Biocentrism – What it is, definition and concept

Biocentrism is the current that defends that all living beings deserve the same respect for the fact of sharing a common element: life.

This current of thought is a belief that affirms that all living beings, both plants and animals as well as humans, deserve the same consideration for the mere fact of being living beings. For having life as a common element.

It is a current that is frontally positioned to anthropocentrism, which considers that the human being is the center of everything, and that all facets of life revolve around him. As well as, consequently, all the development that the human being can achieve is done without considering other forms of life.

Types of biocentrism

There are mainly two types of biocentrism, depending on the degree to which it proposes the protection of other species:

  • Relative biocentrism: The scope of this type of biocentrism is limited to those living beings that have a certain rationality and feelings, which can feel stimuli such as pain. Basically, it refers to animal beings in general. For the defenders of relative biocentrism, human life would have the same value as that of, for example, a giraffe, but not the same as that of a sunflower or another plant or tree. Within animals you can also distinguish certain degrees. A dog, due to its closeness to the human being, its intelligence and the ability to express feelings, would not have the same value as any other insect, whose rationality is quite limited.
  • Absolute biocentrism: On the contrary, absolute biocentrism defends that the life of every being has the same value, regardless of other parameters such as rationality, the ability to feel, its affinity and usefulness to the human being or any other characteristic. Therefore, their life deserves full consideration and their ecosystem and development must be respected. Thus, the space of the human being limits with any other living being.
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Characteristics of biocentrism

Biocentrism has a series of postulates and characteristics, which are the following:

  • The life of any living being has the same value.
  • The human being has to respect the life and development of other animals and species.
  • The human being is not the center of the Earth, it coexists with other species.
  • Not only should it not interfere with the lives of other animals, but it is recommended that people promote the development of other life forms.
  • He defends the use of renewable energy, animal welfare, deindustrialization, and vegetarianism and veganism.
  • He advocates the prohibition of any show with animals. Like the zoo, the circus, the bullfights or the animals in establishments such as cafeterias.

Differences between biocentrism, ecocentrism and anthropocentrism

It is convenient to highlight the differences between these terms.

The first thing is to mention that anthropocentrism and biocentrism are totally opposite concepts. The first affirms that the human being is a superior being and, therefore, its development justifies the impact that it can cause to the rest of living beings. For biocentrism, the human being is on a par with other species.

In the same way, Ecocentrism and Biocentrism seem very similar concepts, but they have a fundamental difference. The second is limited to living things. On the other hand, for ecocentrism, the planet as a whole, that is, the animals and also its ecosystem, constitute the core of its defense.

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