Today, belief in God does not depend on rationality. Indeed, the efficacy of God is assumed to be given  a fact of nature. A distinction is made between the rational and the necessary. God is necessary, as some astute minds argue. No explication is given. The rationality of Gods existence is assumed to be beyond the grasp of human faculty. Examining these arguments, one can imagine a world without a form, an idea without a manifestation. Necessity does not precede rationality. In the case of God, His existence is both rational and necessary. Therefore, Gods existence must be conveyed in the most rational manner  far removed from the vagrancies of human ignorance. To this, Hume argued

Look round the world contemplate the whole and every part of it You will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines  Since, therefore, the effects resemble each other, we are led to infer, by all the rules of analogy, that the causes also resemble and that the Author of Nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man, though possessed of much larger faculties, proportioned to the grandeur of the work which he has executed. By this argument a posteriori, and by this argument alone, do we prove at once the existence of a Deity, and his similarity to human mind and intelligence. (Hume, 17791998 15)

The rationality of Gods being can only be inferred on the efficacy of creation. The creation provides the logical background to which nature and necessity can be determined. As such, by syllogistic analogy, the efficacy of creation is a direct manifestation of a higher being.

    Rationality is not a sickness of disillusion. It is merely a tool of logic a constructive means of proving that which is beyond empiricism. Belief without rationality is the symptom of malevolent human conduct, of reification  assuming that great ideas necessitates form and function.

According to Locke, information which individuals receive through the senses is subjective and cannot be trusted (secondary qualities), while objective information constitutes reliable knowledge (primary qualities). Substance  the essence of being  cannot be known because experience falls from one of these categories.
Berkeley attacked this theory because of its inability to prove rationality for the necessity of being. According to Berkeley, perception and sensation are part of human experience. Individuals determine the essence of experience, whether the experience is illusory or objective. As such, the essence of the object magnified is separate from the perception of the sense-holder. Hume nominally agrees with Berkeley. He argued
All reasoning concerning matter of fact i.e. contingent propositions seem to be founded on the relation of cause and effect... Knowledge of this relation... arises entirely from experience, when we find that any particular objects are constantly conjoined with each other... Were any object presented to us, and were we required to pronounce concerning the effect which will result from it without consulting past observations, after what manner... must the mind proceed... (Hume, 17791998 16).

To Hume, sensation and experience is separate or distinct from the essence or substance of an object. Cause and effect is a matter of relation, manifested in perceptual knowledge.

    However, Hume argued that knowledge of the material world cannot be established deductively or inductively. Induction rests on the assumption that nature is uniform, following a regular pattern, that the future is identical to the past. Knowledge of the external world gained through either deduction or induction is not absolute, for information about material objects goes beyond what can perceived. Objective knowledge cannot be trusted, as it only pertains to immediate perception.

Kantian criticism rests on the idea of material and ideal constructivism. Man creates his own world. The human essence, through certain a priori forms, organizes the blind information of experience (tabula rasa) and constructs the queen sciences. Man therefore constructs the world of morality  the basis of the material world. All things have the inherent tendency to unite.  Life therefore is an enmeshed deduction of totality  the value of both rationality and necessity. The meaning of life itself is either the world, God, or both, depending on the experience of the individual, depending on his nature.

Foundations of Human Knowledge

Descartes for the 21st Century

Descartes aim is, once and for all, to lay a lasting foundation for knowledge. To achieve this, he contends that we cannot possibly go too far in our distrustful attitude (Med. 1). Better to have a standard that excludes some truths, than one that justifies some falsehoods. (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

The question Can there be secure foundations of knowledge can be approached from different angles that have their bearing upon different aspects of problem. In this essay I will try to face the problem head-on, tackling it in as simple and direct way as possible, so as to make myself easily understandable even to an interested layman. My own introduction to this topic has come through Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennets most fascinating compilation The Minds I (1982). A particular issue discussed in that book, namely the brain in the vat scenario, has deeply intrigued me since I became aware of it and I take this opportunity to bring up that thought-experiment into a broader perspective. The brain in the vat issue is a simple variation upon some profound questions raised by Ren Descartes in the 18th century, in this essay I will present Descartes line of reasoning in my own words, adding to it some insights I have garnered through my general readings and reflections. I have asked myself what would I write if I were asked to contribute to The Minds I, and the result is this essay.

To believe or not to believe

How can we know anything for sure What is out there How can we know that what we know is knowledge and not just belief Many mystics and metaphysicians have reported experiencing the world directly  utterly bypassing the senses. But barring such drastic transcending experiences, the truth of which cannot be objectively ascertained, we are totally bound to experience the world via the medium of our senses and the mind. As a consequence of which the great epistemological question arises  what is really out there, what is there all around us in reality

We derive our knowledge about the world around us in four ways observation, testimony, deductive inference and inductive inference (Coady 149). But can we really penetrate the nature of the objective world in these ways By objective world is meant the world that may exist independent of our senses, perception, and mind.

Given that the mind is our only source of the knowledge of the world, (the sense organs can be simply seen as appendages to the mind), would it be possible to determine if the knowledge derived from our minds is actually grounded in reality and is not akin to some castle floating in air with no foundations Foundations imply solid, dependable, indubitable and irrefutable bases, and knowledge of course means knowledge of objective reality. Could the mind inherently be functioning as some kind of distorting mechanism, or is it faithful in reflecting reality In other words, can we believe our mind and the knowledge it brings to us The fundamental concept of strong foundationalism is obviously the concept of a basic belief. (Bonjour 6)

One of the first modern thinkers to grapple with this vast problem of epistemology was Rene Descartes who is regarded as a rationalist skeptic. What does skepticism mean in this context

Since at least the time of Descartes (First Meditation) in the seventeenth century there has been a philosophical problem about our knowledge of the world around us. Put most simply, the problem is to show how we can have any knowledge of the world at all. The conclusion that we cannot, that no one knows anything about the world around us, is what I call scepticism about the external world. (Stroud 1)

I am inclined towards skepticism, in the manner of Descartes, but do not hesitate to take it a little further than he does. In the rest of this essay, I will try to advance the case of skepticism through specific and easily relatable examples.

The foundations are founded on what

Normally, we tend to perfectly believe whatever we see. But our beliefs about the external world can possess the certainty of knowledge only when they can be justified by irrefutable evidence. As it is, our knowledge of the external world is purely inferential, derived through our senses and mind. All supposed evidence we have about the external world is provided by our perceptual experience that is to say, by how things look, sounds, smell, taste and feel to us.  Our experiential beliefs, however, can never logically entail anything definite about the external world, because there is no inherent and intrinsic logical necessity for there to exist an exact correspondence between our perceptions of the external world and the real world around us (to the extent that some such thing exists). No tenable logical inference can bridge the gap between the world around us and ourselves. As a result, there is no logical way to justify our core beliefs about the external world. We are not even in a position to assert the existence of an external world, as separate from our own minds.

When you know something you not only have an opinion, but that opinion is true that is, it coincides with reality. When you merely believe something but not know it, then it is possible that what you believe is not true but only exists in your mind. (Stewart  Blocker 170)

To move from the status of mere believing to the level of true knowing, our knowledge is required to have foundations. Foundations are needed if one seeks to ascertain the nature of reality as it is and is not content with a makeshift understanding of the world. But can these foundations ever be really secure, impervious to all possible objections Can we ever come to believe our beliefs about the nature of reality  attained through reason  without the risk of fooling ourselves Can rational belief rest on a foundation strong enough (OHair 381)

This is where skepticism comes in. Skepticism is in fact not just some school of thought but a fundamental reflection about human existence in the universe, the essence of which was well presented by Descartes in his First Meditation. Descartes begins his meditations on a very simple premise of back to basics

Some years ago I was struck by how many false things I had believed, and by how doubtful was the structure of beliefs that I had based on them. I realized that if I wanted to establish anything in the sciences that was stable and likely to last, I neededjust once in my lifeto demolish everything completely and start again from the foundations.  (Descartes 1)

And he sets out exploring the various grounds of skepticism, in order to arrive at some point of certainty, if possible. Descartes says what if we were all living in a dream Not just in the Shakespearean sense, but in reality.

Stuff of dreams

We all must have dreamed dreams that we thought were so absolutely real that not even the faintest suspicion of doubt arose in us as to the reality of our dream experiences  until we awoke.  This single argument in itself is enough to cast a heavy shadow of doubt on the reality of our existence and give a jolt to the assumed foundations of our knowledge. Yet Descartes attacks from various angles the seemingly unshakeable certainty we have in our own existence and the existence of the world around us, questioning the reliability of sense perception and so on.

There is such a thing as hallucination for example, people under the effect of certain psychedelic drugs very frequently see all kinds of weird things that exist nowhere except in their fervid imagination. Hence it is theoretically possible for whatever we perceive as the world to be nothing more than a hallucination too. Moreover, we see magicians making us see things that are not there, and not see things that are there. Illusion and hallucination are no small things either, confined to the context of drugs, magicians and such passing things.

The movie A Beautiful Mind depicts the real life story of a Nobel-prize winning mathematician and economist as he suffers from an intense form of schizophrenia he lives in the objectively real world (relatively speaking) which is at the same time co-existent with a world of his own fabrication. The most intriguing aspect here is that the audience would not know that the protagonist was interacting with characters that purely emanated out of his mind until it would be revealed to them much later on in the movie. The real world and the imagined world merge seamlessly into one another.

Hallucinations can in fact be even more powerful than this, and I will get back to the subject at a later point in this essay. Suffice it to say for now that senses are very liable to be deceived, and hence cannot be trusted. The mind cannot be trusted either of course, as we have been discussing, nor the countless memories that populate it. Memory is indeed a notably unreliable mechanism.

Dream, hallucination, illusion, delusion, and as we shall presently see, SF-type make-belief scenarios  the very possibility of these things undermines the certainty of our perceptions and knowledge. Descartes goes on even further.

