Ethics Views- Julie Cardillo

1) Is it more important to be a good person or to perform good acts (virtue ethics vs. action ethics)?

Ultimately, I believe that it is more important to perform good acts and to be altruistic as opposed to just being a good person (virtue). The reason I say this is because one can be a good person, but if they don’t take action, then they’re not making an impact like those who do take action. I have always been a supporter of the common phrase, “Actions speak louder than words,” because it is so true. One can say that they are a good person all they want, but if they felt strong enough about a matter, then they would try to take a good action. When one performs good acts to help others (altruism), as opposed to just being a “good person (virtue),” they are bettering the thing(s) that they feel so strongly about (rather than just having good thoughts about something, but doing nothing about it). Now, I understand that often times taking action can be difficult (i.e. wanting to end world hunger). However, one can contribute in the best way that they can to help by donating canned goods, working at a soup kitchen, etc. Even the smallest good action can make a change. All of these reasons are why a person who performs good acts is better than one who is a good person.

5) Do the pleasure and pain of non-human animals matter as much as the pleasure and pain of humans (speciesism)?
This is a difficult question for me to answer because I am an avid animal lover. However, I do believe in Darwin’s “survival of the fittest,” and it is quite obvious that humans are the dominant species (anthropocentrism). Thus, (all though it kills me to say) human pleasure and pain matters more than animal pleasure and pain. Humans need to do all that they can to survive and live comfortably. That means we needs to kill animals for food, clear animals’ homes (forests i.e.) for homes/stores/etc, and other things that are necessary for humans to live that affect animals’ lives. With that being said, I think that humans go the extra-mile when it comes to contributing to society that animals. Also, we should prioritize taking care of our own kind first (human welfare). For example, if both a school and a puppy shelter were on fire, it would be more ethical to save the children and teachers of the school first than the puppies. However, I think humans should have some governance when it comes to certain things we do. For example, people who kill animals for “fun” take the whole concept of “human lives mattering more than animals’” out of proportion. Just because animal lives don’t matter as much as humans doesn’t mean animal lives don’t matter at all, and it doesn’t give people the right to abuse animals. 
6) Is my own life worth more than the lives of others, the same, or less (selfishness vs. altruism)?
My life is worth the exact same as anyone else’s. No one is above or below me. Often times, many people classify others above or below them due to gender, race, financial standpoint, culture, beliefs, etc. However, at the end of the day, we are all humans. As humans, we are in this together. We need to survive, we need to reproduce, we need to get along with each other. Why should someone be considered to be more worthless than someone else? There is nothing that makes anyone better than the rest of us. No matter what someone’s status is, my life is no better or less than theirs. We, as humans, are all equal, and our lives matter equally. I know that many people will disagree with me, but I think that criminal lives matter too. Sometimes many people are jailed for minuscule reasons. What if a person was jailed for stealing bread for their family? Just because they are considered a “criminal,” does not mean that their life is worthless. Or what if someone committed a small-level crime, but realized that they were wrong? Everyone makes mistakes; no one is perfect. As for murderers and those who commit serious crimes, I still think that their lives are worth the same. Consider this, if someone(rich, poor, white, black, homosexual, etc.) committed a serious crime, they should receive the same punishment for their act because their lives are worth equally. For example, a white man shouldn’t receive less punishment for a murder than a black man.

Getting to Know you – Syed Amirul

Salam Sejahtera!

My name is Syed Amirul, I am currently a Senior majoring in Economics (BA). I have now lived in State College, Pennsylvania for four years, but I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (which was why I greeted you in Bahasa Malaysia- it means hello!). I have a keen interest in photography so I might pursue a career in doing commercial photography while helping my family run our business. My interest in this course is to generally learn about the Earth. I’m always interested in learning about the nature ( I took meteorology and astronomy classes) and I think learning geography will help me connect the dots between human and environment interaction and its effects towards one another. One fun fact about me- I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 40 seconds. If anyone could solve it faster, please teach me!

Now that we’ve been introduced to some perspectives in the field of geography, one example that came in mind was an issue that’s becoming a national controversy in my country. In Pahang, the largest state in Peninsula Malaysia, the government are being condemned after active bauxite mining that has turned into a harmful economic activity to the locals of the area. Many reports have address the issue and its negative impact, one coming from Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences chairman Dr Harinder Rai Singh who said the contamination would be fatal to marine life. The coast of Pahang are mostly contaminated and is bound to be ‘dead sea’ within three years. This issue is important to be scrutinized on, mainly on how the human-environment interaction caused these harmful conditions, and how that in turn will affect the lives of humans living in the vicinity of the polluted area.

