Economics Dictionary of Arguments

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Singer I 252
Ecology/biosphere/George Sessions/Bill Devall/Singer, P.: W. Devall and G. Sessions, Deep Ecology, Living As If Nature Mattered, Salt Lake City (1985): Thesis: The idea of biocentric equality is that all things in the biosphere have the same right to life and the right to their individual development possibilities. All organisms and entities in the ecosphere, as part of a coherent whole, have the same intrinsic value.
P. SingerVsSessions, George/P. SingerVsDevall, Bill/Singer, P.: there are strong intuitive objections, for example:
1. That the welfare of adults is more important than the well-being of yeast and that the rights of gorillas are higher than the rights of grass.
2. If humans, gorillas, yeasts and grasses are all parts of a coherent whole, one can still ask why this gives the same intrinsic value to all elements.
a) Even if there is an intrinsic value in the realm of micro-organisms and the plant kingdom, this does not show that individual micro-organisms and individual plants also have an intrinsic value, because their survival as individuals is irrelevant to the survival of the ecosystem as a whole.
b) The fact that all organisms are part of a coherent whole does not show that they all have an intrinsic value, let alone the same intrinsic value.
It could still be that the whole thing has only one value, because it promotes the existence of conscious beings.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Sessions I
George Sessions
Deep Ecology - Living as If Nature Mattered Santa Barbara 1987

SingerP I
Peter Singer
Practical Ethics (Third Edition) Cambridge 2011

SingerP II
P. Singer
The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically. New Haven 2015

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