Daemons worlds

Descartes tries to refute the certainty of mathematical equations such as two plus two equals four. What if, Descartes asks, the whole world is run by an omnipotent evil Deity who could be having fun deliberately misleading our logic

It is difficult to conceive that two plus two may not equal four in any world, still it is not at all difficult to conceive the malicious Daemon, as Descartes calls him. Descartes Daemon need not be evil or omnipotent, he could be some great scientist or a team of scientists doing a grand experiment  with me. This is the crux of the matter how can I know for certain that I am a real person in a real world as I would like to believe myself to be  and not just a disembodied brain pickled inside a huge vat and connected to innumerable electrodes that are constantly feeding reality into my brain Such a possibility cannot be altogether precluded and once we take it seriously there is no way to go around it. We must face it head on. As Hofstadter (473) observes, disembodied brains have long been a favorite philosophical fantasy  but what if the fantasy were the actual reality

We could all indeed be bodies floating in sealed containers experiencing reality solely by aid of some infinitely complex software program plugged into us (as in The Matrix movie scenario). If this sounds far-fetched, we must remind ourselves that it is not remotely as weird as, for example, the whole universe taking birth from a dot-sized bubble (the standard Big Bang model of the universe). As the old adage goes, truth is always stranger than fiction. 

If we were actually some such entities caught up in a virtual reality unbeknownst to us, we would still perceive (or be made to perceive) a perfectly solid and realistic external world exactly every bit same as the normal everyday world we have around us. The intelligence that has programmed our reality could be of such higher order that we would not be really able to perceive much in the way of discrepancies, such as the walls around us in the house crumbling into a rapid flurry of numbers due to some software glitch

By virtue of reality

In 1950, the pioneering AI scientist Alan Turing devised simple criteria, constituting the famous Turing Test, to distinguish between a computer that has evolved artificial intelligence and one that has not (Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy). A computer or robot that could deceive a person that he is dealing with another person like him on the other side of the wall, while in reality there is only a computer there, can be justifiably considered a machine with a sufficient degree of simulated intelligence to pass for a human being. This is the benchmark for AI. By the same token and simply reversing the stakes, is it at all conceivable to devise some test to determine the reality quotient of our reality

I think it is not possible because in theory anything that is possible in reality can be created in virtual reality with no loss of quality. There is simply no way one can conclusively prove that we are right now not living in a world of virtual reality. We normally take the realness of our reality as a matter of faith, since we may think that though such VR scenarios are possible they are not very probable.

But is it so

Space, time, and mind

Before we proceed further we must take into consideration the three fundamental bases in which our reality is embedded space, time and causation. I will touch upon the question of causation at the end of this essay, but considering space and time we must concede that, in theory, they both are infinite. We do not really need any philosophical arguments like, for example, those provided by Kant to accept the fact that time really cannot have any beginning. Until fairly recently though, scientists were adamant that time began at t  0 during the Big Bang. But nowadays it is widely accepted that our universe could have emerged from some other meta-universe. Time did exist before the Big Bang after all.

Similarly, though physicists have known since the time of Newton that space cannot be infinite  because if it were so we would be receiving light radiation from an infinite number of stars and our nights would be as bright as the day  we cannot conceive of a boundary for space beyond which there is no space at all. According to the latest conclusions of physicists, the universe is curved upon itself, we indeed live in a closed universe and yet no one can deny that there could be many more universes beyond our own.

If we accept that the spatial and temporal dimensions of existence are intrinsically infinite, a few things become obvious. We can now easily conceive of some intelligence developing on some planet at some point in the infinite stretch of time which is capable of developing artificial worlds of some sort or other, either make-believe virtual worlds or even actual worlds with real time and space. In fact if our human race keeps on evolving, perhaps within a million years or so from now we ourselves could have acquired enough technological know-how to replicate reality with a high degree of fidelity. And a million years is simply nothing even by local Earth standards, without bringing in the universe and whatever lies beyond it. And then imagine what we would be capable of doing in one more million years thereafter

My argument delineated above is an extension of the famous brain in the vat thought experiment, which is of course a modernized version of Descartes Malicious Daemon proposition (Wapedia). Descartes though invoked his Daemon half-playfully, as Gellner puts it. However, with our modern exposure to science fiction and knowledge of the limits to which technology can take us, it would be nave to dismiss the actual feasibility of a Descartes Daemon lightly. Descartes himself was forced to give the matter some considerable weight 

But what was in part  not altogether  a mere supposition, almost an intellectual coquetry for Descartes, soon became a reasonable, indeed a compelling suspicion. (Gellner 15) 

Gellner goes on to note, remarking upon some bleak tone that has crept into Descartes musings, that There can be no mistaking the sense of distrust and disorientation. Now, it is not just a matter of distrust, suspicion or some such philosophical luxury that philosophers can indulge in, but a matter of near-certainty that the world around is greatly different and infinitely more complex than we generally perceive it to be in framing our worldview.

We can only be certain of our uncertainty, and echo with Socrates in saying I know that I know nothing. Perhaps Socrates in his legendary wisdom intuitively perceived that the foundations of knowledge really cannot ever be secure when he uttered his signature statement. Socrates can be considered worlds first skeptic, for him the world rested on a gigantic question mark, and it would ever be so.

Although my argument here involves the Daemon paradigm and all that goes with it, it moves a little further. My emphasis here is this our minds cannot conceive space and time to be anything but infinite, and at the same time our minds are utterly incapable of comprehending infinity and eternity. For instance, if we try to imagine a span of hundred trillion trillion trillion years as being equal to a fraction of a second  which is how it would be for time in the context of eternity  our heads would spin And this is only a mild way of putting it. However, reality  the very same reality that we are part of right now  is founded upon and rooted in infinity, in all dimensions. To hope that we would ever be able know and understand the true nature of this reality would be truly presumptuous. The foundations of our knowledge could only be tenuous and tentative at best, no matter how much we come to learn by way of scientific discoveries.

Intimations from the beyond

My argument so far ran within the confines of a purely scientific outlook of the world. Although to Descartes his Daemon was mainly a metaphysical hypothesis, to us with our SF-educated sensibilities, it is very much within the realm of possibility. It is not only feasible, it is highly probable. However, if we are not reluctant to bring in some metaphysical concepts too into this matter, then the basis of our notions of reality become even shakier. Mystics throughout the history, while belonging to widely divergent traditions, have unanimously maintained that the nature of reality is fundamentally unknowable (hence the name mysticism). Eastern Mystics particularly have insisted that the whole world is a dreamillusion or Maya. The point to be noted here is that to these mystical thinkers utterances to this effect were not suspicions or suppositions as it was with Descartes, but plain assertions based on their direct experience.

Further on, if we bring in esoteric, occult and paranormal elements while considering the bases of our beliefs of reality  things such as astral realms, alternatives realities, higher dimensions, higher selves and so on  the confusion is vastly exacerbated. Even without venturing into the realm of the paranormal though, just sticking to the domain of science and what is scientifically conceivable, there are certain concepts like time-travel, parallel universes, dark mater  dark energy (which together compose 95 of the universe) and so on which can lead to a grave sense of disorientation in us, again to put it mildly.

Here, a particular mention has to be made of the concept of unexplained phenomena or anomalies. Our scientific understanding of the world often advances through investigating what may seem to be slight anomalies. In the early 20th century, for example, a slight discrepancy in the orbit of planet Mercury was still left unexplained. In trying to solve this, Albert Einstein overthrew the whole space-time edifice of the then existing physics, discovered General Relativity  and our total outlook of space and time changed forever. At the present time, our world abounds in anomalies and unexplained phenomena. Perhaps the most prominent of them is the subject of UFOs. In the last century there have been thousands and thousands of sightings of UFOs which were authenticated but could not be explained away. Countless ordinary people who have absolutely no reason to dissimulate have recounted their elaborately detailed stories of encounters with alien spacecraft and even alien beings. And yet there is not a single piece of solid evidence which can irrefutably demonstrate the existence of any advanced civilization beside our own. This is a great paradox.

It would seem like ordinary people everywhere in the world can become suddenly susceptible to most realistic hallucinations, the reality of which they can defend to their deaths. This makes us wonder, is there a hidden faculty in the human mind that can spontaneously trigger powerful hallucinations in otherwise completely sane and normal people, elaborate hallucinations which cannot be distinguished from reality But then very commonly a UFO experience happens to more than one person at a time. It is difficult to conceive here how all the minds of all the people involved in a UFO event can switch into the hallucinatory mode independently of one another. This leaves us with only possibility. Our perceptions and reality are most probably being manipulated by beings from another world or another dimension. Or else, the UFOs that were witnessed could be remotely operated holographic projections. In any case, considering all these factors, there is increasing likelihood that versions of Descartes Daemon scenario are actually impinging upon and unfolding in our reality in real time.

Not only inductive reasoning points in this direction but also deductive reasoning. According to very conservative scientific estimates, there are at least 50,000 inhabited planets in our own galaxy. People generally fail to realize the incredible vastness of our galaxy. We see a picture of the Milky Way in a book and would then think that one of dots in this corner is our sun. In reality though, if the sun were the size of that dot or slightly bigger, the length of the galaxy would stretch from the earth to the moon It is simply immense. There could be any number of life forms developing in this starry space. A significant number of these could have evolved into highly advanced civilizations. Now, as any civilization advances technologically, more and more emphasis is shifted from work to play or entertainment. So, could it not be that we, being a relatively primitive civilization, could have become playthings for one or more advanced civilizations in our galactic neighborhood  

We can only meditate on the possibility, continuing the tradition of Descartes. And possibly we can go much farther than him.

