To act or not to act: Nonconsequentialism in environmental decision-making

Ethics and Behavior 19 (6):479 – 495 (2009)
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Research on environmental-decision making is usually based on utilitarian models, which imply that people's decisions are only influenced by the outcomes. This research provides evidence for values and moral positions that reflect nonconsequentialist rather than consequentialist views. In doing this, this article refers to “sacred values,” which are values that are seen as not-substitutable and nontradable. Two studies were designed to examine evidence for sacred values and their role on act versus omission choices within the environmental domain. The studies revealed that sacred values were closely associated with preferences for actions, trade-off reluctance, deontological focus, and position of moral universalism. The results suggest that it is important to account for sacred values and nonconsequentialist views in environmental decision-making research



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