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To what extent do we have an individual moral responsibility to the environment

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´╗┐To what extent do we have an individual moral responsibility to the environment Environmental ethics focuses on the responsibility humans have on the world and whether they have to value it or not. Many believe that we have a moral responsibility towards the environment because we have to preserve and protect it. However, other take an anthropocentric view, as they belie e that humanity is central and has greater importance over the environment. Early Christian views show that humans have no responsibility towards the environment as humans are given a dominion over it. This means that God has given humans authority over the earth, animals and plants. This is shown within the Bible as human have a special relationship with God and they are made to look like him. In Genesis 1:28, it is said ?let them have dominion over the fish of the dear and the birds of the air and over the live-stock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.? This shows that humans have dominion over all creatures on the earth and have no responsibility towards them. ...read more.


In Matthew 25:14, the parable of the talents suggests that we will be judged for the amount of responsibility that we give to the environment, which means that we are morally responsible for it. Therefore, this shows that we do have an individual moral responsibility over the environment because God has lent us the earth so we can care for it. This means that we are responsible for it because God wants us to care for and protect his creation. Shallow ecology is a theory that believes that the environment?s importance is related to its usefulness for humanity. Therefore, you should only help the environment when it benefits humans. This means that preserving and protecting the environment is treating it as an means to an end because doing it benefits the well being of humans. This theory believes animals and plants only have instrumental value, as their own value is benefitting humans. Therefore, this approach is anthropocentric because it is centred around humans and believe that we have intrinsic value, meaning that humans hare valuable in themselves, La Bossiere believes that an anthropocentric view can be justified as part of the natural order of evolution. ...read more.


Thus, to avoid any environmental crisis, humans should reduce the population, abandon any goals for economic growth, preserve species, live in small communities and ?touch the earth lightly?. Lovelock developed the Gaia hypothesis to suggest that the planet is a self-regulating biological organism. He believed that the planet regulated itself in favour of life and has a sense of intelligence that enables life to survive in some form. This shows that if we harm the environment, then there will be consequences that affect our survival as the earth, which he calls Gaia, doesn?t owe us anything and we owe her our very existence. Therefore, deep ecologists believe that we do have a moral responsibility to the environment because every living thing has intrinsic value e.g. animals, plants and human, so we are morally obliged to preserve and protect the environment from harm for its own sake. In conclusion, we do have a moral responsibility over the environment because every living thing has intrinsic value, which includes humans animals and plants and if we damage the earth in some way, there will be consequences for our actions as it may affect our own survival. ...read more.

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