None of us is anthropocentric. [2]

About a year ago I visited a lecture in the TU Berlin, the last one in this semester, about “Environmental issues in the 21st century.”. We had to decide which things in the world have value and what we would lobby for to protect.

A brief explanation of the available terms:


Every human has an intrinsic value.


Every living being, who is capable of suffering, has an intrinsic value. [1]


Every living being has an intrinsic value, no matter if it’s able to feel or not. [1]


Everything, animated or inanimate in nature has an intrinsic value; every blade of grass, every stone, every puddle.

[1] For this text, I leave it to each reader, which living beings are able to feel suffering.

After about an quarter hour we had to decide on one model, which suits us the best. One person had opted for the anthropocentrism. It should be noted that the others looked a bit insulted, that he only attributes a value to humans. 

Most opted for the patho- or biocentrism and a few for holism. 

Now there were a few who could not decide on any of the four options. However, they either wavered between possibility number two and three or three and four. Anthropocentrism was out of the question; what a ridiculous thought for someone studying to protect the environment.

I also didn’t opt for any of the models. However, I think a crucial option has been left out; which we all belong to, each one of us.


Indicates the attitude of a person who only gives an intrinsic value to his own person.

If we are anthropocentric then explain to me: In the last three minutes of reading this text, who helped the 60 people who died from famine? 

We are all egoists.

I didn’t write this text with the intension to show how bad we all should feel. Also, I do not want to look insultingly in any way at anyone and/or their work who also campaign against world hunger and for justice. 

But what makes us decide what has value if we can not even give the same value to every human?

None of us is anthropocentric.