Ethics Hunting Fa08


  1. Do people who hunt and fish have a different relationship to the land than those who do not?
  2. What are the obligations of those who “own” land?  Do people who do not own land have obligations to the land?
  3. Is the land ethic an ethical framework in the sense of utilitarianism and Kantianism?  How is it related to those frameworks?
  4. Leopold summarizes the land ethic as follows: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”  Is this ethic a useful guide to decisions in our daily lives?  How would our lives be different if we followed this ethic?
  1. Do you think that it is possible to help someone by taking them fishing?  Should Norman Maclean have tried different ways of helping his brother-in-law and brother?
  2. Should environmentalists be concerned about the decline in the number of hunters and anglers?  Why or why not?
  3. Would families in our society be stronger if more family members hunted and fished together?
  4. Do you think that Mallory Burton made the right decision (at the end of her story)?
  1. Do you think that assigning property rights to fish stocks (for example, the IVQs discussed in “Bye-Bye, Bison”) is the best way to prevent overfishing?  If not, how else might fish stocks be protected?
  2. Who should control fishing rights?  Local communities?  National or state governments?  International regulatory agencies?
  3. Can you find other instances where the “tragedy of the commons” has caused lasting damage to natural resources?  Where the tragedy of the commons has been averted?
  4. Do you find the fishinghurts web site to be persuasive?  Why or why not?
  5. Is aquaculture an ethical alternative to commercial fishing?

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