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Environmental Ethics

It is necessary to understand environmental ethics. According to Holland, environmental ethics
“debates how to balance the claims of present and future, human and non-human, sentient and non-sentient, individuals and wholes. It investigates the prospects for a sustainable relationship between economic and ecological systems, and pursues the implications of this relationship with respect to social justice and institutions.”

Every species is crucial for a balanced ecosystem. Lovelock’s state in his Gaia hypothesis that “the Earth’s crust, together with the oceans, atmosphere and biosphere, constitute a single system, which is self-sustaining and self-regulating.” Earth is a superorganism, which is in a homeostatic state which means there is a balance between its organs, which are its crust, oceans atmosphere and biosphere. In the second version of his hypothesis , he tries to explain his idea with an example. If the temperature is low, then the black, dark colored organisms grow, absorbing more light and warming the planet. If temperature is high then the white, light colored ones become abundant, reflect more light and cool the planet as a result the planet reaches homeostatic state. Therefore, each individual is crucial for a balanced ecosystem and has a role in the continuation of the homeostatic state.

It is obvious that, there exists a definite difference between man and the lower animals. Darwin states this fact as “of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense or conscience is by far the most important…a sense that is summed up by that short but imperious word ought.”

If only somebody — somebody I trusted — could tell me what to do! When we become aware of the world we live in intellectually, we ask two types of questions mainly: “What is all this, and how does it work?” – the answers to which are sought by science; and “What should we do?” – the answers to which are given by moral systems; ethics and religion. In this sense, moral systems and science are closely related since what should we do may be largely dependent on the way things are. Ethics and religion are bridges between science and the deliberate mind. With the word deliberate mind I mean, the mind which seeks answers, try to understand the good/evil, true/false, right/wrong, has sense of morality which seems to be an innate and defining characteristic of human beings. I exclude nihilists, anarchists or psychopaths throughout my essay who may not seek an answer at all.

Bertrand Russell defines philosophy as “an unusually obstinate attempt to think clearly.” This essay is in unusual obstinate attempt to understand ethics. Throughout this essay, although there exists some differences among, the words morality and ethics will be used interchangeably. The word moral system comprises ethics and religion. Ethics is used as the philosophical science, which is extensively defined in the “Defining Ethics” part. I shortened my essay and tried to be as clear as possible. After accomplishing this task, I can gratefully declare that, I improved my writing skills with the help of previous warnings that exist in my previous works.

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