Essay Secular and Religious Approaches to Environment Issues

1926 Words Sep 4th, 2014 8 Pages
Assess the claim that secular approaches to environment issues are of more help than religious ones. (35 marks)

Secular approaches are ethical approaches that are not religious, for example Kantian ethics. Religious approaches would include Natural Law and biblical references. In both of these approaches to environment issues, a good approach to environment issues would be one that weighed up the pros and cons of both sides of the argument and come to a rational conclusion that is backed up with reason.
Utilitarian’s weigh up the long term effects against the short term effects. I think this is a good way of looking at the environment, as the long-term effects are very different to the short-term effects. If we focus on only the
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We have moral duties to look after the environment and protect it. He believes that if you are protecting the environment because duty commands it, you are then moral. The categorical imperative is making a maxim into a universal law. This would forbid the exploitation and pollution of the natural world because it cannot be universalised. This approach focuses on the duty and universalising the action instead of focusing on the environment and looking at why we should protect the environment. This approach would only make sense for the people who believe that they are being commanded to look after the environment. However, some may think they are being commanded to ignore the environment. This can cause may problems and can cause damage to the environment.
Neo-Kantian Paul Taylor believes that we should have respect for nature, as it is a universal law for all rational beings. He agrees that animals and plants do not have moral rights, but that they should be given the legal rights so that they are protected (the same as us).
Arne Naess is concerned with two ecology movements. The first is pollution and the depletion of natural resources. The second is the richness, diversity and intrinsic value. This is called deep ecology. He believes that every living thing has a right to live because we are all equal. He called this ecosophy. He believes that nature does not exist to serve humans, but humans are part of nature and all species have a right to exist. Naess came

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