Anthropological worldview

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Junior (College 3rd year) ・Anthropology ・MLA ・5 Sources

Dating from years past, the human population has become denser and spread widely to the extent of exerting a lot of pressure on the environment. Other factors of concern such as increased pressures on resources results in increased activities that are consequential to the environment. Nowadays, individuals are more concerned with discovering new methods that would help them meet essential needs daily regardless of considering likely effects of their actions on the environment. With the numerous technological dexterity, reaching environmental sustainability has been a fundamental challenge across the globe. Advancement in technology has supported the progression of industrial sectors across the world which has subsequently increased environmental pollution. This asserts that the concurrent technological development supports the swift extraction of natural resources in feverish which has ultimately resulted in an increased environmental degradation. Despite increasing measures formulated by various governments on combating environmental pollution and controlling human activities on the earth, it seems that the ecosystems have been severely degraded which leads to a big change in weather patterns (Langton 3).

Apparently, human beings have been placed at the center of the universe to be in charge of everything. Anthropocentrism worldview considers human as the most important and influential creature with substantial influence on plants and animals. Anthropocentrism perceive people as the primary driver of nature. This depicts that the nature of environment created will probably depend on the human conceptualization. Notably, the anthropocentric view gives humans the powers to freely exploit natural resources and use the environment irrespective of the consequences resulted from these actions. Anthropocentrism views sharply contrast the ecocentrism that value all living creatures regardless of their use on human beings. It is through considering the well-being of all living species such as plants and animals that the economy will achieve overwhelming success in having a sustainable environment. Additionally, anthropocentrism views on nature are the major cause of the current severe environmental crisis (Langton 15). There is a loss of biological diversity which ranges from water scarcity, ozone depletion and global warming. For instance, deforestation is advocated by the anthropocentric view to allow construction of houses and further provide firewood used as a source of energy in homes.

Anthropocentrism asserts that it is hard to make environmental decisions that satisfy both human beings and animals. This makes it inevitable to overwrite animals and the ecosystem at large for the benefit of human beings. However, people need to weigh up the consequences to determine environmental actions that should take precedence. For example, the continued exploration and use of carbon producing oil energy in homes are economical on the side of the human beings but a threat to attaining a sustainable environment. Emission of carbon from burning fossils increases carbon content which is harmful to the ecosphere. Today, environmental thinkers have increasingly championed for the development and use of environmentally friendly energy. They are advocating for the use of renewable sources of energy which evidently has little adverse effects on the ecosphere.

Prevailing attitudes towards the environment in the contemporary society

Many significant developments have occurred in the society which influences human actions on the earth. The intensified environmental education has affected people perceptions and further enhanced their consciousness. In the past decades, people had a little comprehension on their responsibilities of averting actions that pollute the environment (Crowe 76). Moreover, provision of education has improved individuals understanding and practice of the basic principles such as damage control, risk minimization, self- improvement, systematic approach to ecological thinking, and prevention. Individuals have explicitly understood their plight in maintaining a safer environment, unlike the anthropocentric views that only advocated for activities that enable people to cater for their wants irrespective of their actions on the environment. The different attitudes regarding the environment have developed based on the various groups such as naturalists, ecologists, utilitarians, and moralists. Arguments of these groups provide a guide on actions that are suitable for creating a reliable and sustainable environment which acknowledges the usefulness of plants and animals in the ecosystem. Their knowledge about the relevance of maintaining a clean environment has been culminated to the current individual positive attitudes regarding the environment. People portray it through the increased care about the environment and their commitments toward reducing activities which lead to adverse environmental effects (Puk & Stibbards 200).

More industrialized countries have heavily invested in renewable sources of energy and are stricter in ensuring environmental laws are well implemented. The U.S government highly value creation of a pollution free environment that is healthy for plants, animals, and human beings. Companies are only allowed to operate in the U.S after convincing the environmental department that they will be in the position to comply with all rules that have been formulated by the government regarding environmental protection. Despite the increased awareness of individuals about their responsibilities of protecting the environment while creating wealth, weather patterns during the industrial age are unpredictable. This is a sheer fact that increased awareness and positive attitude about environmental issues partially helps in maintaining a sustainable ecosphere. The primary cause results from increased emission of smoke in the atmosphere from companies across the world. It is ironical to courageously assert that companies prevent pollution when they have extended the pipes to ensure smoke from the industries reaches the furthest end. Emission of smoke results to the formation of acid rains which have adverse impacts on plants and aquatic animals (Puk & Stibbards 205). Environmental degradation is therefore expected to be a perennial problem because of the industrialization and growing population whose activities significantly cause pollution.

However, prevailing attitudes in the people legitimize or prohibits some activities. The increasing care of maintaining a safer environment plays a crucial role in influencing the Americans to carry out activities that cannot pollute the environment. For instance, they are encouraged to avoid cutting of trees or plants. In taking care of aquatic animals, positive attitudes influence people to use good farming practices that prevent carrying of agricultural inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers into rivers and lakes. Therefore, it is unquestionable to extrapolate that positive attitudes concerning environmental issues are helpful in instilling an involuntary feeling in individuals of being obligated to create a pollution free environment. Thus, the intuitive aspect formed and molded in people always alerts them about activities which bolster the establishment of a sustainable environment.

