Peter Singer's Argument

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While individuals are spending thousands on luxury goods without a worry, abject poverty is consuming millions of innocent lives. Peter Singer addresses the issue of poverty through the aspect of what is morally correct. Singer utilizes the situation in East Bengal as a basis for his argument where people are lacking food, medical care, and shelter resulting in unbearable suffering and death. He explains that it is not beyond the ability of richer nations to provide for those suffering; we just haven’t made the decision or acted upon it to do so (Rachels). There are countries that do provide an amount that helps tremendously, but when comparing that amount to one project in that country, it is a very minimal contribution. Therefore, under the…show more content…
As a result, under the utilitarian views, there are individuals that should have a moral obligation to help others in need whereas others may not have the ability to do so. As humans, we strive to avoid harming others, but there is also an obligation to help others in need. Whether helping others is with funds or by our actions, it is human nature to help as much as possible without harming our self or others and if we were to stray away from those practices it would be frowned upon. This concept of moral obligation extends to helping those in abject poverty where we are morally obligated to assist in helping others as long as it isn’t causing harm. If an individual has a significant amount of money and is capable of giving to others at no risk to their well-being or even altering their lifestyle, I believe they are morally obligated to…show more content…
Individuals of the middle class who have extra funds should be morally obligated to give a smaller portion of that income to assisting those in need. Whether that be as low as five dollars or as much as hundreds, as long as it is not harming the individual by not being able to pay bills or feed their family they should have an obligation to contribute. For example, giving a small portion of their income to feeding people and saving a life is in no way compared to getting a new outfit for 50 dollars or a new 800 dollar smart phone when you get tired of the old version. Small sacrifices such as these might seem like a lot at first, but the cost-benefit analysis under utilitarianism proves that it is the morally correct way to assess these circumstances. Although there are situations where individuals are not morally obligated to give money to assist others in need and this is when the individual would be putting themselves or their family in harm. If someone is in a crunch for money and they are just getting by to pay their own utility bills and to provide food for their own family, I do not think they should be obligated to give. As Singer stated, if the sacrifice made is of comparable moral importance it should not be done. As a result, if one has the ability to give

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