Closing in upon the truth

Descartes begins his meditations by taking a soaring flight of imagination, but unfortunately he is not able sustain the flight for very long. In a desperate quest to clutch on to something solid, some irrefutable basis, he brings in the notion of I very arbitrarily, then goes on to talk about God too It would seem like his skepticism was too much for him to swallow. However, the idea of cognitive foundationalism into which he breathed life is very much valid and relevant today, and should play a vital role in our intellectual and scientific investigations of our world (assuming the world is ours). The doubts he gives rise to are by no means outdated today, yet they need to be elaborated upon and updated by infusing into them radical insights obtained from the scientific understanding we possess of the world today.  For example, Descartes says our memory could be unreliable, today we realize how much it can be so. Through hypnosis or other methods, our actual past can be neatly erased and a fake concocted past can be planted in its place, and we would not suspect one little thing if this was done efficiently enough.

In the late nineteenth century, some scientists thought that they were very near to the point of knowing everything about the world that there was to know. Then came Relativity and quantum mechanics which totally shook up the very foundations of our knowledge of the physical world. Since then, interestingly enough, it appears like the more we have come to know about our universe, the more puzzled and perplexed we have become. However, this could be a transitional phase, and we may one day succeed in laying our understanding on more solid foundations, since the search continues and certainty is certainly the end toward which we are constantly striving. But what if certainty is intrinsically impossible, owing to something faintly along the lines of the famous Heisenbergs Uncertainty Principle

Granted that we appear like being a step closer to comprehending the nature of reality with each fundamental breakthrough in our understanding, and many new breakthroughs are of course going to happen in the future. We would also like to believe that the truth will not forever remain hidden from us, even if we were in some existential situation analogous to the brain in the vat scenario in one way or other the truth would be out eventually. In such an eventuality, would we not have made another big step closer to the elusive truth

In the final analysis though, no matter how closer we seem to be getting, we cannot ever penetrate the ultimate nature of reality   for the simple reason that we do not know the first thing about it. We do not know and cannot ever know how something came from nothing, how existence came to be at all. This is the ultimate imponderable and it will forever remain that way, we can keep pushing the boundaries, but we will not be able to get any closer to the final one. In this sense, both our knowledge and our existence rest on an eternal imponderable.

Cogito ergo sum, confidently declared Descartes. Indeed, we would like to think we are, but maybe the existence itself is not.  

Reaction Paper

    It is a good thing that John Stuart Mill s name was mentioned early on, or else the reader would be lost on what the paper is about. With no title to hint the topic, and considering the crooked train of thoughts worsened by the massive typographical and punctuation errors, the paper requires much help from an editorproofreader. But, in the absence of these surface errors, the commentary sets the reader for a deep, mind-blowing cerebral activity pre-imposing clear disposition, virtue of patience to learn and relearn philosophical views, and sufficient orientation on history, economics, politics, etc.

    Banking primarily on English Philosopher Mill s views and writings on utilitarianism, the paper overflows with erudite substance only an informed or learned individual has a right to react or contradict. Academic phrases mentioned such as utilitarianism, Benthamite tenets, calculus of felicity, one vote-one person, even the coinage  beachchemistry-type decisions , are overwhelmingly taxing, suggesting the reader to go to his library for a thorough reading, comprehension and analysis.

    Something about Mill s person. Suffering nervous breakdown at 21 due to intensive learning and reading of Greek, Latin, Math, History to Philosophy and so on and so forth from age three is quite sadistic. Thanks to that self-sacrifice, it resulted to writings like On Liberty and advocacy on women issues, making him one of the first feminists that endeared him to the female gender. 

    What ultimately struck me is his views on happiness and pleasure. Unlike Jeremy Bentham s placing no distinction on happiness so long as it pleases the man, Mill s view categorizes happiness and pleasure in qualitative and quantitative terms that pleasures of worth to more people should be supported, unlike pleasures that please only a few.   

Derrida and Foucault on Humanity and Animality

Throughout the centuries, the animals are treated as beings that have no feelings, emotions, or intellect. Their suffering is nothing for they have no developed senses similarly to humans, which are capable of sensing or analyzing pain and suffering.
However, the philosophers have bred the thought that animals could have been suffering too and they must be treated ethically. That movement is evident as the widespread advocacy of vegetarianism and treating animals humanely.
It was Bentham, a British utilitarian writer who has advanced the idea that animals have rights too and they must be respected (Singer, in Calarco  Atterton p. xi).
This paper intends to examine the thoughts of two (2) well-known postmodern philosophers, namely Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault on how they deal on the problem of the moral obligation of humans to nonhuman animals.
Though, I must clarify that I will just do a comparison and contrast and will not attempt to criticize the idea of the said philosophers. Nevertheless, the analysis on the last part of the paper will be drawn from the opinions of the writers who have devoted their time in analyzing the weaknesses and strengths of the thoughts of Derrida and Foucault on the animal and human moral issues.

Derrida The Animal That Therefore I Am
    The essay that has been included and scrutinize in the book that was edited by Calarco and Atterton, which the thought of Derrida about the difference of a human and nonhuman animal is his famous lecture, The Animal That Therefore I Am.
    On that essay, Derrida expounded the difference of consciousness of animals and man, using nudity, for example. The famous philosopher said that when the human is naked he or she is conscious because of the common concept of shame. This concept of shame is dated back in antiquity, in the book of Genesis for example, where Adam and Eve, after learning that they are naked has developed the concept of malice and they needed to cover themselves.
    Derrida asserts that in animals, there is no such concept of nakedness the animal or that nonhuman animal being ever since does not bother if the people see them naked. This seems that has brought the distinction of between animal and humansthe latter possess a higher state of intelligence while the former is an inferior.
    However, though that is the case, the animala pussycat for examplehas this intelligence that it can communicate with human beings by means of a stare or a purr, whenever they want to go out of the house.
    Going back to the era of Creation as narrated in Genesis, says Derrida, because of the higher intelligence given by Elohim to Adam and Eve, they are given the power over the animals, not to subdue them but to become their overseer. Here comes the issue of the respect to animals as the Lord God has made the man stewards, not owners, of his creation.
    He also said that it is a grave sin to consider the nonhuman creatures, which are called in the general term animal in his essay to treat them as such. Derrida asserts that it is indeed a crime against the said creatures.

Foucault Animality and Insanity
    On the other, Michel Foucault has shed light to the issue of animality on humans that is the inhumane treatment to the insane. The insane, in his psycho-historical essay, Madness and Civilization, which is one of the essays examined in the book about animal philosophy, he narrated how the sane world treated the insane.
    He introduced to us the ship of fools or the symbolic isolation of the insane individuals from the sane society. These people who have gone crazy are said who have fallen short in the Reason of God. Before, the people of the Middle-Ages believe that insanity is a sort of punishment of God, as I understand. Here, he introduced to us the concept of animality, which we later discuss on this part of the essay.
    Foucault, in addition to this, has expounded on the issue of the creation of institutions of exclusion for the non-insane but is considered social outcaststhe vagrants, orphaned, the unemployed, etc.
    Going back to the issue of animality, he said animality is a sudden gush of irrational emotion (Calarco  Atterton, p. 80) which is present to those people who have temporarily gone out of their mind. During the Renaissance Period, insanity is considered a dark animal that has possessed a human being. For him, animality needed some domestication that is a sort of control. Nevertheless, this kind of control must not that violent but humane.

    Ever since, animals were considered inferior with humans thus, they have often been abused and disregarded. In Derridas discourse, we can clearly see that humansbeing superiorneeded to be sensitive to the needs of the inferior beings. Here comes the issue of ethical treatment of animals.
    Believing in the story of creation in the Genesis, as quoted by Derrida, Adam was created by God superior to all creatures but has made him a steward to all creations. This means that he has to treat them and took care of them very well.
    Derrida, using the cat or pussycat analogy, argues that animals do have feelings and intelligence too, just like human beings. It can feel hunger, lust, and can communicate by simply purring or looking at a person, trying to convey its thought, for example, if she wants to go out from the room but the door is closed. The look of the pussycat can bring that message to the superior being (human) that he needed to open the door for her so that she can go out of the room.
    Derrida asserts that even though animals have no capability to feel malice, it is the human beings that must feel that shame whenever they are naked or are becoming irrational.
    On the other hand, Foucaults idea of animality and humanity is far different for Derridas for Foucaults idea deal with the concept animality or insanity among humans. It has nothing to do with the ethical treatment of animals, as animal rights activist want to propagate.
    He rather dwells into the discussion of how the society segregates those human beings that have lost their minds and how they treat them. He did not discuss how people treat the animals but rather put the entire discourse on that wild part of human beings, and that is when that irrational emotion overcomes the person and makes him like animal (savage).
    As the reviewer of Foucaults thought said, he also failed to incorporate the idea of Foucault to the animal philosophy as a whole
In conclusion, then Foucaults discussion of animality in Madness and Civilization tells us a lot not only how animality was conceived in the past but also about how Foucault understood it much more recently. I have argued that the reasonanimality split, fundamental to Foucaults discourse is problematic on his own terms and in terms of the discourse of animals as living biological organisms (p. 84).
With this problem on Foucaults thoughts, therefore we cannot use his theory about animality in discussing on how humans must treat the lower beings, called animals.
    Furthermore, Foucaults idea is more on the psychical or can be applied on discussing the sickness of the human mind but not for discussion or studying animal behavior as a whole.
    Nevertheless, the thought of Foucault can also be used in the context of how a sane person must treat other creation just like animals and his fellow human being. This could be the stepping stone of using the thought of Foucault in the humane treatment with animals.
    Going back to Derrida, the philosopher is teaching us the value of respect to all beings the nonhuman animal andor the human alike. As Foucault puts it, that animality in the human beings must be domesticated or controlled. I believe that Foucault wants us to learn how to control our irrationality or cruelty, especially in treating our fellow human beings and even the nonhuman beings, which are the animals.

