First, he argues that most members of an ecosystem have no economic worth. For this reason, such an ethic can ignore or even eliminate these members when they are actually necessary for the health of the biotic community of the land.
This hanging involved no question of propriety. The girls were property. The disposal of property was then, as now, a matter of expediency, not of right and wrong. Concepts of right and wrong were not lacking from Odysseus' Greece: The ethical structure of that day covered wives, but had not yet been extended to human chattels.
During the three thousand years which have since elapsed, ethical criteria have been extended to many fields of conduct, with corresponding shrinkages in those judged by expediency only.
The Ethical Sequence This extension of ethics, so far studied only by philosophers, is actually a process in ecological evolution. Its sequence may be described in ecological as well as in philosophic terns. An ethic, ecologically, is a limitation on freedom action in the struggle for existence.
An ethic, philosophically is a differentiation of social from anti-social conduct. These are two definitions of one thing. The thing has its origin in the tendency of interdependent individuals or groups to evolve modes of co-operation.
The ecologist calls fees symbioses. Politics and economics are advanced syrnbioses in which the original free-for-all competition has been re placed, in part, by co-operative mechanisms with an ethical content.
The complexity of co-operative mechanisms has increase with population density, and with the efficiency of tools. It was simpler, for example, to define the anti-social uses sticks and stones in the days of the mastodons than of bullet and billboards in the age of motors. The first ethics dealt with the relation between individuals; the Mosaic Decalogue is an example.
Later accretions dealt with the relation between the individual and society. The Golden Rule tries to integrate the individual to society, democracy to integrate social organization to the individual. There is as yet no ethic dealing with man's relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it.
Land, like Odysseus' slave-girls, is still property. The land relation is still strictly economic, entailing privileges but no obligations. The extension of ethics to this third element in human environment is, if I read the evidence correctly, an evolutionary possibility and an ecological necessity.
It is the third step in a sequence.
The first two have already been taken. Individual thinkers since the days of Ezekiel and Isaiah have asserted that the despoliation of land is not only inexpedient but wrong.
Society, however, has not yet affirmed their belief. I regard the present conservation movement as the embryo of such an affirmation. An ethic may be regarded as a mode of guidance for meeting ecological situations so new or intricate, or involving such deferred reactions, that the path of social expediency is not discernible to the average individual.
Animal instincts are modes of guidance for the individual in meeting such situations. Ethics are possibly a kind of community instinct in-the-making. The Community Concept All ethics so far evolved rest upon a single premise: His instincts prompt him to compete for his place in that community, but his ethics prompt him also to co-operate perhaps in order that there may be a place to compete for.
The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: Yes, but just what and whom do we love? Certainly not the soil, which we are sending helter-skelter downriver. Certainly not the waters, which we assume have no function except to turn turbines, float barges, and carry off sewage.
Certainly not the plants, of which we exterminate whole communities without batting an eye. Certainly not the animals, of which we have already extirpated many of the largest and most beautiful species.The Land Ethic, by Aldo Leopold, was the first of the ecocentric theories and claimed that an act is good if it promotes the beauty, integrity and stability of the ecosystem, and bad if it harms it.
According to this. The Aldo Leopold Foundation was founded in with a mission to foster the land ethic through the legacy of Aldo Leopold, awakening an ecological conscience in .
"Land Ethic" Intrinsic Value lies within the whole love, respect, admiration, interconnectivity in the land. disconnect of where we get our food holism 3 enemies of morality: middle man, indifference, false faith in science/government. Jan 22, · Since then, prairie dogs have taken it in the shorts, as many ranchers view their large 'towns' as competition for grazing animals.
If you want to start an argument in .
Leopold's Land Ethic transforms the science of ecology into a world-view, and thus the grounds for a guide to conduct -- which is to say, an ethic.
"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology," he writes, "but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.". A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these 'resources,' but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in .