Alternatives to Anthropocentric Way of thinking

Pioneers of the emerging animal and environmental philosophy have conflated in condemning human-centered worldview that dominates philosophical narratives by replacing them with alternative solutions. It is clear that anthropocentrism accords more privileges to humans among other life forms on the earth (Kopnina 16). For achieving sustainable and pollution free environment, these privileges need to be significantly reduced. The groundlessness postulation that humans are inherently superior among other creatures prevents focusing towards attaining neutrality in acknowledging the role of every animal in the ecosystem. Besides the ability to reason, there is no justification that humans are superior to other species in the world, and thus they can be exploited according to human plans.

Firstly, people should embrace scientific thinking to comprehend the role of various species in the universe. Since the anthropocentric aspect focuses on human superiority hence allowing unplanned exploitation of resources irrespective of environmental consequences. Through scientific studies, people can learn how various activities harm or contribute to the wellness of the environment. Thus, it will ultimately lead to a better use of plants and animals by humankind a trend that is currently practiced worldwide. Secondly, environmental education should be offered to everyone to impart knowledge on the role of different species in the ecosystem. Education is the best channel to demystify the perceptions that were created by anthropocentric attitudes. For instance, through environmental education, individuals will be enlightened on how planting many trees promote the establishment a healthy environment. Finally, there is need to formulate policies to control most of the human actions on the earth. The sheer fact is that without human activities and industrialization, the present adverse changes in the climate could not have been experienced. Hence, it gives the ground to conclude that human actions enhanced by premises from anthropocentric thinking, endanger the environmental sustainability. Therefore, these alternatives contravene the existing human-centric view to more rational facts on why the ability to reason alone can make human misuse natural resources for personal gains.

Question 2

Environmental Thinking

The air we breathe, the climate we experience, and interactions with other species in the earth determines the quality of life. Conserving the environment is a responsibility inbounded to everyone in the society. However, condemning human activities on the earth cannot give the solution to continued climate change. Hence, appropriate measures ought to be established by governments to curb environmental pollution. Environmental conservation efforts have been boosted by great development in technology, changes in values, and increased international cooperation towards preventing environmental pollution. For example, technology has enhanced the development of renewable sources of energy that are economical, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Things involved in Establishing Appropriate Attitude towards the Environment

Individuals develop a positive attitude towards the environment through education. Sometimes, people might participate in various activities on earth without understanding their overall effects on the environment (Crowe 75). Such individuals can be influenced to take an active part in environmental protection activities if the government provides education on what constitutes healthy and sustainable environment. And it will be through gaining of knowledge about potential benefits that will be derived from having a pollution free environment. Equally, people develop an appropriate attitude towards the environment from legal frameworks established and reinforced by the government. Once it becomes imperative that everyone in the country must adhere to environmental laws it will ultimately lead to the development of positive attitude about environmental issues (Crowe 80). Therefore, increased awareness concerning environmental problems and intensified reinforcement by the government by basing on environmental legal frameworks establish a favorable ground for the development of positive attitude towards the environment.

What it Meant to see Oneself as Part of Nature

The natural systems have countless contributions towards individual’s prosperity and well-being through understanding world phenomenon such as the global warming effects. Being part of nature gives people opportunities to understand and interpret climate patterns in the country. For those who practice farming, they can be able to plan the appropriate time to plant crops, harvest, and other pertinent activities in the process. Also, being part of nature enables individuals to take precaution on any inherent uncertainties that might emerge as a result of unpredictable weather patterns. Moreover, people are well connected to other species in the ecosystem which enables them to avert activities that can pollute the environment. The depletion of natural resources, deforestation, and water and air pollution which leads to global warming effects will be combated. Henceforth, there will be an attainment of a sustainable business environment.

What it Meant to Think Ethically about the Environment

Environmental ethics explores the relationship between human beings and the environment and their role in ensuring it is kept clean. It asserts that the society constitutes human beings, plants, and animals hence these creatures are the functional part of human life. They should be applied in the right way rather than exploitation for selfish purposes. Human beings should respect them, and use morals while handling them. Therefore, thinking ethically implies that people respect other creatures by recognizing the moral significance of nature, environmental virtue ethics, and ethical sustainability. Thinking ethically is fundamental in helping individuals to contribute to environmental protection activities. This is because one explicitly comprehends what constitutes a healthy environment, people’s role in protecting plants and animals and other moral perspectives on the earth (Wapner & Matthew 210). Consequently, thinking ethically enables individuals to apply knowledge from other fields of study to understand more about the environment and human role in the universe.

How our experiences influence the understanding of nature and environment

People usually have different experiences with the environment. One's experiences will determine his or her knowledge about nature or environment. Firstly, a good experience such as staying in a favorable environment encourages human socialization with other creatures. A person who is used to staying in an area with different species of plants and animals will be influenced to ensure the environment is clean to sustain both plants and animals. Additionally, experiences influence peoples’ behavior and motivation to act. This implies that individuals bases on the past experiences to act and are motivated to uncover more about nature and the environment.

