Baxter And Aldo Leopold Analysis

1389 Words 6 Pages
William F. Baxter and Aldo Leopold both have very different views as to what it means to be human and where our place in the world is compared to other animals, plants, and the very land itself. Very briefly, Baxter argues that any form of environmental problems should be viewed solely through the understanding that it is “people-oriented” and that any animal or land preservation would be understood in this light and not, as some threatened penguins would fear, “for their own sake” (Baxter, 695). However, Leopold does not hold a similar view to Baxter and instead claims that it is “…an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity” to extend our ethical behaviors beyond just our own fellow humans and include all of life and land within …show more content…
I agree that people are selfish and self-absorbed most of the time, and that forcing a view outside of their immediate sphere of influence is rarely successful. We are most aware of and concerned with ourselves, as that it is only thing we have complete understanding and influence over. Baxter declares that his position is the only one that “…corresponds to the way most people really think and act” and for the majority of the time, I find his argument compelling (Baxter, 695). Most people only really care that their food is cheap, that the air is not so polluted as to make them ill, and that if they really want to look at anything natural they can see it, but only as long as it also has a use beyond the aesthetics. With how our human populations are growing and our lifespans are extending way beyond what our ancestors could have envisioned, having at the very least the ability to survive has become not only the most important aspect of most people’s lives, but also having those lives be not completely filled with agony and wasted time. For example, Baxter would nod his agreement as a hill teeming with lifeforms was destroyed to make a smooth, quick freeway for humans to travel, as it served to cut down time wasted for humans by traveling around the hill, which could only be considered a positive to most humans. The plants and animals, now homeless or dead, would simply have to either find a new home or fade into the ether as another extinct creature. “(Baxter rejects) the proposition that we ought to respect the ‘balance of nature’ or to ‘preserve the environment’ unless the reason for doing so, express or implied, is the benefit of man” (Baxter, 696). If it were to the benefit of man that the hill be left there, perhaps due to some natural gas danger or that some medicinal plants used to help humans could only grow on that one hill, then certainly Baxter would

Related Documents