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Environmental Ethics - Essay Example

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In his second book of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristsole looks at ethics from the prism of character excellence. Aristotle observes that, character excellence is the best way to…
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Environmental Ethics
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Importance of Ethics in Life Importance of Ethics in Life According to Aristotle Ethics refers to the art that help answer the question; how humans should coexist. In his second book of Nicomachean Ethics, Aristsole looks at ethics from the prism of character excellence. Aristotle observes that, character excellence is the best way to live because it makes man to do the right thing, the right way and at the right time (Kamtekar, 2004). Furthermore, Aristotle argues that ethics entails development of virtue through excellent living. To this end, this philosopher observes thatvirtues enable humanity to live a practical life not where by the not only know what is good but also live the good life. Additionally, Aristotle observes that ethical living calls for application of wisdom that depends upon the situation at hand rather than the mere application of the set laws. He referred to this kind of as practical wisdom or prudence which is different from the theoretical wisdom(Kamtekar, 2004).
On the contrary, Friedrich Nietzsche looks at ethics as untenable phenomenon. Nietzsche argues that ethics is deleterious and can just be relevant in the case of the highest types of human beings (Katsafanas, 2011). This is because ethics requires a high degree of consequentialist perfectionism of good. One thing to note however is that Nietzsche is a not a critic of morality in totality. He for example agrees with the notion of a higher morality that informs the living of higher men both of which he attacks and praises. Nietzsche offers an analysis of the existing values in a way that appeals to some morality of some kind. Nietzsche advocates for similarity of all people, free will and transparency(Katsafanas, 2011). However, Nietzsche argues for the harm of the highest men while advancing the interests of the lowest men.
Further, Charles Darwin brings about the concept of evolutionary ethics which has two broad perspectives of normative ethics and descriptive ethics. Regarding descriptive ethics, it consists of biological ethical approaches anchored upon the role of evolution in determining human behaviour and psychology. Darwinism ethics is based on the scientific aspects of ethology, socio-biology and psychology with a focus on explaining and understanding preferences of ethics or choices (Lillehammer, 2010). On the other hand, normative ethics of evolution depicts a more independent attempt to singlehandedly use evolution to justify ethics in a society. Descriptive evolutionary ethics delve on the beliefs and moral attitudes. The ethical underpinnings discussed on this ethical perspective by Darwin include harmful behaviours, altruistic behaviours,innate sense of unfairness or fairness, love, sacrifice and moral punishments among other issues. On the other hand, normative evolutionary ethics defines the acts of wrong or right and the best behaviours within the context of evolution(Lillehammer, 2010).
From the three theorists, it is clear that ethics plays an eminent role in for the progress of the society. From the Aristotle point of view of ethics, it is evident that ethics leads to development of good virtues. It is also evident that ethics leads to the development of wisdom in the society and the eventual sobriety of the society. From Nietzsche’s point of view,it requires a high degree of perfectionism to uphold morality in the society. However, Nietzsche observes that there is need to take care of each other. He particularly argues that the highest members of the society must take good care of the lowest in the society. With regards to the Darwinism, the theory argues that ethics should be observed in line with evolution of humanity. In this regard, Darwinism theory informs us that ethics enables a society to uphold goods behaviour and good moral attitudes.
References
Lillehammer, H. (2010). Methods of ethics and the descent of man: Darwin and Sidgwick on ethics and evolution. Biology & Philosophy, 25(3), 361-378.
Kamtekar, R. (2004). Situationism and Virtue Ethics on the Content of Our Character*.Ethics, 114(3), 458-491.
Katsafanas, P. (2011). Deriving ethics from action: A Nietzschean version of Constitutivism.Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 83(3), 620-660. Read More
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