Elizabeth Contractualism Analysis

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Singer and Elizabeth have talked about morality of helping people whoever in need. And both of them have reached the same conclusion of demandingness in their claims from different perspectives, one is utilitarianism and another is contractualism. Singer has argued a lot about the famine situation in the case of Bengal and the obligation to assist those poor people, while Elizabeth has mainly analysed and criticized about the Scanlon’s contractualist theory. In comparison, both Singer and Elizabeth recognise that it is morally necessary and legitimate of giving help to people in a critical or urgent situation. There is no doubt about the rightfulness of this behaviour, but in practice, each of them has slightly different idea of how to draw…show more content…
Singer has argued specifically in the case of famine that lack of food, shelter and medical care are the forms of dangerous and suffering situations which endanger people. Hence people are eligible and deserved to receive aid from affluent others, as long as the help does not require others to sacrifice anything of comparably moral importance to the suffering situation (Singer, 1972, p. 231). However Elizabeth does not talk in detail about famine instead of argues mostly about the general terms of the situation from contractualist perspective. She mentions two similarly main contexts as the premises of moral obligation of help. One is the context of emergency situations that if a person’s basic interests are at stake in a rare and short-term situation, capable and resourceful others are required to help this person. The other context is people in serious need such as extreme poverty should get help (Elizabeth, 2003, p. 274). Although it sounds like both parts share the same concept of conditions of giving help, but there is a contradiction of moral obligation. Singer thinks that traditional distinction between duty and charity should be abolished or at least changed…show more content…
Utilitarianism emphasise the importance of overall well-being of every members in society as an aggregated value, which shapes the morality and guides the behaviour of individuals. It talks about the need of the society and individual behaviours are supposed to make the social existence tolerable (Singer, 1972, p. 239). In the other words, it is for the sake of all. Affluent people ought to provide their extra resources to others in poverty and famine situation, as a way of increasing well-being of all. More precisely as Singer mentions the marginal utility idea that offering more help will undermine oneself and one’s dependents life into a similar situation as the receiver has (Singer, 1972, p. 234). This economic term seems very egalitarianism and it demands people giving help until they will suffer the same

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