An Arguement Against Peter Singer's Famine, Aflunity, and Influence

Topics: Poverty, Humanitarian aid, Overpopulation Pages: 3 (1069 words) Published: November 25, 2012
In his paper “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” Peter Singer argues that a lack of benevolence from affluent countries to people suffering from poverty in other countries is unjustified and is comparable to doing nothing if one sees a baby drowning in water a few feet away. In the following paper I will discuss how residing in an affluent country does not put individuals under obligation to donate, and the efforts that are already made by individuals and governments in affluent countries are sufficient enough to be considered benevolent. I will present the following arguments to provide reasoning for this. First I will explain how singers drowning baby analogy fails to make a proper comparison to donating. Second, I will show how the assumed responsibility that affluent country should give to the needy is flawed. Third will discuss how donating may actually be counterproductive in the long term. Lastly I will give a comparison towards donating to poverty is no better or more beneficial to donating to crime prevention. The main concern addressed in this essay is the analogy Singer makes when he compares the ease of saving a drowning baby to the ease of making a donation to a country in poverty (Singer, par. 6). Singer’s analogy is only correct on the basis that the baby and people living in poverty are both in circumstances out of their control. The difference though, is that the baby he describes is moments away from death, while people living in poverty are mostly not on the brink of death. I believe the vast majority of people would save the baby, yet only a small percentage of people will take the time to donate. Furthermore, I rule out Singer’s argument for proximity (par. 8). Walking around a city like Toronto, one may walk right past homeless people in very dire circumstances, and many people still do not bother to give any assistance. Thus, since being in a very close proximity will usually not yield a donation, in most likelihood, witnessing someone...
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