Singer 's ' Famine, Affluence And Morality, By Singer Makes Three Claims About Moral Duty

Singer 's ' Famine, Affluence And Morality, By Singer Makes Three Claims About Moral Duty

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In Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence and Morality,” Singer makes three claims about moral duty; that avoidable suffering is bad, that it is our moral obligation to help others in need, and that we should help those in suffering regardless of their distance to us or if others are in the same position as we are to help. First, I will elaborate on Singer’s arguments for each of these positions. Next, I will discuss two objections to Singer’s position, one that he debates in his writings and another that I examine on my own, and Singer’s responses to those objections. Then I will examine why Singer’s rebuttals to the objections were successful.
To describe Peter Singer’s main argument for why we have an obligation to help people in need, I will discuss his stance in three main parts. For the first part of his argument, Singer begins with the assumption that any human suffering or death as a result of an avoidable circumstance, such as lack of medical care, food or habitable living conditions, is bad (Singer, 231). Based off our agreement of this assumption, Singer moves on to the second part of his argument to say that if we are fortunate enough to have our basic needs for life fulfilled, then it is our moral obligation to help those who are not as fortunate as long as helping does not result in something happening that is equally as “bad,” which he defines as anything morally wrong or not promoting of moral goodness (231). For the third part of his argument, Singer points out that since it is now within our power to help people from all over the world, we have a moral obligation to give them our aid regardless of their distance from us (232). Because of our modern technologies, we can no longer discriminate against a person based on ...


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...on charity that needs to be reconsidered but our own because our current perspective of charity as being a personal choice and not a moral obligation is not in agreement with his original principles (236). In the case of the second objection, I feel that Singer’s response is again successful unless you disagree with his original principles. Putting in the effort to research the legitimacy and effectiveness of a charity is a relatively easy task for those of us with access to the internet and other modern technologies of the world. Because of this, we should include that research process in our duty to donate to a cause.
Peter Singer’s stance on charity as a moral obligation is well thought out and thoroughly explained, such that even objections to his stance can be successfully refuted based on the information in his “Famine, Affluence and Morality”.
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