Famine, Affluence, and Morality - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Article Review: Peter Singer Institution Q1. In this article, Singer aims to bring the reality of the poverty situation to light. He indicates that poverty is a phenomenon that can be rectified without much effort on the part of developed countries…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER97.5% of users find it useful
Famine, Affluence, and Morality
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"

Article Review: Peter Singer Q1. In this article, Singer aims to bring the reality of the poverty situation to light. He indicates that poverty is a phenomenon that can be rectified without much effort on the part of developed countries. In third world countries, adequate services and infrastructure are not readily available. Disaster response is also limited, reducing the countries’ ability to provide for its people. Contributing towards these eventualities is considered charity, which means the voluntary diversion of funds towards such assistance. In his opinion, helping one another is human nature and we should scrap the notion that helping other people in itself means going out of one’s way to do so (Singer, 1972). In his argument, Singer explains that the concept of charity is there to protect interests that do not need protecting. Instead, helping out should be incorporated into standard human behavior, but only in cases where such help is not detrimental to the person offering help or their family. In essence, he tries to push the idea of a global race and delimiting the tackling of global issues on basis of geographical boundaries. Q2. Giving without compromise would mean sacrificing one’s own luxuries for the elevation of someone else’s lifestyle. In the case of modern charity, there is the issue of geographical and racial boundaries that separate the more privileged countries from the ones that need their help. This, however, should not be an issue, owing to our singular goals as humanity. Considering the disparities in the quality of life between these two and the push for the standardization of this value, we should strive to improve access to services across the board. He argues that we should not, however, significantly detriment our own lifestyles and those of our dependents when striving to attain this equilibrium. Economic growth is a principle whose necessity is preached by economists in every country. The issue of economic growth and its impact on the continued marginalization of some countries, however, does not come up when discussing global poverty. Singer recognizes the fact that economic differences are the cause of the poverty gap between nations and recognizes the need for a reformation of our social frameworks. The establishment of processes to equitably distribute world wealth is one of the key ways in which this end can be achieved. Human beings are conditioned to think of their personal well-being before making decisions that affect the external world. This selfishness and need to establish one’s dominance in the economic scene is one of the leading reasons for the economic pyramids that formulate our economies. In his argument, Singer stipulates the contribution formula that would best handle this phenomenon. According to Singer’s argument, the continued contribution of a little cash from the budget of every well-off employed individual would reduce the economic gaps substantially. Q3. Singer’s concept of marginal gain bases its concept on the fact that charity to assist the less privileged would start with a slow reception. With continued efforts directed towards a new form of charity, the marginal utility rule stipulates that the need for charity would reduce with an increase in the amount of charity work done (Schmidtz, 2000). His theory revolves around the fact that continued support would render the need for such support unnecessary. Subsequently, his theory depends on the continuation of this support and the selflessness of the individuals that are funding this support system. Q4. In a sense, the world depicted in Singer’s article proposes a semi-utopian world in which we all empathize with the suffering of other people. In a sense, his ideas would mean the establishment of new frameworks for the enhancement of economic activities with emphasis on individual economic well-being. We would also have a reduction in personal earnings and a decreased emphasis on the economic power on a county-to-country level. While these are drastic changes to consider, the result would be an equitable society with a standardized quality of life across continents. Q5. The disparity between different countries in today’s society is the cause of most of the problems that we experience today. Singer presents the idea of a world without boundaries, where problems are tackled according to their global importance, not according to the geographical proximity. Achieving this, however, is a whole other matter. People are innately positioned to consider their own well-being ahead of others (Chao, 2010). The issue of boundaries also limits how proximal people feel an issue is to them, limiting their willingness to act. The implementation of Singer’s idea requires a lot of change in the way we deal with global issues. It will surely come under fire in its initial stages but if we were to adopt the approach suggested in this paper, we will be well on our way to the true image of globalization; equitability on all fronts and access to adequate services for all. References Chao, R. (2010). Does Singer's “Famine, Affluence and Morality” Inescapably Commit Us to His Conclusion? . The Journal of Philosophy, Science & Law . 3,1-10. Schmidtz, D. (2000). Diminishing Marginal Utility and Egalitarian Redistribution. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 5,263-272. Singer, P. (1972). Famine, Affluence, and Morality. Philosophy and Public Affairs. 1,229-243. Walzer, M. (2011). On Humanitarianism: Is Helping Others Charity, or Duty, or Both? Foreign Affairs, 2,69-80. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Famine, Affluence, and Morality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words - 2”, n.d.)
Famine, Affluence, and Morality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words - 2. Retrieved from
(Famine, Affluence, and Morality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words - 2)
Famine, Affluence, and Morality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words - 2.
“Famine, Affluence, and Morality Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words - 2”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Famine, Affluence, and Morality

Famine, Affluence and Morality by Peter Singer

...?Argument: Peter Singer, “Famine, Affluence and Morality” Peter Singer begins his seminal essay “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” in 1971 writing about East Bengal, now Bangladesh, whose people had just suffered a terrible natural disaster. The situation he describes is one that could be told forty years later in the same words and same context, which is to state that little has changed in bridging the gap between the world’s poorest people and the richest societies economically, or even with regard to the most basic aspects of standard of living such as adequate food, shelter, and health care. In building his argument that people who are...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

