Ethical Considerations - Uranium Mining

Publisher:  United Church of Canada, Vancouver, Canada
Year Published:  1979  
Pages:  8pp  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX2033

Abstract:  Dr. Anderson's paper forms part of Volume II of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Uranium Mining compilation, "Workshop on Ethical Consideration". The paper was submitted as a brief on behalf of the United Church of Canada, British Columbia Conference.

The brief raises two major concerns. The first is that the inquiry openly recognize and engage two distinct but closely related components inextricably entailed in public policy decisions: technical information and values, beliefs, moral, principles and world views. Dr. Anderson, noting that not all the latter are stated, points to the need for such a statement if there is to be intelligent analysis, debate and judgement. The role of the public in such intelligent decision-making is essential.

Dr. Anderson observes that beliefs determine what data is sought and attended to and how such data is interpreted. They are inherent in key concepts, standards, and criteria of "technical information". He highlights certain theological beliefs his Church emphasizes. Among such beliefs is the meaning and destiny of human beings that includes the necessities of physical existence, a sense of meaning and purpose, and personal identity and freedom. The brief continues, "Affluence in terms of a high rate of consumption of goods and services is clearly not essential to this understanding of well-being." Other beliefs considered are love of neighbor, true well-being, fair distribution of costs, risks and benefits, and responsibility for the environment.

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