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Ethics of Assistance - Research Paper Example

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This research paper describes the ethics of assistance with the example of famous people. It analyses the main argument for the moral necessity of citizens to sacrifice their excess wealth to ensure that impoverished regions are able to prevent the deleterious effects of widespread famine…
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Ethics of Assistance
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Download file to see previous pages Even as Peterson agreed with Singer’s moral imperative for citizens of affluent nations to monetarily contribute to famine relief, he argued that the utilitarian and economic principles that influenced Singer, as evidenced in Singer’s arguments that utilized a ‘weak’ version of the Pareto Principle, needed to be revised to express the more complex reality of the situation. This essay examines the nature of Singer’s argument and moral imperative through its evolution since the early 1970s and considers Martin Peterson’s criticism and amendments to Singer’s initial claim and argument. Finally, a personal perspective is advanced that follows Peterson (2004) in amending Singer’s moral imperative to include a more philosophically rigorous and logically stable foundation.
Peter Singer argues that it is the moral responsibility of Western nations to aid non-affluent nations in regard to famine relief, as long as the contribution doesn’t encounter new moral complications. Singer’s argument arose in response to the famine affecting East Bengal in the 1970s and was articulated in his essay ‘Famine, Affluence, Morality’ (1972). For Singer, famine aid is a monetary issue and his understanding is that, for westerners, parting with extra wealth is such a minimal sacrifice compared with the moral imperative of feminine relief that it is essential it be undertaken.
There is also a ‘weak’ version of Peter Singer’s moral argument that argues one should seek to prevent something bad to occur from happening, as long as it doesn’t result in something ‘morally significant’ occur in response to the actions one takes to prevent this from occurring. When considering Singer’s argument in regards to this weak version, what he considers to be morally significant is open for interpretation and functions not as a direct literal version of this moral statement. In regards to the weak version of Singer’s moral argument, Martin Peterson (2004) notes that it follows the Pareto principle which states resources should be allocated if nobody would lose anything by it. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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