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Environmental Ethics

VIEWS: 3 PAGES: 22

  • pg 1
									Environmental Ethics
Intention
Intention   Action
Intention   Action   Consequence
Intention   Action        Consequence



   Duty
            Deontological Ethics
Intention    Action        Consequence



            Consequentialist Ethics
          Deontological vs.
        Consequentialist Ethics
• If one’s intentions are    • Regardless of one’s
  good, then the action        intention, the
  is good, irrespective of     consequence of the
  the outcome of that          action is paramount. If
  action                       the outcome is good
• I.e., one meant to do        the action is good. If
  good                         it is not, then the
                               action is bad.
How does one define “good” and
  “bad” actions or intentions?
• Something is bad if it harms a thing to
  which we have granted moral standing.
  Something is good if it does not harm that
  thing.
     What is “moral standing”?
• Moral standing is granted when we feel an
  obligation to an entity to treat it well. When
  that entity has a “hold” on us that makes us
  constrain our actions.
   To whom do we grant moral
          standing?
• Contractarianists grant moral standing to an
  entity that can enter into a “contract” with
  them. To enter into a “contract” requires
  the ability to think and reason. Therefore,
  only humans are granted moral standing in
  this view.
   To whom do we grant moral
          standing?
• Utilitarians believe that we should
  maximize “good” in the world. The
  absence of pain is “good”. Therefore, we
  grant moral standing to anything that can
  feel pain.
• This viewpoint also believes that we should
  grant the greatest good for the greatest
  number. Pain can not be altogether
  avoided, but rather should be minimalized.
   To whom do we grant moral
          standing?
• The philosopher, Thomas Regan, heads up a
  group that believes that any living entity
  should receive moral standing whether or
  not it can feel pain in the human sense of
  the word. This viewpoint believes that the
  “bearer-of-a-life” should receive moral
  standing.
   To whom do we grant moral
          standing?
• The ecologist, and former forester, Aldo
  Leopold wrote a crucial essay in his
  collection of essays entitled “The Sand
  County Almanac”. This essay was “The
  Land Ethic”. He proposes that the land,
  ecosystems and species should be granted
  moral standing.
So, you had a bad day at work…
               • Do you yell at the
                 neighbor’s bratty
                 kid?
So, you had a bad day at work…
               • Do you yell at the
                 neighbor’s bratty
                 kid?
               • Do you kick their
                 yappy little dog?
So, you had a bad day at work…
               • Do you yell at the
                 neighbor’s bratty
                 kid?
               • Do you kick their
                 yappy little dog?
               • Do you rip the
                 leaves off a
                 neighborhood tree?
So, you had a bad day at work…
               • Do you yell at the
                 neighbor’s bratty kid?
               • Do you kick their
                 yappy little dog?
               • Do you rip the leaves
                 off a neighborhood
                 tree?
               • Do you tear up your
                 newspaper and throw
                 it into the wind?
    Which ethic applies when?
• No hard and fast “rule”.
• Many times, people apply one ethic in one
  circumstance and another in a different
  instance.
• The important thing is to realize which ethic
  is being used by yourself and others and try
  to understand their use of that ethic.

								
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