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Wisdom with justice

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ABSTRACT: This paper explores the way we make environmental decisions, especially in the context of heavily contested issues such as GMOs. It suggests that as well as attention to particular consequences of action, due consideration needs to be given to the motivation and attitudes of the agents concerned, in other words, to virtue ethics. The values behind environmental decision-making are predicated on religious as well as philosophical assumptions. I argue that not only is it important to identify religious mandates for environmental action through models such as that of kinship, but also that exploring the wisdom tradition from a Christian perspective can serve to clarify ways forward where decision making is difficult. In the Christian community itself a recovery of wisdom and justice as virtues can serve to raise the importance of environmental concern, since it is rooted in an understanding of God as creator and the idea of natural law. The concept of justice complements that of wisdom in that it facilitates an objective stance according to certain principles of equity.

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