Environmental Action

1.         Describe the four cases Peter Singer gives to help explore the question of the morality of law breaking. Which of these cases were justified in your view? Which not? Why?

2.         Describe a case where lawbreaking to protect the environment led to environmental protection. Describe a case where lawbreaking to protect animals let to the protection of animals.

3.         What does Singer think about the suggestion that the ends can never justify the means?

4.         Is it always morally wrong to break the law? (Think of Oscar Schindler.) Is it always morally wrong to break the law in a democratic society? (Think of Martin Luther King.)

5.         What is civil disobedience and how is it different from other types of lawbreaking (E.g., sabotage, terrorism, non-conscientious self-interested lawbreaking)? Is one easier to justify than the other?

6.         What are the reasons for thinking law breaking for env. goals harms the environmental movement? What are reasons for thinking it can help?

7.         If your favorite natural area (Yellowstone, Smoky Mountain National Park) was going to be destroyed (by development), would you be willing to break the law as part of a campaign to protect it? Could such activities ever be justified?

8.         If one believes animals have equal rights on a par with human rights, does it follow that one ought to break into research labs and release the animals? If one believes that fetus are persons with the same rights as you and me, then is it permissible to shoot abortion doctors?

9.         Describe “no impact man.”

10.       Describe the act of civil disobedience that Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Gus Speth and James Hanson recently participated in.