Those interested in environmental protection are frequently motivated by the idea that environmental destruction is "bad" while environmental conservation is "good." In some cases, this is based merely on the anthropocentric instrumental value of the environment in relation to humans, but it seems more common that this motivation is generated by a belief that non-humans have intrinsic value, at least at some level of biotic organization. Yet, there is no basis for this claim that is not rooted in either theism or some other form of arbitrary value judgement that, in a materialistic worldview, has no basis outside of the believer's mind. Thus, secular-based environmental ethics that do not rely on theistic or metaphysical assumptions can never be prescriptive; materialistic conservation ethics can never prescribe behavior, they can only describe the arbitrary and fundamentally meaningless values of the philosopher.


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pp. 59-78
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