Ethical Reasoning

Anthropocentrists, Are you Weak or Strong?

Blog 20:

Looking back it seems that there is this deep division between the world’s socially ideals of our world’s environmental conduct. It seems that most of us might have to choose between Baxter’s world, which justifies the greed of the human race, or with Aldo Leopold which equalizes all species, lowering the domineering stance of the human race down to a level on par with all species. However, will humans be able to see themselves as a specie with equitable virtues, as well as ethics, as other species such as trees or animals? Well, there is one option, Bryan Norton. Norton offers an in-between option which shoots to identify a pure, as well as distinct, environmental ethic.

blog 20.1

By looking at his paper, “Environmental Ethics and Weak Anthropocentrism,” one sees that Norton tries to identify a distinct environmental ethic. Beginning by deciphering what would make a distinct environmental ethic, Norton believes this ethic must take a distinct stance on either accepting or rejecting anthropocentrism. Anthropocentrism is “the position that human beings are the central or most significant species (more so than animal species)” (Wikipedia). Personally, I do not believe in this view point; I consider myself a non-anthropocentrists -considering how many animals I have grown up with I am not surprised. However, some non-anthropocentrists believe that humans are the source of all values here on Earth, but also they believe we can add value to any non-human thing. This removal of human beings as head haunches of the world allows the environmental ethic to become slightly more visible, due to this flexibility.

However if we are to measure this ethic, and its worth, we need to take into account human interest, and what those interests are. Anthropocentrism takes into account our interests, so what does Norton have to say about our traits? Norton states: there are two types of human interests, felt preferences and considered preferences. The former is a desire(s) which temporarily satisfies a specific experience for a specific individual. The latter is any want or need which an individual expresses after sometime of thinking it over, carefully. However, how does the world see these ideas of felt preference and considered preferences?

Well many original economic approaches see felt preferences as the basic platform for our decision making, economically.  I mean look at it this way, how many times does company look at a resource and see a profit, all they care about it money. Money this, money that… money money, and money. Whereas the concept of considered thought has more thought placed into the motive because it takes place after an individual spent sometime thinking the situation over. I have thought it over, and if I want to ace my test, or ace my blogs I will need to work hard and do well. Simple as that.

Finally, there are the concepts of strong and weak anthropocentrism. Strong anthropocentrist is a person who makes a choice based on felt preferences, most of the time. While a weak anthropocentrist is a person who makes a choice based on his or her blog 20.2considered preferences. Thus, weak anthropocentrist will allow us to see beautiful critiques of our values systems, especially here in the United States. When you live in a world which contains skewed mindsets, confusion between wants and needs you will never make any progress.

I believe that our world is filled with selfish people because they are most strong anthropocentrists. They would rather be rash with their decisions, thus putting certain things in front of others. I agree with Leopold’s land ethic, especially after his deal with the deer and the wolves. Our land needs us to make bold, smart and concise decisions allowing it to continue to thrive. If we kill off certain species the ecosystems will go out of whack. We need to learn to be weak anthropocentrists, but maybe not all of the time. Yes, we need to learn to make concise, thought out decisions but we also need to rash, quick in response to help fix the problems we created.

Categories: Corporate, Egoism, Environmental Ethics, Environmentalism, Ethical Egoism, Ethical Reasoning | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Consumption: The Mindless Dummy Edition

blog 19.1blog 19:

Should citizenship, value and politics be able to override the free market? Well, maybe. Today’s global society is exactly that: global. Nothing can be said differently because our world is filled with consumer wants and needs, skewed by an unnatural consumer market, like I will state in the next blog. However, our global environment helps us to understand the crisis of environmental degradation that is at hand. First off what steps shall we take?

