The Harsh Reality Of Ethics

1342 Words Sep 30th, 2015 6 Pages
The Harsh Reality of Ethics
Equality of opportunity does not exist in the world as we know it. To believe otherwise, however optimistic, is ignorant and misguided. Social equilibrium is built upon a balance of equality and inequality where harsh ethical standards must be upheld to reach maximum potential. Garrett Hardin’s essay, “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” sets the precedent of these ethical standards to determine the nature of a society which favors the wealthy. Hardin’s definition of ethics is a harsh reality that calls for complete utilitarianism where the moral implications of an action are solely dependent on how the outcome affects the greater good; a concept which can be applied to the Syrians seeking refuge in the United States.
Hardin’s concept of ethics addresses the problem of resource distribution in our world. Not everyone can have an equal right to an equal share of the earth’s resources. The earth’s ability to provide necessary resources is finite. Not only is resource sharing unrealistic, it is potentially detrimental, because no matter how much effort is put into the task, the planet’s resources simply cannot be distributed equally. Hardin explains this theory through the metaphor of lifeboat ethics.
Hardin uses the lifeboat as a metaphor for the treatment and resource distribution between wealthy nations and poor nations. Interpreted through his definition of ethics, wealthier nations should not sacrifice an abundance…
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