Anthropocentric Attitudes Essay

1802 words - 8 pages

Global environmental ethics have a huge impact on societal implications amongst the current world populations of today. Current ecological problems stem from a ethical based understanding of human connections to the environment in which we live. Currently it is believed that human activity is a major contributor to the current issue of environmental change (ex. global warming, environmental and habitat destruction) and we seek working antidotes for such issues within green technology, recycling and land use options. Many past cultures have based their entire cultural lifestyle and thought process (including religious ecological implications) on by-partisan living interactions with the ...view middle of the document...

However, there are changes a-foot in the human experience and relationship, referenced to the ecology. Massive amounts of pollution, air quality issues, natural forest land use and reduction, a growing food shortage, all play a vital role in the welfare of the Earths inhabitants (including the current human population). For some, the current world ecology represents man conquering nature, progress; a Christian God induced rule over nature. A single ruling morality in the eyes of many within today`s modern society. Where the actions of a single person can have grave implications for all.
The Eugene Hargrove article "Philosophical Attitudes" describes how current environmental thinking stems from the historic philosophical beliefs, by well know literary names such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. This current Anthropocentric view of ecology has its roots in ancient times, times seen with the awe of the natural world, but philosophers also mistakenly removed man from that natural order and placed him forefront; creating an anthropocentric ideal for generations of cultures to come (Hargrove 28). The 1967 Lynn White Article "The Historical Roots of our Ecologic Crisis" suggest budding Christianity played a role also, in developing the current ideal that man is separate from the environment and ecology (which are synonymous) of the planet. This religious viewpoint of anthropocentrism comes with a disadvantage today and may explain why so many people feel a disconnect from nature. A view reinforced by biblical stories of a Christian God`s intent for man to exploit the Earth for his purposes (according to many Christian followers). Many Christians however believe this religious dogma continues on without merit (Jenkins 287). Others contend that White, forced the Judeo Christian religion to take a second look their anthropocentric ideals and change their culture accordingly.
Modern philosophical and ethic writers on the environment, such as J. Baird Callicott, Bruce Hull and Hargrove (among others), compare modern cultural ethics and societies with that of other, perhaps more environmentally friendly peoples; seeking comparable solutions for our modern world, a end game change in human thought, emotion and compliance with the natural world, to which we are part . One better suited for our place in the ecology. They do so by contrasting cultural differences of the anthropocentric and ecological friendly centered peoples, such as Native Americans and far East societies. Callicott and Hargrove, (including many others), believe current ecological values and views can be managed by an educated re-introduction of these old world style ethic values as most disputes are differences in current values, ethics and basic beliefs between cultures. The basic premise is one of the human interaction with the natural world. Man has searched for a "natural balance" in his world, longing for a return to a previous natural state, not a human introduced state,...

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