Religious and secular ethics offer complementary strategies to achieve environmental sustainability

By applying a single dataset (i.e., panel data at a national level) and a single analytical framework (i.e., a dynamic mathematical model), I compared religious (REL) and secular (SEC) ethics in two ways: as feasible strategies (i.e., with realistic parameter values such that a strategy can achieve its goal) and as reliable strategies (i.e., with a tight statistical relationship between a strategy and its goal). In both cases, the goal is to achieve environmental sustainability, but with different precepts and principles applied within different perspectives: global vs. local sustainability, individual feelings vs. social pressures as determinants of pro-environmental behavior, and long-run vs. short-run sustainability. Analytical results (feasibility) showed that REL are overall more feasible than SEC and, specifically, REL are more likely to affect the many pro-environmental behaviors required to achieve global sustainability, whereas SEC to affect some pro-environmental behaviors required to achieve local sustainability; REL are more likely to affect pro-environmental behaviors based on individual feelings and social pressures from small communities, whereas SEC to affect pro-environmental behaviors based on social pressures from large communities; REL are more likely to solve collective-action problems to achieve short-run sustainability, whereas SEC to solve collective-action problems to achieve long-run sustainability. Statistical results (reliability) based on 32 random- and between-effects regressions support these results and, particularly, REL and SEC were complementary in time (e.g., for REL, short-run sustainability is more reliable than long-run sustainability; for SEC, long-run sustainability is more reliable than short-run sustainability), in space (e.g., for SEC, local sustainability is more reliable than global sustainability), and in society (e.g., for REL, individual feelings are more reliable than social pressures).

Researcher Details

Research Paper

Religious and secular ethics offer complementary strategies to achieve environmental sustainability

Category

Climate control

Researcher Name

Fabio Zagonari

Organisation/ University

University of Bologna

Designation

Associate Professor

Phone Number

390541434135

Patent Applied?

No

Patent no

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