Environmental Ethics Essay

4805 words - 20 pages

WHY WE NEED A NEW ETHIC FOR
THE ENVIRONMENT

We are enveloped and immersed in a world comprised of air, earth, waters, plants, animals and constructed artefacts. It is both animate and inanimate. The environment, then, may be loosely defined as that which constitutes and makes up our surroundings. As we occur in the world together with our surroundings, acting upon it and being acted upon, we form part of the environment. Located within this environment, humankind has grown and developed socially and economically to a point that if present trends continue the earth’s natural systems will be impoverished within less than a century (Pierce & Van De Veer 1995: 37). This situation can be ...view middle of the document...

A popular option is to turn to science, which helps provide adequate material needs for everyone and also extends the richness of our non-material lives. Playing such a socially prominent and important role, science constitutes a major element of the "cultural filter" through which Western society views the environment (Pepper 1996: 240). Classical science, which is still very dominant, has developed into a dualist paradigm in which the scientific observer is separate and distinct from his or her observations. This has contributed to a conception of the world consisting of independent material objects, each having independent properties, with the behaviour of the whole explainable by the behaviour of its constituent parts. Nature is viewed as separate from humanity, machine-like and reducible to basic components, which can be known objectively and predicted. This science represents the source of absolute truths on which to base decisions and is often regarded as the most respectable way to know nature.
The dimensions of environmental issues are seldom, if ever, restricted to the specific parameters of any one scientific discipline (Des Jardins 1997:5). Moreover, most major issues facing humanity stretch beyond being mere scientific problems, involving as they do, society, politics, law, economics, etc. Covering such a broad spectrum, it is evident that science, widely distinguished by the compartmentalisation of knowledge, cannot deliver comprehensive solutions to global issues (McMichael 1993: 326). The task of assessing the impacts of ecological imbalances and disruptions on human and other life forms entails significantly more than the classical scientific paradigm of hypothesis formation, data collection and data analysis. Leaving environmental problems in the hands of science would, therefore, effectively result in a narrow understanding of the problem at hand, and by correlation a limited and short-sighted solution. Furthermore, classical science asserts that "scientific knowledge equals power over nature" (Pepper 1996: 240), and that the manipulation of nature can be used for social progress. This has resulted in science being used in many modern developments, of which some exert a negative impact on the environment (e.g. inorganic fertilisers, pesticides, industrial processes, nuclear energy, and nuclear threat, to name but a few). In this light, science should not be viewed as the ultimate source of hope for the future, and clearly should not be given full responsibility for addressing the environmental crisis.
Fortunately paradigm shifts are occurring within the field. Classical understandings of the world consisting of "independent particles" are being reassessed and replaced by a more holistic and ecologically informed understanding that all things are inseparable from the greater whole that is the universe (Pepper 1996:247). In this sense current science can be useful in developing a more encompassing understanding of the...

Other Papers Like Environmental Ethics

Business and Society Essay

911 words - 4 pages been completed this unit you will be able to: * Understand the concept of ethics, business ethics, the international business ethics and ethics of an economic system as well as its importance. * Recognize different opinions regarding business ethics. * Understand the concept of social responsibility and environmental responsibility of business ethics. * Recognize the role of business in environmental pollution. * Describe the

Ethical and Moral Issues in Business

639 words - 3 pages customer treatment, hiring practices, working conditions, deceptive advertising, and environmental issues. Take, for example, environmental issues. The world runs on oil, and as depicted in the recent gulf oil spill, how a company handles environmental disasters says a great deal about them and their ethics. Several issues were involved with the disaster that could have been avoided had the company addressed these issues instead of looking at

Business Ethics

864 words - 4 pages eliminating the underlying causes of environmental and social problems is permeated throughout the organizational culture. According to Gnazzo (2003), “Recent ethics scandals in corporate America have left many executives wondering how a handful of their management peers could go so wrong in their business practices.” A recent editorial by the SmartPros Editorial Staff (2003) noted the following. More than 80 ethics, human resources and legal

Evolution. of Business Ethics

1612 words - 7 pages along and created a plan known as The Fair Deal, which addressed civil rights and ethical issues regarding environmental accountability (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2013. Even before then ethical issues were only talked about within the realm of philosophers and theologians in churches and other institutions. In addition, concerns with business ethics and social issues continues to emerge. There were numerous issues that occurred over a period

