Environmental Ethics

Categories: Environmental Ethics

Anthropocentric is a human based point of view about ethical standing and they value nature and its resources by advocating for its preservation because it enhances their spirit. Non-anthropocentric refers to the framings about ecocentrism and biocentrism among other outlines. Both anthropocentric and no-anthropocentric have been criticized if they offer proper means for protecting the environments (Keller, 2011). A specific argument of anthropocentric argument must be paid attention to, like the indirect arguments like policies which benefit the environment, however they justify policies that are beneficial to humans like new jobs.

The human beneficial effect policies are not caused by environmental benefits argued by anthropocentric arguments.


Environmental ethic researches the ethical connection of human beings, their value, and ethical status of the environments and the non-human contents in it. Anthropocentrism challenges the environmental ethics which is entrenched in western traditional moral thinking. The intrinsic and instrumental value distinction is of importance to environmental ethics. This values protect the environment from damage by various activities (Keller, 2011).

It identifies the instrumental value of various plants because they provide various ingredients to human observers especially of medicine. Plants also have intrinsic value to humans especially furthering human health and aesthetic experience. Western traditional moral perspectives are anthropocentric and human centered and the only assign intrinsic value to humans only.

Environmental Destruction

The anthropocentric perspective favors humans more than the non-humans contents in the environment. Therefore, they assign greater intrinsic value to humans like protection and promotion of their interests and their well-being at the expense of the non-human contents.

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The non-humans content value is just instrumental and it is very problematic for anthropocentric positions to decide what is wrong with how the non-human contents are treated with cruelty (Keller, 2011). This is because such treatments can lead to severe consequences experienced by human beings. Anthropocentrism identifies several injustices like the non-intrinsic ones which are human caused like environmental destruction. Environmental destruction can harm human’s security in the present and future, this is because human security is only dependent on the maintainable environment.

Ethical Dominance

Environmental ethics poses a task to anthropocentrism it questions human ethical dominance to other species on planet. It examined the arguments used when assigning intrinsic value to natural environment as well as the non-human contents in the environment (Keller, 2011). Environmental ethics provides ethical ground for development of social values which are aimed at environmental protection and how environmental degradation can be improved.

Non-anthropocentricism criticizes the anthropocentricism as it favors humans over the non-human contents in the environment. On-anthropocentricism considers this to be an irrational bias. Its ethics guarantees that strategies should not favor humans over the non-human contents, this is because the reasonable ideologies are not recognized. Non-anthropocentricism ethical concerns ae different from those of anthropocentricism (Killer, 2011). Anthropocentricism ethical concerns are individualistic and they only favor humans over the non-human contents on the planet. Non-anthropocentricism disputes the traditional and therefore it has limited moral significance to human beings.

Ecological Difficulties 

Non-anthropocentricism discusses the intrinsic pus inherent values. It maintains that the non-human contents have only been judged primarily based on their instrumental importance to humans. In addition hey hold the anthropocentric focus on the traditional moral outline which justify nonhuman exploitation. Non-anthropocentricism can be blamed for allowing ecological difficulties that have been created by human societies. It argues that if the non-human contents in the planet were accorded the same intrinsic value as humans, the ecological destructions on the planet would not be justifiable (Hiller et.al, 2013). It claims that the intrinsic value accorded to humans has resulted to many harmful effects encountered on the planet and the irresponsible ecological exploitation can be dealt with by implementation of non-anthropocentricism ethics. Non-anthropocentricism ethics need to save nature for the sake of humanity, there is a possibility to develop justifiable policies that are strictly centered to protect the ecology against human activities.

Non-anthropocentric ethics allows ethical standing to the non-human contents. It requires revision and extension of ethical standards. Anthropocentricism has errors as its approaches are only based on individual’s views. However, the non-anthropocentric views are also inadequate as most of them are based on anthropocentricism views. Both are environmental ethic concerning the environment but they have different views about the position of human beings and the non-human contents on the planet (Hiller et.al, 2013). Both approaches are looking for ways to resolve the relation between human beings and the environment to the increased issue of environmental degradation.

The mere extensionalism of anthropocentric ethic is that human beings should constrain their actions towards the environment and all ethical matters should be reflected to them. It is a moral outline which grants that human beings are substantial in their own rights. The extension is that the ethical standing must be extended to non-human contents so as to prevent environmental degradation. It must be extended beyond humanity and accorded other natural contents such as rivers, animals and other living organism species in the environment (Hiller et.al, 2013). It is important to determine ethical obligations which should be accorded to the environment in order to protect its contents. Humans should respect the non-human contents because they have the obligation to. The anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric reasoning provides different accounts about the obligations which humans should understand and follow them.

Environmental Issues

Environmental ethics has different accounts about the ethical understanding of different environmental issues between humans and the non-human contents. The accounts include humans, animals, living organisms and holistic objects. Most environmental concerns affect human beings this is because they are accorded superiority over nature. They exploit environmental resources without considering the environmental effects which might affect the in present and future due to exploitation (Hiller et.al, 2013). The anthropocentric ethics have played a major role in extension of the ethical standing despite their centeredness. This extension has been made towards humans who do not exist but not the non-human contents in the world. The extension has accorded ethical standing to future generations due to environmental concerns like climate change and depletion of resources. This concerns will have severe effects to humans in the future more than the problems experienced in the present. The policies that we take concerning environmental degradation will have effect to future generations.

