Worldviews:Biocentric and Anthropocentric
Worldviews:Biocentric and Anthropocentric
Differentpeople and societies have varying orientations of the entirety of thepoints of view and knowledge of a given individual or the society.The differences in orientation give rise to sets of beliefspertaining to fundamental factors of reality that are grounded andcontrolled by one’s thinking, doing, knowing, and perceiving(Dudar, 2012). These sets of beliefs give rise to differentworldviews. The present paper will address two worldviews (includingbiocentric and anthropocentric), with a focus on their differences,one that is best to closely identify with, and reasons to identifywith the selected worldview.
Biocentricworldview is an idea that human beings are not superior to otherorganisms, but they are part of and totally depend on the mesh oflife that makes the world habitable (Suzuki, 2012). Supporters ofthis worldview hold that all organisms (including human beings) sharephysical as well as biological requirements for wellbeing andsurvival. Holders of this view believe that all organisms have theright to live or exist, irrespective of their species.Anthropocentricism, on the other hand, is the view that suggests thathuman beings have a greater value compared to other organisms (NetIndustries, 2014). Proponents of this view believe that any organismthat is perceived to be of any use to human should be considered as aresource for human exploitation. In addition, this worldview affectsthe ethical judgment where those who believe in anthropocentricismlegitimize the treatment of other organisms in morally unacceptableways.
Thereare two major reasons why I closely identify with the biocentricworldview. First, biocentrism considers holds that all species havethe right to exist without being denied this right to support theexistence of another species (Suzuki, 2012). This notion forms theground for the development of moral respect of all organismsirrespective of their biological classification. Consequently, thosewho believe in this view cannot exploit other organisms in morallyunacceptable ways with the objective of supporting their ownsurvival. Compared to other worldviews, biocentrism is the mostappropriate and effective approach of conserving the biodiversity andprotecting other species from the risk of extinction.
Secondly,human beings cannot survive without the biosphere, but the biospherecan do without them. This view supports the notion that all organismsdepend on each other for survival and wellbeing, which is based onthe principle of interdependence within the biosphere (Taylor, 2000). Although this idea is opposed on the grounds that the life of eachspecies or organism is not necessarily required to maintain theintegrity of the entire biosphere, it should be considered that eachorganism should fit into the ecological unit that it is part of. Thisimplies that both human and non-human species depend on each otherfor survival as well as wellbeing and the absence of some speciesreduces the wellbeing of the others. This is a comprehensive viewthat is consistent with all empirical truths. Therefore, allorganisms should consider each other as part of the biosphere withoutany one of them being superior to others.
Inconclusion, the worldviews are the products of thinking, perceptionsand beliefs held by different people. Although each of the two majorworldviews (including the biocentric and anthropocentricism views)has a large number of supporters, the biocentric worldview is moreimportant and practical. This is because biocentrism is morecomprehensive and based on empirical truths. In addition, thebiocentric worldview can be applied in the field of environmentalconservation because it supports the idea that all organisms shouldbe given moral respect. Moreover, the biocentric worldview supportsthe idea of interdependence of species.
Dudar,E. (2012, March 2). Shifting worldviews: Why ecological literacy?Ecoliteracyin EcoSchools.Retrieved May 23, 2014, fromhttp://esecolit.wordpress.com/tag/worldview/
NetIndustries (2014). Anthropocentrism. NetIndustries.Retrieved May 23, 2014, fromhttp://science.jrank.org/pages/403/Anthropocentrism.html
Suzuki,D. (2012). A biocentric viewpoint is needed now. EcoWatch.Retrieved May 23, 2014, from,http://ecowatch.com/2012/05/01/the-fundamental-failure-of-environmentalism/
Taylor,W. (2000). Indefense of biocentrism.New York: Brooklyn College of City University.