In his article, “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor,” Garrett Hardin explains his different view on how to truly help the poor. To suit his title, Hardin begins his piece by asking us to imagine ourselves in a lifeboat. There is room for sixty people on the boat, but there are only fifty sitting in there at the time. Near them are one-hundred others swimming in the water pleading to be in the boat. So how do we save them all? Hardin explains that there is not a way to save all of the people. Metaphorically, the fifty people in the lifeboat resemble the rich countries and the others swimming in the water are the poor countries. At first Hardin’s ethics seem rude and selfish, but as you continue reading he makes it clear this may be the only way to save our world and have it become a better place. Hardin continues his piece explaining why rich countries should not help poorer countries that are in need. Tough love is the motto Hardin portrays in his essay. He believes a poor country that needs support needs to learn the hard way, even if that means losing resources or people. The ethics he reveals have good reasoning. Helping someone in need has always been a moral in someone’s life. But now, Hardin proposes a new ethic, lifeboat ethics. “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor,” at first is a shocking piece because of the different view of ethics Hardin proposes. Although the article may be taken as offensive and impolite, Hardin is simply only trying to provide a solution to our worldly problem. Sacrifices need to be mad in order for the world to go on strong. We can either try to save everyone and die trying, or save ourselves and let the flourishing live. Weak countries will learn to fend for themselves and either fail or succeed. Take care of yourself and let other nations learn to do the same. The purpose of this essay is to introduce a new ethical way in which our world should live in order for it to succeed.
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