Famine, Affluence, and Morality

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Famine, Affluence, and Morality

By | August 2012
Page 1 of 2
Famine, Affluence, and Morality
PHI 200 Mind and Machine
August 19, 2012

In this article Peter Singer’s goal is to shed light and bring awareness to the way people in the world are suffering due to poverty and natural disasters. He also explains how many people struggle to survive because they live below the poverty line, some on a dollar a day. Singer makes the point that we should be doing more to help those who are not in the position to help themselves. By using Bengal as an example of how richer countries react to a disaster Singer is able to prove his point (Singer, 1972). Singer addresses the issues of why people do not donate. He says some people have the belief that it is the government’s responsibility to provide aid to those in need. He later states that it is a joint effort between us the citizens and the government to come to the rescue of those who are suffering. We live in a selfish society that believes that we should only take care of our own and not worry about others. Reliance on aid is one reason why people do not donate because they believe the society in need will become dependent on that service (Singer, 1972). In his article he also argues that people are morally obligated to prevent as least some suffering by personally taking action. Singer says that it is in our power to prevent bad things and we can prevent the without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. If we have the resources to do so, we the people should help those in need by suffering in the world, Singer makes a valid point by saying that are morally obligated to help, since help would relieve suffering (Singer, 1972). Singer offers two principles in his article the first states that if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.” The second one states “If it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without sacrificing...