Imagine living in a community where every minute of everyday you were hungry, underclothed, and at risk for death because you are poor. Now imagine waking up and your biggest problem was which sweater to wear with which jeans. Both are scenarios that occur on a daily basis in our countries, some more extreme than others are. With that in mind a question of whether or not rich nations have an obligation to help those nations if need arises. Professor of philosophy Peter Singer and biologist Garrett Hardin both have very different opinions on this matter and the following paper will focus on their arguments.
Peter Singer’s argument focuses greatly on the nation that citizens of rich nations can with ease help poor nations, without causing any financial burden, therefore, helping those in need should be done.
Singer introduces his objective about the obligation to support the less fortunate nations by stating that, as humans if we can prevent something horrible from occurring, without sacrificing our moral integrity, then helping should not be considered a problem, and we should do it (Singer 331). According to Singer’s idea, the intention is not to push individuals into helping out the poor. His intention is simply trying to make people realize that going out to a fancy restaurant, or taking that cruise around the world, is of less importance than helping out a starving young child who will die due to hunger (Singer 336.) It hardly seems fair, when you look at situations as such and think, “while I’m in luxury, another is starving.” Singer explains that the argument may be uncommon, but often times people still roll their eyes at the idea of sacrificing something small, in order to help out those in need. Singer asks, why is downsizing such a problem for the “affluent,” many believe it is not helping that is a problem, it is helping those in distant lands that poses the problem. But if one where to examine the situation and realize that no mother and father would want to deprive their own children from; a good education, clothing, food, and shelter then why let someone else’s children endure the same hardship. By no means is Singer’s intention to promote that we as a wealthy nation are equally responsible for the life and death of people on other nations (Singer 337.)
With regards to on...
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...s not the position of one to decide the fate of a nation. Both Hardin and Singer do not disagree that there is a problem, however both are passionate about other forms of justice. There are many of us that take everyday necessities for granted, and some of these things those less fortunate may never have a chance to experience. The gap between the rich and the poor expands on a daily basis and will continue throughout the world. It is a question of how we want to change that. Is Singer right, because he says to help everyone, and give up our a little life’s luxuries, because it will be fulfilling in the end, to know we helped out? Or is Hardin right by saying that we should go about our daily routines as we would, because the world is going to have downfalls? It is our responsibility as human beings to decide what is right and what is wrong, this argument should not be decided by an article. Opinions and sides are going to vary…. That’s life !
“No arbitrary regulation, no act of the legislature, can add anything to the capital (Wealth) of the country; it can only force it into artificial channels”
John Ramsey McCulloch
Principals of Political Economy
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