To What Extent Is It True to Claim That People Have an Individual Sense of Moral Responsibility for Environment? (35 Marks)

1527 Words Feb 26th, 2014 7 Pages
To what extent is it true to claim that people have an individual sense of moral responsibility for environment? (35 marks)

When looking at environmental ethics, we are focusing on our attitudes towards the impact on the biological and geological aspects of our planet and whether human actions maintains or disturbs the balance between the planet's different life forms and geological systems. This essay will include exploring theories and deciding whether we have an individual moral responsibility towards the environment. Many people believe that as humans, we do have a moral responsibility towards the environment and we must preserve and protect it for the future generations. However, others take an anthropocentric view and they
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Aldo Leopold's book Sound County Almanac inspired a new approach to the environment and an interest in ecology as a science, the book calls for a new approach to the environment. In it he writes "a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the bionic community, it is wrong when it tends otherwise" this means that when the earth becomes a thing which is manipulated to the advantage of humans then it is wrong. Aarne Naess wrote the book The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement where he states that there are two ecology movements, the first being concerned with pollution, the depletion of natural resources, and usefulness of Earth for Humans and the second concerned with the richness, diversity and intrinsic value of all the natural world - this being deep ecology. This movement maintains that animals and aspects of the natural world have rights. Everything is seen as an integral part of a complex system which needs to be respected. We have a personal, moral responsibility to preserve it. Naess rejected the idea that humans are more important because they have a soul, the use of reason or a consciousness, he said that humans are simply a part of nature and all species have a right to exist for their own sake. He opposes the view of stewardship and sees it as arrogant and dependent on the idea of superiority, which underlies the thought that humans exist to watch