Anthropocentricism have different ethical concerns about animals and other living organism’s ethical standings. Humans destroy various animals and living organisms due to their superiority and their behaviors are not criticized because Anthropocentricism ethics is human centered. Several philosophers give their opinions about this ethical standing, animals and other living organisms exist in natural environment and therefore their welfare is a relevant concern to environmental principles. Nevertheless, extending ethical standup to animals and other living organisms creates particular types of environmental responsibility (Hiller et.al, 2013). When establishing environmental policies when should consider animal rights as well as humans. An example is clearing a forest to benefits humans both short-term and long-term, while violating the ethics of animals who live there.

Holistic entities entail developing ethical standings that will ensure that resources and other environmental objects are not treated as mere objects. Human involvements towards environmental ethics have been violent and destructive to non-human objects and resources. Different philosophers have various views about the issues concerning environmental morals. Humans have been given superiority in the policies which different institutions have been developing concerning the environments and its resources (Killer, 2011). Human’s activities have been destructive and violent toward the land and its resources. Ethical standings should be extended to cover holistic units and how humans should establish moral responsibilities regarding our environment. Humans should sacrifice their superiority for the sake of preserving the environment. Extension of ethical standing to holistic units necessitates cautious argumentation when determining the exact policies that will protect our environment.

Anthropocentric ethics mere extensionalism has several advantages according to Holmes Rolston readings. Humans have the duty to protect the environment by avoiding unnecessary harm to the environment and its living organisms. Ethical standings regarding nature require human beings to perfect them by protecting vegetation and living organisms. Ethical perfection requires the recognition of the traditional virtues which protect the environment from violent and destructive human activities (Hiller et.al, 2013). Developing better policies which protect the environments increases ethical perfection, because generosity nurtures qualities and it fulfills the duty of humans to upsurge their ethical perfection. The extension of anthropocentric ethics provides a basis for humans to understand what it means to hurt as well as advantage non-human organisms. Natural goods establish the duties regarding non-human organisms since they have them, human beings can easily hurt or benefit them by hindering or defending their achievement. Environmental ethics provides an outline which human beings can use to think their ethical obligations.

The extension to anthropocentric ethics has several disadvantages which include; there are various issues affecting human morality on developing influence towards environmental conservation. There are various effects causing ethical and social conflicts due to modern culture which has great impacts to the environment. The old ethical concerns are being replaced by new norms and values due to new technological culture. The new technological culture has degraded human’s ethics and values as now they participate in activities which increase environmental destruction (Hiller et.al, 2013). Huma activities like mining, deforestation and wildlife hunting has caused pollution and other harmful effects to the environment. Human activities have contributed to climate change due to policies created by human beings. Non-human objects have been affected by the anthropocentric ethics extension which have continued to give humans ethical superiority over other things.

Anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric environmental morals have different views about humans and non-humans ethics. Both ethics recognize that humans have traits that are distinctive and other species do not have them. Both ethics agree that the differences between humans and other species do not provide grounds for humans to think that they are superior (Hiller et.al, 2013). Both humans and non-humans have distinctive traits that are unique to each species and therefore environmental concerns should consider all species when conserving it. The environment ethics arguments laid by anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric morals will lead humans to accept same principles regarding our environments. Human preference is required regarding all species to be considered as equal, additionally, treating all humans as equals requires self-preference.

Normal Moral Principles

Non-anthropocentric morals gives ethical standing to non-human objects and it needs extension as well as revision of the normal moral principles. However, anthropocentric ethics grants human beings ethical standing that they are superior to other non-human objects. The two environmental ethics differ in many ways, anthropocentric ethics argue that humans have the responsibility concerning our environment and their concerns are inadequate. Both environmental ethics are inadequate in the way which they address environmental issues. The ethical standing given to humans and non-humans need to be revised to ensure that the interests of both are considered when creating environmental policies (Hiller et.al, 2013). Non-anthropocentric morals demand that non-human environmental objects should be preserved, and put into consideration to ensure that the policies created by human beings do not destroy them. Anthropocentric morals give humans power to destroy the environmental through various activities without considering the effects they have to the non-human objects on the environment.

The extensionalism of the non-anthropocentric framework entails revision of the ethical standards concerning the non-human environmental objects. There are various problems as its views are based on a particular reductionist or technical worldview. Both new and extension of non-anthropocentric framework considers what has value and have divergent views concerning environmental morals. Both frameworks are aimed at protecting both human and the non-human objects in the environment. Extension of the non-anthropocentric framework is aimed at providing ethical standards that will prevent their exploitation by human beings (Hiller et.al, 2013). Creating a completely new non-anthropocentric framework will ensure that human and non-human ethical standings are considered and they are not based on single worldview but through serious consultations with philosophers and other concerned parties. There is increase in environmental degradation due to human activities due to their superiority.

Most of the non-anthropocentric ethics outline are based on the anthropocentric framework. Creating new non-anthropocentric framework will cover different issues that have not yet been addressed by the extension of the non-anthropocentric framework. Moral standings concerning non-human objects should be revised to ensure that they are not exploited by human beings. The continued exploitation of environmental resources might cause severe problems to humans both in the present and future.


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Environmental Ethics. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from http://envrexperts.com/free-essays/essay-about-environmental-ethics

Environmental Ethics
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