Anthropocentrism and Ecocentrism

Essay by phetamineCollege, Undergraduate January 2006

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The Anthropocentrism view is the belief that humans alone have intrinsic worth or value. Simply put it means that if something promotes the wellness or interests of humankind then it is a good thing, if not than it is a bad or neutral thing. An example would be the animals in nature, which are considered good, because they provide us with entertainment, knowledge, medicines, clothing and many other things that are in the better interests of humans. However, while it may provide us with these items, it is still believed to have no actual value in itself. Only what it provides us with is actually considered to have value because it is what the human desires and therefore promotes our wellness or interests. On the other hand, let's look at a disease that affects humans and another one that affects only bears. If an epidemic was discovered that affected humans we would immediately begin studying the disease and begin working towards a cure for it.

Since it is affecting humans in a negative way it is a bad thing. However, if an epidemic that affected bears alone were to be discovered we wouldn't be as quick to take evasive action. We would work on it for a few reasons such as we wouldn't have bears to hunt for fur or meat, or we would be worried that it may evolve into a strain which can be contracted by humans. So, since it a neutral thing we would help to prevent it but we would be less quick to jump to it's aide. The anthropocentrism's view on deforestation would be to use the cost benefit analysis, which is to choose the alternative that has the greater net balance of benefits over the harms or costs. If tearing down a forest would...