Module 1 Getting to Know You: Joseph Carlamere

Hello class, my name is Joseph Carlamere; I was born and raised in the southern part of New Jersey in the town of Hammonton. Hammonton is a farming town known for its blueberries and peaches. I currently live in Swedesboro, New Jersey, which is located approximately twenty miles from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and ten miles from Wilmington, Delaware. Similar to Hammonton, Swedesboro is also a farming town, but it is growing quickly. I am pursuing a degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy with a minor in Energy Financing. I am also thinking about taking a second-degree program in Energy Engineering if it becomes available through the World Campus. This degree will provide me with the knowledge to address complicated issues such as climate change, energy consumption and renewable energy technologies. Through this course I am looking forward to learning more about the natural and social conditions of the Earth. A few additional tidbits about me; I am a Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles fan, and my wife and I enjoy going to the beach on the weekends during the summer.
As mentioned in the previous paragraph I am interested in the third sub-discipline of geography, environment and society. This encompasses the interactions between the human world and the natural world. It is important to study this aspect of geography because our actions have a direct affect on the current and future conditions of the planet. This impact is seen globally in the form of climate change; this is not a theory rather an actual environmental event. The melting of the glacier ice caps, rising sea levels, and unique weather patterns are the evidence, which explains that climate change is in fact taking place. We all have an obligation to leave the planet, our home in better condition than when we found it; unfortunately this has not been the case for previous generations.

Getting to Know Me!

Hello everyone! My name is Julianna Cardillo (but people call me Julie or Jules for short). I currently live in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, but up until I was ten years old I lived in a near by town called Throop, Pennsylvania. I am a sophomore at Penn State Worthington Scranton, but I will be transferring to University Park in the fall! My major is Early Childhood Education, so I would like to become a teacher when I graduate (preferably  of 1st or 2nd graders). In addition, I would like to specialize in math education by obtaining a Masters Degree. I am taking this course for two reasons: The first reason is obvious; I needed an Economic Geography credit for my major. The second reason is because when I was looking for different courses to satisfy this credit, GEOG 030 caught my attention the most because the topics discussed in this course seemed very interesting to me, since I never knew/learned about the social aspect of Geography. As one to have a major that deals with social science, I felt that this course would be the most beneficial one. Now, some facts about me are I am on my campus’ softball and cheer teams. I am a member of THON and our campus’ Lion Ambassadors, as well. I love meeting and talking to new people, so I am very excited to “meet” all of you!

As I was reading through Module 1, the issue that sparked my interest the most was “Human-Environment Interactions.” I feel that this is well suited to discuss because this is the world we live in, so we should be weary of how we affect it and how it affects us. Moreover, humans are changing the environment everyday (and vice versa). However, when I read through this module, I learned that Paul Crutzen (Nobel Prize- winning scientist) believes that we live in an Anthropocene era, where humans are believed to be dominant over the environment. I can agree with Crutzen because I have noticed over the past decade humans have impacted and dominated the environment more by pollution, deforestation, etc. For example, I live by a small city called Dickson City, where they have had a Texas Roadhouse for many years. However, recently, that Texas Roadhouse was knocked down because it “wasn’t big enough” and rebuilt down the road. In order to build a bigger Texas Roadhouse, trees had to be cleared and the environment was disrupted. That leads me into thinking about ethics, because was it really environmentally ethical to ruin more of the environment to make a bigger Texas Roadhouse? Probably not. Ideas and actions like this are causing our environment to deplete. On the contrary, in this same city exists an abandoned Walmart, and this Walmart is abandoned because it was build too close to a rocky cliff. This resulted in boulders and rocks constantly falling on it. Clearly, the builders of this Walmart did not have much governance when it came to the location of where they wanted to build this Walmart. It is obvious that humans and the environment are constantly affecting each other in many (bad/good) ways. It is important that people consider the environment before they take action in doing something, since the result can be negative. By sustainability, I believe that we and the environment can live in peace without harming each other. Also, by learning about our surroundings and “thinking before we do,” we can avoid from being harmed by the environment or harming the environment.