On Famine, Affluence and Morality

...?On Famine, Affluence and Morality Peter Singer’s essay article en d “On Famine, Affluence and Morality” tries to point out the solution of famine is the moral obligation of the wealthy to donate a portion of their belongings to the poor. In his article, Singer’s primary point is that, if an individual can use his or her wealth to diminish social problems such as poverty without any considerable lessening in his or her welfare others, it would be considered not morally right to do nothing about the problem. In Singer’s point of view, there is a moral evil which affluent...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Famine, Affluence, and Morality

..., even though I agree with Singer when he says that people are obliged to minimize world hunger, I do not agree with him when he says that not giving food to starving people is equal to committing murder. Not giving food to starving people is an individual choice and not an intentional act to kill people. Work Cited Singer, Peter. “Famine, Affluence and Morality.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1.3 (1972): 229- 243. Print.... the world. The second reason for agreeing with Singer is the fact that ‘developed countries’ have resources to help the hungry. I agree with Singer’s point that instead of terming the act of helping famine victim as a ‘charitable act’, it should be termed as ‘moral obligation’ (Singer...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Famine, Affluence, and Morality

... of livelihood (Singer, 1972). Countries will not be investing in developments leading to tensions in the future and wars that will create millions of refugees will result. D When we neglect the starving by not sending them food we are therefore not guilty of murder as singer may want to argue to be so. We are not guilty because we are not cause of their dead. We are not the ones who start wars that send them to refugees’ camp and neither were we running the countries economies that fail hence causing their predicament. Work cited Singer P. famine, affluence, and morality. Philosophy and public affairs. Princeton: Princeton university press. 1972. vol. 1, no. 3, 229- 243... of the situation and at the same time we will have but ourselves in...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Analogy, Marginality and Action. Peter Singers Famine, Affluence, and Morality Analysis

...of Learning: Famine, Affluence, and Morality Key Assumptions Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” is another point of view of utilitarianism as a philosophical theory or can be considered a relative of the utilitarian concept. He has numerous assumptions in his essay, which apparently discusses humanity’s duty to help starving people in countries that need help the most. Among his assumptions include our duty to prevent what is bad, and promote what is good. He elaborates this contention by explaining that if we, humans, have the capacity to help other people who are in need without sacrificing some things that are equally...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay


...Famine: Cause and Effect Everyone is haunted when they see the pictures of famine stricken children on television and are prompted to contribute to an international relief effort. These stark images are most often set against a backdrop of sub-Saharan Africa and we intuitively assume that the population is starving due to the drought conditions. The viewing public also believes that by contributing money and food that it can stop the suffering and save the children. In fact, these assumptions are only partially correct. The causes of famine are far more complex than simply the weather or temporary natural conditions. Social, economic, and political forces are more likely to be the driving...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay


...FAMINE Many at times, there are catastrophic occurances that are experienced in nature without a specific reason being attached to them. Famine is one of these. Others include hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, among others. There have been debates over the recent past that arise from the fact these natural hazards take place due to human influence. The intention of this paper is to examine famine as a natural calamity, providing a functional description. In addition to this, this paper will discuss the likelihood of famine occurance, and the consequences it has on various aspects of nature. This paper will further anayze whether famine is a...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Peter Singer - Famine Affluence, And Morality

That first principle is that death and suffering as result of the shortage of shelter, food, and medical attention are bad. The other principle is that if it is in our power and ability to put to an end these bad things and suffering of the people from occurring, without sacrificing anything of equivalent moral significance, then we ought to honorably do it, as stated by. All these arguments put forward by Singer were to encourage most of the affluent countries to give more of their resources to the unfortunate that they are doing. This would help a great deal in dealing with some of the calamities such as famine and disaster. One of the counter-arguments presented by is the example of the drowning child, as it is only one person...
4 Pages(1000 words)Assignment


...Why should we be moral? Why should we be moral? In a world that is increasingly becoming materialistic where success is defined in terms of economics and professional advancement, morality seems to be a baggage because it holds an individual back in achieving his or her goals through a set of rules. It seem difficult to compete in a rat world when one is burdened by the rules of morals compared to people who are not strapped by any set of rules and is therefore, more focused on achieving his or her goals. Thus, morals become problematic in a world that it becoming more and more goal oriented. Morals became so obscured in this day and...
2 Pages(500 words)Assignment

Famine, Affluence, and Morality

...Famine, Affluence, and Morality Critique of the Article ‘Famine, affluence, and morality’ is an article written by Peter Singer thatexamines how views various emergencies that are either natural or even man-made (1972). The most recent happened in the year 1971 in East Bengal where there were increased numbers of refugees resulting from the civil wars. Civil wars are mostly caused by political indifferences where different groups support leaders with different ideologies, which cause conflicts. Most people died due to lack of food and shelter for their families as well as the lack of medical care from the kind of dangers they were...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Famine, Affluence, and Morality for FREE!

Contact Us