    There is a lot of difference between the ideas of Derrida and Foucault. Both have a different insight of how human beings must act in certain situations and how do human beings differ from the animals.
    Derrida, for the reason that human beings are considered as beings of reason, expects that human beings may treat all creatures with rationality, or ethically. It is the human races moral obligation to serve stewards to Mother Natures creations.
    On the other hand, Foucault teaches us how animality can overcome us, that is irrationality and how does it affect our relationship with other beings. I think that Foucaults theory does not only focus on the irrationality that human beings suffer during the stage of his or her insanity, but also on the times of sanity also.
    Foucault, as he criticizes the development of isolation facilities of human beings, also brings the signal to us on how the nonhuman beings also are being treated they are treated with isolation for they are animals per se and considered inferior compared to the human beings that are capable of doing complex things.
    In conclusion, while the two ideas are different, they can be considered as good tools in analyzing how we act and think, especially in connection of how we treat other beings we see as inferior to us. (30)

A Refutation of John Stuart Mills Quantitative Utilitarianism

The following discussion aims to refute Mills claim that a utilitarian approach ought to consider the quality of pleasure over the quantity of pleasure achieved in the process of determining the morality of an action. In order to prove this claim, the following discussion will initially present the foundation of Mills argument followed by an analysis of Mills claim in accordance to one of his critics and in accordance to my basis for refuting his claim.
John Stuart Mill, the famous utilitarian, laid the foundation of his moral philosophy by stating categorically that there is an ultimate good-a summum bonum. Mill argues that all moral actions should be aimed at attaining this good. Further, Mill insists that this good is happiness. Utilitarianism thereby refers to the ethical theory, which claims that happiness is the ultimate end of morality (Utilitarianism 61). He states,
According to the Greatest Happiness Principle, the ultimate end, with reference to and for the sake of which all other things are desirable (whether we are considering our own good or that of other people) is an existence exempt as far as possible from pain, and as rich as possible in enjoyments, both in point of quantity and quality. (Utilitarianism 16)
    Mill states this teleological position by insisting that the rightness of an action is determined by actual consequences. For Mill, the nature of the act is insignificant in determining the morality of an action. Such is the case since within his teleological position, the rightness of an act is judged and evaluated in terms of its consequences, that of maximizing the intrinsic good. Since the intrinsic good is happiness, it follows that any action that maximizes happiness is a right action and any action that does the reverse is a wrong action. In line with this Mill claims,
The creed which accepts as the foundation of morals Utility of the Greatest Happiness Principle holds that actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness. Wrong, as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain, by unhappiness, pain, and the privation of pleasure. (Utilitarianism 12)
In this context, Mill contends that happiness is the only intrinsically desirable thing. This is the basic argument of the principle of utility. Happiness is thus, the principle of action within his ethical theory.
    It is important to note that although Mill considers happiness as the principle of action his teleological argument differs radically from the initial version of utilitarianism given by Jeremy Bentham. Benthams version of utilitarianism is quantitative in character as can be seen in his hedonistic calculus according to which the quantity of pleasure ought to be considered in determining the morality of an action.
    Mills version of utilitarianism differs radically from Benthams on two important points. First, he is vehemently against the purely quantitative treatment of the principle of utility and second, he espouses that some pleasures are intrinsically superior to others. This is explicitly stated in the following passage wherein Mill disdainfully claims,
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied, than a pig satisfied better to be a Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question. The other party to the comparison knows both sides. (Utilitarianism 14)
To clinch this point, Mill cites Epicurus who also espoused the view that while the good life is the life of pleasure, Epicurus does not limit what is pleasurable to only bodily and sensual pleasures. There are higher forms of pleasure such as intellectual and spiritual pleasure. According to both Mill and Epicurus, some pleasures are thereby intrinsically superior in comparison to others.
    At this point, it is important to consider Mills criterion for judging the quality of pleasure. In order to provide this, Mill forwards the following argument
If I am asked what I mean by difference of quality of pleasurethere is but one possible answer. Of two pleasures if there be one to which all or almost all who have experienced both give a decided preference, irrespective of a feeling of moral obligation ton prefer it, that is the more desirable pleasure. If one of the two is, by those who are competently acquainted with both, placed so far above the other that they prefer it, even though knowing it be attended with a greater amount of discontent,.we are justified in ascribing to the preferred enjoyment a superiority in quality so far outweighing quantity as to render it, in comparison, of small account. (Utilitarianism 13)
The introduction of quality of pleasure added undue complications to the earlier version of utilitarianism. The higher pleasures consist of the more intellectual, artistic, and even spiritual ones as opposed to the more sensual and physical ones. It is important to note however that Mill does not exclude the lower pleasure from consideration. However, he personally prefers the higher pleasures.
    In order to prove the soundness of his principle of utility, Mill constructs a proof of his argument, which takes the following form
Ones own happiness is the only thing desired by each person.
 It follows from this that the general happiness is the only thing desired for itself by all.
 The only test of somethings being desirable is its being desired,
It follows from this that (a) the general happiness is the only thing desired in itself and (b) the only test of the rightness and wrongness of actions is their tendency to promote the general happiness. (Utilitarianism 37)
    Given the background and the foundation of Mills argument, what follows is a presentation of an argument raised against Mills qualitative version of utilitarianism. Christine Korsgaard claims that Mills proof leads to a certain form of instrumental egoism. Instrumental egoist refers to the view that the only principle of practical reason is the principle that directs us to take the means to our ends (59). Korsgaard argues that Mills account of happiness inevitably resolves itself into a form of egoism where each individual pursues his or her own happiness (59). Such is the case since Mill maintains that happiness ought to be the end of all action and it is necessary to allow each individual to practice his liberty. The former view is apparent in his text Utilitarianism whereas the latter view is apparent in his text On Liberty. In the later text, Mill argues that man is a progressive being (Liberty 53). If such is the case, freedom and the availability of choices then are two important conditions that promote happiness and the development of our own humanity. A truly civilized society must learn to value differing positions and ideologies. This is because of the fact that these differences entail different ideas and different ways in and through which those ideas are formed. This is to say that a truly civilized society creates an atmosphere conducive for a culture of discourse to flourish.
Within this context, Mill may have managed to explain that happiness is indeed, desirable and that it ought to be the end of all human action however his account of happiness and his principle of utility along with his views on freedom of thought present us with a rather interesting scenario. Mills account of happiness inevitably resolves itself into a form of egoism where each individual pursues his or her own happiness. The problem is thus much deeper and intricate since this has serious implications on utilitarianism.
Mill contends that since ones own happiness is the only thing desired by each person, it follows that the general happiness is the only thing desired for itself by all. From a logical point of view, this assumption is mistaken. Apparently, Mill assumes there will still be a certain kind of uniformity concerning human beings desires and wants that will determine the bases for attaining general happiness. This is, however, a mere assumption.
The problem with Mills version of utilitarianism thereby is apparent as he fails to account for the effects of liberty in the attainment of the greatest happiness for all the members of society. In order to account for this, Mill may further develop his ethical theory by applying the principle of utility to general rules and not to specific acts. By doing so, it is possible to ensure the attainment of happiness of the greatest number of individuals in society. Such is the case since the morality of an action is no longer merely based on the end of an action but is also based on whether the end of an action is in accordance to a specific rule. Since the formulation of the rule ensures that the end of an action enables the attainment of happiness of the greatest number of individuals in society, it is possible to conceive of a scenario wherein the action of an individual is geared towards the attainment of societal good as opposed to his own egoistic end.


