The Protestant dimension of the ethical critique of carbon commodification

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    Abstract

    Some influential philosophers have argued that carbon commodification is a morally bad means of combating global climate change. This article argues that the ethical critique of carbon commodification derives moral coherence and strength from its implicit religious foundation, that is, the “Protestant” understanding of social ethics on which it relies. The argument is threefold. First, the ethical critique of carbon commodification is not a strictly ethical position, as it typically depends on prophetic indictment as well as moral-philosophical concerns. Second, the ethical critique of carbon commodification involves a secularized continuation of the “Protestant” tradition within Christian thought. Third, its “Protestant-ness” gives the ethical critique of carbon commodification critical power, as the very occurrence of climate change implies coherency problems for the opposing dominant “Roman” tradition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-77
    Number of pages21
    JournalPhilosophia Reformata
    Volume80
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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