Laws Of Fear : Beyond The Precautionary Principle Essay example

Laws Of Fear : Beyond The Precautionary Principle Essay example

Length: 789 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Cass Sunsten’s book entitled, Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle, Sunstein discusses the shortcomings of the Precautionary Principle. Sunstein expresses that the Precautionary Principle does not just lead to bad outcomes, but that it can be paralyzing. He articulates how governments or regulatory groups must protect against potential harmful things even if it is unknown that these harms will actually come to be. He sees that risk exist in all social situations, but precautionary steps also can create their own dangers. Depending on culture, different types of risk are focused upon. Things like peer pressure can emphasize some fears and yet reduce others. Sunstein thinks that rather than adopting what is known a the Precautionary Principle, feels we should follow three steps. The first is Anti-Catastrophe Principle. This is for very serious risks. Secondly, he advocates for paying attention to the costs and benefits assessment. And thirdly, he advocates for an approach the is called “libertarian paternalism”. Libertarian paternalism respects that people should have the freedom of choice in order to improve their lives.

In the world we live in, we want to minimize any risk. Until we feel safe, we are very cautious. Most people live by the motto, “better safe than sorry”. For example, we buy insurance even thought the likelihood of needing it is slim. A lot of people feel the same way about how regulations and laws should be approached.

Different places and different people will choose which risks need precautions. Sunstein points out that psychology can explain this. He focuses on five factors – the availability heuristic, probability neglect, loss aversion, a belief in benevolence of nature and system neglect.

A...


... middle of paper ...


...ly followed in order to negate the concerns of arguments such as the “slippery slope”.

An alternative to the Precautionary Principle is cost-benefit analysis. Using cost-benefit analysis one compares the cost with the benefits. This is usually based on a common measure such as money. Sunstein introduces the concept of “cognitive cost-benefit analysis p. 129. This type of analysis does not depend on an economic analysis, but instead shows what may be at stake by making some regulatory decisions. Sunstein is not overly fond of this method either.

Sunstein writes a chapter called “Libertarian Paternalism. He explains how opposing sides of a regulation can be settled. He explains that Libertarians believe in freedom of choice and paternalists believe that a state/nation should ensure their people get the most beneficial results. Maybe some can put an example with this?

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Precautionary Principles Of The Precautionary Principle

- Precautionary Principle: Is Needed in Order to Successfully Prosper Of course not everyone is in favor of using the precautionary principle because it is questionable as to whether or not it benefits or hurts businesses and people. The precautionary principle “is intended to address credible yet uncertain hazards with severe or irreversible consequences and presumes that information is incomplete or highly variable, making traditional regulatory policy making difficult” (Carlock). This principle could be useful in the fact that it could prevent hazardous instances from occurring....   [tags: Need, Want, Risk, Economics terminology]

Better Essays
702 words (2 pages)

The European Union and The Precautionary Principle Essay

- The precautionary principle was created to discontinue or prevent policies and programs that have the possibility, however great or small, of harming the environment. The precautionary principle’s goal is to ethically guide governments and nations towards decreasing or eliminating completely the negative impacts human interference and technology can have on the environment. The European Union strongly follows this principle when it comes to making decisions about genetically modified (GM) crops being introduced to Europe’s farmland....   [tags: harming the envrionment, policies]

Better Essays
1804 words (5.2 pages)

Precautionary Principle Assignment : Type Your Answers Directly Into The Form Of The Space Provided

- ame: Precautionary Principle Assignment: Type your answers directly into the form in the space provided. Support your answers with citations when needed and enter your references in the last section of the form. Each answer as a minimum should be a well developed substantial paragraph, include references and examples where needed to support your answer(s). In your own words, define and explain ‘internal validity’ and give an example: >> Internal Validity is whatever effected the study or research , was due to the cause of something that was utilized inside the sample of the study, without any other factor outside the experiment determining the end results....   [tags: Occupational safety and health]

Better Essays
1081 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about The Verification Principle and Ethics