Well, changing our consumer culture would be the first I would change. It is impossible to move five feet without seeing someone with a shopping bag, or hearing an advertisement for some new, and “improved” product. America, as well as the world, has gone mad. Unfortunately I will say that I have delved deep into the consumer culture, and it is something I regret; however, it is something that helps the world’s economy move round.  So what should we, including myself, consider ourselves? Are we citizens or are we consumers of this vast culture? Well, lets comprehend what exactly is a moral citizen versus what is a model consumer,

"the perfect customers"

“the perfect customers”

then we can decide from there. The model consumer is the perfect egoist. Looking at the “Economic Man,” one can see this idea further explained. First, one must see the world through the “mind’s I,” and its want for satisfaction. Second, one’s values are interpreted as prices and the willingness to pay, thus moral values (i.e. virtues and justice) “are factored out.” Thus, anyone with a product to sell can sell the item/service in any shape or form as long as one can get away with it. If you have a little trouble getting away with selling the item one can us what is called, “junk science.” Junk Science is a false study, or science, which helps to persuade people to see value in a product when there is absolutely none. Personally, I can tell when there is real science being used for a product and when they are trying to outsmart people and use junk science, and I laugh. I will never be fooled, hopefully.

Then there is the moral citizen. He or she is a person who takes “the moral point of view,” by seeing themselves as an equal member of society. Recognizing his or her own duty, but also the duty of others as well. This viewpoint allows the moral citizen to see the moral goodness, or excellence, in everyone. Therefore, these moral values remain independent of economic values. In turn, the moral citizen is unmoved by the devious sales-men of the model consumer, and instead, following the clearer more coherent sides of all arguments.

blog 19.2The overall citizen, however is really a combination of the two, the model consumer and the moral citizen. We all have this skewed sense of the model consumers wants, versus the moral citizens needs. Basically, everyone is a mixture of the two, however each individual will vary. Although, more and more Americans are becoming like the model consumer instead of becoming more like the moral citizen.

Today’s world is getting smaller due to technology. The model consumer is what all this fortune 500 companies want us to be, they do not want us to care about the environment or second guess or choices, they just want us to make a purchase. Unfortunately I fallen victim to their skewed ways. However, I think the only way out of this is to realize we do not need to get so many different things, and we should move back to nature. Nature is where we grew up, it is where children have fun and one can discover the amazing world we live in. We need to get back to that time.

 

Categories: Corporate, Environmental Ethics, Environmentalism, Ethical Reasoning, ethics | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ethics of the Environment Continued

Blog 13

Politics are messy, heck, we should have listened to George Washington when he said we should not allow parties in our system, but what are you going to do?! Unfortunately, we face varieties of issues dealing with the environment and coming up with a single plan will be messy, difficult and bloody. No one will get their way 100%, compromise is the game that must be played.

Different agencies have been working feverishly over past decade to help legislation get past here in the United States, even around the world. Take the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which checked out the consequences of change amongst ecosystems and watersheds upon human well-being. Working with experts, their findings proved scientifically we need to conserve our ecosystems, and its services they provide. Ecosystem services are benefits provide to us for free, mainly purification or water, air, soil, and helps to weed out dying species. Giving up something was the key because need to improve our ecosystems, restoring would be better actually. Enhancing our decisions planned will allow countries to obtain the pros and cons of a certain project, and whether its repercussions are worth the destruction.

There are four ways to evaluate our ecosystems and its good and services, ecologically, economically, socioculturally and intrinsically. All these values help us obtain information about our ecosystems and their goods and services. Ecological value is based on a system of natural sciences; ecosystems have value because they maintain diverse life here on earth. Providing material/immaterial important for sustaining life on our planet. Economical values quantify nature, because knowing how to treat nature will ease our pain when pricing it. We want to measure everything in monetary terms, therefore we measure all economic values of ecosystems monetarily. Thus, helping access the impact of each decision, economically. Then, socio-culture values combines the idea of anthropocentric values and non-anthropocentric values. We value ecosystems outside of the services they provide directly to us, they matter to our surroundings, religion, national and personal ethical values and spiritual values. Therefore, the decision of what to do with an ecosystem should be done in an open forum type deal. Finally, intrinsic value tries to show how we can place moral values upon non-humans, as well as non-living species. Everything deserves a chance especially species which cannot speak for themselves.

It is important to think this over, everyone has a different opinion on these types of situations and we are certainly not going to appeal to everyone’s ideal solution, but we can compromise. Different people view ecosystems differently, take the indians they worship animals, almost like deities. Differing cultures apply their beliefs to their ecosystems differently than others, so coming to a conclusion is cumbersome. Reevaluating our needs and wants will help us become more in sync of what too do, but before that our world will continue suffer.

Categories: Egoism, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Policy, Environmentalism, Ethical Egoism, Ethical Reasoning, ethics, human beings and the environment, Life, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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