Saturday, 11 June 2011

Question regarding Kant and Environmental Ethics

I received an email asking me about Kant and Environmental Ethics, this was my response feel free to read it :)

Using Kant's universalisability principle we can come to the conclusion that we should not be driving everywhere (unsustainable pollution) we should not be chopping forests or eating animals. Can you see where I am going with this? Literally you can't do anything because if it were to be universalised then it would be unsustainable. This is a disadvantage too of Kant because it makes this theory very rigid and demanding.

The second principle means to an end - well you could say use animals because they are not rational beings but it would have to be a maxim like only kill animals under extreme circumstances because of the first universalisability maxim. Another disadvantage is that is it really fair to say animals and the environment can be treated as a means to an end on the basis that they are not ration beings.

Strengths would include it gives humans priority and could theoretically prevent huge crises like climate change.

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