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Essay on Discussing the Obligation to Help the Absolutely Poor

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Discussing the Obligation to Help the Absolutely Poor

The question of who deserves what and who owes what to who is a philosophical question that people unendingly attempt to answer, never coming to a universal and workable conclusion. No matter what outcome is decided upon, someone is destined to be unhappy about it, as unhappiness almost seems to be the defining human condition, with someone always being unhappy about something. However, there are a few who have attempted to answer this question in a reasonable and moral manner, such as Nozick, Singer, and Rachels. Each of these people takes a somewhat different approach to answering this difficult question. To begin a comparative analysis of
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The people who live in Kuwait deserve that oil no more than anyone else, according to Singer because it was just dumb luck that they ended up with such wealth. Singer believes that the concept of taking care of our own, above and beyond people in other countries is absurd. To Singer, citizenship should be irrelevant in the question of who deserves something. This preference is a form of ethnocentrism and is comparable to ideas like racism, sexism, and specieism. Singer also touches on the idea of "triage" policies like those used in hospitals in times of war. To this idea, Singer responds by saying that in order to enforce something of this nature, we must consider the probability involved with each outcome that could possibly occur. Singer belies that those in a position of absolute affluence are morally obligated to help those unfortunate people who are victims of absolute poverty.

Nozick has a rather different point of view on entitlement than Singer does. Nozick's "Entitlement Theory of Justice" has three basic principles to help decide if a distribution is just or not. The principle of justice in acquisition determines the legitimate ways to acquire things, such as investing one's labor into it, or finding previously un-owned property and claiming it for one's own. The principle of justice in transfer describes the legitimate means of
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