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Peter Singer Famine

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Peter Singer – “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”
Dora Crawford
Prof. David Tredinnick

When it comes to the article "Famine, Affluence, and Morality" mostly argues about not one but more than several things. In some point most people can agree with his arguments unlike others whom may not see his point of view. One of these arguments was lack of food. This was brought up or inspired by the starvation of Bangladesh his main focus was that if one can use one's wealth to reduce suffering for example, by aiding famine-relief efforts without any significant reduction in the well-being of oneself or others, it is immoral not to do so. According to Singer, such inaction is clearly immoral. If a child is drowning in a shallow pond and someone can save it but chooses not to; nor does placing greater geographical distance between the person in need and the potential helper reduce the latter's moral obligations. “It makes no difference whether the person I can help is a neighbor's child ten yards away from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, ten thousand miles away. The moral point of view requires us to look beyond the interests of our own society. Previously, this may hardly have been feasible, but it is quite feasible now. From the moral point of view, the prevention of the starvation of millions of people outside our society must be considered at least as pressing as the upholding of property norms within our society.” Singers main issue was can you be helpful without wanting too or can you help someone without wanting but still can help a very good example was the kid in pond, you can be at near inches but not wanting to help the kid is a big difference from wanting to help the same kid miles away. If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it. It is in our power to prevent this bad thing. We can prevent it without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. The only way to prevent lack of food & shelter without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance is to give maximally (or at least very much more than we currently do). When it comes to doing the right thing, it is more than reasonable if you see that someone is struggling with doors having hand full of grocery bag opening the door is just doing the right thing when the argument started it was more or less not only doing the smallest right things but to go out more than our way to help someone out in majority’s needs. I can most definitely agree with this because there have been more than several incident s in which I had difficulty helping someone out that did not involve in my residing living or the people in which are usually around I had found it difficult because it was someone that I would think would not need help but yet I was wrong to judge a guy with extreme strength to actually need help picking objects up because I would always see the sir everyday lifting weights. Well, come to find out that just because your extremely strong does not mean you have the brains to get stuff right. The guy eventually asked for help and so I did but doing a charity compared to actually extending out a major hand to feed someone is way different from it.
When it comes to charity most people think that giving a couple of pennies is not doing anything. There are many different types of charity; some people help out in churches and communities to make it a better place to live in, other people help foundations and volunteer and not expect to get paid for the work that they have given. Some charity can also be paid but the morals to actually doing something are having incentive to actually do the work. Showing that you care without expecting any type of reward to me Singer’s analysis requires us to do a great deal for others. Also rethinking their views about "Charity." I believe that’s what morality requires. In fact, it's a very traditional view; it was advocated by Thomas Aquinas. We need to give direct relief now and should also promote population control. When it comes to Singer’s idea of giving direct relief and promoting population control, most people can realize that it would hurt our economy This does not support the status quo (a mere one% going to famine relief). Instead, it opens the door to discussions of how far to increase relief. We should give to the level that does not reduce spending in a consumption-based society (like ours) below the point that would start to decrease what we have available to give. So expecting people to give 1% is far too little, but expecting twenty five% from everyone would be too much. It is most definitely crazy to expect the American people with such tight economy to give more than they have a not necessarily give more than what we have but instead making a part of our everyday bills. I believe that most people would not allow this in such matter that it would hurt the economy even more. Another thing is that when people think of charity or their mere one percent is that they think it makes a difference it does if it was accumulated everyday but it is mostly around festive holidays and medicine that it would be brought up.
To me like the reader that the suffering of an individual is per say bad to the other individual. It is true that the suffering is bad to that individual, but is it necessarily bad for the other so that he may act to rectify this bad? It is clear that the suffering to the sufferer is bad in itself but it is a little less clear if the suffering is bad to the other remote party. We can definitely also infer that the suffering of an individual is bad to the other so long as the other bears a special relationship with the sufferer. The suffering of a child due to the lack of necessities is bad not just for the child, but also to his mother-not simply because she has certain responsibilities towards her child, but also because her well-being is closely dependent on the best of her child. Now when it comes to someone different and no relation to the child it is said that it would be difficult to save the child if drowning in a shallow pond. Singer, along with his distance claim, points out that the number of individuals in the situation to provide aid does not bear any significance. I feel in this regard, Singer out rightly rubbishes any person that subscribes to the above argument. Singer states the fact that although many are in the same position, not acting still does not relieve our obligation. Singer once again cleverly states: “Again, of course, I admit that there is a psychological difference between the cases; one feels less guilty about doing nothing if one can point to others, similarly placed, who have also done nothing. Yet this can make no real difference to our moral obligations. Should I consider that I am less obliged to pull the drowning child out of the pond if on looking around I see other
People, no further away than I am who have also noticed the child but are doing nothing? One has only to ask this question to see the absurdity of the view that numbers lessen obligation.”
Singer in his rebuttal to such a number of arguments states that although they are many people in the same or perhaps even better situations than an individual to provide aid, it does not relieve the underlying obligation of one to help in a way that seems proportionate to each individual. The duty is not that we match the highest donor, but donate what we owe to ourselves to give individually. Overall I do believe that Singers arguments are in fact agreeable because you would not expect someone out the way or someone not related to help out in most definitely something that going out the way would actually jeopardize or affect them in any way would not be something you would see every day. As well as putting more effort in donations to make sure not everyone starves in the world like how he brought it up with the starving country.

Hi Dora
I appreciate your work here. You provided an appropriate explanation of Singer’s purpose in writing the article. You also adequately provided three counter arguments in conjunction with Singer’s response, although your organization and presentation of the different arguments was fair at best. Your definition of marginal utility was missing, but you did a good job of presenting your own views on the issue.
Your paper a bit too many errors in writing. Continue to work on grammar and sentence formation. This will make your paper more cohesive and easy to read.
In regards to APA format, your reference page was formatted incorrectly. It is also important that you include citations whenever referring to the work of another.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Dr. Tredinnick

Total Given
The student explains Singer’s purpose in writing the article and presents argument on the issue. 1.5 1.5
The student explains three counter-arguments to
Singer’s position as well as Singer’s responses to those counter-arguments. 2 1.5
The student defines Singer’s concept of marginal utility and identifies how it relates to Singer’s argument. 1 0
The student compares how the ideas of duty and charity change in Singer’s proposed world. 1 .7
The student presents his or her own response to
Singer’s argument. 1 1
The paper includes an introduction paragraph which contains a thesis statement. 0.5 .2
The paper includes well-developed paragraphs which fully-support the topic. 1 1
The paper includes a concluding paragraph which restates the thesis. 0.5 .5
The paper is grammatically correct with respect to correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 0.5 .2
The student uses two scholarly resources 0.5 .5
The paper must be three double-spaced pages, formatted according to APA style 0.5 .3 TOTAL 10 7.4

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