Famine, Affluence and Morality

1663 WordsJan 28, 20137 Pages
Singer’s Famine, Affluence, and Morality Ametra Heard PHI208 Ethics and Moral Reasoning Instructor Zummuna Davis January 14, 2013 Singer’s Famine, Affluence, and Morality In the Peter Singer’s article “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, he discusses the way that people should take moral in their help toward the support of the Bengal famine crisis. Singer states three obligations that would help the Bengal region through the means of a wealthy person, and those individuals living life on a day to day basis. In this paper I will expound on Singer’s goal for each obligation, explain the three counter-arguments with Singer’s response, define and identify marginal utility as it relates to Singer’s arguments, and compare the ideas of duty…show more content…
“That persons with very low incomes may merit our sympathy is accepted, but sympathy leads to charity, rather than to the involuntary exploitation of the better off” (Narveson, 2004). Singer also says that people with a maintainable amount of wealth should give more than the X amount asked for, being that the predicament that some are not able to give or they can give less than the amount asked for. “Another, more serious reason for not giving to famine relief funds is that until there is effective population control, relieving famine merely postpone starvation” (Singer, 1972). The final and third counter-argument is that Singer question exactly how much we should be giving away. In this counter-argument, Singer talks of giving until one reaches marginal utility; or in the case where suffering would have greatly increased or decreased in his self, if he gave more than one can afford to give. One should avoid bad things from happening or sacrificing too much to help those in need. Giving until you reach your marginal utility is only required. “Singer believes we are obliged to give money away until our sacrifice is of comparable moral importance to the agony of people starving to death” (Specter, 1999). This is our duty to do so. An example
Open Document