Famine, Affluence, And Morality In Ronald Dworkin's What Is A Good Life

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“We cannot justify a moral principle just by showing that following that principle would promote someone’s or everyone’s desire in either the short or the long term (Dworkin 3).” With this assertion, Ronald Dworkin, author of What Is a Good Life?, realizes that we humans cannot use morality as a key to what we want in life. Our morals should be independent of our desires. Yet, we have the tendency to utilize morality to our benefit because we conceive it as a means to a good life. But, having a good life does not correlate with human desire. Instead, it corresponds with, what Dworkin believes, how well we live—getting the most experience out of life. Dworkin argues that if we follow our duty to live well, by gaining experience, the consequence will be a good life. Likewise, Dworkin’s ideas are evident in the works…show more content…
During the early 1970s, consistent poverty and social unrest flowed throughout Bengal, which caused suffering for millions of refugees. As a result, India begged for emergency funds from different countries to help relieve the famine; however, only a few countries decided to contribute. This leads Singer to state, “What are the moral implications of a situation like this? In what follows, I shall argue that the way people in relatively affluent coun-tries react to a situation like that in Bengal cannot be justified; indeed, the whole way we look at moral issues-our moral conceptual scheme -needs to be altered, and with it, the way of life that has come to be taken for granted in our society (Singer 230).” Here, Singer is questioning the morals of affluent countries. Are they right? Well, according to Singer they are not because they are not morally right. Singer believes that “it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it (Singer
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