Is your life more valuable than the life of one bee🐝? Is your life more valuable than the lives of all the bees? Your answer to this question will change based on what you value and how you value it. In environmental ethics, there are three main perspectives to the question of how we should value non-human life. The first is biocentrism which says that all life is valuable and shouldn’t be treated by humans as a means to an end. Biocentrism generally say bugs rule, and people suck if and when they mess with ants🐜. On the other hand, anthropocentrism says only humans are morally significant.
Basically, people rule, so tough luck, bugs. The third view is that value exists in the relationships between organisms, or between organisms and their nonliving context. This view it is called ecocentrism. In other words, snails🐌 rule, people👫 rule and we need to protect the relationship they share.
Understanding the three general branches of environmental ethics can help you make decisions about your diet, your appreciation of nature, your place in nature, and understand policies and decisions that directly affect you and/or nature. Interestingly enough, each of these branches leads you to care about climate change, so you should do your part!
Should You Save the Planet?
- Should You Save the Planet?
- 5 Human Impacts on the Enviroment
- Environmental Ethics
- Non-Human Animals: Crash Course Philosophy #42
Want to Know More?
Duties Regarding Nature: A Kantian Approach to Environmental EthicsTony Svoboda
Environmental EthicsStanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Three Approaches to Environmental EthicsApplied Ethics
What are Environmental Ethics and What’s Your Role in Saving Nature?Help Save Nature
Questions to Think About
What animals should we or should we not eat?
How do you compare the value of humans, animals, and ecosystems?
How should policies be written with regard to animals, people, and ecosystems?
Whose interests are more important — species we admire that are endangered like pandas, or species that are important to maintaining ecological balance within the local area like bats?
J. Baird Callicott
Holmes Rolston III
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- “human-centeredness” or the view that only humans have moral significance
- the view that living beings and living parts of nature are morally significant (plants, humans, animals)
- Deep ecology
- branch of environmentalism that is not just concerned with pollution and conserving the planet for people’s sake, but for the betterment of the earth and the environment itself
- view that all natural things on earth (including ecosystems, ‘non-living’ things such as bodies of water, rocks, mountains, etc.) are all equally inherently valuable and morally significant
- the view that beings who can experience pleasure and pain are morally significant, such as humans and non-human animals
- combines ecological and feminist concerns; ties together society’s treatment towards nature and how this is related to society’s treatment towards women