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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Nirmal Baid Jain Acceptance of Life in Nonhuman Entities as a Basis for Environmental Ethics
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Environmental ethics as a discipline deals with the morality of human actions and its consequences on the environment and its nonhuman elements. It addresses the question of whether there is a moral implication in harming the nonhuman contents of the environment, animate or inanimate. Jains identify with life being existent not only in humans and animals but also equally in earth, fire, air, water and vegetation. Life in these seemingly inanimate objects is considered at par with human or animal life form. Code of conduct for Jain householders and monks alike stipulates avoiding unnecessary harm to life including these inanimate life forms. When the entire world around us comes alive, this code of conduct helps create an abiding ethics that requires one to protect and pledge non-harming to all elements of the environment we live in.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Sandra Baquedano Jer The Axiologic Undertone of the Bio-diversity in East Wisdoms
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The Hindu worldview works on the principle that all mortals are usually found immersed within the illusion of Maya. This illusion encompasses the common essence which all living beings share, and in an illusory way, wraps the human being within his or her ‘self’, presenting this individuality as an absolute truth. That natural selfishness represents the main enemy which human beings have to struggle against, to remove and tear apart, in order to overcome the individual barriers which limit and master the ‘self’. In this presentation we will probe the Hindu society tradition and its mechanism to protect and care for diversity as substantial values. Moreover, we will examine prominent scholars and historical characters in the Indian and East culture who have actively manifested a philosophical activism during their lives. We will examine the importance of the precautions, related to the balance in the adaequatio between any increase in the number of the individuals that could be preserved indefinitely in an environment, and those who would cause an increasing damage to it.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Philip Cafaro Economic Growth or the Flourishing of Life: The Ethical Choice Global Climate Change Puts to Humanity in the 21st Century
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The phenomenon of global warming suggests that today’s dominant economic paradigm is bumping up against physical and biological limits. As will likely become ever clearer in coming decades, endlessly growing populations, consumption and economic activity are incompatible with human happiness, the flourishing of other species, and maintaining the basic ecosystem services on which these depend. The world’s peoples need to shift to an economic paradigm focused on providing sufficient resources for a limited number of people, rather than ever more resources for ever more people. For at least 2500 years, philosophers East and West, religious and secular, have claimed that wealth is not the key to happiness and that goodness is better than greatness. This talk argues that philosophers should redouble these efforts and join environmentalists in working to convince our societies to grow up and develop nobler, less materialistic, more sustainable goals and definitions of human flourishing as the necessary and the only alternative to trying to shoehorn a few more decades of economic growth into already overstressed ecological systems.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jianxia Cui The Analysis of Historical Dialectics on Marxist Ecological Thought
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Does Marxist philosophy and economics contain ecological thought? Does Marxist unified ontology amount to ecological thought? Whatever the answer, ecology was not the original intention of Marx. In Marx’s view, nature refers to objective nature, as the medium of subjective practice, and man is realistic man as the natural beings. Unification of the two sides makes clear the substantive characteristics of Marxist ecological thought - dual realization of humanism and naturalism - which in Marx is a principle thought. Probing this question, how to achieve the goal of dual realization in historical dialectics, is the mission of academic research.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jean Du Toit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as response to modernity’s nature-human dichotomy: A philosophical-critical study
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Modernity as a philosophical and intellectual movement has cultivated a perspective of humanity as separated from nature. In modernity, nature is valuable only insofar as it has instrumental value (i.e. that it may be utilized for the benefit of humanity). This paper postulates that such an approach to the nature-human relationship may have led to considerable environmental damage and misuse, and that the perspective of humanity as separate from nature should be re-evaluated. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s philosophy is investigated as a possible means to overcome this dichotomy. De Chardin describes varying ontologies that are embedded in the evolutionary process and against which all human relevance and action must be sketched. This differs from an evolutionistic approach, because whilst engaging with scientific discourse (which tends to be reductionist in approach), de Chardin also incorporates spiritual and religious ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, de Chardin’s ideas differ from vague pantheism because he engages with the terminology used in modern science and re-evaluates this terminology’s application and conclusions in relation to his newly developed cosmology (or cosmogenesis). Several questions are central in this paper: Firstly, could de Chardin’s approach be incorporated into the natural scientific discourse? Secondly, does de Chardin’s cosmology provide new avenues for investigation into a closer and more sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world?
