Secular and Religious Approaches to Environment Issues

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By katieevictoriaa
Words 1939
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Assess the claim that secular approaches to environment issues are of more help than religious ones. (35 marks)

Secular approaches are ethical approaches that are not religious, for example Kantian ethics. Religious approaches would include Natural Law and biblical references. In both of these approaches to environment issues, a good approach to environment issues would be one that weighed up the pros and cons of both sides of the argument and come to a rational conclusion that is backed up with reason.
Utilitarian’s weigh up the long term effects against the short term effects. I think this is a good way of looking at the environment, as the long-term effects are very different to the short-term effects. If we focus on only the short-term effects, then no environmental problems will be solved. Jeremy Bentham follows the quantitative approach, which is where the cause of the action outweighs the maximisation of higher pleasures for the present and future generations. Bentham would weigh up the pleasures and pain for all those involved. For example, a quiet lake with loads of wildlife being used for water skiing and other recreational activities. Bentham would weigh up the pleasure of the people and the amount of income against the pain that the wildlife would take and then make a decision whether it should be allowed or not. This is not a very helpful way of solving environmental problems because each situation will have a different outcome depending on the pleasure and pain of everyone and also the person weighing up the pleasure and pain. Also, this may be potentially harmful for the environment because it only considers the greater good of humans.
John Stuart Mill follows the qualitative approach which puts the enjoyment and study of nature at the top of his lists of higher pleasures. This means that he believes environmental preservation is imperative. This…...

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