Humanity: Morality and Peter Berkowitz Essay

Submitted By Densig-Abraham
Words: 1397
Pages: 6

Densig Abraham
Professor Sriharan
Composition 1

Inhumane Humanity

As it stands today I have no savings, property, assets or anything of real value. I can honestly say I make enough to barely get by. Once I pay rent, bills and buy the necessities, I have just enough to get to my next paycheck. Yet I can't help but constantly dig in my pocket when someone asks me for spare change or a couple of dollars to get something to eat. I believe in helping out our fellow man and to try and make this world a better place, but am also a realist and understand that someone like me, as one individual can only do so much toward that goal. Having said that, when I read "The Singer Solution To World Poverty", written by Peter Singer, I found it hard to agree with his views and how we are "failing to live a morally decent life." Singer points out our lack of awareness of the greater need, how we fail to notice that what we use in comfort could be used to feed a hungry child in a poor country. Singer's goal in his essay is to get us to realize that we could do more for our fellow man, he uses some extreme examples to get us thinking and looking at our views of morality. Singer even goes as far as writing that, " it's a simple formula ", and that whatever we have left over after covering our basic necessities should be donated.

Singer seems to target the American lifestyle the most by writing about our non essential luxuries and how we should not live so lavishly and donate most of it. I mean where does he get off targeting our failure as moral human beings when he himself falls short of living a morally decent life, according to his own standards. According to his " simple formula ", we should be giving away everything left over after necessities, yet he himself gives only one fifth of his income according to Peter Berkowitz, in his review titled, " The utilitarian horrors of Peter Singer. Other People's Mother's ", which was published in The New Republic on Jan. 10, 2000. So, having himself failed as a moral human being, why write about the moral way of living? Why expose himself to been dissected to the very core of his own values. If I wasn't doing something, then I wouldn't dare write an essay in which I crucify everyone else for not living up to my own failed equation. Singer uses examples like Bob, a man who has invested all his money in a Bugatti. Bob believes that when he retires he will be able to sell the car and have enough to cover his retirement. Now Bob is put in a such a situation that he has to choose between his investment and a child's life and Bob chooses his investment. In our eyes he’s a monster, but Singer takes it a step further. Singer writes, what if other people had expensive cars and also decided to let the child die, then would it make it ok to justify
Bob's actions just because he is just following a trend. How can he use such examples

and make us think whether is ok or not to follow trends. Last time I checked we don’t take polls on who would let a child die in order to keeps one's wealth or who wouldn't. I happen to agree with Peter Berkowitz, he wrote that, " Singer fails to point out that there is also no logically compelling reason for assuming that a difference in ability between two people can under no circumstances justify differences in the amount of consideration we give to their interests. On the question of human equality, logic is strictly neutral. "

As a human being sometimes I find myself troubled by my capabilities to contribute to others. Sometimes while I am watching television and an infomercial about a hungry child walking on a pile of garbage comes on, I can't help but cry for a while. I sit there and think of how hungry that child must be and how unfair his fate is. Then I wipe my face and change the channel, now according to Singer I am just as guilty as Bob for letting that child die. I am well aware of the need for more donations to overseas charities and am well aware that…