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The intrinsic value of nature and moral education

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Many environmental, humane and character educators try to foster a belief in the intrinsic value of nature and a respect for non-human life among students. Marangudakis argues that Christianity advocates anthropocentrism and opposes belief in the intrinsic value of nature. If Marangudakis is correct, then a goal of many environmental and humane educators may conflict with some of their students' religious beliefs and training. Fears of conflicting students' religious beliefs may deter environmental and humane educators from teaching students to respect non-human life and nature. In this study, the relationships between anthropocentrism, belief in the intrinsic value of nature and Christian religiosity were explored. The results fail to support Marangudakis' argument; Christian students are no more or less likely to believe in the intrinsic value of nature or advocate anthropocentrism than non-religious students. Humane and environmental educators should continue to instruct their students to respect life and nature.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Michigan Technological University, USA 2: University of Cincinnati, USA

Publication date: 2007-06-01

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