SCI 275 Week 1 - DQ 2 - 8033

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After reading the text, I would have to say that my personal worldview lies right in between the traditional Western worldview and the deep ecology worldview. I support views from both sides and believe there is a happy medium between the two. By supporting both sides, I believe that the human population can expand across the globe but does not need to take up every inch of land. I agree with the deep ecology worldview saying that all other living organisms have the right to exist in this world as well. Even though we are the dominant species, we can not live on this earth without the other plants and animals that keep the eco system going. As we all know, without plants and trees to provide oxygen and insects to keep them pollinated, our environment as a whole will seize to exist. All the technology in the world is never going to replace a natural working environment.

By co-living in a world that respects the living and expansion of all organisms alike, this world will be around for generations and generations to com. If this world is dominated my one extreme or the other (western worldview or deep ecology worldview) for too long, live as we know it will end.  

WORLDVIEWS
Each of us has a particular worldview—that is, a commonly shared perspective based on a collection of our basic values that helps us make sense of the world, understand our place and purpose in it, and determine right and wrong behaviors. These worldviews lead to behaviors and lifestyles that may or may not be compatible with environmental sustainability. Two extreme, competing environmental worldviews are the Western worldview and the deep ecology worldview. These two worldviews, admittedly broad generalizations, are at nearly opposite ends of a spectrum of worldviews relevant to global sustainability problems, and each approaches environmental responsibility in a radically different way.
The traditional
Western worldview, also known as the expansionist worldview, is human-centered and utilitarian. It mirrors the beliefs of the 19th-century frontier attitude, a desire to conquer and exploit nature as quickly as possible (Figure 2.5). The Western worldview also advocates the inherent rights of individuals, accumulation of wealth, and unlimited consumption of goods and services to provide material comforts. According to the Western worldview, humans have a primary obligation to humans and are therefore responsible for managing natural resources to benefit human society. Thus, any concerns about the environment are derived from human interests.

The deep ecology worldview is a diverse set of viewpoints that dates from the 1970s and is based on the work of Arne Naess, a Norwegian philosopher, and others, including ecologist Bill Devall and philosopher George Sessions. The principles of deep ecology, as expressed by Naess in Ecology, Community and Lifestyle (1989), include:

1. Both human and nonhuman life has intrinsic value. The value of nonhuman life-forms is independent of the usefulness they may have for narrow human purposes.

2. Richness and diversity of life-forms contribute to the flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth (
Figure 2.6).

3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.

4. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

5. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease in the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.

6. Significant change of life conditions for the better requires changes in economic, technological, and ideological structures.

7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality rather than adhering to a high standard of living.

8. Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes.

Compared to the Western worldview, the deep ecology worldview represents a radical shift in how humans relate themselves to the environment. The deep ecology worldview stresses that all forms of  life have the right to exist, and that humans are not different or separate from other organisms. Humans have an obligation to themselves and to the environment. The deep ecology worldview  advocates sharply curbing human population growth. It does not advocate returning to a society free of today’s technological advances but instead proposes a significant rethinking of our use of current technologies and alternatives. It asks individuals and societies to share an inner spirituality connected
to the natural world. Most people today do not fully embrace either the Western worldview or the deep ecology worldview. The Western worldview is
anthropocentric and emphasizes the importance of humans as the overriding concern in the grand scheme of things. In contrast, the deep ecology worldview is biocentric and views humans as one species among others. The planet’s natural resources could not support its more than 6.5 billion humans if each consumed the high level of goods and services sanctioned by the Western worldview. On the other hand, the world as envisioned by the deep ecology worldview could support only a fraction of the existing human population (Figure 2.7).
These worldviews, while not practical for widespread adoption, are useful to keep in mind as you examine various environmental issues in later chapters. In the meantime, you should think about your own worldview and discuss it with others—whose worldviews will probably be different from your own. Thinking leads to actions, and actions lead to consequences. What are the short-term and long-term consequences of your particular worldview? We must develop and incorporate into our culture a long-lasting, environmentally sensitive worldview if the environment is to be sustainable for us, for other living organisms, and for future generations.

Solution Description


After reading the text, I would have to say that my personal worldview lies right in between the traditional Western worldview and the deep ecology worldview. I support views from both sides and believe there is a happy medium between the two. By supporting both sides, I believe that the human population can expand across the globe but does not need to take up every inch of land. I agree with the deep ecology worldview saying that all other living organisms have the right to exist in this world as well. Even though we are the dominant species, we can not live on this earth without the other plants and animals that keep the eco system going. As we all know, without plants and trees to provide oxygen and insects to keep them pollinated, our environment as a whole will seize to exist. All the technology in the world is never going to replace a natural working environment.

By co-living in a world that respects the living and expansion of all organisms alike, this world will be around for generations and generations to com. If this world is dominated my one extreme or the other (western worldview or deep ecology worldview) for too long, live as we know it will end.  

WORLDVIEWS
Each of us has a particular worldview—that is, a commonly shared persp