Singer paper

Topics: Marginal utility, Poverty, Morality Pages: 6 (1267 words) Published: May 17, 2015

Mar 5 2015 Ron Hunter
Philosophy 101
Professor Andrew Sergienko

I chose to do topic two which is to Critically assess Singer’s argument regarding our moral obligations to

those suffering from famine:, I will discuss the three premises and the conclusion of this argument. I will explain

why I either support or chose not to support this argument in my conclusion

Singer is a Utilitarian a who believes that the value of a thing depends on its utility, so Singer believes that

everything and everyone has to be morally useful. Singer’s argument is simple. He has three premises that are the

basis of his argument the first, that starvation and the suffering and death it causes are bad things. This is proven

most would not be able to dispute this. The next premiss states that if we can prevent something bad from

happening without having to give up anything comparable in moral significance then we should do it and the third

is that it is our moral duty to give our excess wealth in order to help those less fortunate? It is interesting to see

that Singer believes that all the lions should be kill because of the fact that they are killing off all of the

Herbivores such as the Wildebeest and Zebra. He states that he knows that the lions will suffer but in the long run

the suffering will be cut down drastically

An example of the first premiss would be the children you seen in commercials that are malnourished and

in the end after receiving no help they die. To someone like me, I would think why is this a bad ting isn’t this just

Population control. We need to take into consideration that this is a human life just like our sons and daughters

according to Singer, thus being a bad thing for them to die before their time because of something that could have

been revenged.

On the second Premiss Singer gives us the example of a young child drowning in a shallow pond-we might

get our clothes dirty however we shouldn’t think of immaterial things and we should save the life of the child.

What Singer is suggesting is that instead of buying that diamond necklace we should use that money to to help out

someone starving.

The third Premiss is not so easy to find as it is not really advertised howeverr you find it in his

argument Singer states that we the wealthy who have an over abundance of welt and surplus should get rid of it

because it isn’t doing us any good hanging on to it in an easier way to understand this you need to look at the

principal of Diminishing Marginal Utility which states goods or service,s the marginal utility of that good or

service decreases as the quantity of the good increases. An example of this would be If I had a ton of bananas and

just got another ton in and kept bothe tons they wouldn’t do me no good and would spoil, so why not give what

wouldn’t profit me away to at least help someone in need however we as americans are selfish and feel that wat

ever we have we will take it with us when we pass on.

So after we have these three premises established then we have to look at the conclusion to these premises.

the conclusion of theses three states that the affluent are morally responsible to alleviate the issue of famine in the

world. Ok so if we go with the stronger of the last two premises an affluent person must give as much as they can

without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. does he do this ? He states that we should donate to

the point that where if we were to donate anymore we would be causing ourselves as much suffering as what we

are trying to prevent with donating in the first place. and only then would this (suffering ) would be considered

charity....
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