Essay on The Problem Of Helping The Poor

Essay on The Problem Of Helping The Poor

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In recent discussion about helping the poor, one controversial issue has been whether to help or not to help. On one hand, some say that helping the poor is very simple and doesn’t take much. From this point of view, it is seen as selfish to not help the poor. On the other hand, however, others argue that by helping others you are in fact hurting yourself at the same time. In the words of Garrett Hardin, one of this view’s main proponents, “prosperity will only be satisfied by lifeboat ethics.” According to this view, we are not morally obligated to help other countries. In sum, then, the issue is whether to help poorer countries or not.
My own view is that I feel morally obligated to help the poor. Though I concede that at some point too much help can in turn hurt our development as a leading country. The issue is important because, according to writer Peter Singer, 1.4 billion people are living in extreme poverty today. That number is outrageous and we need to help it decline.
Touching on lifeboat ethics, “metaphorically each nation can be seen as a lifeboat full of comparatively rich people. In the ocean outside each lifeboat swim the poor of the world, who would like to get in, or at least to share some of the wealth”(328). The issue is what should the lifeboat passengers do? You can’t help all of the poor because then you become poorer, and you cant just help some of the poor because how could you choose whom to help and be fair. I agree with Hardin’s lifeboat ethics, although I find it hard to agree because I wish we could help everyone. I wish every country could be as developed as the United States, but at the same time then we wouldn’t be as powerful and it’s a scary thought to think of your country losing its power.
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...00 million is increased by 15 million each year, in turn the “country’s forests are now only a small fraction of what they were three centuries ago, and foods and erosion continually destroy the insufficient farmland that remains”(334). By helping the poorer countries to survive and continue to increase their population, we are hurting the environment and destroying not only wildlife, but also a place where resources can be found.
By reading Garrett Hardin’s “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” I found that the bigger problem is the amount of poor people and their increasingly larger amount of population compared to richer countries. I don’t know where we should draw the line when helping other countries, but I do know that their population should not be growing if they can’t sustain off their own resources and have to depend on richer countries.

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