Whose Job Is Famine Relief

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Whose Job is Famine Relief?

PHI 208 Ethics and Moral Reasoning

December 12, 2012


Everyday on television one will view several commercials about giving to another country, to help the starving children. When Peter Singer wrote his article in 1971“Famine, Affluence and Morality” he was able to give a disastrous review of what readers may ordinarily think about different things such as charity and famine relief and if it is moral. Why is there so much famine around the world? Some put blame on lack of food and shelter with no medical care. Others believe that if there was a population control put in place that this perhaps would solve the issue of famine, with as long as these severely poor countries are still giving birth to children, famine becomes a vicious circle. Is it really the obligations of those who live in wealthier countries to support those in other countries? Should these countries make sure their own people are taken care of first? This is the argument that Mr. Singer presents in his paper. One has the moral obligation is to help others in need whether it be a cup of coffee or assisting in drilling a well for water and no matter if they are next door or across the world.
With three different premises and a conclusion Singer argues for relief. The first of the three premises is understood when Singer said “that suffering and death from lack of food, shelter and medical care are bad” (Singer, 1972, pg. 231). The next of these three premises argument in his article is “if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything morally significant, we ought, morally, to do it” (Singer, 1972, page 231). By this he feels that those people who are rich in their finances are morally obligated to help reduce the famine or even try to eliminate it all together, if this could be easily…...

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