UNIT 12 ETHICAL AND MORAL DIMENSIONS
12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Introduction
Ethical and Moral Dimensions
Ethnical Use of Natural Resources Three Views about Nature Attitudes towards Nature Anthropocentrism Stewardship Ecofeminism Biocentrism and Ecocentrism
Procedural Inequity Geographical Inequity Social Inequity
12.6 12.7 12.8
Environmental Justice Environmental Racism Religious Teachings about Environment Hinduism Jainism Buddhism Christianity Islam Sikhism
12.9 Summary 12.10 Terminal Questions
In Unit 11 we have focused the basic concepts mobilisation, participation, people’s involvement of community, empowerment and women development, gender and feminism the process of community mobilisation and participation in the integrated environmental management. In this unit we will discuss about many social problems in terms of ethical and moral dimensions in respect of environmental management. Many environmental problems are in fact social problems in terms of moral and ethical values. Building a just, stable, harmonious world for the future generations should be the central organising principle for civilisation. Our ideas about nature have varied through the whole history of environmentalism. This unit reviews the environmental ethics, our views and beliefs about nature and environment, issue of environmental equity dealing with the environmental crisis, environmental justice and its principles, racial discrimination at the policy and public level in managing the environment, and teachings about environment in the major religions practiced in South Asia. Objectives After studying this unit, you should be able to: • • • • • discuss different ethical approaches and attitudes towards nature and environmental management; explain the importance of equity for environmental management; discuss the necessity of justice in dealing with environmental crisis; describe the effects of discrimination policies and plans for managing environmental management; and explain the teachings of different religions about environmental management.
Environmental Management: Dimensions and Approaches
12.2 ETHNICAL USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
The release of noxious gases into the atmosphere, the destruction of forests and the over-exploitation of natural resources have caused irreversible environmental damage throughout th e world. In some cases the damage is so severe that life-support systems, both local and global, are being threatened. Unless we curb our rapacious desire for more and more material possessions and unceasing economic growth, continued ecological damage will be unavoidable. To solve our environment problems, there should be a change in the way we think about and the way we interact with our environment. Ethics, seeks to define as to what right is and what wrong we have done on a universal basis. For example stealing, lying, cheating, killing and indifference to the well-being of others are considered to be unethical. Preserving human life, concerns for others, honesty and truthfulness are considered to be ethical. Moral values reflect the dominant belief of a particular culture about what right and wrong. For example killing a person is wrong but during the wartime, killing a human being is not considered as an immoral act. It is difficult to define what is wrong and what is right because of the differences in cultural and religious beliefs. Some individuals consider it unethical, immoral to unnecessarily waste resources while others argue that maximising consumption is a moral act because it promotes the economic growth, that is a source of jobs and funds for helping the poor and protecting the environment. When we use the term “Environmental Ethics” we refer it to as a discipline that studies the moral relationship of human beings, and also the value and moral status of the environment and its non-human contents. Why do we need a new...
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