Singer tries to influence the reader of this article to take action and offer support for the increased suffering due to famine. In his article, he includes arguments that illustrate the moral importance that should be given to the suffering. Today a majority of the population views contributions as a virtuous action, but do not believe it is wrong not to do it. Singer stresses exactly how wrong it is to know such suffering is happening and not take any actions to help resolve, regardless of the distance between you and the victim and if anyone else is contributing towards the cause.
Singer begins by saying that assistance has been inadequate as richer countries prioritise development above preventing starvation. As Singer writes, he attempts to justify why he feels that it is within our means to do so without sacrificing anything morally significant, and concludes that we hence morally ought to prevent starvation due to famine.
Singer anticipates objections and the first of which is that as the drowning child is nearer to us than the starving Bengali, the moral obligation is therefore seemingly reduced. Singer also anticipates the objection that there other people who are standing around not doing anything anyway.
He contends that there is a psychological difference but the moral implications are still the same as it is absurd to be less obliged to help the drowning child even if there were many others idling around; likewise for the starving Bengali. There is no issue of being affected by any bystanders or not knowing what kind of assistance to deliver, and he can be confident that there are minimal unforeseen and undesirable consequences resulting from his efforts.
In donating to countries, the agent cannot say the same about the level of certainty with regards to the help he is providing. While we are entitled to morally judge inaction in the case of the drowning child, we cannot judge as harshly for the case of overseas aid as Singer attempts to do so here.
Singer also makes an assumption about the innocence of the drowning child. We cannot say for sure if the suffering of others is thoroughly undeserved. The money provided might end up in the hands of children manipulated by bad adults or the government for example. Singer then attempts to qualify another point.
In view of his points so far, Singer is aware of the fact that our moral frameworks would be affected because giving is traditionally considered a form of charity, not a form of duty.
Singer attacks this by reiterating his point, based on the principle of comparable moral significance, that we ought to donate our luxury money, which is any income beyond marginal utility, as otherwise spending it on clothes to look good rather than keep warm would be preventing another person from being liberated from starvation.
Ultimately, Singer points out that, although such change may seem too drastic, people should still revise their mindset that it is wrong to believe that while a charitable man deserves praise, a non-charitable man should not condemned.
Singer references an article written by Urmson that the imperatives of duty are existent as a social guide, and hence additional things that are good but not essential in social terms are merely charitable. In response to proposed arguments from writers that morality would breakdown if the ideology suggested by Singer was adopted, he counters that it is like saying that if we tell people not to murder and help relieve famines, they will do neither; if we tell people not to murder and that it is a good thing to help relieve famines though it is not wrong not to do so, they will at least not murder.
To him, this then precedes the issue that we will have difficulty in drawing the line between conduct that is required and conduct that is good although not required.
Here, Singer commits the fallacy of hasty generalisation, as he attempts to appeal to our emotions by comparing two extreme cases — murder and providing relief — and his example, biased as it is, is barely applicable in the realm of daily dealings.
While he asserts consistency, it would be hard for anybody to accept that it is as easy as it seems to compare between murder and relief of famines against, say, doing community work and providing relief for famines.
Singer then states that it would seem to follow that we ought to work full time in order to maximise our output and to relieve the misery of others. He asserts that even when the implications of working full time have been taken into account, such as the unpleasantness of work overload, it still stands that we should give as much as we can.
However, this notion of value is flawed as value does not exist in the object itself but rather the amount of sacrifice one is willing to put for it.
As such, an object whose value is posited based on personal preference can have infinitely many values. Singer retorts that the opposite seems more probable — if the citizens do not show interest in giving voluntarily, the government has no way of knowing that the people care.
The second and more serious contention is that population control takes precedence over short term monetary aid, as without population control, we are prolonging and increasing misery. Singer rebuts this by not stating what the cause of this poverty cycle is but instead says that if we believe in other outlets, then we should still donate to them.
Singer, anticipatedly, puts forth a moderate version where one does only need give substantially, providing an allowance for variations in personal judgments of moral significance.
We can revisit the drowning child analogy and argue against his first and second points that it is more reasonable for a person to be cynical about overseas aid than diving straight in to save a drowning child.“Famine, Affluence and Morality”, article by Peter Singer Essay Sample.
In “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” Peter Singer argues that affluent individuals, in fact, almost all of us are living deeply immoral lives by not contributing to the relief and prevention of famine. Famine, Affluence, Morality Essay Sample. Based on the article by Peter Singer entitled Famine, Affluence, and Morality, he attempts to move us to do more .
Permalink. Hi Tal!
Interesting article, but I think you misunderstand what people are trying to accomplish by telling you to “check your privilege.”. Jul 06, · Best Answer: a. Singer tells you his goal and presents you with his arguments.
His goal is to persuade us that both persons and governments ought to help with famine relief, particularly in "East Bengal" for one plombier-nemours.com: Resolved. In “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Peter Singer argues that all people have a moral obligation 1 to donate all that we can to the famine relief in Bengal plombier-nemours.com applies to all people regardless of any other person’s inaction.
Jan 16, · On Peter Singer's Famine, Affluence And Morality () Peter Singer argues that we ought, morally, to prevent starvation due to famine.
Singer begins by saying that assistance has been inadequate as richer countries prioritise development above preventing starvation.