Pretty Demanding Dictate Essay

Pretty Demanding Dictate Essay

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(a) In his article, Unger argues for a principle called Pretty Demanding Dictate which claims that we ought to spend most of our income in order to alleviate the suffering around the world. In support of this principle, Unger comes up with two cases: Bob’s Bugatti case and Ray’s Big Request case. To briefly discuss how Unger’s argument is structured, Unger proposes that if we agree that Bob should ruin his expensive Bugatti in order to save a child, we are inclined to believe that Ray should donate most of his money to UNICEF because he can do more good with lesser cost than Bob’s case. Here, Unger also proposes the Reasonable Principle of Ethical Integrity, which argues that if you believe someone should perform a certain act of benevolence, then you should be able to carry out the same act under the same circumstance as well. This principle is used to persuade us if we believe Bob or Ray should perform an act of benevolence in their situation, we should also do so under the same circumstance. At the end of this reasoning, we are led to believe that we should sacrifice most of our money just as we believe Bob and Ray should do.


(b) Now, against Unger’s Pretty Demanding Dictate, there might be conflicting views proposed by the defenders of Murphy and Cullity. Murphy and Cullity would both agree that Unger’s Pretty Demanding Dictate is too demanding on us and therefore should have a limit at which point we become free from moral obligations. However, each author holds a different reason for supporting this over-demanding objection; Murphy argues for fairness as a constraint on moral obligation while Cullity argues for self-interest as a constraint.
First with Murphy: the defenders of Murphy would object Unger’s Pretty Demanding D...


... middle of paper ...


...certain number of all children if other people are around, regardless of the fact whether we will cooperate or not. If everyone starts accepting these principles, they will eventually grow insensitive to the demanding nature of morality and feel it is acceptable to not help under certain circumstances. It is unacceptable to do so. On the other hand, Pretty Demanding Dictate would require you to save all the children, and if you did not, you will feel you have done something morally wrong and you are more likely to stay conscious of your moral obligation further on. Even though the probability of anyone perfectly following the principle is non-existent, if Pretty Demanding Dictate can prevent people from quitting their moral obligation and constantly remind them of their moral obligation, these qualities alone would make it worthy to promote Pretty Demanding Dictate.

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