Our Moral Responsibility to Provide Monetary Aid to Pakistani Villagers
In this essay, I will argue that the theory of Utilitarianism presents resilient, compelling arguments that exemplifies why we have a moral obligation to donate money to help the Pakistani villagers affected by recent floods. Though the argument put forth by Ethical Egoists in favor of donating money to the Pakistanis is convincing, it lacks the quantitative validation that Utilitarianism provides. The Perspective of an Ethical Egoist
Ethical Egoism is a consequentialist moral theory that says each person ought to pursue his or her own self-interest exclusively (EMP 69). A person’s only moral duty is to do what is best for him or herself, and he or she helps others only if the act [of helping] benefits the individual in some way (EMP 63). On the surface, it appears that it is not in a person’s best self-interests to donate money to help villagers in Pakistan. The giver experiences monetary loss and the diminution of personal financial wealth, and expends time, energy, and effort in the donation-transaction process. He or she receives neither public acknowledgement nor donor recognition. There are, however, intangible benefits that the giver may reap as a result of his or her deed, such as the satisfaction that he or she receives from giving monetary aid to the Pakistanis or the happiness that he or she experiences for acting in accordance with his or her values. It is in the giver’s self-interest and, therefore, his or her moral duty to give monetary aid to those plagued by the Pakistan floods. The facts that an Ethical Egoist would consider to be important are the consequences to him or herself because Ethical Egoism is a consequentialist moral theory that revolves around the self. Consequentialism contends that the right thing to do is determined by the consequences brought about from it (Class Notes, 10/05/2010). In this case, the morally relevant facts that the Ethical Egoist...
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