Origins of the Environmental Crisis

18 02 2011

In Chapter 2 of his book, The Environment and Christian Ethics, Michael Northcott states that “just as the environmental crisis is complex in its nature, so its causation is also complex and multifactorial.”   However, he proposes that “the roots of the crisis lie in a range of changes and social processes which together” foreshadow the emergence of “a form of human society known as modernity, in which the human relation to nature is radically transformed.”

The comments for this blog represent efforts by class members to express discussion points related to some of the factors contributing to modernity; namely the agricultural revolution, the commodification of nature, influence of science and technology, the climate of modernity, and how modernity and ecology are in conflict.

Justifying Moral Standing for Animals

10 02 2011

The record of human history is dominated by the view that nonhuman life exists to serve human needs.   Even today, there are many “uses” of animals that are ethically questionable.  But, is this the way it is ought to be?  Your comments for this topic should help us in our progression from “what is” to “what ought to be” with as much objectivity as your reading of DesJardins’ Chapter 5 can offer.

Responsibilities to Future Generations

1 02 2011

Many environmentalists point to issues such as rapid population growth, excessive consumption, climate change, ozone depletion, and loss of biodiversity as evidence that humans are destroying Earth’s biosphere and placing both current human life and the lives of future generations at risk.  In your response to your “Discussion Question,” identify the central issue of the question and then present your response based on your understanding of the ethical considerations presented in Chapter 4.