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Please read, “Rivers declared to be ‘persons” (Link is below) by Wesley J. Smith, a Catholic author, who takes issue with a recent news account from New Zealand.
Reflect on the following questions in response to the article:
1. Are “objects in nature” merely objects, like a pencil or cup? Do they have the same “moral status/worth” as humans?
2. Upon what theory could the author ground his concept of “human exceptionalism”?
3. Is granting person-like rights to members of the ecosystem practicable? How might one view this question from a utilitarian viewpoint?
4. Was it ethical for rivers to be declared “persons”?
For each of the questions, please choose a position, and support it by tying in pieces from the reading of chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 (attached to the uploaded materials) and the ted-talks in which the links are given under “links” below. The ted talks supplement the readings from chapters 4-8. Kindly cite as you reason your way through the case study (APA format).
There is no “right” or “wrong” answer. Instead, the grade will depend on the quality of your reasoning. The goal is to apply the themes from the reading and ted-talks to “Rivers declared to be ‘persons’.
The case study should be 1,000 words (1-inch margins, double spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, Word doc).
Links to ted talks that would count as sources: