Ethics and Environment essay

According to Dwight Furrow, Utilitarianism “begins with a perception about human nature- human beings for the most seek to improve their well being. ” Given this early notion behind the theory utilitarianism, this theory is concern on an act which seeks the common good. A furrow point out that utilitarianism is directed towards the common good, which is not done often. Furrow notes “The utilitarian argues that simply by clarifying what counts as a best consequence and specifying the kinds of reason that will produce the best consequence we can systematized all moral reasoning,”

Kant’s deontology on the other hand, is concern to any approach to ethics that emphasizes obligation or duty. Jack Rabin asserts that deontology is quite compatible with right-based ethics as one “is obligated to respect the rights of others. ” The obvious difference between utilitarianism and Deontology is seen in the ethical emphasis between these two ethical theories. Mill’s Utilitarianism emphasized on the consequences of our actions and their contribution to the general welfare.

While utilitarianism emphasize on the good of the majority, which means that it would be alright to sacrifice the right of the individual if that is in favor of the general welfare, Kant’s deontological argument, as Furrow asserts, states that “individual persons have a special status, and because of that status, we owe them respect that must not be violated regardless of consequences. In other words, utilitarianism is the direct opposite of the theory of deontology.

Apply the concepts of Utilitarianism and Kantian Deontology (and other theories you have come across) to explain the arguments for and against the construction of a new dam which will involve moving people from their homes. Constructing a new dam is not an ordinary venture because it will certainly affect many people especially those who are residing in the area that will affected by the rise of water level when the project is finished. In Kantian deontological argument, people who will be affected are entitled of their own rights to their properties that will be submerged.

They have the right to object and their right must be respected by the authorities. The construction of the new dam will not be ethical if it will violate the rights of the individual who stands to lose their houses, their lands, and other assets and source of livelihood arising from land cultivation. Therefore, under deontological argument, those who pushes for the construction of a new dam should negotiate with those will get affected by the action and satisfy their demands before they should go on with their project, or they find another potential location.

In the utilitarian doctrine however, if it will serve for the good of the majority, individuals who will be affected should give way because the construction of a new dam will pave the way for a better opportunity for the greater majority. In the utilitarian doctrine therefore, the consequence of such action or decision is judge based on the impact to a grater number of people. That is, it is ethical to construct a new dam even if it will impair the individual’s rights, or if it will create some animals to suffer if it that action will bring more happiness, comfort, and benefits.

Other ethical theories however, particularly the theory of Contractualism in which the principles of morality are rooted in social agreement, the creation of a new dam requires negotiation with those who stands to get affected by the project. The morality or the ethicality of the construction of the new dam depends on the social agreement. In this case, the agreement has to be a social contract in order to oblige every side to do its part for that project.

Thus, while Kant’s deontological argument demand to respect the rights of the individual and the utilitarian doctrine insist that it is alright to sacrifice the rights of the few if it will benefits the greater majority, the theory of contractualism is the neutralizer as the social contract demand negotiation which means it respect the rights of the few yet it is also after the general welfare. What this theory cares about is that the agreement is sealed by a contract.

Argue for or against the notion of global warming The notion of global warming is a very issue that scientist are concerned today because of the potential damage to ecology and the human society of the increasing global warming. The notion of global warming is very important because it gives us awareness of what is going in our planet in view of the enormous carbon emission from car engines and the industries as well as of human activities.

Donald Brown stressed that in 1985, Scientists twenty-nine countries who attended the UNEP and WMO sponsored conference held in Austria “concluded that some warming of climate now appears inevitable” The recent development on the notion of global warming however put this issue in a questionable state. According to Brown, “certain economic interests in the United States have vigorously fought against government global warming science was too uncertain to justify programs that might turn out to be an unnecessary drag on the US economy.

” Nevertheless I agree with Brown that the attacks on the mainstream science of global warming “do not challenge the notion that global warming is a dangerous threat to human health and the environment but rather based on the unstated assumption that nothing should be done about such a serious threat until the damage that will be caused by the threat has been proven with high levels of scientific certainty.

” Regardless of whatever is the argument of the United States, it cannot be denied that the impact of global warming have been felt in different parts of the world in the form of excessive flooding due to the rising water level because of the melting ice in the North and South pole, the prolonged drought in many parts of the world, and the increasing temperature often causing heat waves.

The notion of global warming compels us to be conscious of our moral and ethical duty to do our part of the effort of preventing the ever increasing warm temperature by limiting our activities that contributes to the build of greenhouse gasses that that causes such warming. There is no need to prove the notion of global warming, but what is needed to for all of us to spread the notion of the global warming along with a suggestion of what can we do to help in decreasing the warming temperature of our planet. Discuss whether nuclear power is a viable solution for the worlds energy needs.

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power with other possible solutions. Regardless of what others may say whether nuclear power is viable option for the world’s energy needs or not, I firmly believed that nuclear power is not a viable solution to the world’s energy needs given the enormous danger it posed on the people living even miles away from the nuclear plant area. Judging from the writings of Kimberly smith, there are lots of reason why it could not be a viable reason. Smith puts it, “Citizen’s support for nuclear energy has been significantly dampened in the wake of two reactor failures.

There have also been a number of experimental reactor malfunction though none resulted in the loss of human life or serious threat to public. ” Here, Smith points out the fact that there are possibilities of nuclear accidents as indicated the minor incidents mentions by Smith. Although those incidents did not cause the loss of lives, yet it depicts the possibility of an enormously worse incident. However, the incident that occurred in 1979 in Pennsylvania had caused the prevalence of cancer in the local residents.

The worst nuclear plant incident however was the Chernobyl incident which exposed hundreds of thousands of people to high degree of radiation resulting to 31 immediate deaths and more than five hundred people who were hospitalized during the aftermath. Smith notes that estimates suggest that “between 6,000 and twenty-four thousands people have died from cancer since the incident. In view of all these, regardless of the benefits, nuclear power cannot be a viable for the world’s energy needs. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power with other possible solutions. There are other potential sources for the world’s energy needs.

Among these are the solar energy, the geothermal energy, and the Hydro thermal energy. Compare to nuclear energy, these three are the most viable solution because they posed no harm in the public health. They are also very common and elements and are available in many part of the world. Solar energy from the sun for example is a sufficient source of the world’s energy. What every government needs to do is simply to develop technologies that can operate using the solar energy. The hydro thermal which relies on the natural forces of water such as water falls, are prevalent in the different parts of the world.

The geothermal too is a viable solution because it common. Every where there are falls where the geothermal energy could come from. Learning all about these three, I should say that nuclear power energy is not a viable solution to world’s energy needs based on the entire argument. Brown American Heat Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Bibliography Brown American Heat Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2002 Brown American Heat Rowman & Littlefield Publishers 2002 Furrow, D, Ethics MPG Books Ltd, Great Britain, 2005 K Smith Powering Our Future Alternative Energy Institute, USA,