Famine affluence and morality analysis. Famine, Affluence, and Morality, Peter Singer 2022-11-09

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Famine, Affluence, and Morality is an essay written by Peter Singer, a philosopher and bioethicist, in 1972. In this essay, Singer argues that affluent individuals have a moral obligation to donate a significant portion of their wealth to organizations that work to alleviate global poverty and suffering.

Singer begins by describing the widespread suffering and death caused by famine in Bengal, India in the early 1970s. He then asks the reader to consider whether it is morally acceptable for people living in affluent countries, who have the means to do so, to simply ignore this suffering and do nothing to help. Singer asserts that it is not acceptable and that, in fact, we have a moral obligation to help those in need.

Singer goes on to argue that this moral obligation extends beyond just famine relief and includes all forms of suffering caused by poverty. He asserts that, as members of a global community, we have a duty to help those who are suffering and in need, regardless of their nationality or location.

To support his argument, Singer introduces the concept of the "expanding circle," which suggests that our moral concern should expand to include not just our friends and family, but also our fellow human beings, and ultimately all sentient beings. He argues that as our moral concern expands, we should be willing to make greater sacrifices to alleviate suffering.

Singer then challenges the commonly held belief that individuals have no moral obligation to help those in need if they are not directly responsible for their suffering. He argues that this belief is inconsistent with our moral intuitions, as we would not hesitate to help someone in need if we were directly responsible for their suffering. Therefore, Singer asserts that we should be willing to help those in need even if we are not directly responsible for their suffering.

In conclusion, Singer argues that affluent individuals have a moral obligation to donate a significant portion of their wealth to organizations that work to alleviate global poverty and suffering. He believes that this obligation extends beyond just famine relief and includes all forms of suffering caused by poverty, and that we have a duty to help those in need regardless of their nationality or location. He challenges the belief that we have no moral obligation to help those in need if we are not directly responsible for their suffering, and asserts that our moral concern should expand to include all sentient beings.

Critical Analysis of Peter Singer's Famine Affluence and Morality Essay

famine affluence and morality analysis

It has been argued by some writers, among them Sidgwick and Urmson, that we need to have a basic moral code which is not too far beyond the capacities of the ordinary man, for otherwise there will be a general breakdown of compliance with the moral code. The Poor Dbq 1523 Words 7 Pages Juan Luis Vives, a Spanish humanist, demonstrates a perfect example of an individual who has faith in humanity and believes that we as a whole can do better. The conclusion logically follows from these premises. Yet the conclusion is radically at odds with how almost all of us live our lives. However, though the goal is noble, his commentary is very ineffective due to its condescending tone, lack of hard facts, and overall extremism.

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Analysis Of Famine, Affluence And Morality By Peter Singer

famine affluence and morality analysis

Of course, Americans should feel the need to donate to the needy people of our world. If Singer is right, we are morally required to make these changes. Well, it is not your fault that the child is drowning; you did not push them in. What, if anything, does morality say one should do about this? Journal of Applied Philosophy 36 1 : 17-33. Letting people die unnecessarily seems an atrocious way to attempt to counteract overpopulation. This is, in a way, a decision people face every single day. Helping would be generous, we think, but not required.

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Famine, Affluence, and Morality Analysis Essay Example

famine affluence and morality analysis

To neglect more salient suffering reveals a greater lack of altruistic concern, even holding fixed the magnitude of the suffering in each case. Assessing the Premises Premise 1: Badness The first premise claims that suffering and death are very bad. But there are a number of reasons why this is badly misguided. If the resources to do so exist, we the people should help the needy who are suffering in the world. And the drowning child scenario verifies this principle: we would not think it okay to just watch a child drown when you could easily save them at no risk to yourself.

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Famine, Affluence, And Morality Peter Singer Analysis

famine affluence and morality analysis

But given that they are not helping, so your help is needed, it sure seems like it would still be wrong for you to do nothing and let the child drown. The author considers famine, refugee crisis, and ways to combat these issues from a philosophical point of view. The charitable man may be praised, but the man who is not charitable is not condemned. Upon making the statement, he shortly counters any current criticisms opposing this statement and proceeds to convince his view is correct. Thus, the author demonstrates that understanding responsibility is necessary to address the famine internationally. I trust that if we control the power to effect the change in the lives of others, we should do so with the best of our capabilities.

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Famine, Affluence, and Morality, by Peter Singer

famine affluence and morality analysis

However, Singer's rescue principle seems undeniable: if we can easily prevent something very bad—that is, without giving up anything morally significant—it sure seems that we ought to do so. There are many things that can be done about this issue, however much of the world is torn between wanting to help and not knowing how to go about it. So long as the chance that your actions would help is sufficiently high relative to the costs or any associated risks from attempting aid , you may still be required to wade in and offer assistance, just in case. Poverty is just a state of not having enough income, then it is not wrong to be poor. Beneficence: Does Agglomeration Matter? These are all claims that even non-utilitarians could and arguably should accept. Currently they donate a little bit to help others, but you know that if you told them about Singer's argument, they would clam up and stop donating altogether.

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Analysis Of Peter Singer's Famine, Affluence And Morality

famine affluence and morality analysis

Even if they were to work there would be no enjoyment, being difficult to have hobbies or interest, because they would have to relinquish that gym membership because using that money instead to donate to starving children in Africa is far more moral then fulfilling their own enjoyment. But along the way, you see a child drowning in a pond. For example, someone might initially think that wearing designer clothes is a vital part of their identity, but if pressed on whether they would sooner watch a child drown than give up this expensive lifestyle, they might change their mind. But for a utilitarian, such as Singer, there is no reason in principle why it would be wrong to force people to give. But he also defends a stronger version, according to which we are morally required to prevent bad things from happening whenever we can do so without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance. A man in a sports. Similarly, uncertainty about the impacts of your donations does not justify keeping the money to yourself, as long as the 2 What if other, wealthier people could give more instead? This way of looking at the matter cannot be justified.

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Famine, Affluence, and Morality, Peter Singer

famine affluence and morality analysis

The author explains that modern individuals should draw attention to meet this requirement because globalization has made all people throughout the world a single nation. In conclusion, Singer argues that poverty itself is not a moral issue. While Singer makes many good points throughout his article, at the end of the day I believe that Hardin provides a better analysis of the situation. The second option is that you jump in knowing that the muddy water would ruin the new shoes. We address these in the next three sections. He offers the example of walking past a shallow pond and seeing a child drowning in it. He observes, in the world today, there are many people suffering a lot, leading miserable lives, on the margin, prone to calamity whenever natural disasters or wars or other cataclysmic events strike.

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Peter Singer Famine Affluence And Morality Analysis

famine affluence and morality analysis

You are the only one around in the setting therefore you must help the child. In intermediate cases where it is unclear whether an interest qualifies as deeply "morally significant", it will be similarly unclear whether Singer's argument requires us to be willing to sacrifice that interest in order to prevent grave harm. This line of argument faces two significant problems, common to efforts to ground ethics in enlightened self-interest. The article opens by introducing us to the famine situation in Bengal, which has left millions suffering due to the lack of food, shelter and medical care. It demonstrates that it is morally wrong to refrain from helping others because they are from different countries.

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