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Magdalena Holy-Luczaj Ontological Egalitarianism as the Basis for Ecological Egalitarianism: A Heideggerian Rejection of the Great Chain of Being
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This paper presents a part of my research project, which is a comprehensive study of the relation between deep ecology and Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. Its aim is to consider whether there is an actual coincidence between deep ecology and the philosophy of Martin Heidegger or whether it only appears so, on the basis of superficial coincidences and historical contingencies. The research that I have carried out to date strongly inclines me to state that deep ecology is largely justified to trace its philosophical heritage to Heidegger. Moreover, it seems that deep ecology does not take full advantage of the potential of Heidegger’s philosophy to lend support to its own foundational assumptions. In this paper I draw attention to the fact that deep ecology, concentrating on such issues as ethos related to the concept of “dwelling the Earth” or his critique of technology (from the latest work by Heidegger during the 1950’s), ignores his rejection of the concept of the “great chain of being” in works from the mid 1930’s, which perfectly corresponds with eco-egalitarianism and can be recognized as the theory of the “ontological egalitarianism.”
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Yanfeng Hu A Humble Opinion on the Relationship Between Humans and Nature
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The present ecological crisis reflects the alienation between humans and nature. The key to solve this problem is the correct understanding by humans of their position in nature. They should grasp correctly the relationship between humans and nature. For humans, nature is an object and also a subject. The fact that nature is subject or has subjectivity can be demonstrated at least in the following aspects: The natural world not only exists independently of humans or human consciousness, but also has its own operation mode; the creatures except human are not only passive objects, they all display the initiative in their behavior to defend their own interests; the natural world has taken retaliatory action on human activity that destroys natural circles and leads to interruption of material exchange and ecological metabolism. Nature has instrumental value and also the purposive value. The instrumental value of nature to humans is concretely reflected in meeting the demands of physical and spiritual life of humans, etc.; the purposive value of natural to human means keeping the relative stability in the operation of natural ecosystems in accord with the fundamental interests of human survival and development. The essence of the relationship between human and natural is the relationship between the natural world and himself. The natural world is the only homeland for humans. Humans should treat the natural world with an attitude that promotes harmony through rational utilization.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Zinaida Ivanova Towns and Settlements Compatible with the Biosphereas the Future of the Humankind
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The concept of the biosphere is a most valuable academic contribution made by V.I. Vernadsky, a Russian scholar, whose 150th anniversary will be celebrated in 2013. Acute deterioration of the condition of the environment, threats of the upcoming ecological crisis have caused the academic community to turn to V.I. Vernadsky’s ideas and to develop further the basic provisions of his theory. The present-day challenge is the rescue of the Biosphere and the introduction of growth limits. Towns and cities are the main sources of degradation of the biosphere. Therefore, there is a need to initiate the recovery of cities. This opinion is formulated by academic V.A. Ilyichev, leader of the program of fundamental research into ‘biosphere-compatible’ settlements and the development of Man. The program is implemented by the Russian Academy of Architectural and Construction Sciences. The core idea of the project consists in the integration of the settlement (from the farmstead to the megalopolis) and the environment aimed at the progressive harmonious development of people, technologies and the biosphere. I.A. Ilyichev has developed the basic principles of transformation of cities, making them compatible with the biosphere and capable of developing humans. The diagnosis “The Earth is sick with Man” is to be treated through the formation of a different philosophy.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Feng Jun Interrogation and Item: Philosophical Thinking on the Logic Level of “Man and Nature” Relationship
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Three are three dimensions in the logical framework of the relationship between man and nature, namely “dimension of awareness”, “dimension of desire” and “dimension of emotion”. But “dimension of awareness” and “dimension of desire” do not occupy a prominent position in the logical level of the relationship between man and nature. “Dimension of emotion” is destined to be in the highest position in the logical level of the relationship between man and nature. “Dimension of emotion” between man and nature refers to man’s ability for empathy, starting from the most vivid and direct experience of life in the heart, through expression towards the outside world and the establishment of a reply to itself. Then nature becomes “emotional things to feel”, leading to an ontology of “material and I blend” or “subject and object don’t distinguish”, leading to a direct identity relationship with nature.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Eleni Kavadia Ecocentrism and Identification: Cubism and Mixanthropoi in Avant-Garde Ecology