- In order to understand the Verification Principle, one must first become familiar with Logical Positivism. Logical Positivism is a school of philosophy that combines empiricism, the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge of the world, with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions in epistemology, the study of knowledge (Wikipedia). The Verification Principle as A.J. Ayer states, is a statement is cognitively meaningful if and only if it is either analytic or in principle empirically verifiable....   [tags: Verification Principle, rhetoric, ethics, ]

Better Essays
643 words (1.8 pages)

Emergency Medicine : Precautionary Measures Essay

- His breath was raspy and undeniably labored; each inhalation seemed like the most difficult task for the 79 year old gardener. Emergency doctors rushed around, maneuvering the man’s thin frame to a comfortable position. As a sophomore in college, I could hardly intervene. Rather, I found myself watching the team of emergency medicine physicians perform precautionary measures as they attempted to save this man’s life. The tension in the room was so thick it could be cut with a knife; any wrong move or call, and this old man may never be able to tend to his precious garden again....   [tags: Medicine, Physician, This Old Man]

Better Essays
1202 words (3.4 pages)

Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder Essay

- There are people existing among us with a special trait or characteristic that makes them stand out above the masses. They are “heroes” in a sense, who perform great acts of sacrifice and promote hope when it seems that the last drop of faith has evaporated from one’s soul. These individuals remind us of saints who walked before us, healing and caring for the sick and destitute when no other man dared. Author, Tracy Kidder (2004), brings to the forefront the noble deeds of a modern day saint, Paul Farmer, through his writing in Mountains Beyond Mountains....   [tags: Mountains Beyond Mountains Essays]

Better Essays
2613 words (7.5 pages)

Essay on The Principle of Beneficence in Biomedicine

- INTRODUCTION Munyaradzi (2012) critically explores the in-depth weaknesses of beneficence and certain points where it becomes a principle under scrutiny. He begins by blaming ethicists for not exploring the depth of the principle of beneficence in several fields especially in biomedicine. Further, it provides the layman with an introduction to the principle and to how it is used by various health practitioners throughout the world, along with discussing the history of the idea. He then sheds light numerous cases where it becomes highly problematic for physicians to decide upon the issue....   [tags: critical relfections, the utilitarian principle]

Better Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

Utilitarianism: The Greatest Happiness Principle Essay

- Utilitarianism was first brought up along the nourishing of “The Greatest Happiness Principle” introduced by Jeremy Bentham and further developed by John Stuart Mill, who was a follower of Bentham (Sweet, 2013). Based upon its principle, Utilitarianism states that to be good is to generate the greatest possible amount of happiness for the greatest number. In contrast with rational egoism, Utilitarianism focuses more on maximizing the overall net happiness of the majority. When facing a decision to make, utilitarianism provide us the evaluations of actions taken based upon their consequences (Sweet, 2013)....   [tags: utilitarianism, happiness principle, utilitarian]

Better Essays
525 words (1.5 pages)

The Verification Principle and the Falsification Principle Essay

- The Verification Principle and the Falsification Principle The verification principle was devised by a group of philosophers who called themselves the logical positivists. They were influenced by many philosophers one was Wittgenstein and is ‘picture theory of language’ Wittgenstein’s theory was that a statement can only be meaningful if it can be pictured and/or defined in the real world. Thus only assertions of statements that were in principle, verifiable could convey factual information as they have the means to be tested....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
486 words (1.4 pages)

Beyond the Battlefield by David Blight Essay

- Beyond the Battlefield by David Blight David W. Blight's book Beyond the Battlefield: Race, Memory and the American Civil War, is an intriguing look back into the Civil War era which is very heavily studied but misunderstood according to Blight. Blight focuses on how memory shapes history Blight feels, while the Civil War accomplished it goal of abolishing slavery, it fell short of its ultimate potential to pave the way for equality....   [tags: Blight Beyond Battlefield]

Free Essays
1494 words (4.3 pages)