Deontological ethics is a philosophy of ethics that is mainly associated with a focus on the nature of an action. It is a term best describe hand in hand with consequentialism whereby the in the latter the outcomes of the action are focused more than the action itself. When analyzing the nature of actions in deontological ethics, the moral background of it is explored in terms of whether it is right or wrong. An important aspect of deontology is obligations as well as duties. Duties are usually bound by rules and thus makes deontological ethics have some form of accountability in the actions people are involved in. It is, therefore, necessary to acknowledge, that in deontological ethics, the situation is either good or it is bad based on the nature of the action that leads to it (Byrne, 1999).
Moral norm is very important to deontological ethics because it provides a point of reference from where choices and actions can incline either towards or against. Actions are considered right if their inclination is mainly towards the moral norm and it is considered wrong if its inclination is away from the norm. There is also another important term that deontological ethics is associated with. It is moral absolutism, and it refers to some of the actions that morally are always wrong whether the consequences are positive or negative. Deontological ethics is sometimes consistent with moral absolutism, but this is always a necessary aspect. Deontological ethics is a philosophical aspect that can greatly help in understanding some of the ethical aspects of society. It is an important standpoint that may help in the justification of some human actions (Byrne, 1999).
Famine is slowly looming as a factor of climate change and some countries are already seeing the adverse effects. The demands for aid in terms of food supplies is increasing at a high rate, and the supply is insufficient. Food requirement is very high, and the situation threatens to take with it many lives. Other negative factors of political instability and violence are adding to the situation and worsening. Famine has been caused by a wide variety of factors that include poor government policies, unbalanced population, and crop failure. However, changes in climatic patterns has become one of the most prominent factors that are worsening the conditions and increasing hunger at a very high rate. Climate change is expected to reduce crop yields in many countries of the world this will have an effect of increasing malnutrition. Some of the main aspects of climate change that influence agriculture include increased temperatures and changes in the patterns of precipitation (Lim, 2017).
For a long time, there has existed a relationship between climate change and anthropogenic activities. The relationship between the two aspects has mainly been attributed to the increase in greenhouse gases into the atmosphere that has caused changes in the earth’s albedo. Most of these greenhouse gases arise from the burning of fossil fuels for the need of energy generation. Fossil fuels have been the driving force of industrialization for many years. Industrialization has been a key aspect of development for many countries. The fight for economic development in the world of industrialization has led to high rates of utilization of fossil fuels, and all have been done at the cost of the environment, through pollution and high emission of greenhouse gases (Chakrabarty & Bass, 2013).
There exists a great dilemma between development and environment whereby industrial development has become a great aspect of growth but has been made at the cost of the environment. The needs for energy exploitation and utilizations are higher than ever before. Energy is power for industrialization. The nation with access to the highest amount of energy gives it power over the rest. Fossil fuels are one of the majorly used sources of energy because they cost less when it comes to exploitation and utilization as compared to other sources of energy however they release a great amount of pollution and greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. On the other hand, there is the need for environmental protection. This is associated with the need to develop sustainable ways of energy exploration and production. Then consequences of climate change are already in existence through the increase in famine in countries around the world. They reflect the actions of human activities associated with the need for economic development and industrialization. In the above explanation, deontological ethics can be explained by the human actions of greed and short-sightedness that have made it hard for the development of new and clean energy. The increased rates of climate change, in this case, is associated with the lack of consideration to duty and obligations on the side of the nations that have been associated with the use of fossil fuels for energy production. The actions of the whole world which have conformed to the culture of industrialization with the lack of consideration to environmental impacts have become the reasons for high rates of climate change whose effects can now be seen through increased famine is some countries (Mcdonald, 2001).
From the above description, it is clear of how anthropogenic activities have led to developments of negative environmental externalities associated with industrialization and greed for economic power. The actions of humans, in this case, can be assessed by their lack of accountability regarding meeting the direct costs of environmental degradation. People who are not directly linked to degradation are paying the consequence because of negative externalities of industrialization. In relation to deontological ethics, it is the duty and obligation of all humans to understand the negative implications that come with environmental degradation. People must open their eyes now and see what is happening. The world has been blinded by the benefits of industrialization is failing to see the other side of the coin which is the negative implications that it comes. With. A good example is the China’s rise to economic power which has left the air of its major cities unbreathable. The effects have become too much that the earth might not have the capacity to recover (Hale, 2011). It is, therefore, true to say that the need for industrialization through the use of fossil fuels as the main sources of energy have created a bad state in the world of today because it is developing mentalities that are leading to adverse environmental impacts. The actions of people in this sense are based on their inability to take accountability and accept the facts that have been presented whereby fossil fuels are poisoning the world and are causing increased rates of climate change which is what is increasing famine in some countries of the world. The theory of deontological ethics is, therefore, successful in explaining the case study by analyzing the actions of human beings in the world towards the increase in famine in the world (Hale, 2011).
Byrne, P. (1999). Deontological Moral Theory. The Philosophical and Theological Foundations of Ethics, 86-107. doi:10.1007/978-1-349-27476-5_5
Chakrabarty, S., & Bass, A. E. (2013). Comparing Virtue, Consequentialist, and Deontological Ethics-Based Corporate Social Responsibility: Mitigating Microfinance Risk in Institutional Voids. Journal of Business Ethics, 126(3), 487-512. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1963-0
Hale, B. (2011). Moral Considerability: Deontological, not Metaphysical. Ethics and the Environment, 16(2), 37-62. doi:10.2979/ethicsenviro.16.2.37
Lazar, S. (2017). Deontological Decision Theory and Agent-Centered Options. Ethics, 127(3), 579-609. doi:10.1086/690069
Lim, M. (2017). Kants deontological Ethics and Korsgaards neo-Kantian Constructivism. Korean Journal of Legal Philosophy, 20(1), 101-136. doi:10.22286/kjlp.2017.20.1.004
Mcdonald, H. (2001). Toward a Deontological Environmental Ethics. Environmental Ethics, 23(4), 411-430. doi:10.5840/enviroethics20012346
Schwickert, E., & Miller, S. C. (2005). Gender, Morality, and Ethics of Responsibility: Complementing Teleological and Deontological Ethics. Hypatia, 20(2), 164-187. doi:10.1353/hyp.2005.0089
Tännsjö, T. (2002). Understanding ethics: an introduction to moral theory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
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