The Relationship Between Religious Values And Ethical Values

1194 words - 5 pages task of examining the moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct; and "applied ethics" examines controversies such as abortion, infanticide, animal abuse, environmental concerns, homosexuality and capital punishment. To behave ethically is to behave in a manner consistent with what is right or moral. Ethics is simply the principles used by people that control their conduct. Religion is a system of thoughts, feelings, and approach that

Business Ethics Across Cultures Article Review

1526 words - 7 pages situations and bribery in international business. It does not appear that many corporations in Australia are looking at ethics as a something that needs to be strategically managed and monitored. Australian executives have many major ethical issues facing them such as employment conflicts of interest, environmental issues, work place safety and employee privacy. With the globalization of business quickly appearing in Australia other ethical

Bioethics: Modern Science And Ethics

2352 words - 10 pages environmental ethics. Although each sub-discipline has particular study area in bioethics, there still are overlaps of ethical considerations and approaches. This makes it difficult to easily discuss ethics questions such as stem cell research, xenotransplantation, the ethical status of animals and the ethical status of the environment. Further discussion about the vital issue of moral status solutions is necessary at the same time. In the rapid

Ethics

566 words - 3 pages to hide the company's deteriorating finances, revenue from long-term contracts being recorded in the first year... Ethics and Social Responsibility “The concept of social responsibility proposes that a private corporation has responsibilities to society that extend beyond making a profit.” (Wheelen & Hunger, 2010 p.72) Social responsibility considers the customers, employees, shareholders, communities, interests and social- environmental

Professional Values and Ethics Paper

1153 words - 5 pages how we measure good and bad, and right and wrong, which are laced into our everyday lives; professional, academic, environmental, and personal, which are culturally diverse. How we use, and when we choose to listen to our conscience that little voice in our head, which is fueled by our values and ethics, is ones own personal choice. We find there are many sources of professional values and ethics: individual personality, integrity, in many forms

Identify the Brain Areas Implicated in Learning That Finally Culminate in Perception, Memory, and Language

1088 words - 5 pages Eric Davis Soc 120 Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility Joe Niehaus October 3, 2010 Environmental Ethical Issues History According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2008) environmental ethics began to come to the surface in 1970s. The environmentalists started urging philosophers who were involved with environmental groups to do something about environmental ethics. Most academic activity in the 1970s

Xmgt 216 Week 8 Assignment

1655 words - 7 pages Partnership with the progress he had seen since his last visit in 2006. Rothlin discussed six categories including; consumer rights, anti-corruption activity, environmental sustainability, community contribution, and criteria for ethical companies. In each of the six categories he discussed both improvements seen and recommended areas that needed attention for improvement (Business Ethics in the Chinese Context , 2008). China’s worker rights and

Related Essays

Environmental Ethics Essay

2051 words - 9 pages Environmental Ethics In today’s global environment, environmental ethics have become a required practice for everyone around the world. Creating effective strategies for protecting the environment often brings ethical issues to the forefront. When people are confronted with the issues of how to get rid of hazardous waste, air or water pollution, ethics play a major role in the decision when there is an absence of laws to manage the issue

Environmental Ethics Essay

2272 words - 10 pages In this class, Environmental Ethics, we have looked at a number of issues affecting the environment which are caused by humanity in its relations with the planet and other life on it. We have conducted discussions and utilized readings which were assigned to us on various topics regarding the environment. Our main focus has revolved around the topic of climate change; the causes and possible solutions. However, we have discussed fewer

Environmental Ethics Table.Doc Essay

600 words - 3 pages |NATURAL LAW |VIRTUE ETHICS |KANTIAN ETHICS |ACT / RULE UTILITARIANISM |MODERN UTILITARIANISM | | | | | | | |Traditional NL = anthropo

Critically Assess A Utilitarian Response To Environmental Ethics

957 words - 4 pages Critically assess a utilitarian response to environmental ethics. Utilitarianism is teleological, concerned with the end or purpose of actions. It is also consequentialist, judging actions right or wrong according to their outcome. Many scientists, politicians and philosophers have expressed concern that the world is facing an environmental catastrophe. If this is to be believed, an ethical theory that focuses on the results of our actions