, animal activities or the preservation of endangered species.
The second question that these reading made think of is how one can make environmental ethics obligatory for organizations and individuals. Certainly, there can be different approaches to environmental ethics.
One can take utilitarian or deontological perspectives, but it is always possible to institutionalize the principles of environmental ethics. The problem is that some organizations only claim to care about environment, but these claims are not always backed up by their actions.
Besides, many companies are simply forces to follow the environmental regulations imposed by states. Yet, there is no internal stimulus for them to do it.
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Secondly, the articles included in the portfolio prompt individuals to reevaluate their views on nature and environmental problems. So, one has to formulate the principles that people should follow.
This is why I support the idea of environmental ethics. In view, researchers and thinkers, why try to establish its key principles, can help governments avert many problems.
This discussion shows that the key principles of environmental ethics still have to be formulated and turned into norms. Although this field of ethics is relatively new it can organizations and individuals.
Overall, the debates over these questions may not be settled in the near future. Yet, the fact that this issue is discussed by intellectuals indicates that people’s attitude toward environment can change in the future.