Utilitarianism ethics is the not the best approach to environmental ethics discuss

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�Utilitarianism ethics is the not the best approach to environmental ethics� discuss (35)

Environmental ethics covers a number of areas, it includes preservation of endangered species, conserving natural habitats, the effects of deforestation and the effects of pollution and is concerned with human attitudes towards and our impact upon the biological world. It considers whether it enhances or diminishes the well-being and diversity of other life on earth. Overall there are three key approaches linked to environmental ethics; deep ecology which is an approach concerned with the intrinsic value of the natural world it sees all life form of value and believes human life is just one part of the biosphere but instead all life has intrinsic value, eco-holism which places the emphasis not on individual human rights but it lends intrinsic value and inherent worth to species or eco-systems or the environment as a whole entity, as it sees it as intrinsically valuable therefore valuable in itself and shallow ecology which is an approach that states the environment is a means to human survival therefore it needs to be conserved in order for humans to flourish, animals are seen as having only instrumental value as their value lies in the usefulness they are to humans.

When discussing utilitarianism as an approach in terms of environmental ethics, we must consider the strengths and weaknesses not only of the general theory, but specifically to the three different types as utilitarianism is not a single theory but a group of theories, by focussing on this we are able to make conclusions about whether it is or is not the best approach to environment ethics, and if it is not what approach is more appropriate. As a form of normative ethics utilitarianism is all about how people make moral decisions, it is therefore based on the consequences of a person�s actions which makes it a consequentialist theory as it judges an action on whether it is right or wrong according to their outcome therefore it is relative in its application as nothing in itself is right or wrong, instead when evaluating the environment they would look towards the end results not necessarily the initial action however this can provide a disadvantage as we cannot predict the consequences of our action therefore we cannot evaluate whether an action is right or wrong based on just the end result. Therefore as a consequentialitst theory it may show why it is not the best approach because when making moral decisions about actions concerning the environment, we must look not only forward but also backwards. Overall utilitarianism is concerned with the end or purpose of actions making it a teleological theory.  

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The most traditional form of utilitarianism was derived by Bentham, who as a headiest stated that happiness consisted of pleasure minus pain, for Bentham he would weigh up the benefits of the proposed actions against the effects and would apply the principle of the maximisation of the greatest pleasure for the greatest number. Therefore believed that quantity was greater than quality and an action was greater it is benefited the majority rather than the minority, and proposed an idea of conservation ethics as he proposed the value of something depends upon the pleasure or usefulness it provides ...

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