Environmental Ethics : Learning, Questioning And Correcting Old And New Paths

2991 words - 12 pages

IntroductionOne of the first lectures of this year described the complex idea of environmental ethics in a very simple way, by demonstrating how life was before environmental ethics it was clear to deduce that environmental ethics indeed does "involve the development of a new set of values in a world which is deeply anthropocentric. " Human practices have evolved, however, not in a very egalitarian manor over time. Values have relied heavily on human practice and institutions, only those isolated from dominant values have escaped being influenced or becoming completely eradicated by colonialization, imperialism and now neo-liberism. It is impossible for me to separate thought from historical accounts, or political and cultural perspectives. The way humans conceptualize and perceive the world; what and how we value indeed have evolved with time. Culture and religion have served as landmarks which pin point fundamental tactics used by humans for survival. Because culture and religion are intimately interconnected, it is impossible to follow human history without mentioning the effects of industrialization and the influence of technology as part of new strategies for human survival and wellbeing. There is no doubt that dominant ideas and actd such as animal eating, have been influenced by the institutionalization of ideas and ways of perceiving the world; namely capitalism and the institutionalization of patriarchy. From Christianity, to Deep Ecology and towards Eco-feminism, we see evidence that the world is seeking alternative ways to deal with ethical practices that have proven inefficient, undemocratic, and violent.Defining terms in order to understand the proper pathA new environmental ethic is necessary, yet we must proceed with caution so as to not repeat the same errors as past theories and ethical practices that have resulted in oppressing both nature and women. According some, environmental ethics is in fact in its infancy and a new set of values must take into consideration the current world which is anthropocentric in nature. Therefore, in order to address the creation and implementation of new values it is necessary to review the established values. Many have argued that ethical argument should read as creative, inclusive, and most importantly must reflect a new way of perceiving the earth and land. Perhaps what is most necessary is to review current or mainstream values in order to then proceed to adjust human actions and thought to remedy any infractions. Going back to the basic values will allow us to break down the basic founding principles of the current dominant dogma that has lead civilization astray. It is necessary therefore to understand basic meanings for terms and values such as good and evil, both are qualities attributed to objects, actions, and ideas. Generally, what is good is thought to be beneficial and what is evil is thought to be harmful , but defining good and evil remains a central question of ethics, one that has...

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