A Critique For “The Singer Solution To World Poverty”
In the essay “The Singer Solution to World Poverty,” philosopher Peter Singer addresses the issue of poverty by suggesting Americans give away most of their income to aid those in need. Singer believes that withholding income is the equivalence of letting a child starve to death. Therefore, Singer suggests the ethical thing to do to end world hunger is to give up everyday luxuries. Although donating a vast amount of money could help dying and starving children, Singer’s proposition is not only unrealistic but also too demanding for everyday Americans who have responsibilities of their own.
Singer begins his essay with Dora, a schoolteacher, who sells an orphan awaiting to have his organs sold in a black market for a new television set. Eventually, Dora regrets her immoral decision and rescues the boy from his fate. Singer compares this act to Americans, who spend their income on food, clothes and vacations by suggesting that the money spent could have made a “difference between life and death for children in need” (327). Singer goes on to compare how the situations are similar, pointing out that the only difference is ignoring an issue that isn’t in your presence and one that is. Singer continues by calling himself a “utilitarian philosopher” and defines his character by stating that he judges acts by their consequences (327). Singer then introduces Bob and his expensive Buggati. Bob chooses to save his car from a train even though he could have saved a child’s life by destroying his prized possession, and compares this story to Americans and their lack of donations. Singer concludes with comparing income and how much a person should give away based on that number. He suggests all Americans have the choice to give up all luxuries because these sacrifices could better a child’s life.
Singer targets all Americans in his essay, implying everyone needs to help. He begins with saying that two hundred...
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