Analysis Of Peter Singer's Famine, Affluence And Morality

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In Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence and Morality,” Singer makes three claims about moral duty; that avoidable suffering is bad, that it is our moral obligation to help others in need, and that we should help those in suffering regardless of their distance to us or if others are in the same position as we are to help. First, I will elaborate on Singer’s arguments for each of these positions. Next, I will discuss two objections to Singer’s position, one that he debates in his writings and another that I examine on my own, and Singer’s responses to those objections. Then I will examine why Singer’s rebuttals to the objections were successful.
To describe Peter Singer’s main argument for why we have an obligation to help people in need, I will
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Based off our agreement of this assumption, Singer moves on to the second part of his argument to say that if we are fortunate enough to have our basic needs for life fulfilled, then it is our moral obligation to help those who are not as fortunate as long as helping does not result in something happening that is equally as “bad,” which he defines as anything morally wrong or not promoting of moral goodness (231). For the third part of his argument, Singer points out that since it is now within our power to help people from all over the world, we have a moral obligation to give them our aid regardless of their distance from us (232). Because of our modern technologies, we…show more content…
The objection says that Singer’s analyses of moral duty conflicts with society’s current outlook on charity, which views it as not an obligation but a personal choice, where those who choose to give are praised for their philanthropy but those who choose not to give are not condemned (236). Singer retorts this objection by saying that we as a society need to essentially change our perspective of charity (236). What Singer means by this is that we need to drastically revise our ideas of what a moral duty is because, in agreement with Singer’s premise that we are morally obligated to help those who are suffering if it is within our power to do so without causing something equally as bad as the suffering to happen (231), charity should be considered as our moral responsibility and a mandatory duty for society
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