Anthropocentric Legal Definition

An adequate overview of national environmental legislation would obviously go beyond the scope of this contribution. What I mean is simply that there is not a single state in the world that makes it impossible to cause serious environmental damage on a large scale or in the long term through legal actions. There are also many States where, due to insufficient national legislation, most environmentally destructive acts are legal. And, of course, in some states, the government itself is responsible for the destruction of the environment – whether alone or alone or, as in the Niger Delta, through an unholy alliance with multinational capital. Why, then, would we want to impose an anthropocentric cost-benefit analysis on lawful acts that otherwise meet the definition of ecocide — that is, acts that the perpetrator knew had a significant probability of causing serious environmental damage on a large scale or in the long term, but that were committed anyway? Why are mens rea and actus reus not enough for criminalization? I responded by stating that the registration of only illegal acts was not the only alternative to the IEP. It could also have criminalized involvement in any act that the perpetrator knew had a significant likelihood of causing serious environmental damage on a large scale or in the long term, whether that act was legal or illegal. According to this definition – which I support, as I made clear in my previous article – the “criminalizing factor” of ecocide is simply that the perpetrator knew that his act would likely cause the necessary environmental damage, but committed the act anyway. The rationale for this broader definition is simple: people should not engage in actions that they know pose a significant risk of causing serious, widespread or long-term harm to the environment, no matter how anthropocentrically beneficial that action may be. While there are some differences between the different anthropocentric positions, there are also some similarities that do not bode well for non-human well-being and the protection of biodiversity. The most important of these is the lack of ethical consideration of the intrinsic value of non-human forms.

The widely held meaning of the term anthropocentrism is that “only humans are worthy of ethical considerations” and that “other things are mere means to human ends” (Callicott 2006:119). But Hayward changes the meaning of the word to take care of people and be compassionate for them. Such an erosion of meaning is problematic because it confuses a formal description of evaluation theory with a legitimate aspect of that theory. We suggest that anthropocentrism (applied to humanity as a whole) should remain the term that describes a human-centered theory of evaluation, the aspects of which are a strong explanation for society`s current ecological unsustainability and unethical treatment of animals. The so-called psychological divide between human and non-human beings has no more existence, apart from man`s extravagant imagination, than the once assumed physical division. This is pure fiction. Acceptance is a relic of the rapidly declining vanity of anthropocentrism [sic] and is supported from age to age by human selfishness and vanity. It has no scientific basis or common sense; man tries to reduce his guilt by praising himself and denigrating and humiliating his victims. [25]: 108 In cognitive psychology, the term anthropocentric thinking has been defined as “the tendency to think of unknown species or biological processes by analogy with humans.” [28] Analog thinking is an attractive thinking strategy, and it can be tempting to apply one`s own experience of being human to other biological systems.

[28] For example, since death is generally perceived as undesirable, it may be tempting to form the misconception that death is also undesirable at the cellular level or elsewhere in nature (when in reality programmed cell death is an essential physiological phenomenon and ecosystems also depend on death). [28] Conversely, anthropocentric thinking can also lead humans to subordinate human characteristics to other organisms. For example, it may be tempting to mistakenly assume that an animal that is very different from humans, such as an insect, does not share certain biological characteristics such as reproduction or blood circulation. [28] Kidner, D. (2014). Why “anthropocentrism” is not anthropocentric. Dialectical Anthropology, 38(1), 465-480. Here we have highlighted the struggle of worldviews between anthropocentrism and ecocentrism.

Is value limited to humanity or is it also in the rest of life? Hayward and others circumvent this fundamental question by redefining anthropocentrism from an ideology that views man as the most important entity in the universe to general compassion and human care for people. Hayward doesn`t talk about the same thing as those who criticize anthropocentrism because it focuses solely on ourselves. Therefore, attempts to rehabilitate anthropocentrism with this completely different definition are a “sleight of hand” to confuse the public. What we have before us as a society is the decision to insist that all values and ethics are limited to humanity, or whether value and ethics reside in the rest of life on earth, as ecocentrism claims. Anthropocentrism as an ideology is selfish and solipsistic, obsessed only with people. Yet people do love animals, trees, rivers and landscapes, and many Indigenous cultures value and respect them (Knudtson & Suzuki, 1992). Anthropocentrism is clearly an important driver of ecocide and the environmental crisis, as society has pursued the “human planet” project madly without taking into account that humanity (ultimately) is completely dependent on nature (Washington 2013). Anthropocentrism cannot lead us to a sustainable future. In contrast, ecocentrism accepts that we are part of nature and have a responsibility to respect the web of life and heal the damage caused by the ideological domination of anthropocentrism (Washington et al. 2017a, b).

That`s where Voigt`s second response on Twitter comes in. In response to my suggestion that the MYP did not need to distinguish between illegal and legal acts, but could have completely eliminated anthropocentric cost-benefit analysis, she tweeted the following: The use of the word “Dominion” in Genesis has been used to justify an anthropocentric worldview, but lately some have found it controversial. You can consider this to be a bad translation from Hebrew. [20] However, it can be argued that the Bible actually places all its meaning on God as Creator and on man as a mere additional part of creation. [21] If we don`t reach out to everyone, including Slovak transgender models, Mexican drug dealers, Turkish history teachers, Japanese lolitas, American amateur astronomers, etc., can`t we talk about humanity to begin with? We disagree. Some groups (for example, commercial loggers) can be held accountable more easily than poor smallholder farmers who are forced to cut down trees to feed their families. In fact, Elliott (2013) argued that the poor are trapped in the devil`s spiral in which they are forced to overuse natural resources, further impoverishing them. But are these poor farmers by definition “innocent” while their actions still result in the destruction of acres of forest? Will they still be “innocent” as they get rich by cutting gold or migrating to a country with high consumption? While it can be easy to blame a Shell CEO for contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, can we say that an average driver who fills their fuel tank is innocent or a little more innocent than the CEO? How to measure innocence? The relevance of this discussion is to reinforce the argument that anthropocentrism is not just about elites, but about an ideology that privileges all people over the rest of nature.

This discussion is also important with regard to people who live outside the industrial market system and do not degrade their habitats. On an individual level, we can speak of “innocents”. Nevertheless, any collectivity such as nation-states (even if it is relatively poor) should be held accountable. We accept that in some states some people have a greater responsibility. To be clear, I don`t think ecocide is limited to the kind of actions that Stop Ecocide mentions. I commend the IEP for demanding that the significant risk of serious environmental damage be generalized, i.e. in the long term, making the news reus of the crime easier to satisfy than the news reus of the war crime related to Article 8(2)(b)(iv) of the Rome Statute. And I think it was wise for the IEP to adapt the definition of widespread to include transboundary damage and “blatant environmental damage harming thousands of people in a single city or population center.” Instead of anthropocentrism, Hayward speaks of human chauvinism and speciesism as truly offensive: “when, for morally arbitrary reasons, humans prioritize the interests of members of their own species over the interests of members of other species” (ibid., p. 52).

For example, Hayward ponders, “If, in the human case, it is wrong to inflict avoidable physical suffering because humans are sentient beings, then it would be morally arbitrary to inflict suffering on other sentient beings. Therefore, the cruel and degrading treatment of animals can be condemned as speciesist” (ibid.