Ethical Theory on Environment - Paper Example

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1737 words
University of Richmond
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Ethics applies reasoning in deals with the principles of moral values and the well-specified standards, right and wrong prescribing human conduct regarding responsibility, rights, rules fairness and benefit to society. The ethical theory, therefore, is a philosophical supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained. Hence environmental ethics is the philosophical principles concerned with morality and clear standards of human character and conducts on the environment. In this exercise, my focusing is on Environmental Ethics where pronouncements of environmental hazards have been linked to anthropogenic factors. I have delved in various discussions after utilizing reference materials with the aim of drawing a valid conclusion on environmental ethics. It is, therefore, a submission of the analysis of the topic which calls for various ethical theories postulated by different scholars and philosophers to redress problems caused by careless consumption of natural resources while degrading the environment.

Assessment of Consequential or Non-Consequential of Utilitarianism Theory

This is a good general theory used to justify limits. It expounds on the equality whereby everyones interest is to be considered equally. The theory asserts that privilege is not accorded to a specific interest with a totality of policy consequences resting on a certain action. Utilitarianism theory advocates for maximum pleasure produced by actions and ideas with the aim of generating greatest happiness, it works under consequentialism principle (Valentine, 2016). Under this theory, the consequent actions of all persons are decided upon which practice best increase happiness by preventing action geared towards enhancing democracy- a social policy working for the good of all. Environmental ethics heavily relies on the utilitarianism theory. According to World Bank President Kim, sustainable development was to be realized if all the stakeholders and individuals collective bargaining power to conserve environment since it is to the interest of all humanity(Speech by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, n.d.). All human beings extract maximum happiness from the conserved and clean environment as it offers clean water, timbers for construction, purifies air among other importance of environment since it is a theory with of a full force of consequences.

Analysis of Contemporary Issue on Utilitarianism Theory

A major contemporary issue on this theory is the global appeal to conserving the environment. This is in line with the vision 2030 of attaining sustainable development through a combined effort. It calls for the world over to make a radical change in how the environment is used to establish a better environment which is beneficial to every human. The global revolution is triggered by the quest to make the environment a better place to be for the coming generation. Utilitarianism dictates that there is equality of all interested parties. Therefore, environmental hazards like a hurricane, earthquakes, mudflows, landslides, droughts climate change and wildfires caused by the reckless usage of the environment has been a major topic globally. To solve his, environmental ethics in conjunction with the utilitarianism theory will in a tremendous way offer solution (Valentine, 2016)


One of the most pragmatic and ethical ways of dealing with environmental problems is considering utilitarianism theory. The concept of anthropocentrism should be shunned and adoption of cost-benefit analysis, egocentrism or biocentrism, and environmental justice enhanced. If effectively applied, there will be minimal war and disagreement on the utilization of environmental resources as everyone in the universe will be able to maximally benefit from the environment without stretch on these vital resources. Human beings will never fall, victims of environmental mercies, as it happens in the recent times.

Assessment of Consequential or Non-Consequential of Egoism Theory

Whereas utilitarianism theory appeals for equality and happiness in its entirety, egoism theory is concerned with egocentrism and pursues ones own-self with the aim of having individuals well-being. The theory postulates that the individuality should take advantage of others and advocates for a person to be better off than and look out for themselves while leaving others alone. Consequently, this theory is based on the social contract principle where social rules result in an agreement among rational and self-interested individuals. Ethically speaking, and considering environmental ethics, egoism theory calls for a divergent idea about humanity. Contrary to being all inclusive in interest, egoism is a motivation primarily by egoistic or autistic concerns. In relation to environmental ethics, egoism proposes a situation where the product of environment is exploited to offer benefit to individuals and does not call for equity and equality on its operation (Jakobsen, 2013). For instance, the care of the environment is only left to few individuals who are positive about environment its resources for the future generation unlike the majority of the major contributors to environmental degradation and erosion (Miah, 2011). These nations are striving to exploit maximum resources from the environment for individual benefit without considering the future generations. This theory consequential since it leads to pollution and massive environmental problems

