In this essay I will be arguing why a utilitarian could possibly disagree with Peter Singers Argument presented in “Famine, Affluence and Morality.” After reading such an interesting paper I must say as much as I disagreed with Singers viewpoints I almost found it difficult to object them with support. From a utilitarian point of view we are to maximize Happiness by reducing suffering. How can Giving possible make someone unhappy? But as I was thinking a saying came across my mind, “Two steps forward one step back”. The answer was rather simple, the very same thing that brings happiness to us is the same thing that can bring sorrow; Money. I’m not huge on politics, actually I hate politics but an argument such as this can be viewed from that perspective.
The argument stated by Peter Singer can be said to be one that entails two sides and therefore from a utilitarian point of view there are those who would agree with his stance as well as those who would not. The main foundation of the argument essentially states that individuals are able to do more than they are currently doing to help those in need. Countries that can be said to contribute largely to refugee funds such as Britain and Australia also spend more than they donate to these causes on infrastructure such as a new transport system or Opera house (Singer). By taking a look at the donations from such an angle these countries generosity can be said to take a drastic dive when compared to their other expenses. One could say that these governments care more about their transport system for example than they do about the millions of lives that they could affect with such money (Singer). However, in realistic terms especially from an economic point of view, it is essential tha...
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...gion. The best way to ensure that the government is in a position to help others is to ensure that it is in a stable economic position itself.
I end this essay by saying, it can be said that there are a few utilitarian individuals who would disagree with the stance that Peter Singer has taken based on the fact that individuals and other bodies cannot be expected to give more than they able to. Despite comparing their generosity with other funds it should be noted that it is these same investments that are more likely to provide the financial stability for them to continue their generous donations. A change in the individual mindset will also take time to accomplish and thus cannot be expected to take effect overnight.
Singer Peter. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” Philosophy and Public
Affairs, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 229-243 [revised edition], 1972.
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