The Pros And Cons Of The Endangered Species Act

2020 Words 8 Pages
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was passed when the U.S. Congress acknowledged that “various species of fish, wildlife, and plants in the United States have been rendered extinct as a consequence of economic growth and development” (“Endangered Species Act of 1973”). This congressional action has made the killing and eradication of any species illegal across the United States and its territories if said species is protected by the U.S. Federal Government. The Endangered Species Act has certainly been effective in the sense that it prevented many species from going extinct, but that does not mean it is above scrutiny or refinement. There are a few ethical flaws which are reflected in the limitations of protection status offered by the Endangered …show more content…
This includes the basic natural givens: air, soil, water, functioning ecosystems, hydrologic cycles and so on. These could previously be taken for granted. But now the right must be made explicit and defended. Note that is not any claim against or for nature itself; rather it is a claim made against other humans who might deprive us of such nature (Rolston 519-520)”
Many would take that quote and say it opens the door to environmental fascism. Protecting the natural world at all cost, regardless of what humans might want may seem extreme and possibly violate individual rights, but considering what has been allowed to occur in the past, that actually just seem like necessary precaution. Having the U.S. government create regulations so that it is illegal for citizens to essentially ruin the lives of future generations is by no means
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Kant believes that “other animals are mere means, and may therefore be used for human purposes” (Korsgaard 97); while it may be true that animals are means from a Kantian perspective, humans cannot actually do whatever they want to them and still be ethical. Looking at the situation deeply, the impact you will have on the ecosystem by contributing to the removal a species will eventually causes problems for other humans, who you have an obligation not to treat as means. Although we have done much to separate human society from the natural world, the fate of our society has always been bound to the natural world:
Environmental quality is necessary for quality of human life. Humans dramatically rebuild their environments; still, their lives, filled with artifacts, are lived in a natural ecology where resources—soil, air, water, photosynthesis, climate—are matters of life and death. Culture and nature have entwined destinies, similar to (and related to) the way minds are inseparable from bodies. So ethics needs to be applied to the environment (Rolston

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