People or Penguins

“People or Penguins”

In the article “People or Penguins,” the author states it’s essential to establish what one is trying to ensure that they are dealing with the problem of pollutions. The author introduces four goals that he uses to evaluate solutions to the problem of environmental pollution. The first goal is the “Sphere of Freedom,” which means proposition simplification to avoid questioning. The second goal is that the resources available, skills, and aggregate labour employed is limited to the point that every man cannot produce for themselves (Vaughn, pp. 442). Therefore, the author states that resources, skills, and labour should not be wasted. The third goal is equal treatment of all human beings, and the last goal is that resources should equally be accessed to all individuals in satisfying their needs.

The author explains how the environment has been polluted by referring to how agriculture has made use of DDT which has resulted in adverse damage to the penguin population. Baxter states that it’s not penguin’s oriented criterion but human-oriented. The author’s stand on environmental problems is that these problems are caused by human beings. According to the author, acting only for the sake of human beings is selfish but further his argument it’s the only approach for various causes. First, no position which respond to reality, secondly, no animals and plants destructions since human beings require or need them. Thirdly, what is harmful to plants/animals is also harmful to human beings. Fourthly, human beings can only act privately or collectively. Firth, rather than viewing animals as ends they are viewed as means, and the author ask how they are nominated to airing preferences. Lastly, the author asks the humane question of what are human being supposed to do.

The author rejects his suggestions which proposes that we are supposed to be environmental preservers unless by doing such will only benefit human beings. The author also is against the notion that restoration of environment or putting it back to the original nature since it’s morally correct. According to the author, there is no definition of normative nature, hence no one can define pollution or clean air except only by referring to man needs. Baxter, concludes with an argument that an essential step is recognizing that our goals are not about clean water or pure air but a pollution which is optimum in state.


Vaughn, L. (2010). Doing ethics: Moral reasoning, theory, and contemporary issues. W. W. Norton.




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