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19 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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julian simon
about resources possibly being infinite
lecture 9 on obligations to future generations
simon's reasoning and limitations
1) when an existing resource runs out you look for more resources
2) scarcity also leads you to research new resources... most are cheaper today
3) we want the services, not the resources themselves
4) known limits keep expanding
... so they aren't finite
a) can't limit this to all resources
b) no account of wastes, only sources
c) finite vs. fixed
d) particular resources are finite, though subs may not be
e) still must be conscious
martin golding
(and his 2 important puzzles)
we do not have obligations to future generations
-we don't know their conditions of life
-perhaps obligated not to plan for them
1) who has claims on us?
-those who are part of our moral community
2) who is part of our moral community?
- share our social ideal
Gregory Kavaka
we do have obligations to the future generations
1) friends vs strangers: rich need to aide strangers in need?
2) futurity problem: similar needs in the future? worth equal consideration of present strangers?
1) temporal location of future people
2) ignorance of them
3) contingency of their existence
Kavaka's 3 points
temporal location: does time location of a desire make a difference?

ignorance of future people: they're going to need the same basic things

contingency: may not come to exist at all, and depends on the present people
do we have reason to care if the human species survives (according to kavaka?)
1) human life is valuable and is generally good to possess it
a) human life has pleasures
b) certain experiences and relationships are valuable in themselves
c) we can set and achieve goals and exercise complexity
2) is the price of a high consuming life worth the life of a long moderate one?
aid from generation to generation by kavaka
leave future generations with as much as was given to the former generation
high standard? no b/c some resources are renewable and knowledge always grows
addresses biodiversity
we should preserve it for 3 reasons:
1) economic purposes (inc. drugs and food)
2) environmental services (eg. bees pollinating)
3) genetic information
individual animals have aesthetic value forming our obligation to them
we can't save every subspecies, must act on a case by case basis
- uniqueness / scientific interest
- indicator value: focus attention on one, therefore saving many others
*golden rule
Russow's reasons/rejections for why species matter
1) we have been assigned the rule of steward/caretaker
2) some extrinsic value to us
3) intrinsic value makes worth preserving
1) stewardship doesn't help us decide what deserves preserving
2) problems w/ extrinsic value: we can always calculate some other subspecies value to us, sometimes replacement makes the system not work, and extinction is part of evolution
3) probs w/ intrinsic value: hard to protect so many subspecies, hard to weigh intrinsic value against economic hardship
problems with Russow's argument
1) looksist: why is it okay to base what we preserve on looks?
2) speciesism: we're saying that the aesthetic value of a species is grounds for special treatment
overpopulation and overconsumption
carrying capacity = #ppl the earth can sustain & function of our values (how we want to live / use earth)
*nearly half the people who ever lived are alive today
overpopulation has occurred when the current population has negatively effected the environment to a level that it won't be able to sustain that population
developing countries: overpopulation is an issue
developing: overconsumption/waste
Hardin's crisis vs. crunch
Crisis: if people can sustain themselves if we feed them, then we must feed them
Crunch: we create an ongoing problem when these starving people reproduce in an area that cannot feed them
we should never send food aid to countries beyond their carrying capacity; they must drop population to a sustainable level
responses to controlling populations
1) freedoms at issue cannot block the relevant conclusons
2) even if freedoms can't be overridden some pop control policies wouldn't interfere w/ the freedoms at issue
how do we assess population policy options ethically
effectiveness, practicality, urgency, side-effects, fairness, coerciveness
obligations to preserve species authors
population control authors
hugh lafollette
obligations to future generations authors