• Environmentalist Ethics (Case Study Analysis)

    Pages: 4

    This 4 page paper examines ethics through a case study submitted by a student. The case study involves activists spiking trees that presents a potential danger to loggers. Ethics are examined through a variety of viewpoints, inclusive of but not limited to utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and bioethics. Bibliography lists 3 sources.

    File: RT13_SA540tre.rtf

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    Environmentalist Ethics (Case Study Analysis) properly In a hypothetical case  submitted by a student, "environmentalists in Oregon, by their own admission, have driven spikes into trees to prevent the lumber industry from harvesting them. If the trees are harvested, the  spikes break the huge, expensive saws in the lumber mills and sometimes injure the workers. Is the use of spikes by environmentalists unethical?" In this scenario, environmentalists are acting in  line with their own consciences. They see the harvesters as bad people who are ruining the future of the planet. If the spikes prevent harvesting, then they have succeeded in  their goal and it may be deemed ethical. After all, they never outright killed anyone as do abortion activists. Still, they have created a risk. In some circumstances, there are  negligent homicide charges which can be filed and this instance may in fact be one of those situations. Although the risk may not be so great as to cause deadly  harm, there is always the possibility. So, on one hand, the environmentalists are acting ethically because they are trying to prevent future loss, but they do create a potentially dangerous  situation. It is a difficult dilemma to resolve. In examining a variety of philosophical theories, it seems that a resolution is possible. For example, as it respects utilitarianism, there  is a sense that acting in accordance with the greatest good-or what will create the greatest quantity of happiness-it seems that what they are doing is unethical. Why? The majority  of people are not environmental activists and they do not care about the trees. Of course, that is not entirely true. Batstone (2003) writes that in respect to tree preservation, 

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