Battling over Bottled Water Essay

1271 Words Mar 26th, 2011 6 Pages
Battling Over Bottled Water
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Battling Over Bottled Water One of the last places in the world one would expect to find a battle over water is Michigan. Michigan, who once displayed “Water Wonderland” on its license plates, features more than 11,000 lakes and 36,000 miles of streams and one is never more than six miles from enjoying any one of them (Michigan Outdoors). Why then has a dispute over water rights escalated into several lawsuits? The purpose of this paper is to analyze the water rights case of Nestle versus Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation (MCWC) from the perspective of the libertarian, utilitarian, and Rawlsian theories of justice. During the year 2000, Ice Mountain, a Nestle
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For example, although Ethiopia, Ireland, and Bengal had no shortage of actual food, they experienced famines because some their population could not afford to purchase it. Although it is honorable that libertarians encourage charity, simply encouraging a person to be charitable is not enough to provide for human needs. Since water is vital for human life, I do not believe that one person’s right to own and use property trumps another person’s right to ample, safe drinking water.
The Utilitarian Approach Utilitarians are concerned with creating the most happiness for the greatest number of people in society. As happiness is the only thing that is good in and of itself, the utilitarian needs to know the details of a situation and its possible consequences in order to decide what is ethically right and wrong. The outcome determines moral correctness and a utilitarian tends to favor an equal distribution of income and resources. For a utilitarian ethicist, the outcome of the Nestle water issue needs to result in the greatest happiness for all. He or she would consider the possible economic advantages of the company as well as their effect on equal access to water. Making a reasonable argument that the community’s water supply would be significantly diminished, a utilitarian would oppose Nestle’s water bottling plant. If not, however,

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