Gods existence is not obvious to humans. If this was the case, then every human being would believe in God. However, this does not imply that his existence is just a myth or that he does not exist. We believe that bacteria, neutrons or the Andromeda exists even though their existence is not obvious to us. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that they exist. The purpose of this paper is to find some of the common reasons advanced for the belief that God exist. The question of Gods existence is particularly important for a good proportion of human beings since their life are entirely based on this supposition. As such, this paper will not only look at some of these reasons but also analyze their persuasiveness. I will also give my position in regard to this very important question.
The question of the existence of God has baffled men from antiquity. One important point to observe is that this question laws considered with much more seriousness in the past than it is being considered today. As such, the last few years have seen a remarkable decline in belief in God. It is not a secret that today many people are not bothered to think about the question concerning the existence of God. There is a casual presumption that god does not exist even if he does, he is not relevant in their lives. Many reasons can be attributed to this. However, the most popular idea is that God has been disproved by science.
To many people, one of the most powerful evidence for the existence of God has been provided by science since it suggests that there must be a supreme intelligence behind the world that we live in. the proponents of this view hold that modern cosmology and evolutionary biology have provided sufficient proof of the existence of God. If God is responsible for the entire creation, then He is also responsible for the creation of human minds with the ability to consider deep questions and to discover deep answers. The duty of men is therefore to use their intelligence to reflect and find out about Him. This view forms the bulk of Christian belief about God. Such views are common in various Christian literatures. If Gods existence cannot be ascertained, then faith in him is basically guesswork or personal preference, the implication being that the advancement towards agnosticism. If belief in God is founded on strong evidence, then there is need to base human life and existence on him. Having considered these views, it is important to look at some of the reasons that people advance for their existence in God.
Among the reasons advanced for belief in God is related to the question of why anything exists at all. The proponents of this view hold that things do not just happen because it is known from experience that things only happen because there is a cause. Human life is based on a contingency of causes. Everything that exists must have a cause in the same way that things that happen around us have some particular causes attributed to them.  The universe as it exists is contingent. Of course, this has always been true. However, the developments within the past centuries in the field of cosmology have illuminated this view to a greater degree. Science has proven that the universe obey physical laws.  The universe therefore needs a cause. However, this cause of the universe, according to the proponents of this perspective, must be outside the universe.  From this argument, it can be seen that there must be a God.  According to Paul Davis, the physical universe is not compelled to exist as it is and therefore, we are driven back to the problem of why it is the way it is. The explanation can be sought in something beyond or outside the physical world-in something metaphysical-because, as we have seen, a contingent physical universe cannot contain within itself an explanation for itself.
Whenever a contingent entity is explained with another contingent entity, a complete explanation is not captured since nether things had to exist. If a complete explanation is to be sought for any contingent entity, what is required is a non-contingent cause- a first cause that cannot be caused. This is a proof for the existence of God and a basis for belief in him. However, one might say that when the causal links are infinitely long, then there is no need for God. In other words, every link can entirely be explained in terms of the preceding link. Infinity in causal link does not however imply that it has to exist. Envisioning a world in which this particular chain does not exist is possible. If it is not necessary for it to exist then there has to be a reason for its existence. A First uncaused cause is still needed that is, there is need for a God. Science has also shown that an infinite chain cannot exist because the universe is not infinitely old.
A major question that one is bound to ask is whether god was made and by whom. A careful reflection about the universe however suggest that it needs an uncaused cause- an entity that does not require to be made. Therefore, no one or nothing made God since he is not contingent. This is not a simple though even though it worth emphasizing that the proponents of this perspective not only imagine a God who does not require to be made but also that the universe needs this kind of God in order to explain it.
    Another reason why many people believe in God is the order and unity that exists in the universe. A considerable degree of order and harmony has been discovered in the universe by science. Science attempts to discover a unified law or principle behind the physical universe. Those who believe in God see this to be similar in many respects to the idea of God. God is a unity and science is only attempting to rediscover God. There is a crucial distinction between God and the Unity Law according to the proponents of this view. Scientific laws cannot exist by themselves they only describe the behavior of matter. In other words, the existence of the laws is dependent on the existence of matter. These laws do not account for how matter comes into existence. Stephen Hawking clearly states that even if a single possible unified theory exists, it only comprises of a set of rules and equations and this requires something to provide an impetus to the equations and create a universe for them to describe. As such, there must be a lawgiver for there to be laws. The laws cannot cause the universe. Therefore, the Lawgiver who is also the First Cause is God. The expression of gods wisdom is found in the Unity Law. It suggests that Gods supreme intelligence is manifested in his creation. The universe has been created by God in a wonderful way such that its reach diversity comes from a simple unified order.
    The above arguments are some of the reasons that form the basis for peoples belief in God. Their belief is founded on the proposition that God exists and this proposition is supported by the numerous arguments, some of which have been presented in this paper. The fact of Gods existence is the only conclusion that can be derived from data taken from modern science according to those who believe in God. According to believers, if our ability to discover the universe is taken seriously, then we cannot fail to arrive at the conclusion that an all-intelligent God is responsible for the creation of this world.
    These reasons are very persuasive since a world without a cause is unfathomable. The proofs that have been presented by these arguments are an integration of scientific evidence and logical arguments. The proof of existence of anything must follow some basic reasoning. The human mind has the capacity to arrive at valid conclusion through combining evidence and logic. Survival would be difficult if humans were unable to make valid conclusions founded on evidence. However, when there is sufficient evidence, it will beat logic and reason to fail to be certain. The arguments presented are sufficient proof of the existence of God. However, the most difficult part regards the question about the nature of God. The supporters of the above views hold that God is not physical he is pure Spirit and pure Mind. He is also not part of the universe. He created the universe as an ordered and harmonious unity. His creation was purposeful and this purpose is human beings, a being that is inferior to him but nevertheless possessing his intelligence. It is more complex to attempt to disprove the existence of God than to prove his existence. As such, I am more inclined towards the theists than agnostics.

Nature of the Human Self

Every individual has a unique identity. But all of these identities have some basic components as defined by some or in every situation. The nature of human self is to have different nature for every individual.
Buddhas Five Aggregates of Human Existence suggests that the soul of humans is a psychophysical unity or monism. Humans have 5 constituents namely, Rupa, Vedana, Sanjna, Sanskara, and Vijnana. Buddha sees that humans exist to these five parts (Rahula, 1962). They have different roles in every individuals life, as Rupa constitutes ones physical identity as it is made up of four elements (Earth, Water, Fire and Air). Vedana along with Sanjina gives individual the basic experience of feeling and perception respectively. Sanskara is the karma formations or dispositions  the locus of character, moral responsibility and karma. Finally, Vijnana is the function of continuity in the experiences of individuals it is the consciousness or awareness
The Brain in a vat by Dennett is an element utilized in various though experiments proposed to draw out particular features of peoples notion of reality, mind, knowledge, truth and meaning (Putnam, 1982). This is gotten from the idea, typical to a lot of science fiction stories that a mad scientist may have remove an individuals brain from his body, hovering in a vat of life-sustaining fluid, and attach its neurons through wires to a supercomputer that would supply it with electrical impulses similar to those the brain usually receives. According to these stories, the computer then becomes a simulating reality with proper responses to the output of ones brain and the individual with the disembodied brain would persist to have absolutely normal conscious encounters devoid of these being connected to events or objects in the real environment or world.
Gender identity is an issue experienced by an individual who hugely identifies himself or herself with the other sex. The person may identify to the point of deeming that he or she is in fact a member of the opposite sex who is merely trapped inside the wrong body. An individual with a gender identity problem may experience dissimilar personalities and behaviors to regular people who are not suffering from such identity issue (Kopf, 1996).
In the medieval and ancient philosophy, self was identical with ones soul, and the soul was deemed to be a permanent substance that existed earlier than its temporary conjunction with the physical body and which lives on the suspension of the body. Aristotle, a great and well known philosopher, rejected this notion and advocated a theory that is more in relation with natural science. He viewed a persons soul as the entelechy of the body, and as it is the bodys form, it was indivisible from it as well.
Social and physiological factors influence the farther patterns of personality development. Social psychologists were inclined to affix greater significance to the social environment where in the human child grows and develops (Buller, 2005). Physiologists on the other hand, hold that hormones secreted by a persons endocrine glands, play a crucial role in the development and normal functioning of ones personality. It is through the process of socialization where personality emerges.
In the view of psychologists, personality grows and develops as a result of the individuals reactions itself. The important factor for personality is not the social control or influence where the person is exposed but through the process in which the individual responses or reacts to it.
A persons self concept or identity is multi-dimensional paradigm that concerns the persons individual idea of his self in connection to several numbers of characteristics like gender roles, racial identity, academic, sexuality, and many others (Buller, 2005). This idea of ones identity or self-concept is not limited to the present as it can include past and future ideas of him.

On Sartre s Existentialism

Existentialism, the philosophical discourse which Sartre developed,  with a core foundation of  existence precedes essence  has become popular and widespread during the post war era. It s an idea, which criticized traditional metaphysics because throughout the history of philosophy, it was always believed that the essence of a thing is more fundamental than its mere existence and therefore,if you want to understand a thing, what you must do is learn more about the first.
    Sartre begins by posing a problem against the traditional background of philosophy. It is, for Sartre, how to characterize the relation of object to subject. Subjectivist philosophies lose the object in the subject, objectivist philosophies on the other hand divide it from the subject. The realtion between the two must be seen as complex, unstable and dialectical. This unstable relation between the two is what  Sartre  calls being for-itself and being in-itself.
    It should be distinguished that Sartre does not relate this principle universally, but only to humanity. Sartre contests that there were two kinds of being. The first is being-in-itself which is characterized as fixed, complete, and having absolutely no reason for its being it just is. This describes the world of external objects. The second is being-for-itself, which is characterized as dependent upon the former for its existence. It has no absolute, fixed, eternal nature and describes the state of humanity.
     Sartre opposed the divine outlook on the world and on human nature with a human outlook that has no divine element. For that, when God thought about creating the world, he conceived it first. Then God made everything and gave existence to the essences.   But because Sartre did not believe in God, so there was no use for the essence of humanity to be before human existence. Existence comes first to us and  essence comes later and it is the latter that is whatever we decide it is going to be. So, from our standpoint, things are just the opposite of what they would be for people who believed in God. Now it is existence precedes essence. That is existentialism. As Sartre said, thee appearance is not supported by any existent different from itself it has its own being (Sartre 1968).

     Sartre s focus is not so much of the distinction between essence and existence but the non-appearance of God. For him, the absence of God has a much massive significance than the metaphysics of creation, which is, without God there is no purpose and no meaning in the world.  According to Sartre
    If God is I and if he is the Other, then what guarantees my own existence If creation is held to be continous, I remain always suspended between a distinct existence and a pantheistic fusion with the Creator Being......then nothing really guarantees my existence to God he is now united to me only by a relation of exteririty, as the sculptor is related to the finish statue. (314-315)
This is the foundational proposition for Existentialism. A world without purpose and meaning is senseless, worthless, meaningless and null.
Nietzsche influence on Existentialism
     Nietzsche, one of the main influence of existentialism, was focused on the subjective human experience rather than the objective truths of mathematics and science, which he assumed to be too far-out and observational to truly get at the human experience.
    For Nietzsche, God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.(Nietzsche 1887) This shows the core of the challenge from Nietzsche to the very foundations of traditional morality that was always been imposed by Christianity. For Him man had rested on the values and dogmas of Christian morality for so long and advocate the proposition that it was time to be release from the constraints of Christianitys ethical principles and endeavored to redefine mankinds moral values.
    The worship of God only superficially satisfied the fundamental human need for the transcendence of ones own finite state. Nietzsches claim was that the death of God is a way of saying that man will no longer be able to believe in any such cosmic being since Christians themselves can longer identify to it. He believed that the absence of god would reject of absolute values and ultimately denounce any binding objective and universal moral law.
    Nietzsches daring challenge was aimed directly at the established traditions of morality, and the core of this was the idea that if one was to remove the metaphysical foundation for the Christian belief system, particularly with the existence of god, then  nothing is left  important.
    As a firm believer that mans essence is  creative expression, Nietzsche believed that destroying the belief in God would enable the full advancement of mankinds creative abilities which will lead to the not having God as an obstacle. T
Existentialism in Maslow s Needs
    We can compare Maslow s Hierarchy of needs to existentialism because he has been a very inspirational  for people who were tired of the mechanistic messages of the behaviorists and physiological psychologists and were looking for meaning and purpose in their lives, even a higher, more mystical meaning.
    Maslow was one of the first in that movement to bring the human being back into psychology, and the person back into personality. He theorizes a design saying when a person met their needs, they eventually can achieve  their higher self. Just like Sartre and Nietzsche, he  believes that when you find your purpose, you will find your higher self..


