I mentioned that I myself had come to very similar conclusions some time before, and he asked when that had happened.
Environmentalists use the metaphor of the earth as a "spaceship" in trying to persuade countries, industries and people to stop wasting and polluting our natural resources. Since we all share life on this planet, they argue, no single person or institution has the right to destroy, waste, or use more than a fair share of its resources.
But does everyone on earth have an equal right to an equal share of its resources? The spaceship metaphor can be dangerous when used by misguided idealists to justify suicidal policies for sharing our resources through uncontrolled immigration and foreign aid.
In their enthusiastic but unrealistic generosity, they confuse the ethics of a spaceship with those of a lifeboat.
A true spaceship would have to be under the control of a captain, since no ship could possibly survive if its course were determined by committee. Spaceship Earth certainly has no captain; the United Nations is merely a toothless tiger, with little power to enforce any policy upon its bickering members.
If we divide the world crudely into rich nations and poor nations, two thirds of them are desperately poor, and only one third comparatively rich, with the United States the wealthiest of all. Metaphorically each rich nation can be seen as a lifeboat full of comparatively rich people.
In the ocean outside each lifeboat swim the poor of the world, who would like to get in, or at least to share some of the wealth. What should the lifeboat passengers do?
First, we must recognize the limited capacity of any lifeboat. For example, a nation's land has a limited capacity to support a population and as the current energy crisis has shown us, in some ways we have already exceeded the carrying capacity of our land.
Adrift in a Moral Sea So here we sit, say 50 people in our lifeboat. To be generous, let us assume it has room for 10 more, making a total capacity of Suppose the 50 of us in the lifeboat see others swimming in the water outside, begging for admission to our boat or for handouts.
We have several options: The boat swamps, everyone drowns. Complete justice, complete catastrophe. Since the boat has an unused excess capacity of 10 more passengers, we could admit just 10 more to it.
But which 10 do we let in?
How do we choose? Do we pick the best 10, "first come, first served"? And what do we say to the 90 we exclude? If we do let an extra 10 into our lifeboat, we will have lost our "safety factor," an engineering principle of critical importance.
For example, if we don't leave room for excess capacity as a safety factor in our country's agriculture, a new plant disease or a bad change in the weather could have disastrous consequences.Updated 24 November, Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor by Garrett Hardin, Psychology Today, September For copyright permission, click here..
Environmentalists use the metaphor of the earth as a "spaceship" in trying to persuade countries, industries and people to stop wasting and polluting our natural resources. The Collision of Two Cultures – Implications of Cultural Values and Beliefs on Caring Concepts Abstract This paper is a personal response to Anne Fadiman’s book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.
The paper includes a summary of the book, an overall impression of the reader, a discussion of three major themes evident [ ]. Communication Barriers Stephen Dallas Communication Barriers "So the whole war is because we can't talk to each other," Orson Scott Card.
Ineffective communication is a major . Ethnocentrism. Ethnocentrism is the tendency of judging a different culture primarily based on the standards and values of a person’s own culture.
Ethnocentric people judge other cultures based on the things embraced by their ethnic group or issues of culture, particularly on matters of behavior, religion, language and customs.
Ethnocentrism essays Ethnocentric, derived from the Greek words of Ethnos, meaning race, people or cultural group, and Kentrikos, meaning concentrated about or directed to a center is a word that greatly describes many cultures on this planet we call Earth.
met the man who said those words while working as a bartender in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas. It was a one-street town in Benton County.