Differences between development, preservative and conservation ethics

The cultural and economic background of a person is likely to influence his views with regard to the environment. While these views can vary significantly, they can generally be categorized into one of three positions: the development ethics, the preservation ethics, or the conservation ethics. Each of these attitudes represents a generalized moral code for interaction with the environment.

The development ethics consider the human race to be the master of nature and that the resources of earth exist solely for human benefits. The positive nature of growth and development is an important theme within this philosophy. This view suggests that hard work and technological improvements can overcome any limitations of natural resources.

The preservation ethics suggest that nature itself has intrinsic value and deserves protection. Some preservationists assert that all life forms have rights equal to those of humans. Others seek to preserve nature for aesthetic or recreational reasons. Still other preservationists value the diversity represented by the natural environment and suggest that humans are unaware of the potential value of many species and their natural ecosystems.

The conservation ethics recognize the limitations of natural resources on earth and states that unlimited economic or population growth is not feasible. This philosophy seeks to find a balance between the availability and utilization of natural resources.

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