Singer solution world poverty argument essay
If we don't do it, then we should at least know that we are failing to live a morally decent life -- not because it is good to wallow in guilt but because knowing where we should be going is the first step toward heading in that direction.
All of which raises a question: In the end, what is the ethical distinction between a Brazilian who sells a homeless child to organ peddlers and an American who already has a TV and upgrades to a better one -- knowing that the money could be donated to an organization that would use it to save the lives of kids in need?
The singer solution to world poverty thesis
As he does so, he sees that a runaway train, with no one aboard, is running down the railway track. A man Bob has just spent the majority of his savings on a rare and valuable old car, a Bugatti. Unger called up some experts and used the information they provided to offer some plausible estimates that include the cost of raising money, administrative expenses and the cost of delivering aid where it is most needed. Here's my paraphrase of one of these examples: Bob is close to retirement. Then, if we value the life of a child more than going to fancy restaurants, the next time we dine out we will know that we could have done something better with our money. With regards to Dora, who chose to save the child, Singer says, "Suppose Dora had told her neighbor that it is a tough world, other people have nice new TV's too, and if selling the kid is the only way she can get one, well, he was only a street kid. We can help save the child or do nothing and let the child die. In the morning Dora resolves to take the boy back. Augustine's belief that it is the duty of the individual to assist those less fortunate than themselves is expressed in the essay "The Singer Solution to World Poverty" by Peter Singer. So why should I give more than my fair share?
Singer then introduces Bob and his expensive Buggati. But one doesn't need to embrace my utilitarian ethic to see that, at the very least, there is a troubling incongruity in being so quick to condemn Dora for taking the child to the organ peddlers while, at the same time, not regarding the American consumer's behavior as raising a serious moral issue.
Singer is telling people that they need to donate all their surplus money, money they have earned themselves, and I can see how this would make some people irritated that he would demand this and make them want to do the opposite of what he wants them to do.
Unless, that is, there is some morally important difference between the two situations that I have overlooked. Then, if we value the life of a child more than going to fancy restaurants, the next time we dine out we will know that we could have done something better with our money. But consider for yourself the level of sacrifice that you would demand of Bob, and then think about how much money you would have to give away in order to make a sacrifice that is roughly equal to that. Peter Singer is an Australian philosopher who has written extensively on poverty and social issues. He showed that this amount of money could truly save a life and I believe it would be hard to find someone who would object to giving this relatively small amount of money if it meant saving a life. Don't we run the risk that many will shrug their shoulders and say that morality, so conceived, is fine for saints but not for them? In his book, Living High and Letting Die, the New York University philosopher Peter Unger presented an ingenious series of imaginary examples designed to probe our intuitions about whether it is wrong to live well without giving substantial amounts of money to help people who are hungry, malnourished or dying from easily treatable illnesses like diarrhea. In the world as it is now, I can see no escape from the conclusion that each one of us with wealth surplus to his or her essential needs should be giving most of it to help people suffering from poverty so dire as to be life-threatening. He begins with saying that two hundred dollars is enough to make a difference for a child, to declaring the only solution is to give up all luxuries. Singer says that although the nature of Dora and Bob's relationships with the children was different, they still both should have done everything they could have to save the child. With regards to Dora, who chose to save the child, Singer says, "Suppose Dora had told her neighbor that it is a tough world, other people have nice new TV's too, and if selling the kid is the only way she can get one, well, he was only a street kid.
But consider for yourself the level of sacrifice that you would demand of Bob, and then think about how much money you would have to give away in order to make a sacrifice that is roughly equal to that.
It might not stand out as much when we carry along with our bad habits, but his example helps us clearly understand the bigger picture. Nobody who knows the world of overseas aid can doubt that such uncertainties exist. She would then have become, in the eyes of the audience, a monster.
Thus, we know that the money we can give beyond that theoretical ''fair share'' is still going to save lives that would otherwise be lost.
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