Such a statement is much too narrow and exclusive to account for the diverse interests of our global community. What it means to be an environmentalist then, as will discuss in more detail through the remainder f this essay, is to identify within those systems of values with which each of us relates the reasons for preserving, restoring and/or improving the non- human world. Over the course of this term we have surveyed several different approaches to environmental ethics. It can not be denied that each approach we discussed makes reasonable arguments based on concepts and values we can at least understand.
The tendency for us as thinkers is to try to choose one of these isms and align ourselves strictly to its tenets. I can’t help but wonder why we can’t agree that each of these perspectives offers livable insight into the values in the world, and all are worth consideration. Although many of these ideas seem contradictory, it is important that we see them PARADOX: A statement that reduces the matter at hand to complete obscurity while clarifying it -Gene Wolfe instead as paradoxical. Do not believe that it is necessary to discount other forms of value judgment in order to identify with any one of them.
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In an effort for diversity without sacrificing conciseness I will focus on strong anthropometrics, obscenities and social ecology. Each approach makes defensible arguments based on a set of values that we as thinkers can find Ruth in. Strong anthropometrics is the belief that all and only humans have moral standing or intrinsic value. This system of reasoning has been vilified throughout this course as the closed-minded position standing in opposition to environmentalist action. In reality, it is simply a way of defending a position, and does not necessarily form any particular position.
It is, however, perhaps the only orientation that can be used to argue against environmentalism. From an environmental perspective, strong anthropometrics simply dictates that human policy toward the environment must be in the best interest of humans. This is as easily extended to a policy of strict conservation or preservation as it is to resource exploitation, as each of these positions would be in some regard good for humans. From a strong anthropocentric view, one might “have no interest in preserving penguins for their own sake; penguins are important because people enjoy seeing them walk on rocks. (Clooney & Most, 335) The environmental position here is still that penguins are important. Strict adherence to strong anthropomorphism does not disqualify a person from classification as an environmentalist; in fact with very few exceptions, environmentalists still alee human needs and desires and moral concern above those of an individual non-human, which is the fundamental assertion of weak anthropomorphism. Obscenities offers a much expanded definition of moral standing and intrinsic value; extending these characteristics from humans to all and only individual living things.
This concept, in conjunction with the slightly less expanded section-centrism of Peter Singer and Tom Reagan and the further-expanded moral consideration of the biotic community inherent in centrism and deep ecology, more explicitly defines the moral obligations Of humans with regard to environmental policy. The concept of radical equality is perhaps the most contentious claim of obstructions; however it is neither necessary nor detrimental to the usefulness of obstetric reasoning to environmentalism.
All of these positions make definitive claims as to what ought or ought not be done, and though they rely on different reasoning, they agree on appropriate courses of action in most cases. Philosophically the differences here are, undoubtedly, significant and worthy of exploration and debate. In the context of modern environmentalism and public policy, forever, these fundamentally distinct philosophies work together toward common goals. From a social ecology viewpoint the causes of the modern environmental catastrophe, and therefore effective solutions, function within the social fabric of our global community.
Expressionism is similar in that both attempt to identify root causes and resultant injustices inherent in current policy. Both will agree that the way human beings deal with each other as social beings is crucial to addressing the ecological crisis. Again, however, a thorough understanding and appreciation of the social context f current policy does not exclude the morality-based positions of strong or weak anthropometrics, bio-, section-, CEO-centrism or deep ecology.
This viewpoint is more significant in aiding us as thinkers to identify and address the practical implications of public policy and to devise strategies for changing them; it does not make moral judgments about what ought or ought not to be done. An accurate understanding of these different perspectives then allows us to consider the question that naturally follows from defining what it means to be an environmentalist: which Of these several ethical stances revises the best orientation for modern environmentalism?
This question necessitates criteria for determining what “best” means. If the definition of environmentalism is the advocacy of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment, then the “best” orientation is the one that most effectively brings these ideals to fruition. If we take to be true that anthropometrics is the only rational foundation for anti- environmentalism, we can conclude that bringing environmental ideals to fruition through political means requires some amount of compromise with his anthropocentric anti-environmental reasoning.
Among the orientations suitable for effective environmental arguments, weak anthropometrics serves as the most reasonable grounds for deliberation with strong anthropocentric. To argue in favor of other orientations as a representative for the global population requires that we either feign ignorance to opposing viewpoints or dismiss all others as meaningless. Weak anthropometrics allows for some philosophical compromise while still being effective for enacting environmental change. That is to say, the best orientation to be used o effectively bring environmental ideals to fruition is weak anthropometrics.
The reasoning which determines this to be the most suitable is more based around an understanding of value pluralism and mathematics. Therefore the best ethical standpoint for the modern environmentalist is to identify and accept the complexities of the issue as it pertains to the rest of the world, to hold multiple ethical points of view as valuable with a mathematical understanding, and to practice weak anthropomorphism in political calls to action. The few months of this class have introduced to me many of the philosophical and ethical justifications that form the basis of environmentalist positions have been long familiar with.
While each new philosophical perspective we discussed contributed valuably to my knowledge and awareness, the mere fact that there exist so many ways of thinking that I had not given adequate credence to taught a different lesson. The point of the most significance for me and, I believe, for many of my classmates, is the power and importance of environmental literacy and critical thinking. Our class, by survey, is dramatically opposed to a large number of public policy decisions that have been made by our representatives.
First, this observation underscores the responsibility of each citizen to educate themselves about public policies, as well as the beliefs and opinions Of the representatives that we elect into decision-making positions. Second, this observation raises questions for me about the relative level of those decision-makers’ ignorance of or familiarity with the issues they are deciding. From the dramatic differences between their choices and those of the 70 students in our class it is clear that our representatives are either not fully informed or have motives distantly separated from what ought to be.