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Phi 208

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Jennamleach
Words 1511
Pages 7
Singer begins his article by stressing the famine suffering which is currently taking place in East Bengal. Singer starts his argument by imposing the reader to accept the moral premises which are "that suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad," and "that if it is in our power to prevent it from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it" (Singer, Famine pg.599). Singer then goes on to exploit a broad-based approach to his assertion in that "we cannot discriminate against someone merely because he is far away from us" (Singer Famine pg600). Singer emphasizes on the fact that distance is not a reason to fail in doing what is morally right to do. The distance between you and the person in need is not a moral justification to discard their need.

Singer also emphasizes on an interesting point in his assertion which implies that two wrongs do not make a right. Singer states, "one feels less guilty about doing nothing if one can point to others, similarly placed, who have also done nothing" (Singer Famine pg600)Singer supports this claim by providing an example of a scenario in which a person witnesses a child drowning. Most people would agree that that person has a duty to save the drowning child. Singer claims that this duty exists because we believe that the drowning of a child is a bad thing. If a person has a duty to save the child because a drowning child is a very bad thing, it is reasonable to assume then, that moral duty extends to preventing any significantly bad thing from happening, with the exceptions mentioned earlier being the only limitations to this duty. And, this duty exists independent of how people actually choose to act. Moral requirements are different than legal requirements, and what a person chooses to do is not necessarily what he/she...

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