Environmental Ethics Essay

Nowadays there are a lot of relevant ethical problems that occur as the result of the contradictions of the cultural development and environmental situation. That means that technological progress and historical achievements in the sphere of publicity can cause damage to nature and lead to the global environmental and ethical dilemmas. For instance, the right of women to control the birth and the usage of the pills that prevent pregnancy may contradict the rights of other living organisms, who can suffer from the polluted waters and specific chemicals that the pills consist. The possible solutions for this problem are too expensive to afford for the government. At the same time, the prohibition of the birth control pills is also a violation of human rights. Therefore, this controversial situation is an ethical dilemma, which has several solutions. I perceive the position of biocentric individualism to be helpful and moral in its consideration.

The gist of the analyzed case study consists in the contradiction between the human right to control birth with the help of the pills and their harmful impact on the environment and animals, who lose their reproduction capacity due to the specific chemical – EE2, a synthetic hormone. In particular, the organism of animals, which live in waters, reacts to EE2, which “demasculinizes” male animals and leads to the intersex condition that deals with the ability of animals to have posterity. The dilemma appears if to consider the possible solutions of the problem that are costly. The most efficient method to reduce the level of water pollution is charcoal-based filtering that requires much financial investment, which is problematic for the government to provide. Therefore, there are two options: to refuse from the birth control pills or to involve the large scale of social support that can find the necessary sum of money and control the process of water pollutions.


According to the description of the analyzed case study, there are several ethical problems that occur in this context. Firstly, the case raises the question of the moral permissibility for human beings to cause harm and worsen the life of other animals because of the expression of people’s superiority to control the natural processes, in particular, birth. Secondly, this case study deals with the problem of the definition of moral subjects. In other words, it raises a question whether animals have moral rights, which people have to preserve. If to consider human beings and animals to be equal the violation of the animal rights is morally impermissible. In addition to that, the case study appeals to the problem of necessity to sacrifice the right of human beings to control the natural processes so as to decrease the level of water pollution and for the sake of animal rights in general. Eventually, the problem of the equality of human and animal rights occurs in the context of the analyzed case study.

According to the position of the biocentric individualism, every representative of the animate nature is significant and worth. Therefore, people have to take care of all embodiments of life and accept their equal rights with individuals. That means that the followers of this ethical approach consider animals as moral subjects. Such idea contrasts the anthropocentric ethical approach, which presupposes that only human beings are the subjects of moral action. On the contrary, biocentrism as nonanthropocentric ethical position considers every animal to embody the supreme principle of life, which makes both humans and animals to be the representatives of the global community and moral interrelations. Due to the egalitarianism, individuals do not possess exclusive rights in comparison to animals. Therefore, according to the position of biocentric individualism it is ethically wrong to cause damage to nature, consider individual interests and needs to be supreme, and violate the moral rights of other subjects so as to reach personal goals.

It is possible to apply the principles of the biocentric individualism to the case study so as to find the most appropriate solution that can consider the moral rights and interests of both sides of the conflict. From the perspective of the biocentric individualism, it is wrong to violate the rights of both human beings and animals because of their egalitarian moral status. That means that it is wrong to consider it necessary to sacrifice the right of women to control the birth and at the same time to leave the situation of the water pollution with no attention. Due to the emphasis on the significance of every living creature by the representatives of this ethical approach, it is evident that the solution for the analyzed ethical dilemma has to be financially expensive for the society but at the same time tolerate to every ethical position that means that it does not have to contradict the rights of animals and individuals. On the contrary, it has to embody the value of life as the highest principle of biocentric individualism. Therefore, so as to solve the dilemma, it is necessary to involve the publicity in the process of gathering money so as to set the special filter systems that will not let the dangerous for animals chemicals appear in the waters of their habitation. Even though such solution is more costly for the society, it is the only morally right variant to choose.

In my opinion, this ethical position is an adequate perspective to analyze this case study because it emphasizes the equality of all living creatures. Such argument is relevant to the current ethical inquiry that underlies the necessity to widen the understanding of moral subjects and accept the rights of animals as equal to the rights of human beings. Moreover, it is plausible because the environment is the place, where people live, and it has to be appropriate for their life. Therefore, it is necessary to preserve the rights of nature.

One might object to my argument by arguing that it is not necessary to consider the welfare of the animals that are unconscious creatures and unequal to people. Therefore, they cannot be the subjects of the moral action because the rights of animals are the artificial notion that does not make sense. In this context, there is no ethical dilemma in the analyzed case study because it is evident that harm caused by people to the environment and animals is an organic consequence of the humans’ activity. The former is perceived to be supreme in relation to others due to the privileged status of the people on earth. However, this objection would not defeat my argument because I consider such perspective to be wrong due to the neglect of the capacity of all living creatures to experience suffering and pain and consideration of life to be the highest value with no regard to its embodiment. Therefore, the objection cannot be plausible due to its violation of the fundamental ethical principles and categories.

To sum up, the analyzed case study embodies the moral dilemma of the equality of the moral rights of people and animals and the necessity to sacrifice anything for the sake of others. The ethical approach of biocentric individualism can be efficient in the search for solution for the analyzed dilemma. From the perspective of this approach it is morally impermissible to violate the rights of both human beings and animals. The only ethical way out is to gather financial aid so as to set up water filters and decrease the pollution and preserve the rights of women to control birth. If to accept this solution, the highest values, and all moral rights would be preserved.

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