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In this essay I discuss ecocentrism and identification as a way to perceive nature presenting the view that identification with other centers of our oikos does not need to result in homogenization but allows one to discern equally identity and otherness, leading possibly to empathy. I maintain that, as a multiperspective point of view, resembles a cubist standpoint and I discuss some of the merits of such a connection besides being an aid to visualisation. I also refer to the mixanthropic forms, related mainly to the Dionysian thiasos, as examples of the process of identification with nature ante litteram. I also comment on the possible value of such connections as means of “defamiliarization”, a way to prevent “over-automatization” when faced with ecological issues, and as a defence against kitsch, seen in the attempt to identify the ecological movement with the “eco-market”, restricting its broader scope.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
David R. Keller Political Economy as Foundation for Environmental Ethics
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In this paper, I argue that the subject of environmental ethics demands the critique of political economy: a political economy is always at the core of the human relationship to nonhuman nature. The elaboration of an ecological political economy is therefore a central task of Environmental Ethics. I make this argument in 4 stages. First, I argue that an “economy” is the interface of a social system (culture) and the biosphere. This interface is the political economy. Second, I argue for a principle of ontological interconnectedness between the human and the nonhuman. Third, I argue that since no human society exists without an economic fundament, the political economy is directly integrated to the ecology of the local. Here we have a standard for normativity: the consistency or inconsistency of a political economy with its ecological system provides a standard for normativity. Fourth, I conclude by asserting that the task of environmental ethics inexorably involves the critique of political economy. Environmental ethics concerns the human relationship to nonhuman nature. Because the fundament of the relationship of humans to nonhuman nature is economic, the subject of environmental ethics ultimately leads to a critique of the political economy in terms of the lessons of ecological science. Therefore, the goal of environmental ethics is the elaboration of ecological political economy.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Vladimir Korotenko The Phenomenon of Ecological Consciousness: Theory and Interpretation
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A systematic approach to the description of phenomenon of environmental consciousness began to emerge in the second half of the ХХ century. An understanding strengthened by the widening environmental crisis had become a paradigmatic basis for this description. Its reasons lie in a dominant way of human techno-centrism, and it cannot be overcome without a change of this predominant worldview, universal and specific consciousness being a “psychological basis” of the ecological crisis. In a certain sense, the most appropriate reflection of the scheme of environmental consciousness will be the concept of semiotic fields or certain semiotic structures and specific symbolic series. These constructs are: Apocalyptic (predetermination of the end of history); the expansion of the human self-boundaries to the community and to the living in general; the value of life, regardless of its forms. One can say that environmental consciousness has a certain set of qualities, knowledge, symbolic means for addressing environmental situations, where the primary is the collision with environmental problems, and then there emerges a technical problem, aimed at resolving them in the space design of consciousness. However, when studying the phenomenon of environmental consciousness, some authors point out that the idea of environmental consciousness as a conceptual system can meet objections since the basis for the development of man’s relationship to nature lies in unconscious processes. Without denying the possibility of their participation, it must be emphasized that, in our interpretation, environmental consciousness is based on the knowledge gained from active and passive experience with the objects of the external world, situation analysis, and forecasts. Furthermore, exploring the phenomenon of environmental consciousness and its relationship with other mental phenomenon - unconscious, it is necessary to indicate the paradigmatic premise: the idea of multiplicity of events, that our lives can be at the same time turned in polysemantic (multi-character and multi-conceptual) space. Environmental consciousness can be seen as a very complex, self-regulating (i.e. having the ability to change the very purpose, functions and links) system, created to meet the challenges of establishing, stabilizing or changing relationship with nature and its objects that arise in the process of meeting man’s needs.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Ruth Miller Lucier Environmental Justice and Global Human Rights: Aspects of Self as Agency for Sustaining the Natural World
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This paper begins, in Part I, with a brief discussion of the “objective self” described in John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press, 1971), and Michael J. Sandal’s criticism of it (in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, (Cambridge University Press, 1985) with the purpose of proposing a ‘thickening’ of the concept of Rawls’ “thin (or objective) self” that would make sense of moral obligations and commitments to global environmental stewardship. In part II, a ‘thicker self’ is envisioned as one that incorporates indigenous, earth nurturing, values as essential to its own identity, and that, hence, has properties that promote commitment to environmental preservation. Part III, sets forth the suggestion that philosophers need to construe the human self in a thicker, more environmentally friendly, way than Rawls’s thin self is construed—-namely, in a way that involves the respecting of the wisdom of earth-preserving peoples and cultures, thus allowing the concept self to include awareness of globally focused environmental justice responsibilities.
