Biocentric ethics

Definition[ edit ] The term biocentrism encompasses all environmental ethics that "extend the status of moral object from human beings to all living things in nature". It states that nature does not exist simply to be used or consumed by humans, but that humans are simply one species amongst many, [6] and that because we are part of an ecosystemany actions which negatively affect the living systems of which we are a part adversely affect us as well, [6] [7] whether or not we maintain a biocentric worldview. The four main pillars of a biocentric outlook are:

Biocentric ethics

See Article History Biocentrism, ethical perspective holding that all life deserves equal moral consideration or has equal moral standing. Although Biocentric ethics of biocentrism can be found in several religious traditions, it was not until the late decades of the 20th century that philosophical ethics in the Western tradition addressed the topic in a systematic manner.

Historical roots Much of the history of environmental ethics can be understood in terms of an expanding range of moral standing. Traditional Western ethics has always been anthropocentric, meaning that only presently living human beings deserve moral consideration. As environmental issues such as nuclear waste disposalhuman population growth, and resource depletion came to the fore, many ethicists argued that moral standing should be extended to include future generations of human beings.

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The animal welfare and animal rights movement argued for an extension of moral standing to at least some animalsand arguments followed to extend moral standing to plants and then to such ecological wholes as ecosystemswilderness areas, speciesand populations.

The philosophical challenge throughout that process was to articulate and defend a nonarbitrary criterion by which the question of moral standing could be decided. On what grounds does one decide that objects deserve to be considered in moral deliberation?

Dec 18,  · What is Biocentric Environmental Ethcis? Breaking it down, Biocentrism is the theory that all living things have equal and inherent worth, relating to the concept “deep ecology.” Take, for instance Matthew Hall, he believes plants are sentient beings. Hall argues that plants should be considered sentient beings, just like Paul Taylor. The essay "The Ethics of Respect for Nature" by Paul W. Taylor argues for an environmental ethic known as Biocentrism - a system of ethics that attempts to protect all life in nature. Under Biocentrism, all life - not just human life - should be protected for the organism's sake, regardless of the good it does humans. Biocentrism or biocentric may refer to: Biocentrism (ethics), an ethical point of view that extends inherent value to all living things Biocentric universe, a concept proposed by Robert Lanza that places biology above the other sciences.

Supporters of extending moral standing to future generations argued that temporal location, like geographical location, was an arbitrary ground for denying equal moral status to humans not yet living.

Defenders of animal rights cited characteristics such as having interests, sentience, being conscious, and being the subject of a life as the most appropriate criteria for moral standing.

Biocentric ethics argues that the only nonarbitrary ground for assigning moral standing is life itself and thus extends the boundary of moral standing about as far as it can go.

Historical roots

All living beings, simply by virtue of being alive, have moral standing and deserve moral consideration. Roots of biocentric ethics can be found in a number of traditions and historical figures.

The first of the five basic precepts of Buddhist ethics is to avoid killing or harming any living thing. The Christian saint Francis of Assisi preached to animals and proclaimed a biocentric theology that explicitly included animals and plants.

Biocentrism (ethics) - Wikipedia

Some Native American traditions also hold that all living things are sacred. The Romantic movement of the 18th and 19th centuries defended the intrinsic value of the natural world against the tendency of the technological age to treat all nature as having mere instrumental value.

In the 20th century, preservationists such as John Muir held that the intrinsic value of natural areas, particularly wilderness areas, creates responsibilities for humanity. Preservationists argued that the intrinsic value of nature imposes duties to respect and preserve natural objects.

However, the preservationist ethic can go beyond biocentrism in that it is not life itself that always carries moral value. Wilderness areas and ecosystems, after all, are not alive.

Similarly, scholar Christopher D.

This observation suggests that biocentrism is essentially an individualistic ethic. Life would seem an attribute of individual living things. Many environmentalists argue that holistic entities such as ecosystems, wilderness areas, and species all deserve moral consideration. To the extent that such entities are not alive, strictly speaking, environmental holism differs from biocentrism.

Albert Schweitzer was another early 20th-century thinker who argued that life itself is the decisive factor in determining moral value.

Working in the most remote areas of AfricaSchweitzer experienced a diversitycomplexity, and multiplicity of plant and animal life-forms rarely seen within industrialized societies.

Life itself, in all its mystery and wonderment, commands respect, reverence, and awe. Albert Schweitzer, photograph by Yousuf Karsh. Taylor provided a philosophical account of why life should be accepted as the criterion of moral standing, and he offered a reasoned and principled account of the practical implications of biocentrism.

He claimed that life itself is a nonarbitrary criterion for moral standing because all living things can be meaningfully said to have a good of their own.

Living beings aim toward ends; they have directions, purposes, and goals. Pursuing those characteristic and natural goals—essentially what is the very activity that is life itself—constitutes the good for each living being.

Challenges As a normative theory, biocentrism has practical implications for human behaviour.

Biocentric ethics

The good of all living beings creates responsibilities on the part of human beings, summarized in the four basic duties of biocentric ethics: The duty of non-maleficence requires that no harm be done to living beings, although it does not commit human beings to the positive duties of preventing harm from happening or of aiding in attaining the good.

The duty of fidelity requires not manipulating, deceiving, or otherwise using living beings as mere means to human ends.

The duty of restitutive justice requires that humans make restitution to living beings when they have been harmed by human activity. Numerous challenges suggest that biocentrism is too demanding an ethics to be practical.Biocentric Ethics Analysis.

Biocentrism Wiki - Robert Lanza

There have been debates about GMO’s for decades. While farmers fight for their land and the continuance to produce, farmers were given the option to plant seeds that are genetically modified.

Biocentric ethics, as an environmental ethic, considers that all living things have their own “good” and therefore proposes expanding the status of moral object to nonhuman living things. It includes Schweitzer’s ethic of reverence for life, Singer’s ethics of animal liberation and Taylor’s ethics of bioegalitarianism.

Biocentric ethics argues that the only nonarbitrary ground for assigning moral standing is life itself and thus extends the boundary of moral standing about as far as it can go. All living beings, simply by virtue of being alive, have moral standing and deserve moral consideration.

Ecocentrism goes beyond biocentrism with its fixation on organisms, for in the ecocentric view people are inseparable from the inorganic/organic nature that encapsulates them.

They are particles and waves, body and spirit, in the context of Earth's ambient energy.

Biocentric ethics

Examples from the Web for biocentric Historical Examples of biocentric These questions belong to metaphysics, and vitalistic or biocentric conceptions may be valid in the metaphysical sphere. Biocentrism (theory of everything) from Greek: βίος, bios, “life”; and κέντρον, kentron, “center” — also known as the biocentric universe — is a theory proposed in by American scientist Robert Lanza, which sees biology as the central driving science in the universe, and an understanding of the other sciences as reliant on a deeper understanding of biology.

Biocentrism - Wikipedia