Ethics can be defined as norms or values of the society. Each society is governed by rules that an individual is expected to adhere to and when a person does this heshe is referred to as being ethical. Different people explain ethics in different perspective according to their point of view which included Kants deontological ethics and Mills utilitarian ethics as discussed below.
Deontological ethics determines if an action is right or wrong by analyzing the action rather than the consequence. In this, ones morality is seen through the action and the ability of a person to do something (Bencivenga, 2007). It calls for one to exercise their virtues and to do unto others what heshe expects others to do unto himher. Hence a butcher for example will be honest on the scale of measurement if he uses it right. This shows that he values honesty and do not want to steal from hisher customers. It is not because of the gain he will have on having more customers. To further elaborate this, one can liken it to cause-effect relationship. Deontological ethics therefore focuses on the cause part of it rather than the effect.
On the other hand, Mills utilitarianism is based on the consequence of the action done by an individual. This theory states that Actions are right to the degree that they tend to promote the greatest good for the greatest number (Moore, 2003). Hence the morality of an action is determined by the overall utility that it contributes. If the action elicits good response from the people it affects, then it is ethical and vice versa. For instance, a politician during a campaign can decide to give bribes to the voters so as to get their votes during the election. The question is how do the people feel about receiving un-toiled for, money The response is obviously good. Thus the action when analyzed using Mills utilitarian ethics theory is right as it promotes good or rather the consequence is good in that the people who are given the money feel happy.
    An action thus, can be interpreted differently depending on the theory under application at that time. An example of this is my own personal experience on which I picked a wallet one day while walking down the street the wallet had been unknowingly dropped by someone ahead of me. Opening the wallet, I was astonished to find fifty dollars in it. At that time, I was almost running out of money that I had been given to use during the semester. This was indeed a blessing at the right time. I decided to take the money in the wallet. By judging my actions using Deontological theory, it would not be ethical. The rule governing the theory is that one should do the right thing in every situation (Starr  Ashmore, 1994). Was my action right The answer to this question is no, because I was guided by greed and dishonesty to steal. On the other hand, utilitarianism would see the action otherwise. My taking the money would promote happiness to me. Hence it is an ethical action. Utilitarianism focuses on the consequence part of the action rather than the morals governing the action.
In summary an action can be termed as ethical by an individual and also termed as unethical by another since they are using different theories of ethics to interpret it, as exemplified. Interpretations of ethics also differ from one society to another depending on how each society view and interpret an action.

Descartes Method of Radical Doubt

The Method of Doubt is a systematic process of doubting ones own beliefs in order to ascertain which beliefs are actually true. This method was revolutionized in the field of philosophy by Rene Descartes (1596  1650). Descartes employs a basic strategy which aims to defeat skepticism at its own ground. He advocates doubting the fundamental process of reasoning in addition to doubting the evidence of the senses and cultural superstitions. If any specific fact can stand this test, it is truly indubitable and can be considered a solid foundation of knowledge.
In his Meditation 1, Descartes resolves to doubt everything that he believes in order to establish something as being indubitable and entirely certain. He aims to doubt his beliefs, not reject them outright (Lacewing). Descartes tries to establish doubt across three distinct verticals
Perceptual Illusion Descartes believes that the perception about the external world, gained through human senses, may turn out to be mistaken (Philosophy Pages). Things are not always just as they seem at first glance. He lays stress on the fact that it is wise to not fully believe what one perceives. In real life, one can always recognize a mistaken perception by using correct perceptions as a benchmark. Since one cannot be sure of the truth at first, it is possible to doubt every bit of sensory knowledge which is apparent (Kemerling). Here, the question arises - How do we know anything about what it is really like. Descartes argument notes a clear distinction between appearance and reality, laced with a strong suggestion that the world is nothing like how it appears.
The Dream Issue Descartes also describes a systematic method of doubting every perception, by relating to his inability to distinguish his most vivid dreams from real life. In Meditation 1, he says that since his most vivid dreams are indistinguishable from waking experience, he believes that is possible that everything he sees in the world is just a figment of his imagination . On this basis, it is possible to doubt the existence of every physical aspect, including the world itself (Kemerling).
Some philosophers have tried to refute Descartes by claiming that it is definitely possible to differentiate between dream and reality.  But Descartes had shot back saying that we could be dreaming a perfect replica of reality (Lacewing). Other philosophers have argued that if everything were a dream, then it would be impossible to have two separate entities of realism and dream. This seems to have softened Descartes a bit as he modifies his view slightly in his third meditation. Here, he agrees that we can distinguish between dreaming and waking experience, by the greater coherence of perception (Lacewing).

A Deceiving God Finally, Descartes projects an even more radical theory, related to one of the most treasured worldly beliefs. He discusses the consequences of the all-present god turning into a deceiver and rendering all beliefs false. He seems to suggest that it is an evil demon which seems to drive all our experiences. The possibility of the demon could mean that even if an individual is able to distinguish dream from reality, his experiences in real life could be no more real than his dreams (Lacewing). He also brings up a far more terrifying hypothesis that even if all things have been true up until now, the truly omnipotent deceiver could change the world so as to render ones belief false.   
Descartes seems to reconsider this particular idea in his second Meditation. He tries to argue that even if the evil demon exists, there is one thing he can be sure of.  Later, in Meditation 4, he goes about trying to resolve the issues which led him to doubt everything initially. In order to do this, he needed to establish that
There is no evil demon trying to deceive him
He is not dreaming
A physical world including his body does exist
He can trust his senses
The answer to all these questions establishes that God indeed exists and is not a deceiver as Descartes argues in his early Meditations (Burnham and Fieser).
Descartes ideals on certainty and knowledge have come under severe criticism. Many have argued that Descartes sets the knowledge bar really high. If Descartes thinks that for knowledge to be indubitable, one must be unable to doubt it. For this to be true, belief needs to be infallible. However, this level of severity advocated by Descartes can be seen to be abating by Meditation 3, where he feels that he can know whatever is clear and distinct(Lacewing). Descartes ideas on certainty have also come under the hammer as it appears that he is only after the beliefs that he is certain of. However, Descartes refutes this challenge by claiming that people have a habit of drawing conclusions without appropriate evidence. This is where the Method of Doubt could be employed to good use.   

Environmental Ethics

The way of life of people in the modern world has become somewhat transformed by the ways and behaviors that come with modernity. The world today is characterized by actions by people that are indicative of the moral and societal preferences in their everyday life. The actions by mankind and the effects that these actions have both on the environment and on the people in that environment are both matters of critical importance which ought to be assessed and analyzed with a view to understanding how best the entire human race can live on this planet without any undue pressure to the environment. Matters and issues of the environment have become very important in the 21st century owing to the direction that is being taken by people and organizations in an attempt to live a better life (Schweickart, 1996). The issues of the environment present challenges too. Most of the present challenges in environment conservation and protection are those that have been brought about by the inability of mankind to pay a lot more attention to the consequences of his daily activities. In seeking to reassert himself, man has engaged in all forms of activities that he believes are essential to bringing about his survival in the world. He has more often than not failed to recognize and appreciate the value that is placed on the environment not only by environmental conservation groups but also by other people who have cared enough to realize the great value that can be gained by preserving the environment (Preston, 2007).
 All actions by mankind are geared towards personal or social development. Economic well-being and personal and social development ought to encompass the societal values that require all forms of development to be sustainable and without undue pressure on the ecological system. The life lived in the world has to be all-inclusive. All around the world, many activities are taking place and all are aimed at improving mankinds life. How about the consequences of these actions Is it all right if the drive for wealth, riches and power is given a priority over matters critical to society like climate change and global warming Can there be anything that can be effectively called sustainable development if on one hand the development itself is injurious to the society and to the environment, and on the other hand it causes untold human suffering because for one to gain another must lose
All these and many other questions ought to keep ringing in the minds of all people in society every time they are about to make a decision on anything. Ethics in the environment have been relegated to the abyss of forgetfulness, and more than ever before in the history of the world they need to be unearthed from those deep recesses of societal forgetfulness where they have been buried all this time. A consideration of some of the emerging issues in the present world especially where environmental affairs are concerned is critical if a balanced assessment of events in the world pitting mankind and the environment is to be carried out successfully.
The Role of Markets in Decision Making
    Environmental ethics are greatly influenced by markets. The making of decisions about matters pertinent to the environment as well as other social matters, when left to be done by markets, impacts greatly in ways that bring about negative effects on the eminent. This is because unlike in economics, environmental and social issues are closely associated with mankind  his actions, decision, and welfare. Making decisions based on the nature on markets creates problems to mankind and to the environment. Usually, people will want to be treated like humans and nothing else. In making market decisions, the main factor that is considered is monetary gain (Schweickart, 1996). Markets seek to have whatever is desired  whatever needs a person has  made available for exchange for some kind of financial gain. It is more conserved with satisfying the needs of people in exchange for a price.
Economic decisions are made by considering factor availability and the cost of the factors in relation of the expected revenue to be generated from the factors. Such decisions bear in mind the demand that is there, and seek to supply the required quantity to meet this demand. Such is not what is needed in making environmental and social decisions. Morality has often been an attribute that every human being is entitled to (Schweickart, 1996). Moral issues transcend economic and financial demarcations. When dealing with people, it is essential that any decision first considers what value systems that person subscribes to, and how the decisions likely to impact on the person. The same applies to environmental decisions. It does not make sense at all to have any decision about the environment based on the existing conditions in the market (Schweickart, 1996).
For instance, the need for energy has been growing over time. Never before has there been a decline in the number of people needing energy. Any decision made will therefore most likely point to the need to have the supply of energy increased. A specific example is fossil fuel. The demand for it has been growing, and even during the current global economic crisis, oil has remained fairly highly priced because its demand has not dipped as much. A market-conscious decision might require that more exploration for oil be done and existing reserves be harnessed to meet newer and existing demands. However, the reality is that the trend in the world is to move away from reliance on non-renewable energy resources like fossil fuel, and instead harness renewable sources (Schweickart, 1996). To add to this, OPEC nations will always base their production decisions on the current market conditions. They will relate their needs of cash and cut or increase output of oil and gas to influence price and hence demand. The extraction of oil has therefore been more as a result of market trends and not as a result of actual human needs.    

