Famine : The Moral Code Of Ethics

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Famine is one of the most ongoing prominent problems facing the world currently. Today’s philosophers, Peter Singer and Onora O’Neill approach different methods from the moral code of ethics of Utilitarianism and Kantianism in face of famine. Severe food scarcity causes malnourishment and low stamina with no energy to pursue one’s aspirations of being more than just a statistic. In this paper, I will argue in favor of Onora O’Neill’s Kantian principles of justice and beneficence regarding our obligations during famine and to Peter Singer’s Utilitarian view, which should be considered an incorrect view of obligations to conquer famine. In regards to the topic of famine, O’Neill and Singer propose dissimilar perspectives. O’Neill says, “He or she would not be obligated to help the starving, even if no others were equally distressed” (540). While Singer says, “…it is not beyond the capacity of the richer nations to give enough assistance to reduce any further suffering to very small proportions. The decisions and actions of human beings can prevent this kind of suffering” (495). While it is extremely kind to continuously contribute help to others in need, whether it involves volunteering or submitting payments, a person should not be required to give until their own welfare becomes in danger. Singer classifies these people as immoral because if one is able to prevent bad happenings, they should basically give up their funds unselfishly in order to create the maximum amount
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