Famine, Affluence, and Morality

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Peter Singer's article, Famine, Affluence, and Morality, presents a strong view on the moral values which people all around the world today are giving to the global famine taking place these days. Singer tries to influence who ever reads this article to take action and provide relief for the increased suffering going on due to famine. In his article, he incorporates arguments to illustrate the moral importance that should be given to the suffering of famine. The majority of the population today view offerings as a good action to do but do not believe it is wrong not to do it. Singer stresses how it is wrong to know such suffering is going on and not do anything about it, regardless of the distance between you and the victim and if anyone else is assisting towards the cause. Although Singer makes some strong points, he also falls weak in a few of his arguments.

Singer begins his article by stressing the famine suffering which is currently taking place in East Bengal. Singer starts his argument by imposing the reader to accept the moral premises which are "that suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad," and "that if it is in our power to prevent it from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it" (Singer, Famine pg.599). Singer then goes on to exploit a broad-based approach to his assertion in that "we cannot discriminate against someone merely because he is far away from us" (Singer Famine pg600). Singer emphasizes on the fact that distance is not a reason to fail in doing what is morally right to do. The distance between you and the person in need is not a moral justification to discard their need.

Singer also emphasizes on an interesting point in his assertion which implies that two wrongs do not make a right. Singer states, "one feels less guilty about doing nothing if one can point to others, similarly placed, who have also done nothing" (Singer Famine...
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