Now I am no expert on philosophy, but my friend Eden tells me that Kant considered the best test of morality to be the Formula of Universal Law. He wrote, “act only on that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should be a universal law." Or to translate, each of us should live our lives in such a way that would allow for the possibility of everyone one else living the same way.
Assuming I was like the average American before the No
Impact experiment began, my ecological footprint was 24 acres. But worldwide,
there exist only 4.5 biologically productive acres per person. In other words,
if everyone were to live like the former me, we would need more than five planet
earths. So, there was no possibility of everyone else in the world living the
same way as me. Kant would have thought I was immoral. He would have smiled
upon the No Impact project, however,
Does anyone else know anything about Kant’s Principle of Universality--or indeed any other philosopher's ideas--and how they apply to the things we discuss here at the No Impact Man blog? I’d love to hear.
By the way, after a great deal of thought, I have decided not to accept ads on this site, but that I will accept reader support. Of course, the greatest help you can give is to visit often, click on the comments link, and contribute your wisdom and practical knowledge. Participation is this blog’s lifeblood. But if you feel inspired to support my work financially, please click here. And if you are looking for non-financial ways to support the work, click here. Thank you so much.
[I have changed my mind about accepting donations, but thanks all the same. NIM 6/17/07]
This post also appears in my green parenting column for Time Out Kids New York, appearing every Wednesday. For resources on eco-friendly stores and restaurants, or simply to plan a weekend outing, visit them at tonykids.com.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.