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Michail Mantzanas The Stoic Notion of “Living according to nature” and its Influence on Arne Naess’s Environmental Philosophy
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The maxim of “living in accordance with cosmic nature” is fundamental to the theories of the Stoics. Nature is the entire external universe and it is composed of both incorporeal matter and material substance, i.e., plants, animals and human beings. Nature is all beings and all things, but their substance and their existence are both independent from human free will. The pervasive influence of nature is reflected on the Stoic body of doctrine in the same way that the perception of nature is related to the ideas of the unity of the world and the totality of the coexistence of beings and incorporeal extra-beings. Stoic thinkers placed a great value on the idea of nature and identified it with cosmos or the universe. Nature is conceived to be all-inclusive and it is made up out of all kinds of beings and bodies, including the incorporeal ones which are also part of the universe. According to Stoics, nature and the universe as a whole are divine in essence with both inherent and functional properties. Stoics, who are regarded as pantheists, held the view that the cosmos is conceived of as divine and that it is interrelated with God, in the sense that God is the universe and acts as a spirit within nature and human life in the form of “cosmic reason”. All is ordained by reason, cosmic reason exists in the physical world and “logos” directs human beings. For Stoics the pantheists, nature is sacred and holy and human beings will not be able to attain eudaimonia if they do not strive to live in accordance with nature and free from all externals, which, in its turn, is achieved through “Logos”, as the latter is interconnected with man’s existence. The Stoic philosophy espouses that the individual human nature is part of the cosmic and universal nature. God, nature and man are all integral parts of the universe. Living according to nature is synonymous to conforming to the laws of the Divine Logos, i.e., the knowledge of the truth in the world. One lives according to nature when they follow the dictations of reason, that is, according to their potential which grow into abilities. In accord with the Stoic belief that there is a chain of causes and effects encompassing all, individual reason paves the way for everyone to achieve eudaimonia and not only the being who possesses it. Living in accord with nature consists in functions which are dictated by reason and appropriate acts that are in agreement with individual nature. It is only by the aforementioned means that man’s nature can attain wisdom and the rational part of the soul can in its turn perform acts directed by reason, free from passions. The moral tenet that is central to Stoic ethics is the one which supports the belief that growth of reason comes only from living in accord with nature and logos, alike, is only achieved through living in agreement with nature. In order to explore and understand the relevance of the aforementioned stoic tenet to modern environmental reality a major question must be addressed. To what extent could the stoic theory related to living in accordance with nature have influenced Arne Naess in developing his modern environmental ethics? This work will assume that stoic philosophy had a great impact on Arne Naess ecophilosophy and will hopefully shed light on this significant issue. Naess argues that metaphysics and science can coexist and in this way contribute to the development of a holistic system of thought. The system proposed by Naess places emphasis on ecocentric as well as human values, namely harmonious coexistence, altruism, solidarity and peace. Naess rejects the egocentric aspect of environmental philosophy and stresses the significant of biodiversity and biocommunity. Naess attaches a metaphysical dimension and an assessment perspective to ecophilosophy. In his philosophical framework, all beings and all things, both material and immaterial, either divine or human can coexist in harmony. It is this very coexistence which best illustrates Naess’s ecoethics.
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Demetrios Matthopoulos Concepts in Environmental Aesthetics
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Philosophers, long ago, were involved in defining the criteria for the aesthetic appreciation of nature. On the debate as to “Which is the real consideration of environment?” several philosophers agree that the object of aesthetic experience can be found in nature, while others believe that aesthetic norms are the result of arts. Systemic methods developed for expressing ourselves do not create aesthetic norms but represent norms elaborated by our senses. These norms exist a priori in nature, under the auspice of natural autaxia and in order to be expressed have to be analyzed and interpreted. Considering that the knowledge of the soul greatly advances our understanding of nature and that the senses frame intellectual perception, the aesthetic perception of our surroundings is the result of the ability to elaborate incoming stimuli originating in nature. Our interpretive ability is the result of the interaction between our genetic background and paedia, education, framing an important part of our whole emotional and psychological selves. Nature’s aesthetic evaluation is the result of the perception of the existing aesthetic norms in nature, the way they are framed by the faculty of human senses and interpreted by the various systemic methods developed.
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Daniel Mishori Which Kind of Rights?: Reclaiming, Public Rights and Commons Ownership
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In the summer of 2009 a fierce controversy erupted in Israel regarding the tax regime and royalties over revenues from the newly discovered gas reserves in the Mediterranean. The Civil Action Forum claimed that the Israel public (or citizens) owns these recourses, and therefore that 80% of the gas revenues should go to the public. The claim that the public ‘owns’ natural resources or public space recurred during the past decade in Israeli environmental rhetoric. Such campaigns, especially those with extensive public participation, often employ rhetoric of environmental rights and public ownership of public space or resources, or use the complementary language of reclaiming. Such rhetoric and terminology reveal an emerging “commons sense”, critical for conceptualizing and defending the public “rights” over environmental and public resources. The paper argues that the rhetoric of public ‘ownership’ and ‘reclaiming’ could better be accounted for by referring to the commons discourse than to the discourses of environmental (human) rights or (distributive) environmental justice. The question whether such ‘commons rights’ could be reconstructed as environmental rights necessitates acknowledging non-exclusive collective property rights over public goods.
