A stronger examination of Buddhism, interms of environmental ethics, is circled around the focus of achievingliberation(enlightenment). Sciberras in her document “buddhist philosophy andideals of environmentalism” says “Prima facie, the Buddhist doctrines aboutsuffering and impermanence seem to imply a world-negating outlook, one thatcannot be reconciled with the drive to conserve or protect the natural world, andsimilarly the doctrine of emptiness and not-self suggest that there is no’thing’ in the world that can have intrinsic value.
“(2) One must question whatthere is in the natural world to protect if there is no such thing as self.This question is very relevant in Pali canon Buddhism, which is implemented in TheravadaBuddhism. “The teachings found in the Pali canon cannot easily be reconciledwith a belief in the intrinsic value of life… all beings are seen asimpermanent and insubstantial, while the ultimate spiritual goal is oftenviewed, in early Buddhism, as involving a deep renunciation of the world.
“(3) Thiscan be viewed as being speciesist(one who is prejudice against species) as aresult of only giving moral significance to humans. Infoundational Buddhism, enlightenment can only be reached by humans. Inaccordance to this perspective, all living beings reborn as anything other thanhuman is because of bad karma. This allows for westerners to ignore the poortreatment of the environment because they “deserved it”. Although this critiquecomes from the misplacement of employing modern philosophical ideas ontoBuddhism that does not correlate to its more traditional teachings as Sciberrasargues in her article “Buddhist Philosophy and the Ideals of Environmentalism”.
Despite that humans are undeniably closer to enlightenment than any othersentient beings does not mean that there is no value to other sentient beings. Despite this the thought of incarnation beingbetter than being rebirth as a “useless” animal does not remove the plan thatpeople should try to ease suffering and pursue compassion to all beings “regardless of theirintelligence or anyother traits…ultimately, in Buddhism, nature, life, and beings cannot be saidto have either positive or negative value”.(4) In opposition to Westerns habitof identifying things as good or bad, Buddhism focuses on all of nature, tothem everything is neutral.