Essay about Analysis of Singer´s The Life You Can Save

Essay about Analysis of Singer´s The Life You Can Save

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In this paper I will begin by explaining Singer’s utilitarian argument in “The Life You Can Save” regarding the obligation of affluent nations to give in order to alleviate global poverty. Secondly, I will analyze one objection to Singer’s argument that opposes charity. Thirdly, after examining the objection to Singer’s argument, I will present Singer’s noteworthy reply. Finally, after offering both an objection to Singer’s argument, as well as Singer’s rebuttal, I will offer my own view on whether or not Singer’s refutation is convincing.
In discussing Singer’s argument, it is important to explain his definition of global poverty. Singer clearly states that extreme poverty is “not only a condition of unsatisfied material needs” but also a “degrading state of powerlessness” (6). Singer’s argument asserts that citizens of affluent nations are behaving erroneously because they fail to contribute to the end of poverty they know to exist in impoverished countries. He postulates that the common person has the ability to point fingers at others, while he or she nevertheless ought to do as much as they can. Singer's argument is a direct criticism of a capitalistic system where extreme wealth exists next to extreme poverty. For Singer, the ethical call to assist in eradicating poverty rests in a person’s ability to help another. In his full argument, Singer considers three premises. The first is common knowledge that suffering and death is inherently bad. Singer’s argument for the Golden Rule is encapsulated in this premise: “doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you” (16). No sane person would like to suffer; therefore, it is only moral to help those who are suffering. Singer contends in the next premise that individuals ha...


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...impoverished conditions could be saved. It is often said that people are generally motivated by self-interest. Singer believes that the existence of altruism in society is higher than most people assume. Therefore, if people give priority to this altruism, there existences will be additionally satisfying and just. It brings me to the question of whether material items are nearly as important as saving a child from dying? Singer’s interpretation of morality and the steps to alleviate global poverty reflect a truly utilitarian perspective. In deciding between what is right and wrong he often considers what people ought to do. He recognizes deep down people understand the honest truth is always the one they’d rather not do out of selfish desires. Singer’s novel is a paradigm of moral philosophy as it is well contended, engaging, and an important topic in society today.

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