Moral Obligations to Earth

Published: 2019-04-04 11:32:46
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Harvey Mudd College
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Moral obligations and human survival

 

The ever-increasing human demands for resources compounded by a rising population has brought the topic of conservation to the forefront. People are becoming increasingly aware that their actions have an impact on the earth and all life within it. Thus, it has become common for individuals as well as business to embark on environmental impact surveys before venturing into any activity. There is also an increase in commitment from companies as well as governments globally to engage in sustainable operations. Human beings have a moral obligation to protect planet earth because conservation is linked to human survival, economic and social prosperity, as well as ensuring planetary biodiversity.

Moral obligations are related to human survival. Morality gives people a sense of responsibility. This type of liability is anchored on the assumption of mutual benefits. The idea behind morally taking care of the environment is that if human beings protect natural resources, the same resources will take of their needs. By showing concern for forests, water bodies, and animals, people realize that these entities are critical for their survival. If people pollute the rivers that they use, then they will lack clean water. Water is essential for life. Similarly, if people cut down all forests, then there will be drought and desertification in the surrounding areas. Such adverse conditions are not ideal for human survival.

Also, moral obligations to the environment ensure that people prosper socially and economically. If human beings were to eliminate the element of morality from their decision making, they would end up making erroneous choices that are myopic. For instance, people would chop down all of the forests for timber to satisfy existing demand. Exploiting resources with short term goals risks creating societal problems such as unemployment and a loss of income sources. However, by adding morality to economic decisions, people can calculate how they can exploit resources in a way that generates continuous income and elevates the living standards of people. Also, conflicts over resources will be minimized or avoided since there will be plenty for everyone. Already there are examples of conflicts fueled by the scarcity of resources in regions such as Darfur, Sudan.

Overexploiting resources

Lastly, morality guarantees that people protect the existence of a biodiverse planet. Morality prevents people from overexploiting resources. It also pushes human beings to protect plant and animal life that may not even be beneficial to human existence. For instance, humanity is inclined to protect gorillas and turtles, yet these creatures do not provide them with food like cows. The understanding that it is the right thing to do is what makes people shield various flora and fauna from extinction caused by human activities. Furthermore, biodiversity is not only linked to plant and animal life but also human life. While sheep provide mutton, bees ensure that they pollinate flowers of various plants that serve as food for people. Different animals have different roles to play on this planet. This continuous interlinked food chain of lifeforms ensures the existence of life on earth.

Human beings have a moral obligation to protect planet earth because conservation is linked to human survival, economic and social prosperity, as well as ensuring planetary biodiversity. People have to consider the implications of their actions on other life forms on earth as well as the planet itself. It is important to remember that as much as it is necessary for people to make use of resources on earth for their development, it is equally crucial to rely on moral principles when making such decisions. Morality acts as a guiding principle towards ensuring a sustainable existence.

sheldon

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