17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Markku Oksanen Environmental Problem as a Philosophical Problem
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The philosophical study of the environment exists because philosophers are concerned about the environmental problems. This concern may not be the only factor that motivates to do environmental philosophy. For some scholars, the topic is philosophically intriguing. This paper suggests that two approaches can be distinguished: practical and philosophical. The starting point of the practical approach is the existence of environmental problems adopted from environmental sciences and public debates. These problems are then analysed philosophically so as to increase our understanding about them. According to the philosophical approach, the focus is on philosophical problems formulated in an environmentally meaningful way but the problems are independent of environmental problems. For example, Routley’s famous “last man” argument stems from the classic problem whether values are independent of valuers or not? Both approaches have their limitations. As to the philosophical approach, the problems under scrutiny are abstract and rather distant from real-life environmental concerns, whereas the practical approach may assume a naïve realist stance to the existence of problems. How to mix the philosophers’ fascination with (pure) intellectual problems with the real-life concerns over environmental degradation is a major challenge for environmental philosophy.
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Om Prakash Gusai Green Marketing in India: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges
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Green marketing is a phenomenon which has received enormous attention in the studies of modern market. This concept has enabled for the re-marketing and packaging of existing products which already adhere to such guidelines. Additionally, the development of green marketing has opened the door of opportunity for companies to co-brand their products into a separate line, lauding the green-friendliness of some while ignoring that of others. Such marketing techniques will be explained as a direct result of movement in the minds of the consumer market. As a result, business has increased the targeting of consumers who are concerned about the environment. These same consumers through their concern are interested in integrating environmental issues into their purchasing decisions through their response to the marketing strategy for whatever product may be required. This paper discusses how businesses have increased their rate of targeting green consumers, those who are concerned about the environment and allow their interest to affect their purchasing decisions. The paper identifies the three particular segments of green consumers and explores the challenges and opportunities businesses have with green marketing.
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Antonio Queiros From Bento de Espinoza (Benedict Spinoza) to Antero de Quental
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This paper analyses the contribution to environmental philosophy of the twentieth century philosophy transformation and the historical contribution of Portuguese philosophy, Bento (Baruch) de Espinosa (born in a Jew Portuguese family)and Antero de Quental, Portuguese philosopher from XIX century. Both built their philosophy of nature in a critical perspective of the thinking of Ernest Haeckel; and also Jorge de Sena, philosophical poet and writer of the XX century. Their analytic perspective is that the fundamental pushes of environmental philosophy reflection, from Espinosa to Antero and Sena, were the ethical issue and the moral problems. Unlike the history of philosophy, whose core problems are the human condition, the environmental philosophy drive their thoughts to the “raison d’ être” of the world and their phenomenology, without becoming a philosophy against the man, because the nature of the Human being, the nature of all entities and beings from the universe is the same “star dust”. The article postulates two fundamental theses: Environmental philosophy built a new ontology in criticizing anthropocentrism, but only in articulation with a new epistemology, founded in criticism of ethnocentrism, it could lead to a new ethics universal theory
20. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Anastasia Samanta The Political Implications of Ecology
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The discussion about ecology is at the center of moral and political philosophy. The limits imposed due to shortage of natural resources as a result of their overexploitation, lead to the need for outlining the political practices and moral criteria that can lead to a new sustainable social place, organized from scratch. In the light of this environmental crisis the social-political crisis is revealed. The prosperity promised by the continuous commercialized growth, besides the fact that challenges the planet’s given limits, has also resulted in political decadence and humanitarian crisis. It is a priority to design new ways to fulfill people’s needs and make good of their capabilities. Organizing this new reality demands a number of reforms which will pertain to every aspect of social life, redefining standards and visions, determining the limits of our needs and the means for their satisfaction. Destroying the planet and the human race can neither be conceived nor resolved as a physical-scientific procedure. It is only through moral and political choices that salvation plans are not to be reduced to financial decisions but are based primarily on the moderate and fair use and distribution of material means of life for the present and future generations.