Who is Responsible to Solve Global Poverty and Hunger?

2142 WordsJan 29, 20189 Pages
Essay Question: Set out and carefully explain what you take to be the most powerful argument for an obligation to assist those in absolute poverty and/or hunger. Is the argument successful? Why or why not? There is a multi-pronged debate as to the resolution of the problem of global poverty and hunger—who should be responsible, if the solution should be relief or developmentally focused, etc. Yet on a moral level, before one can ask how the problem is best solved one must ask why the problem should be solved. James Sterba noted in his work that justice is giving people what they deserve (134). The question then is, what do people deserve and who is responsible for ensuring that they get what they deserve? Specifically in the case of hunger and poverty, should we, collectively and individually, be obligated to assist those suffering from absolute poverty or hunger and why? Deontological and utilitarian ethicists have provided multiple answers for and against the obligation to assist. I argue that Onora O’Neill’s Kantian approach best addresses the roots of our obligation, provides the best framework for practical action, and overcomes the majority of the main challenges facing modern economic justice theories. O’Neill’s argument is Kantian and specifically focused on the idea of human autonomy and its two corresponding duties. The first is the Formula of the End in Itself, or the duty to not to treat others as mere means. The second is the duty to treat people as ends
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