Essay on Famine, Affluence and Morality by Peter Singers

Essay on Famine, Affluence and Morality by Peter Singers

Length: 939 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview


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...


... middle of paper ...


...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.



Works Cited

Singer Peter. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” Philosophy and Public
Affairs, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 229-243 [revised edition], 1972.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Famine, Affluence, And Morality By Peter Albert David Singer Essay

- Peter Albert David Singer was born on the 6th of July 1946 in Melbourne Australia. Singer is an Australian moral philosopher. He is a utilitarianist that specializes in global issues and is an activist for animal rights. Best known for his book “Animal liberation” (1975) and his article “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” (1972) that is used in ethic classes all over the world. Peter Singer at this time is a Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, and a Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Philosophy of life, Aesthetics]

Better Essays
789 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Famine, Affluence, And Morality

- Peter Singer states two principles on the effects of famine, affluence, and morality which he feels that everyone should abide by. The first argument made is that lack of food, shelter and medicine is bad and can lead to feeling pain and death. I for one, could agree on this assumption just by analyzing it carefully. We see Singer on his thesis elaborate the causes of famine within East Bengal in 1970s. As governments and individuals within the world see the massive flooding’s and mismanagement of food issuing one hopes that we all as a society could take action to help stop such suffering and act on a situation like the impaired damage that happened with East Bengal....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Human, Religion]

Better Essays
904 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Hunger And Its Effects On The World

- Do you know what it is like to suffer from hunger. Do you know how it feels to know that the meal you are eating today might be your last meal for about a week. Hunger is defined in the dictionary as "the painful sensation or state of weakness caused by the need of food" Hunger is not easy and it is certainly not right to watch another starve when you know you can help. Peter singer dig deep to how the world can help people suffering and dying because of hunger, shelter, and medical need. Watching hunger develop is absurd especially when others have so much that they are throwing it away and not being considerate to the ones that are suffering....   [tags: Morality, Human, Ethics, Famine]

Better Essays
1259 words (3.6 pages)

Essay Morality of Giving

- How much money is one morally obligated to give to relief overseas. Many In people would say that although it is a good thing to do, one is not obligated to give anything. Other people would say that if a person has more than he needs, then he should donate a portion of what he has. Peter Singer, however, proposes a radically different view. His essay, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” focuses on the Bengal crisis in 1971 and claims that one is morally obligated to give as much as possible. His thesis supports the idea that “We ought to give until we reach the level of marginal utility – that is, the level at which, by giving more, I would cause as much suffering to myself or my dependents...   [tags: Article Analysis ]

Better Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on An Analysis Of Peter Singer 's Famine, Affluence, And Morality

- Giving to the Poor In Peter Singer’s Famine, Affluence, and Morality, he critiques the way in which modern societies have grown accustomed to their ordinary thoughts about famine, affluence, and morality in general. Singer describes a situation in which nine million refugees from East Bengal are living in poverty, and it is the responsibility of the wealthy, and better-off nations to take immediate and long term action to provide for them and to end poverty overall. (Singer, 873) Through his essay, Singer envisions a new world where giving to those in need is no longer seen as charity, but rather a moral duty....   [tags: Poverty, Wealth, Morality, Ethics]

Better Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Famine, Affluence, And Morality, By Pete Singer Essay

- In the article, Famine, Affluence, and Morality, Pete Singer begins his argument with the notion that everyone believes that suffering and dying from lack of food and medical care are bad things. Furthermore, if we as humans know this to be bad then we have a responsibility to prevent bad things from occurring, according to singer. Throughout the article Singer will explain the distance in which one should reach out to, the amount of aid an individual should provide should provide. Knowing that dying and suffering from starvation are bad things we as humans have a responsibility to help those in need....   [tags: Morality, Ethics, Human, Famine]

Better Essays
762 words (2.2 pages)

The Problem of Poverty in Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer

- Peter Singer is often regarded as one of the most productive and influential philosophers of modern times. He is well-known for his discussions of the acute social, economic, and political issues, including poverty and famines. In his “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, Singer (1972) discusses the problem of poverty and hunger, as well as the way this problem is treated in the developed world. Singer believes that charity is inseparable from morality, and no distinction can be drawn between charity and duty....   [tags: charity, philosophy, duty]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Peter Singer's Paper 'Famine, Affluence and Morality'

- Peter Singer's paper “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”has made a drastic impact in modern applied ethics. The simple nature of the paper makes for an easy read, yet the point clearly set out by Singer is at ends with the targeted audiences' popular beliefs. Although most will object to Singer's idea by throwing away a basic principle of most moral theories, I wish to deny Singer's solution by showing that the ability to apply Singer's conclusion is not reasonable and does not address the problem's core....   [tags: on poverty and action]

Better Essays
1498 words (4.3 pages)

Essay about Peter Singer's Argument in Famine, Affluence and Morality

- This paper explores Peter Singer’s argument, in Famine, Affluence, and Morality, that we have morally required obligations to those in need. The explanation of his argument and conclusion, if accepted, would dictate changes to our lifestyle as well as our conceptions of duty and charity, and would be particularly demanding of the affluent. In response to the central case presented by Singer, John Kekes offers his version, which he labels the and points out some objections. Revisions of the principle provide some response to the objections, but raise additional problems....   [tags: morally required obligations to those in need]

Better Essays
1493 words (4.3 pages)

Essay Famine, Affluence, and Morality

- “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”      In “Famine, Affluence, and Morality,” Peter Singer is trying to argue that “the way people in relatively affluent countries react to a situation… cannot be justified; indeed,… 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). Peter Singer provides striking examples to show the reader how realistic his arguments are. In this paper, I will briefly give a summary of Peter Singer’s argument and the assumptions that follow, adding personal opinions for or against Peter’s statements....   [tags: Peter Singer]

Better Essays
2018 words (5.8 pages)