Unforeseen Bonds: Hardin's Rhetoric in "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor"

1950 Words8 Pages
Unforeseen Bonds: Hardin's Rhetoric in "Lifeboat Ethics: The
Case Against Helping The Poor"
As Andrew Kuper, a Fellow of Trinity College of Cambridge and researcher of philosophy, politics, and the modern world, once said "Since the costs to ourselves may be significant, how much ought we to sacrifice?" (Kuper, 1). A direct correspondence of such can be seen in the work of Garrett Hardin, specifically "Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping The Poor," versus Peter Singer, author of "The Singer Solution To World Poverty," and Alan Durning, author of "Asking How Much Is Enough." Garret Hardin, a former professor and ecologist, argues that the wealthier nations of the world need to not allow themselves to get caught up in helping the
…show more content…
Regardless of the ever-so-sensitive metaphor of a lifeboat, Hardin uses an appeal to force, or ad baculum, to make his point. He basically states, "If everyone, rich and poor nations alike, is let on the lifeboat, then everyone will die. We don't want everyone to die, so everyone shouldn't come onto the lifeboat, as in the wealthy should stay where they are."
Hardin's complex dexterity of petrifying diction is brought to a halt when compared to the scientific diction seen in Durning's article. Hardin's nauseating, fear-provoking diction is rendered in the same passage mentioned in the previous paragraph; the unequivocal author uses words such as: "swamps," "drowns," and "catastrophe" (Hardin, 477). All of these words are associated with devastation and misfortune as Hardin tries to point out our suffering as a result of caring for the poor nations. This is an example of the visceral appeal Hardin employs to scare his audience by having them consider the consequences of not abiding into just letting the still developing nations handle themselves.
Durning's discussion and denouncement of materialism helps to shed light on yet another rhetorical strategy Hardin uses to persuade his reader's opinion towards his own. In the ninth paragraph, Hardin says, "'Get out and yield your place to others.' This may solve the problem of the guilt-ridden person's conscience, but it does not change the ethics of the lifeboat" (Hardin, 477) This implies

    More about Unforeseen Bonds: Hardin's Rhetoric in "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor"

      Get Access