Justice vs. Reality in "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case against Helping the Poor" by Garrett Hardin

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The essay titled "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case against Helping the Poor" by Garrett Hardin, was very interesting. The first part of the essay used a metaphor of the rich people of the earth in a lifeboat and the poor people in the sea drowning. The rich people could only allow a few people in and if they let, too many people in they will sink the boat and all die. The best thing for the rich people to do is not to let anyone in so they will have adequate supplies and space for them to survive. Later in the essay, Hardin writes about the differences in the population growth between rich and poor nations. Poor nations multiply much more quickly than richer nations. The essay then goes on to explain what the consequences would be of setting of …show more content…
Greater populations will take its toll on the environment and rich nations giving poorer nations food, allowing their population to grow unchecked will lower the standard of living of those that are already there and in the end will have a negative effect. Hardin then presents a good alternative to just giving poorer nations food free. He cites the ancient Chinese proverb: "Give a man a fish and he will ear for a day; teach him how to fish and he will eat for the rest of his days." This idea has already been put to use by people developing "miracle wheat", which is wheat that offer bigger harvests and greater resistance to crop damage. Towards the end of the essay, Hardin writes about immigration. He writes that if you give the poor people food, they will stay where they are and ruin their own environment, if you do not, they will come over and ruin the rich people's environment. Rich countries have a hard time limiting immigration since they will be quickly charged with bigotry, prejudice, ethnocentrism and many other things. He then uses an example of the state of Hawaii. Hawaiian government officials in Honolulu had a Japanese-American speaker explain that they couldn’t have all their relatives from other countries or, even other states within the US, immigrate over to Hawaii because there isn't enough room and that they should save the room they have left for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The essay concludes by explaining pure
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