Environment, ethics and religion : can religious philosophies enhance environmental ethics?

Sewpershad, Pranesha (2018-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : The environment we live in is plagued with pollution, over-population and various other forms of degradation. The existing philosophies within environmental ethics have been found inadequate to deal with the state of the environment today. In this thesis the various forms of environmental degradation will be discussed, and environmental philosophies will be reviewed to ascertain whether they are indeed inadequate to deal with such degradation and to bring about attitudinal and behavioural change with regards to the environment. In recent times there has been a call for a new ethic that will help change the attitudes humans have towards the environment, with the hope of minimising or reducing the negative impact of these attitudes. One possible source to transform this status quo is religion. This thesis will argue that religious philosophies and principles can be adopted to complement existing environmental philosophies, thereby enhancing the protection of the environment. In particular, the religious principles of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and Buddhism will be discussed and will be compared to existing environmental philosophies such as deep ecology, with a view to developing a new environmental ethical framework.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Die omgewing waarin ons leef word geteister deur besoedeling, oorbevolking en verskeie ander vorme van agteruitgang. Die bestaande filosofieë binne omgewingsetiek is onvoldoende gevind om vandag se toestand van die omgewing te hanteer. In hierdie tesis word die verskillende vorme van omgewingsverval bespreek, en omgewingsfilosofieë sal hersien word om vas te stel of hulle inderdaad onvoldoende is om sulke agteruitgang te hanteer en om houdings en gedragsverandering met betrekking tot die omgewing teweeg te bring. In die afgelope tyd was daar n oproep vir ‘n nuwe etiek wat die houding van mense teenoor die omgewing sal help verander, met die hoop om die negatiewe impak van hierdie houdings te minimaliseer of te verminder. Een moontelike bron om hierdie status quo te transformer, is godsdiens. Hierdie tesis sal argumenteer dat godsdienstige filosofieë en beginsels aangeneem kan word om bestaande omgewingsfilosofieë aan te vul en sodoende die beskerming van die omgewing te verbeter. Spesifiek sal die godsdienstige beginsels van Gaudiya Vaishnavism en Boeddhisme bespreek word en vergelyk word met bestaande omgewingsfilosofieë soos diep-ekologie, met n oog op die ontwikkelinge van ‘n nuwe omgewing-etiese raamwerk.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/104972
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