The Theory of Sustainable Development
    Theorists commenting on the subject of development have quite often than not failed to make a clear distinction between the need to develop globally and the more important need to make this development as sustainable as possible. Sustainable is aimed at ensuring that in any given undertaking that is geared toward bringing about economic development or any other form of development is able to bring about an assurance that future generations will also be able to make use of resources available in the present age (Schweickart, 1996). An understanding of this need to consider the future and just the present ought to be what drives mankind to preserve present resources, or even better, to use them with restraint and care. The world has all that everyone needs and a lot more to spare.
However, it does not mean that wastage of resources can be a practice that is tolerable in society. Instead, every human being must understand the role heshe is expected to play in bringing about sustainable development  ensuring that development is in line with environmental preservation and management. Economic theorists will hardly agree to the fact that nature has resources for everyone. They are responsible for pushing the society to seek to do all in their ability to find what they call scarce resources. Without seeking to discredit any particular economic theorist, it is imperative that all people understood that the scarcity of resources (and the abundance of wants) does not necessarily mean that nature has suddenly become devoid of resources and so all every one must rush to grab whatever remains. Instead, it remains a true concept that nature has and will faithfully provide for all the needs of humanity. This then means that the best that can be done to ensure this continued provision is to conserve nature  protect natural habitats and stop or reduce pollution of the environment.

