First Paper Assignment
Student: Gretel Herrera- Martinez
Panther ID: 3339147
Topic: Jan Narveson v. Peter Singer
In this essay we are going to analyze the main ideas included in “Feeding the Hungry” by Jan Narveson and the main aspects included in “The Singer Solution to World Poverty,” by Peter Singer. In “Feeding the Hungry” the author stated that each of us has a right to liberty that includes choosing whether or not to help those who are starving. On the contrary in “The Singer Solution to World Poverty,” the author argues that affluent people ought to give large amounts of money to help the world’s poor.
In the lecture “Feeding the Hungry” Mr. Narveson did a distinction between justice and charity, stating that we do not have a moral obligation to help the needy. Additionally he states the following: "If the fact that others are starving is not our fault, then we do not need to provide for them as a duty of justice". For the author we do not have the "positive duty" (an obligation to do something) to help the needy. The author is denying that we have a positive duty to help the needy. He is stating we are not required to do something.
Regarding to his distinction, the demands of justice is enforceable, but charity is not enforceable. Could be morally permissible to force someone to act justly, but it is never morally permissible to force someone to be charitable. With this statement the author does not deny that we should be charitable. However, it would be wrong to force someone to act charitable. For the author it is very important to establish whether feeding the hungry is a matter of justice, or merely a matter of charity. The author 's position is that feeding the...
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...t always act to serve their interests rather than our own. “The rule that neither the rich nor the poor ought to be enslaved by the others is surely the better rule.”
Narveson, by the way, would not accept the argument any more than Singer would. The conclusion does not follow unless The Greatest Happiness Principle (or a similar consequentialist doctrine) is added as a premise; Narveson rejects consequentialism.
Having reading and analyzed both articles I am in agreement with the position stated by Narveson in “Feeding the Hungry” the fact that others are starving is not our fault, then we do not need to provide for them as a duty of justice. Even so, feeding the hungry and taking care of the miserable is a nice thing to do, and is morally recommended. Charity is a virtue. All people should take care of other person that needs our help but this is not enforceable.
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