Can Conscience Save Us?

Having considered two different opinions in the relation to the question whether consciousness can save us or not, I came to the conclusion that I support the Earth Charter’s ideas which state that human conscious can save the whole humanity from different disaster.

Taking the example of population and its damaging grows, we are going to support the Earth Charter’s ideas and ruin Hardin’s one. The Earth Charter states that only the universal responsibility, membership in the human family, the need for global ethics as the elements of social consciousness may save people from overpopulation which becomes a real problem for the whole planet (n.p.).

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Garrett Hardin has another point of view. Referencing the research of the problem to the population, he states that human consciousness cannot help in the question as “how many children a family had would not be a matter of public concern” (Hardin n.p.).

I believe that consciousness can save our planet from overpopulation. This opinion may be easily supported with the following arguments. First of all, people understand that the increase of people on the planet increases the consumption of different resources that increase the responsibility of human beings for what they do.

Considering the global situation, it becomes obvious that overpopulation of the planet influences ecological and social systems, but the changes are not inevitable.

The understanding of the problem, the union of people from all countries may be really helpful. Along with the Earth Charter, I strongly believe that people understand that they belong to the whole Earth community, where each person shares the responsibility for the future of the planet.

The principles the Earth Charter considers are strong and can influence human consciousness. These principles recognize the rights of all people and “affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity” (“the Earth Charter” n.p).

This quote means that it is possible to influence on human morality, that being intellectual, ethical and spiritual, human beings are to be conscious about their life as well as about their planet. Supporting this idea Macgregor states that “The Earth Charter may be seen as an example of a global citizen initiative that supports and promotes a cosmopolitan environmental vision” (Macgregor 88).

Garrett Hardin’s point of view is absolutely unacceptable. Dwelling upon the problem of overpopulation, he states that “most people who anguish over the population problem are trying to find a way to avoid the evils of overpopulation without relinquishing any of the privileges they now enjoy” (Hardin n.p.). Such opinion is inadmissible, as according to the Earth Charter people are ready to “care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love” (“The Earth Charter” n.p.).

Such words touch the cultural images, refer to national symbols and narratives and create the feeling of human belonging to the world as the global society. Furthermore, Hardin also states that people should be influenced not consciously but rationally. He provides the arguments that if people are said about the lack of food because of the overpopulation, the problem is solved.

Still, he contradicts the idea he mentions above. Thus, all the reasons Hardin uses are weak. Only applying for human consciousness people can save the planet and stop its overpopulation. Isn’t it what is necessary? Isn’t the only way out to make people treat the situation seriously and make those bear responsibility for what is happening?

Works Cited

Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” The Garret Hardin Society 2005. Web. 8 Feb. 2011.

Macgregor, Sherilyn. “Reading the Earth Charter: Cosmopolitan environmental citizenship or light green politics as usual?” Ethics, Place and Environment 71.2 (2004): 85–96. Print.

“The Earth Charter.” Web. 8 Feb. 2011.


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