Human beings have been clearing forest for many years in order to have land for farming and keeping livestock (nasa. gov). The need to feed the ever increasing population has in most cases necessitated clearing of forests to plant crops and produce food. However, this action has resulted in reduced forest cover especially tropical forests. Tropical forests are known to be home of various animal species. Therefore, when tropical forests cover decrease so will the population of animals that depend on the forests for food and shelter.
Despite the fact that clearing of tropical forests increases land for farming so as to eet food demand for the growing population, the arguments of deontological ethical theory would disagree. According to deontological ethical theory, human beings are morally obligated to act according to certain set principles and rules regardless of the outcome of the actions. Up to this end, deontological theory does not support clearing of lands even if it is for the greater good since the impacts are far greater than the main reason(s). However, there are individuals who think that clearing of forests for farming is right.
Deontology is derived from Greek words deon (duty) and logos (study). Deontology is ne of the normative theories that explain the kind of choices that are morally acceptable. Deontology theory was formulated by Immanuel Kant in 1788 (sevenpillarsinstitute. org). According to deontology theory, human beings are mandated to morally act according to certain set rules and principles regardless of the outcome. Deontology theory explains that some acts are wrong, even when the act leads to a positive outcome. Kant came up with deontology theory based on the fact that human beings have the capacity to act rationally or to reason.
Therefore, human being’s ability to reason requires them to act according o and for the sake of moral law or duty. According to Kant, human emotions and consequences of their actions should not affect moral action but rather the motivation that is responsible for an action must be based on obligation and thought out carefully before the action takes place. In other words, the theory of morality should provide a framework of rational rules to guide people and prevent some actions that are based on personal desires and intentions.
Therefore, an action that is moral is determined by human will which is the ultimate good. A good will occurs when an action is performed in accordance to moral duty or law. Additionally, moral law is a set of maxims (rules or principles) which are categorically imperative or unconditional commands that are established by human reason alone. According to deontological theory there are three formulations of categorical imperative. The first one states that a true moral proposition should not be based on any conditions including the individual that made the proposition (sevenpillarsinstitute. rg).
Additionally, human beings have imperfect duties which are based on reasoning but allow interpretation depending on human preferences. Therefore, no one will be blamed when the imperfect duty is not completed. But when the imperfect duty is completed, people involved will be praised because they have gone beyond the basic duty. The second categorical imperative states that every rational action must always be considered as a principle and an end. In other words, an individual has a perfect duty not to use or treat themselves or others as a means to an end.
This means that, a person must morally act so that everybody wins including themselves. The third formulation states that any will is not controlled by any interest but it is subject to the laws that it makes. People need to act according to maxims that will result o beneficial end for everybody. Clearing tropical forest for farmland is usually done to create land for growing crops and keeping livestock to provide food for the ever increasing population. Tropical forests or forest in general have environmental benefits (Foley, et al. , 2005).
One is that tropical forests attract rain and are a source of rivers and springs. Secondly, forest cover reduces excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hence reducing climate change. Thirdly, rain forests represent homes for various animal species and as a source of food. When forest cover is reduced, some species that depend n the forests will reduce in number or become extinct. Additionally, clearing forests increases carbon release in the atmospheres. According to Stanford Report (2010) every million acre of forest that is cleared releases similar amount of carbon into the atmosphere just like 40 million 2010).
According to deontological theory, human beings have to act according to set rules, principles or laws. For instance, U. S government and state laws do not permit clearing of forests to create farmland but to conserve the forests. Therefore, all U. S rs do per year (Gibbs, residents are mandated to stick to the laws and not cut or clear orest illegally. It is true that land is needed for agricultural practices but that does not justify the need to clear forests that are beneficial to the ecosystem. Sticking to the law can be an imperfect duty for people who have needs to satisfy.
This means that people may starve because there is no land to farm, but the government can look for alternative ways of feeding its people such as importing food or growing food in green houses. Additionally, unused lands like mine lands that have been abandoned can be reclaimed to create land for farming. According to the three formulations of the categorical mperative, the law is binding and no one can manipulate the law to benefit them (Gradwohl, & Greenberg, 2013). Human beings must make sure that the decisions that they make will benefit everyone and not just the interests or intentions of a selected few.
Clearing of forests for farmland will not only lead to extinction of animal species that depend on the forests for shelter but it would lead to increased carbon in the atmosphere that causes increased impacts of climate change. Climate change impacts affect not only the individual(s) that cleared forests for farmland but everyone in the world. However, there are individuals who think that not clearing forest for farmland when there is not enough land for farming is not a moral act or duty since there are people who will starve.
They argue that spearing forests for conservation while there are people who lack food is not human. Moreover, importing food while there is land that can be cleared for farming will be an expensive task for the government. Additionally, when enough food is produced for the people some of it can be exported to generate revenue for the government that can be channeled to other sectors of development like infrastructure. Clearing land for farmland is not a morally right act.
According to deontological theory an act is wrong even when the outcome is good. Clearing forest for farming results to increased food production but the act is wrong. This is because the law does not allow clearing of forest land for farming but to look for alternative solution of food production. Alternative solutions like reclaiming unused mine land for farming will spear animals that depend on forests for shelter and food. Moreover, not clearing forests for farmland benefits everybody including individuals who wish to clear forests for farming.