Do you think anthropocentrism is an acceptable basis for an environmental ethic? Justify your view
Anthropocentrism assumes that human beings are the only bearers of intrinsic value and that all the other living things on earth exist to sustain the existence of humanity. Humanity with this in mind have destroyed the nature’s balance hence causing environmental degradation which might lead to the extinction of humanity itself if not controlled. Although the human race is the only thing perceived to think, the other living organisms have the same chance of existence without interference by human beings or destruction (Dalile, 2012). It is for this reason that this paper does not support Anthropocentrism as an acceptable basis for environmental ethics. Instead, the essay will provide support showing why anthropocentrism should not be used in environmental ethics.
The Anthropocentric ethics claims that although human beings have responsibilities towards the natural world, the responsibility is not direct (Burchett, 2016). The claim in my view is incorrect as anything human being does in the natural world directly affects the ecosystem. For example, the release of excessive greenhouse gases by humans through their every day to day activities has continued to destroy the ozone layer. However, if they plant more trees to act as carbon sinks, the depletion of the ozone layer would be slowed. The same can be seen when trees are cut down, they directly affect an ecosystem causing effects like soil erosion and desertification, however, if human beings do not cut down the trees the ecosystem would be maintained. The relationship between human beings and the environment is direct therefore any claims that humans are not directly responsible for the environment are false.
The ethical approach also justifies humanity’s exploration of nature which in many cases causes degradation of nonhuman components of nature (Dalile, 2012). Every element in the ecosystem plays an essential role in maintaining the balance; if one component dominates the environment, there is bound to be an imbalance causing the other components to suffer. The ethical approach gives more power to the humanity which as we see is causing environmental degradation that affects all the elements of the environment including the humankind responsible.
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