Peter Singer’s Article on “Famine, Affluence and Morality” Barbara Shinualt
PHI 208: Ethics and Moral Reasoning
Instructor Daniel Beteta
March 25, 2013
In his article, “Famine, Affluence and Morality”, philosopher Peter Singer observes that that there are millions of people around the world who are leading misery lives and suffering death, because of famine , war, lack of shelter, and adequate medical care. He states that although rich nations have contributed great sums of money for these causes, they are still not giving enough in comparison to their Gross National Product (GNP). He points out that many nations only contributes about one percent of their GNP. He also advocates that these countries and other like them, who spend even more money on items like Britain’s supersonic transport or Australia’s opera house could and should contribute even more for worthy causes like poverty, better housing, and medical care. Singer declares that affluence people and countries should and can do more than what they do now. Later in the article, Singer states that everyone should give the poor. He supports his reasoning with several arguments. In Singer’s first argument, he declares that suffering and death are bad, whether from hunger, insufficient housing, or inadequate medical care. He feels that have a moral obligation to help people who are suffering no matter how far away from us they are. Singer feels that the rich and the affluence have a predetermined obligation to help the poor and needy, because they already have so much. He also argues that human’s persecute of luxury over the idea of evenly distributing the basic necessities of life for everyone is just plain wrong. He defends this argument when he states, “A person who has a super abundance has obligation to the poor”. (Singer, 1972) In his second argument Singer declares, “If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral...
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