Think Piece 9.docx - Outline Thesis the interest of the...

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Outline: Thesis: the interest of the environment (i.e. animals, plants) should be given as much consideration as purely human matters when making ethical decisions. 1. The wellbeing of humans is intimately tied with the fate of our environment and the wellbeing of other organisms. 2. Other animals experience pain. If it is unethical to cause human beings pain, then it is also unethical to cause animals pain. 3. Harming the environment represents a dangerous lack of empathy and is therefore unethical.
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Classic ethical dilemmas are usually concerned with how people treat each other, not so much how we treat the world around us. The famous trolley car problem teaches us nothing about the ethics of environmentalism. Classic western philosophers (e.g. Kant, Aristotle) often place more value on the interests of humans; when the interests of the environment are taken into consideration, it is only viewed in the light of the effect it may have on people (Brennan & Lo). Concepts like animal rights only came into popularity during the twentieth century. This makes sense considering that the unprecedented damage we have done to our environment has been caused in the last 150 years, and that we only realized the severity of it in last fifty or so years. Still, many people are content with doing damage to the environment as long it benefits people. For the most part, people still see themselves as inherently different from and more important than the environment. However, I believe that the interests of the environment should be given as much consideration as those of humans when considering ethics. We don’t have to abandon traditional philosophy to understand why we should care about the environment. The wellbeing of humans is closely tied with the state of their environment and the wellbeing of other organisms. This has become increasingly apparent as the impact humans
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