Analysis of Contemporary Issue on Egoism Theory

Analysis of contemporary issue concerned with the egoism theory is vast when considered concerning environmental conservation. While the Koppen Hagen meeting to resolve environmental threats is aimed at mitigating and scraping all anthropogenic factors that led to the subject environment to threats, several major contributors to environmental degradation and pollution are so rigid to help solve the problem as they are in the opinion of utilization of environmental resources without considering the future generation. For example, countries like India, China, USA are reluctant in enacting environmental laws that restrict the pollution, overutilization of natural resources and climate change remedies as spelled out in the environmental policy globally. The selfishness of these individuals is a typical description of psychological egoism as they are only interested in fulfilling their interest without being mindful to other future cohorts (Schug, 2000). Anthropocentrism is the proper focal point for such interested parties. More precisely, concerning behavioral control and willingness to sacrifice, egoistic individuals tend to perceive less control. Thus they believe in difficulties (Valentine,2016). Therefore, they attach no importance in doing much to address environmental issues.


Environmental ethics calls for mindful and proper utilization of available natural resources while enhancing the beauty of the environment through its conservation for the maximum benefit of all humankind. Egoism theory, therefore, is a protagonist theory as far as environmental ethics is concerned. It is therefore in the wisdom of the proper reasoning and shuns all the self-centeredness when it comes to matters environment. The efforts put forward by that personnel in enacting environmental laws and policies to be adopted by every individual should be a milestone and implemented. Egoism theory encourages those who are self-interested in reaping maximum benefit from the environment without being mindful of the coming generations.

Assessment of Consequential and Non-Consequential of Ethical Relativism Theory

Ethical relativism theory focuses on duty, right and adherence to rules and imperative motives. It strives to spell out the act of having the right intention and goodwill to make everything good to happen. Consequently, it seeks universal value to people coming from diverse religious and cultural background. Moreover, ethical relativism drums up morality to be relative to individuals view, the function of and dependent on what people believe in. Relativism is a Meta-ethical issue on how we understand things in the realm of ethics- better and worse choices are consciously made. It rests on a stratum that different cultures have different values which they conserve to overcome the difference- description relativism. It applies objective values to base criticism. Environmental ethics is tied ethical relativism in a way that values opinions practices and feelings are held by different people thus bares legitimate concerns diverse pluralism and personal freedom which is incompatible with universal norms there is the maintenance of tolerance and open-mindedness. The environmental ethics dictates that utilization of natural resources while conserving environment is mandatory thus disagreement with open-mindedness takes a central stage. Ethical relativism has a positive consequence on the environment if followed to the letter.

Analysis of Contemporary Issues on Ethical Relativity

Ethical relativity positively deals with contemporary issues of environmental ethics as such as if there is a disagreement on foe resistance failure to reach consensus amount environmental conservation, it happens with open-mindedness. A case in point is the recent environmental conservation has that impose hefty fines on the polluter country, though has been critically disputed but with open-mindedness. The disputation is done positively since different people, religions and culture hold a various opinion about ethical views. A good example is the USA which dispels the idea on climate change and global warming reduction based on skeptic ethical issues. Their values, feelings, and practices on environment different with hoe other communities view them. Ethical relativity is helpful in solving the current contemporary issues on environment as various religious and political leaders can agree on ways forward to solving environmental problems like the recent hurricane Harvey and Irma, earthquake which occurred in the Gulf of Mexican Coast (Valentine, 2016)


To enhance a proper understanding among communities, religion, race, and culture on matters environment, ethical relativity plays a pivotal role if the future cohorts should exist and reap maximum benefit from the environment. This is brought about by engagement of different stakeholders, persons of interest to save the environment. Although the wrath of nature has heavily fallen on humanity, there is an urgent and total involvement on ethical issues to address these problems lest we suffer a massive surge of environmental related deaths, famine destruction of ozone layer among other natural calamities.

Assessment of Consequential and Non-Consequential of Natural Law Theory

Natural law holds a principle that natural human rights are the same to all; moral laws are found in nature and are discernable by use of reason. There is the belief in the objectivity of moral law and notions of the good as a human flourish. Hence it determines what we ought to do by deciphering moral laws as written in nature. It concerns our ability to read nature with the desire to know the truth. This, therefore, takes broader scene on evaluations derived from factual matters to see what is essential to us hence its basic, higher than any other law and enhances the argument. Considering environmental ethics, the natural law theory has a higher contribution when it comes to reasoning about the environment (Mackenbach, 2007).For example, research on global energy shows that we could satisfy a large fraction of global energy demand over the next fifty years while limiting atmospheric concentrations of carbon IV oxide. Using only existing technologies Environmental ethics and natur...

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