Poverty and the Environment
    The relationship that exists between economic well-being and environmental degradation has been responsible for some of the greatest harms done to the environment and to the community. The developing countries of the world are home to some of the worlds rarest animal and plant species which ought to be conserved yet these countries are known to have the worlds most grim human development index figures, a majority living in absolute poverty. As if to compound this, these countries are heavily indebted to Western countries and the Breton Woods institutions like IMF and the World Bank.
The poverty levels have been so high that governments are finding it difficult to service loans and Official Development Assistance (ODA). This has posed a threat to the ecosystems there, as communities have began encroaching on protected land in search for a living. In some instances governments have bowed to pressure from politicians and allowed people to settle in forests and farm there, or poaching has become rampant. For there to be sustainable development in the Third World, therefore, there must efforts to eliminate debt from these countries to ease the economic burden placed on them, and in exchange, the governments can be required to implement programs that will help conserve the environment.
Maldevelopment and Underdevelopment
    More than anything else, what characterizes the developing world and sets them apart as different from the developed nations of the West is their gross underdevelopment. The underdevelopment there is so rampant that it is hard to imagine how people manage to live. The GDP of most of most of these countries is so low that it is hardly enough to cater for the needs of its people. Therefore, development projects are generally lacking, and the mainstay of the economies is normally the primary agricultural sector. The economies of such countries rely entirely on the export of agricultural products to the developed world where they are processed and converted into finished products. These products are then resold to those very countries at very exorbitant prices. This in itself goes against the ethical approaches to the environment (Pierce, 1995).
 Developed countries ought not to capitalize on the poverty of developing nations to rip them off even if it is usually a business activity resulting from the mutual consent of both parties. That aside, there must be a way of ensuring that these beneficiaries from the products that come from farmers in these developing nations are made to compensate them for the degradation they cause to the environment. This is in addition to the price paid for the commodity, and considering that this is the main agricultural sector in developing countries that is relied on in spite of being responsible for a lot of pollution on the environment. One of the notable practices in agriculture in the developing countries is the use of agricultural chemicals not only to add fertilizer to crops but also to control pests and diseases. The chemicals are very harmful to the environment, some of them lasting a long time in the soil. They offset the natural balance that is otherwise responsible for daily occurrence of the natural processes of both plants and animals.
 Natural cycles like the water, oxygen, sulfur, and carbon cycle are usually affected by the presence of such chemicals in the atmosphere. Such chemicals will often cause damage to the ecosystem as well. The pollution that results will always be felt for a very long time after the chemicals have been applied. This is part of the role that underdevelopment has played in hampering environmental conservation issues. Logging is also a common activity in developing nations. The cutting down of trees has been noted as being one of the greatest contributors to the overall pollution that occurs to the environment (Preston, 2007). The cause has mainly been cited as the rampant, usually unchecked encroachment on forests by people clearing the forests to make way for new farms. The efforts they put in are usually genuine sometimes as they seek to have a source of livelihood. However, this is at times a deliberate move to destroy natural habitats in order to achieve some undisclosed motives or to achieve certain selfish goals. It may also be as a payback strategy for past ills committed against such people.
The bottom line, however, is that this has greatly contributed to the growing problem of global warming that results from an accumulation of greenhouse emissions into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide gas from the cutting down of trees is one such gas. Environmental ethics require that such activities be halted as much as possible. The need to support development programs in the developing countries in order to enable the people to get involved in less hazardous farming practices is urgent. Since the developed world has a lot to gain from such sustainable projects, they ought to be on the forefront in funding them. Health wise, maldevelopment has led to many health complications that has made the developing world a target for multinational drug companies (Preston, 2007). Environmental ethics call for the ensuring that there is a drug-free environment as drugs are generally harmful.
Dumping Ground
    The West has been responsible for a lot more environmental issues abroad, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The damage that has been caused by the dumping of second hand goods and those that are no longer functional has been great, and the West has been so far unrepentant. Many Western computer makers understand too well that their products end up somewhere in the developing countries not because they really intended to sell the computers there in the first place but to dump them there. In addition to this, most of the developing countries use vehicles that have been rejected in their countries of manufacture or initial use (Light, 1998).
    Africa, for instance, is full of Japanese car models and planes made in Russia. This is a problem that can be checked much better by the involvement of international safety and environmental agencies because local ones can never be relied on to do better investigation and consequent control. The manufacturers of products that have ended up in these developing countries have to be made responsible for their actions because it is unacceptable to have them cause harm to people and wildlife far away from where they were manufactured. Alternatively, they ought to be made to account for their products for as long as possible, including the place where the product will get dumped upon expiry of its usage time or period. 
Mining and Construction Contracts
    There have been a lot of mining contracts that have been given to grant to engineering firms from all over the world, but especially from Western Countries. This has brought about a rather huge foreign presence in these countries. Mining in countries like the DRC and Botswana has never gone well with the locals. While the motive might be good, the resultant effects have been so bad that it has been almost impossible for people to realize and enjoy the deserted benefits. Mining, apart from being responsible for rampant environmental destruction, has also caused conflicts between different people in the community who cannot real understand the benefits of the projects.
In the DRC, human suffering including rape of women and displacement of whole families from their homes has become the order of the day. This is done by armed militia opposed to the projects there cannot agree to be deceived in letting their resources to be used by foreigners. These companies must be ready to do a lot more to help the community from where they operate than merely what they give to the government as tax revenue. They must understand that the community is the legal owner of the minerals that they are extracting, and they must treat them with due respect and dignity. This has to be done if sustainable development is ever to be realized.
Social Justice
    The need for the society to have access to what they consider to be very important to them is a critical milestone in helping bring about environmental conservation through sustainable development. What comes to the fore whenever the justice of the people is mentioned is the chilling feeling that people never always get what is rightly theirs. Then one wonders who is responsible for taking away from the society their portion of resources. Often, the society is deprived when decisions are made without involving them. They come to be informed later that a certain project is being undertaken and that they are likely to gain from its successful implementations. As Rawls would argue, all people are entitled to a say in whatever activity, event, or action that affects them (Rawls, 1971). In the world today, and especially in the developing world, the community has been ignored in key aspects of development. If the underlying principal of sustainable development is to be realized fully in any society, there has to be an understanding of what is important to the community (Rawls, 1971).
They must agree that they indeed want the project to go on as planned or oppose it depending on what they believe to be the likely outcomes. The exploration and subsequent drilling of oil by Western Companies in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America has been noted as one coming without many benefits to the society. The initial promise has always been that the drilling of the oil would result in greater economic empowerment of the people. However, as the projects go in, all the community gets is the pollution that results from the projects (Rawls, 1971). In the Niger Delta of Nigeria, poverty has characterized the lives of the people in spite of their land being a major source of international wealth. Logging in the Brazilian Amazon has been a problem that apart from causing damage to the environment has never been beneficial to the local people living beside the forest.    
World Hunger
    People all over the world ought to get what they need in order to live a life that is comfortable enough not only to make them be able to actively take part in environmental conservation matters but also in order for them to desist from acts that are environmentally unethical. All around the world, people are faced with hunger and starvation, and this is being translated into a mass encroachment on forests and other natural resources as these people attempt to feed themselves (Rawls, 1971). World hunger needs to be halted by use of more collaborative efforts that can be used to bring about more access to daily food for the majority if not all of the people. This can be reflected in efforts by international and national organizations who can work with a view to ensuring that a lot more people are able to afford food. This will keep them from vulnerability to hunger and starvation and open the way for more targeted conservation approaches (Rawls, 1971). The humanitarian organizations like FAO, Red Cross, and Save the Children have been doing a great and commendable work which deserves recognition. In addition, other organizations ought to emulate them. 
Population Explosion
    The population of the world has been growing at a very fast rate. Although there are disparities in these figures, an overall picture points to a situation whereby there is expected continued growth in the coming years. While population growth by itself can not really be said to be responsible for environmental degradation as such, the impacts that it brings have indirect and direct effects on the natural system (Rawls, 1971). Increase in the number of people is always associated with an added economic pressure on the available resources. Prominent economists would argue that like land, natural resources are fixed in supply especially in the short term, although in the long term their supply can only be slightly increased through conservation and restricted use.
With more people around, for instance, more food will be needed to feed them and more clothing to clothe them. All these resources must come from somewhere in nature. The overall impact of population growth is therefore that it will most likely cause degradation to the environment. There is therefore a need to ensure that population growth is in tandem with GDP figures and that economic growth is given a priority more than population control (Rawls, 1971). This is because population growth is not really a problem in itself but it becomes a problem when measures are not put in place to accommodate the extra people.
Overconsumption and Sustainability
    In an endeavor to satisfy unlimited wants using scarce and highly limited resources, people have often ended up exerting too much pressure on the few resources that have been available. The environment is capable of replenishing itself naturally and pristinely. The attempts by mankind to try to extract too much from the environment than is necessary has been responsible for the depletion of natural resources. This is the one point where approaches to the environment are closely correlated with those to economics. While an economist will call it the increased marginal propensity to consume, an environmentalist can describe the excessive consumption of natural resources as overconsumption (Rawls, 1971). There must be a real effort by every consumer to care for the future generations, and even for the future use of the same natural resource. Whatever is conserved today will be available for use the following day by the same person or by another.
    A case in question is the culture of people in the developed worked who will use so many resources at any given time that one is left wondering whether the resources are only meant for one section of society. What is left ringing in the minds of people is whether or not people ought to have as much as they want as long as they can afford to get that which they desire, or if there should be some form of regulation. With all due respect to all people, it is amazing how Westerners can consume so much quantity of everything, literally. Most of the worlds leading fuel-guzzlers are made and used in the West (VanDeVeer, 1994). Consider the Hummer, the Mercedes Benz, and many other car models made in the West and compare them with those made in China, India, or Japan. If the argument is that the Western nations have a lot to spend, then the Japanese have a lot more, yet they make fuel efficient car models because they are sensitive to the needs of the people and those of the coming generations. The overconsumption culture is more of a failure to regard the needs of others elsewhere, so that one only thinks of oneself and those immediately around himher (VanDeVeer, 1994).
    Overconsumption needs to be checked now more than ever before if there can be a protecting of our environment. It is part of environmental ethics to postpone andor reduce consumption in order to use whatever is saved later on. A critical factor to consider before spending of overindulging in merrymaking is what implications ones actions are likely to bring about on the environment and on the welfare of the entire society. If by using two vehicles instead of just one, or by having a 10Watt bathroom lamp instead of a 50Watt one will enable someone else have a better access to the resources one wants  as indeed is the case  then one must go ahead and do just that. The culture of wanting too much than is actually needed only serves to worsen the problem of environmental degradation.  The more that people consume products, the more the degradation that occurs to the environment (VanDeVeer, 1994).
    A factor that is related to both overconsumption and social justice is that of using food. Food is perhaps the most basic human need that one can ever desire to have. The lack of food spells doom to the person, and all measures must be put in place to ensure that food is available for all people in the society. Again, there is a stark contrast between the developed and the developing countries when it comes to food acquisition and consumption. While food is readily available and even a lot is spared in the developed world, people in the developing countries hardly get enough food to eat. Their low income levels have made them victims of hunger and starvation, and malnutrition is a common occurrence there. Some cannot afford as much as a meal a day and if they are lucky to, the food is often lacking in the right and necessary calorific value necessary to make them healthy and protect them from infections. Morally and ethically, such people ought to be helped to get food. Instead of consuming too much and throwing the leftovers, such food items can be donated to the poor and needy in society (VanDeVeer, 1994).
    This will be reducing overconsumption in the West but at the same time helping to meet a social need and so exercising social justice. That aside, donating food will keep the starving and the hungry from the temptation to resort to unconventional and often illegal practices such as poaching and logging in their desperate attempt to fend for themselves and their families (VanDeVeer, 1994). Natural habitats will be conserved and exploitation of natural resources will be halted. Usually, the community will only resort to destroying the ecosystems and natural habitats in their vicinity if they re not made aware of the impacts or consequences of their actions, or when they feel the relevant project implementers are not working in conjunction with them. Sustainable development goes hand in hand with environmental conservation in fact the former is aimed at achieving the latter. If the culture of seeking to have too much is checked, and more people, especially in the developed world, are made to understand the importance of saving for the future and giving to a needy child or family, then efforts aimed at environmental conservation will be given a greater boost (VanDeVeer, 1994).
The Role of Globalization in the Conservation of the Environment
    Globalization  the integrating of national and local economies into one international economy with a common market and closely working trading patterns, reduced barriers to trade and the enhanced free movement of people across national borders - may be a blessing to the business community but it is not really a welcome development to efforts to deal environmental degradation. Globalization has resulted in opening up of international borders and a general relaxing of trading barriers (Schweickart, 1996). There has been formation of trading blocs and has allowed for free movement of labor (people) from one nation another without too many restrictions. There has been a movement away from protectionism to a freer business world. This has made illegal trading in wildlife products relatively easier. Poaching has been on the increase in the recent times because poachers have found it very easy to get around checks and regulations that are still in place (VanDeVeer, 1994).
    The movement of people freely within trading blocs has also increased instances of smuggling of natural resources from one country to another. The rather unrestricted or poorly restricted flow of goods across borders has been responsible for a lot of other goods moving across borders. In order for environmental ethic to prevail, then, it is appropriate that globalization is made more tolerable by ensuring that poachers and other dealers in illegal natural products are hunted down and nabbed (Schweickart, 1996). The fact that globalization is offering a lot of financial and economic gains do not mean that all caution should be thrown away. Instead, there ought to be even stricter border regulations because with the rather increased flow of goods and people across borders, more criminals are more likely to take advantage of this to cause more ecological damage to wildlife and plants (Evans, 2004). 
The Existing Market Systems
    The modern world is becoming rather accommodative and reformist in nature. As a result, different market systems have come into existence. While the more common trend is that of capitalist or absolutely free market economies, other countries are still under socialist and moderately socialist market economies. The operations of national economies have had a direct impact on the policy that is implemented, especially the economic policies, and such have determined the outcomes in environmental conservation. A totally free system will bring about a situation where the affairs of the market are not affected by any form of regulation or control from the state or government. Every business decision will them be determined solely by market forces. Such a system, while being very ideal and appropriate in the business world, is not favorable in bringing about proper environmental conservation and protection (Schweickart, 1996).
    Issues of the environment are best dealt with and addressed based not on what the forces in a free market dictate but by what is deemed necessary and beneficial to the people. If people are able to get benefits of any project or system, then the end will justify the means  it will not matter so much what is available in the market. In essence, a free economy will not bring about desired environmental ethics in the community (Rawls, 1971). Instead, important decisions regarding the environment will have to be made by people who never have the environment at heart. Considering a case where the market has to be the determinant of such matters, then a growing demand for goods and services will increase the level of pollution and general damage to the environment. As economic activities increase, there will be a need for increased productivity in order to keep the many production processes moving forward (Schweickart, 1996). In essence, there will be a lot more economic activities that will be implemented in the name of responding to free market forces. These economic activities will have adverse effects on the environment.
    A fairly regulated market economy will be able to offer some help to conservation efforts. This is because such a system will allow for a significant meddling by regulatory bodies that will seek to control matters that are key to societal and government importance. A fully controlled market economy will have different effects on conservation efforts and environmental ethics. It will remain to see what exactly is regulated (Schweickart, 1996). A totally controlled market system may, therefore, hinder or enhance efforts to promote environmental ethics. The only major issue with heavily controlled economies is that the government has so much say in the affairs and events of the economy that even matters of the environment might be affected negatively. For instance, due to this regulation, economic activities are likely to decline dramatically, and the outcome will be that environmental conservation efforts will be without a sponsor (Schweickart, 1996).
    Quite often than not, funding for conservation measures is either from well-wishers or from government and NGOs. Some of these organizations and agencies will not be willing to take part in joint conservation efforts if the government is too much involved in the affairs of the economy. Heavy regulation, quite often than not, will lock out many foreign players from taking part in the business activities within the market. A much better system is one that is intermediate between the two extremes. This is one which will put in place regulation in matters that are critical. This will most likely be the one that will seek to have environment issues delinked from the rest of the business and economic activities of the nation (Schweickart, 1996). This will in turn help promote conservation efforts because they will not be subject to trends in the market.
    The world has socially been transformed by the way people interact and do business. Many aspects of the society have worked to either hinder or promote efforts that have been aimed at the conservation of the environment. Environmental ethics is a rather controversial issue, and it is only how different political and economic views are able to explain that one can come up with a clear and precise approach to take regarding it. Capitalism, a rather common mode of administration and a popular socioeconomic system, has been criticized for being responsible for the rampant social and ecological problems affecting people all around the world. On the other hand, it has been noted that overly restricted socioeconomic systems like a fully socialist country will also do little to take care of the problem of environmental degradation and the associated problems such as social conflicts.
    The West has been accused of causing a lot of damage to ecosystems in developing countries especially when its companies dump products there. The theory of social justice has been cited as very important in explaining what the needs of the modern man are. It requires, among other things, that mankind be given all the rights he deserves in order that he may live life free from the woes of the world, especially those resulting directly or indirectly from environmental degradation. Nations and international agencies are expected to play a greater role in helping resolve the problem of global hunger. There is a need for international safety enforcement agencies to put in place measures that help prevent rampant dumping of used goods in developing countries. There is also a need to analyze and seek solutions to the social and ecological harmful outcomes of globalization. To this end, border checks and patrols ought to be intensified in order to curb illegal immigration and the smuggling of wildlife products into other countries. On the whole, all in society are expected to do a lot more to help bring about sustainable development, and ensure the world is a cleaner and safer place to live.