Importance Of Species Conservation

1685 WordsJan 7, 20187 Pages
The plight of endangered species is a tragically important issue in the public eye, with both governmental agencies and prominent non-governmental organizations like the World Wildlife Fund aiming to preserve endangered species from extinction. In this essay, I analyze the moral significance of species conservation, focusing on the intrinsic value of the existence of endangered species as described by Holmes Rolston. I conclude that the existence of endangered species is not intrinsically important, though in some cases conservation may be instrumentally important to individual animals or humans. I will also discuss the positive and negative effects of species conservation on humans and individual animals. In his essay Respect for Life:…show more content…
This is not a sufficient response because Rolston’s discussion of information’s importance does not rely on it not having a physical form. However, Rolston is still wrong about the significance of information. Though he claims that the “genetic information separates rivers (and guided missiles) from organisms,” the nature of this separation is unclear. A guided missile also contains information in its programming, and this information controls the missile’s actions and enables it to achieve its goal just as genetic information does for a plant or animal. The main difference is that an organism’s information is written in DNA molecules, while the missile’s is written in electronics, which hardly seems a morally significant distinction. And even if there were some relevant difference in the content of the information, most people, including Rolston, would probably not be consoled if a species were to go extinct in exchange for the information in its genome to be saved on a computer. Raw information is not important in itself; it is only important insofar as it benefits life, the value of which exists for other reasons. Rolston believes that organisms value survival, even if they are not sentient or conscious, because they seek it through their actions, and the process of natural selection values it. According to him, Singer’s guided missile does not value its goal in the same way, because the goals it “values” come from its human creators, not from
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