Howell, R. 2010. Choosing Ethical Theories and Principles and Applying Them to the Question: ‘Should The Seas be Owned?’, International Journal of Transdisciplinary Research, 5(1), 1-28.
It is argued that the serious threat to the welfare of the oceans can best be solved through ownership, and if it may not be achievable, regulation. This paper opposes this view: the significant thing in the relations between the ecological systems and humans. Changing this interaction to provide humans with an opportunity to survive means a departure from the Lockean right to property entrenched western derived legislations and constitutions, and declarations such as the declaration on human rights by the United Nations. There are no ecological rights that provide assurance for human rights to property, freedom, life and health.
Grimond defines the depletion of life and dilapidation of the sea, and argues that humans should change their ways: the chances of a disaster are simply huge to contemplate. He emphasizes that the catastrophe of the sea is the catastrophe of the commons, which means any individual with an accesses to any resource should exploit I because if not someone else will exploit it. This paper strongly disagrees with this conclusion. In order to give reasons and alternative principles for maintainable resource utilization, it is essential to first define the methodology for deciding ethical principles. Secondly the prevailing ethical principles underscoring the right to ownership of property should be defined and assessed, and alternatives delineated.
Ethical paradigms aim to illustrate the meaning of moral language in daily discourse, and the representation in moral standards or guidelines. Paradigms can also strive to advocate for divergent understanding in relation to how to behave in cases of contradictions between divergent discourse behavior, and between different representations. Daily discourse may include words like right, obligation, duty, and ought among others. Schema on the other hand defines standards or guidelines enshrined in specialized rules, national constitutions, codes of conduct, doctrines and creeds and organizational charters (Howell, 2009).
There are three categories of ethical principles, or an essential concept in a group of ethical principles that may include human-human and earth-human perspectives: intrinsic values, integrity, and respect. To evaluate these concepts necessitates consideration of personal, organizational, communal and environmental concerns. The consideration of individual relationships and responsibilities includes the development of rules or dictums against things like murder, physical assault, cheating, theft, but may also include parental responsibilities for children, and the children’s obligations for the care of superiors. These responsibilities are covered by the three concepts. The reason is that in the vent that one steals, or assaults another individual, they are not being respectful towards them and they are not treasured intrinsically or of integrity. If the concepts of respect, integrity and intrinsic value have the ability to lead to definitions of moral obligations between humans and nature, that safeguard the life and welfare of ecological systems, what are the consequences of the privatization or control of resources such as the ocean?
Assigning of ownership is not the answer to solving the sea issues. In other areas such as land use the privatization of land or subsequent control by governments has not yielded desired results, or changed policy. The core factor would be a drastic change in human earth relationships, where humans should not view nature as an instrument to fulfill their utilities and a basis to lay claim to ownership of property up and above other obligations.
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