Summary Of Peter Singer 's Argument

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In this paper I will discuss Peter Singer’s argument that it is our duty to aid to those in need, and John Arthur’s argument that we have competitive intuitions that have precedence over our duty to aid the needy. I will then argue that Arthur’s argument is more applicable to human kind as a species, simply due to the fact that human instinct is not capable of fulfilling Singer’s premise. Peter Singer argues that people who live in wealthier countries have an obligation to change their way of life and become committed to helping those in poverty. He begins by making two assumptions; the first one being that suffering caused by lack of food, shelter or medical care is bad and the second assumption stating that if we can prevent something bad from happening without giving up something of comparable moral importance, we are morally obligated to partake in preventative behavior (Singer). Singer supports this claim by giving an example of a situation in which a person sees a child drowning in a nearby pond; he says that the witness has a moral obligation to save the child because we believe that a drowning child is a bad thing and in saving the child the witness is not sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. Singer is careful to address the implications of his assumptions. First, he says that geographical or emotional distance are irrelevant as to whether or not morality is a question. He then argues that our duty to provide aid is not dependent on how many other
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