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

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By rking95
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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 believe that humanity is the centre of creation and therefore has greater importance over the environment so we should do to the environment what we wish, if it serves a purpose for us.

Christian views have often be accused of placing an emphasis on human domination of the world and therefore not taking an individual moral responsibility for the environment. This belief perhaps comes from the Bible itself where, in Genesis it says that humans are given "dominion over the fish…the birds…over all the earth" dominion, being defined as having sovereignty or control over everything means that if humans have dominion then God's creation is anthropocentric and therefore a human must do what he needs to do if it betters his quality of life, despite what future repercussions it may have. These anthropocentric ideas are reflected by Aristotle when he states "she (nature) has made all animals for the sake of man", because nothing that is made by nature is made purposeless or in vain. Peter Singer is critical of this Christian tradition as he says it places humans at the moral centre of creation while the environment appears insignificant. Singer…...

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