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On Famine, Affluence and Morality - Essay Example

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The following essay under the title "On Famine, Affluence, and Morality" concerns the article written by Peter Singer that points out the solution to famine is the moral obligation of the wealthy to donate a portion of their belongings to the poor…
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On Famine, Affluence and Morality
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Download file to see previous pages Despite the seemingly well-intentioned solution that Singer proposes in his essay article, there are three counter arguments against his point of view. One criticism is that the proposition of Singer is found to be too radical to the current moral standing of society today. Society today would rather outright condemn people who break the moral norms than a state of moral wrong. Singer argues that such moral standing should not to be a justification to not look beyond one’s own social problems and to be concerned with the moral problems. The matter falls that societies which have more than enough wealth do nothing to help populations which are in abject poverty while knowing something can be done to remedy it.
The second objection to Singer’s proposition is that there should be a clear distinction between the act of helping the poor as either charity or duty. This is where the problem of Utilitarianism as a consequentialist form of ethics lies. Alexander and Moore (2007) observed that “according to critics, for consequentialists, there is no realm of moral permissions, no realm of going beyond one's moral duty (supererogation), no realm of moral indifference, and all acts are seemingly either required or forbidden”. It would be viewed as ethically problematic to force the wealthy individuals to give up some of their wealth against their will, regardless how noble the intentions are. However, Singer argues that an individual should always to do whatever would avert the greatest amount of bad. from happening, unless one could only prevent this bad by doing something that is wrong in itself. Singer does not suggest that a person can put off people from hunger but only by murder or theft, he or she should do so. Singer does not go to the length to assert any moral standards as absolutely right and obligatory but merely sets the issue of doing wrong that good may result from it. The last objection to Singer’s proposition in his essay article is the problem on how much should the wealthier people of society give away to those very much less fortunate. It would seem rather unfair that even though some people are wealthy, they would lose a significant portion to those who are in serious lack. What Singer suggests is that those with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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