Singer Argument Essay Powerpoint

The singer solution to world poverty argument essay

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The singer solution to world poverty argument essay

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The philosopher Peter Singer, in his paper Rich and Poor, gives the following argument: If we can prevent something bad from happening without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance, we ought to do it. Absolute poverty is bad. There is some absolute poverty we can prevent without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance. Conclusion: We ought to prevent some absolute poverty. (Singer, Rich and Poor) In this research we are going to criticize this argument and also offer justifications for the critiques. This would be very difficult and challenging task to prevent the Absolute power according to the author.

Consequently this will bring more satisfaction and feeling of safety to the society. We tend to disagree with this somewhat Communist approach to the issue. This is due to many various reasons that our research is going to be based upon. First of all let us take a look into some background upon the issue. The New Yorker calls him the most influential living philosopher. His critics call him the most dangerous man in the world.

Peter Singer, the De Camp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University's Center for Human Values, is most widely and controversially known for his view that animals have the same moral status as humans. He is the author of many books, including Practical Ethics (1979), Rethinking Life and Death (1995), and Animal Liberation (1975), which has sold more than 450, 000 copies. This year he published Writings on an Ethical Life (Ecco Press) and A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation (Yale University Press), which argues that the left must replace Marx with Darwin if it is to remain a viable force. (Bailey) Singer is perhaps the most thoroughgoing philosophical utilitarian since Jeremy Bentham. As such, he believes animals have rights because the relevant moral consideration is not whether a being can reason or talk but whether it can suffer. Jettisoning the traditional distinction between humans and nonhuman's, Singer distinguishes instead between persons and nonpersons.

Persons are beings that feel, reason, have self-awareness, and look forward to a future. Thus, fetuses and some very impaired human beings are not persons in his view and have a lesser moral status than, say, adult gorillas and chimpanzees. In one of his prominent writings he advocates radical redistribution of wealth on utilitarian grounds. The approach is individualistic, but he is a utilitarian, so what do you expect. However, he is alert to class or at least to inequality.

He wrote a little book about Marx, btw, but doesnt seem to have learned much from the experience. In the chapter Rich and Poor, Singers consequential ist dismissal of the distinction between killing and allowing to die lends rhetorical power this argument for wealth distribution (a consequential ist view of responsibility, which refuses to see a moral difference between acts and omissions, serves better to illustrate the crimes of capitalism than anon-consequential ist view of the same does). In Singers view, we cannot avoid concluding that by not giving more than we do, people in rich countries are allowing those in poor countries to suffer from absolute poverty, with consequent malnutrition, ill health, and death (Singer). As you note, unfortunately Singer puts it in terms of an individual obligation to help, in other words, charity: each citizen of any affluent nation has a moral obligation to give as much as he can, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance.

Therefore we may state that the assumptions of Peter Singer concerning the issue of absolute power have no solid grounds and are not justified from the contemporary economics standpoint. (Bailey) Singer has made similarly controversial plunges into social policy. In a recent New York Times Magazine essay, he argued that the affluent in developed countries are killing people by not giving away to the poor all of their wealth in excess of their needs. How did he come to this conclusion? If... allowing someone to die is not intrinsically different from killing someone, it would seem that we are all murderers, he explains in Practical Ethics. He calculates that the average American household needs $ 30, 000 per year; to avoid murder, anything over that should be given away to the poor.

So a household making $ 100, 000 could cut a yearly check for $ 70, 000, he wrote in the Times. (Bailey) Rigorous adherence to a single principle has a way of hoisting one by ones own petard. Singers mother suffers from severe Alzheimers disease, and so she no longer qualifies as a person by his own standards, yet he spends considerable sums on her care. This apparent contradiction of his principles has not gone unnoticed by the media. When I asked him about it during our interview at his Manhattan apartment in late July, he sighed and explained that he is not the only person who is involved in making decisions about his mother (he has a sister).

He did say that if he were solely responsible, his mother might not be alive today. Singers proclamation about income has also come back to haunt him. To all appearances, he lives on far more than $ 30, 000 a year. Aside from the Manhattan apartment- he asked me not to give the address or describe it as a condition of granting an interview- he and his wife Renata, to whom he has been married for some three decades, have a house in Princeton. The average salary of a full professor at Princeton runs around $ 100, 000 per year; Singer also draws income from a trust fund that his father set up and from the sales of his books. He says he gives away 20 percent of his income to famine relief organizations, but he is certainly living on a sum far beyond $ 30, 000.

When asked about this, he forthrightly admitted that he was not living up to his own standards. He insisted that he was doing far more than most and hinted that he would increase his giving when everybody else started contributing similar amounts of their incomes. There is some question as to how seriously one should take the dictates of a person who himself cannot live up to them. If he finds it impossible to follow his own rules, perhaps that means that he should reconsider his conclusions. Singer would no doubt respond that his personal failings hardly invalidate his ideas. Bibliography: Peter Singer, Rich and Poor web


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Research essay sample on Criticizing The Argument Peter Singer Rich And Poor

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