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The rise of deep ecology gave rise to the philosophical and religious principles that completely undermined traditional ways of understanding the human environment relationship, or what deep ecologists frequently referred to as the “dominant paradigm” of Western thought in…
onment, deep ecology concerns itself with all organisms – both plants and animals – within the biosphere and promotes equality, particularly in regard to the right to live of all organisms as a fundamental value. The deep ecology approaches to environmental ethics include “self realization,” “biocentrism” or “anti-anthropocentrism” as these ecologists espouse democracy in the biosphere among all organisms within (Devall etc 1995, p67).
Self-realization beyond the concept of the modern Western self or for a narrow sense of individual salvation and that it supposedly has further maturity as it goes further than the egocentric cultural assumptions, values and conventional wisdom in its treatment of the environment (Devall etc 1995, p67). The main argument of the biocentric approach, meanwhile, is that “all things in the biosphere have an equal right to live and blossom and to reach their own individual forms of unfolding and self-realization within the larger Self-realization” (Devall etc 1995, p67).
The anthropocentric approach to environmental ethics is mainly dominated by the Western paradigm of the primacy of the human species over other animals and organisms. Religion, heavily influenced by the Aristotelian principles, and scientific and utilitarian approaches are the prevailing philosophies in environmental ethics.
The Bible is the main source of Christian attitude towards environmental ethics. The biblical account in the Genesis wherein God created man in his own image and grant him dominion over other species, is a cornerstone of the Christian philosophy that have influenced our attitudes in environment ethics throughout these past millennia. This philosophy is, in turn, influenced by the Greek attitude of the natural world, particularly the Aristotelian school of thought, wherein nature is considered a “hierarchy in which those with less reasoning ability exist for the sake of those with more.” (Singer 1993, p. 267) Most of the ...
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