Social values that influence our understanding of the environment and treatment of nature

Social values or shared values are grounded on cultural practices of the society. Issues concerning the environment are handled collectively but not as an individual. One has to adhere to the imperatives established by the society in general. Social values might be acquired over time and be embedded in the behavior and lifestyles of individuals in the community. A society that has developed appropriate environmental protection policies significantly helps its people to understand more about different dynamics of the environment. People will be united under social values to do what is right, eliminate anthropocentric reasoning, and further appreciate the significance of nature and unpolluted environment. For instance, people might base on the social values to learn more about the particular environmental phenomenon and why the society allows and restricts individuals from some actions. This will indeed control individual’s actions since people will be free to make inquiries about consequences of their actions before executing them.

Meaningful Choices we have concerning the uFture of the Earth

Despite becoming more aware of the relevance of maintaining pollution free environment, still, there is a high need of reorienting ourselves by prioritizing environmental protection than other activities. The increased global warming resulted by human actions on the earth such as the continual use of non-renewable sources of energy and burning of fossils can come to an end only if individuals can comprehend that safer environment is the mother of everything. This is to say that if environmental pollution activities are eliminated, agriculture will probably flourish, weather patterns can be predictable, natural calamities might not occur, etc. Above all, the earth shall be a safe place with plenty of opportunities for everyone. Therefore, the meaningful choices that are appropriate for the future of the earth are stopping activities that pollute the environment by protecting plants and animal life. Nations have to collaborate globally in setting up rules and ensuring they are adhered to. Another choice includes applying technologies to substitute agents of pollution such as in the provision of energy. These options will undoubtedly bring restoration to the severely depleted environment and nature.

Dilemmas that are Faced

We face challenges in implementing what is considered right. Many people are enlightened on various ways of protecting the environment. But because of various hurdles encountered in satisfying basic wants, environmental protection issues become substituted. Also, scarce resources in most countries force individuals to over-rely on non-renewable sources of energy. Finally, increasing industrialization is the major pollution agent who seems not to end soon. Hence, these issues apparently reflect the puzzle that blocks the efforts put forward to attain environmental sustainability.

Ways ordinary people should adjust their lifestyle to create ecologically sustainable future

Ecological sustainability can be accomplished if humans restrain from some activities that emit carbon to the atmosphere. Also, it can be achieved if human beings recognize that other species have the right to exist in the society. Ordinary people should, therefore, buy recycled products, consume less energy, create less waste, eating locally grown vegetables, plant more trees, practice minimalism, grow own garden, etc.

Ways to Judge Merits of conflicting Ideas about Environment and Nature

Sometimes, conflicting ideas about environment and nature might emerge. However, judging the justification in every opinion will base on the facts and real experiences about the phenomenon. Merits of the ideas can be charged from comparing the past experiences. Since most of the environmental issues are not accidentally, signs for any occurrence can be recorded and be compared in the future. Also, the truth about conflicting ideas can be established through using scientific studies that have explored more about forces behind various events on the earth.

My Attitude towards Nature and Environment

Nature collectively represents animals, plants, landscape and other features on the other. On the other hand, the environment refers to the surrounding in which human beings, plants, and animals live. Therefore, nature means all constituencies of the earth. The natural world mainly has virtues of justice and prudence. Prudence enables people to develop positive attitude about protecting the environment and apply common sense in any activity they undertake on the earth and on how they interact non-human nature (Crowe 78). Moreover, the virtue of justice influences individuals to uphold good moral standards. This enhances development of positive attitude towards environmental protection efforts and existence of good relationship with non-human nature. Today, most environmental questions focus on how to minimize pollution. The most common questions are what is the role of people in combating global warming? Will the globe attain sustainable environment? What efforts have been undertaken to overcome environmental pollution? Finally, what challenges are faced in implementing environmental protection policies? Notably, these questions require us to understand that environmental protection is a responsibility of every individual and those who found contravening environmental policies should be fined. We should, therefore, be pessimistic about the future of the earth because weather patterns are now unpredictable despite increased awareness of the importance of environmental protection. The exploration of environmental thinking has changed my understanding of environmental issues. This is because I have gained a deeper understanding of various perspectives pertaining nature and environment.

Works Cited

Crowe, J. L. “Transforming Environmental Attitudes, and Behaviors through Eco-spirituality And Religion". International Electronic Journal of Environmental Education, 3(1), 2012, pp. 75-88.

Kopnina, H. “Re-examining culture/conservation conflict": The view of anthropology of conservation through the lens of environmental ethics. Journal of Integrative Environmental Sciences, 9, 2012, pp. 9–25.

Langton, M. “Anthropology, politics and the changing world of Aboriginal Australians."Anthropological Forum, 21, 2011, pp. 1–22.

Puk, T. & Stibbards, A. "Growth in ecological concept development and conceptual understanding in teacher education." The discerning teacher. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 6(3), 2011, pp. 191-211.

Wapner, P & Matthew, R.A. ‘The Humanity of Global Environmental Ethics’, the Journal Of Environment Development, 18( 2), 2009, pp. 203-222

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