PHI 208 Week 2 assignment Essay

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Pages: 6

Famine, Affluence, and Morality

PHI 208 Ethics and Moral Reasoning

Famine, Affluence, and Morality

In Peter Singer’s 1972 post titled “Famine, Affluence and Morality”, he conveys that wealthy nations, for example the United States, has an ethical duty to contribute much a lot more than we do with regards to worldwide assistance for famine relief and/or other disasters or calamities which may happen. In this document, I will describe Singers objective in his work and give his argument with regards to this problem. I will describe 3 counter-arguments to Singer’s view which he tackles, and after that reveal Singer’s reactions to those counter-arguments. I will explain Singer’s idea of marginal
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As per Singer, P. (1972), “It makes no ethical difference whether the individual I can assist is a neighbor's kid 10 yards from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, 10,000 miles away” (pg.232). It's still our moral obligation to do what's right. Is it morally appropriate to discriminate against a suffering individual just due to their distance? Singer, P. (1972), proposes, “In case we accept any rule of impartiality, universalizability, equality, or whatever, we can't discriminate against somebody just because he is far away from us (or we are far off from him) (pg. 232)”. A person’s distance must not restrict our moral duties.

Singer describes that everybody must give when it's required. Many people are not contributing, so how much must I give without making myself and/or my loved ones worse off? The counter-argument here is whether to give more that can possibly cause me harm from doing so. He discusses the probability of contributing to the point of marginal utility. As per Singer, P. (1972), “Because the situation seems to be that not many people are likely to give considerable sums, it makes sense that I and everybody else in similar conditions must give as much as possible, that's, at least up to the level at which by giving more one would start to cause acute suffering for oneself and one’s dependents-perhaps even beyond this level to the stage of marginal utility, at which by giving more