Question 4: Do ecosystems matter for their own sake, or do they only matter to the extent that they impact humans (ecocentric ethics vs. anthropocentric ethics)?
In my opinion, I believe as a culture humans have an anthropocentrism view. Anthropocentrism puts humans at the top of the food chain, so to speak. Humans are only worried about themselves and how they can use other things for their own gain. I believe ecosystems do matter for their own sake. Ecosystems were here long before we were, however since they do not have a voice we use and abuse them as we see fit. We as humans are depended on ecosystems to survive, yet we abuse them. I believe if we started to change our views more towards ecocentrism, the ecosystems would be better off in the long run. Ecocentrism puts ecosystems as most important instead of humans. I believe for the world to have sustainability we as human will have to have more ecocentric ethics and less anthropocentric ethics. I believe we need to be cautious of what we do to the ecosystems for our own gain. If the ecosystems are taken away we will not survive.
Question 5: Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?
I believe speciesism is the human way of life, we value our lives and those alike us more than “animals”. Speciesism is when one species is deemed more valuable than another. I believe humans view themselves like a god, they are the only one that matters and will do anything if it helps them. I do not believe humans are more important because we have reasoning, and other abilities. Research shows more and more animals have these same abilities as human do, such as dolphins and monkeys. Animal Cognition is the study of mental capacities of animals. Furthermore, there are the animals we use to help us in everyday life, such as guide dogs and police dogs. I believe their lives should be worth just as much as our own. I believe if someone was to harm or kill a police dog (K9), they should be charged will killing a police officer in the line of duty. On the other hand, we put down dogs or other animals after they harm us, such as a dog biting a child. I believe rapist, killers, etc should be given the same treatment and be put to death. I believe humans and animals, especially the ones we view as pets should receive the same treatment and we should value their welfare.
Question 6: Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?
I was think of this question when I started watching Z Nation. Z nation is a show about getting a specific person from upper New York to a lab in California to make a vaccine to save the world from a zombie apocalypse. You can imagine there are many lives lost to save one person along the way. They all believed they were doing the “right” thing and sacrificing their lives to save humanity. They were sacrificing their lives for more than just one live. This show made me think what I would do, would I pick to save myself, and be selfish or help for as long as I could, and be altruistic. I believe my life in this scenario would be worth less than the person who could potentially save humanity. I believe if there were emotions involved I would not choose myself, just as with a family member, significant other or friend. On the other hand, I believe I would choose myself if there was nothing known about the other person and no emotions involved.