An analysis of rich and poor by peter singer

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

Thereby leading to have and have not. In one of his quotes1, Pope John Paul II said, "None are so poor that they have nothing to give and none are so rich that they have nothing to receive. ” It is within this argument that Peter Singer lays the foundation of his argument. In his article "Rich and Poor" he provides a detailed argument on how to deal with poverty. He notes that it is the responsibility of every person to help those living in abject poverty and are in pressing need. This is because according to him as long as one has surplus resources after fulfilling his/her own needs, then it is the moral obligation of that person to help the needy.

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From this discussion, it is clear that Ppeter Ssinger, “if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance, we ought to do it” main argument is that individuals can prevent something from happening without necessarily sacrificing something that can be regarded of comparable importance in order to justify our need to help the poor. The author illustrates a case where one may happen to come across a child drowning in a shallow pond. It is clear that the majority will agree that it would be morally wrong if one fails to rescue the child. This is because when one has the power of saving the child and prevent the bad events from happening such as death.

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However, they will have less or no obligations to help those people with whom they are not closely related and lack no social relationship. It is important to note that the obligation to assist does not postulate that since it applies only when some people are in absolute poverty and others can help without sacrificing anything of comparable importance. Therefore, if an individual kin sinks in the absolute poverty while helping people whom they are not closely related then it is clear they are sacrificing something of comparable importance. The second reason why I choose to disagree with Peter Singer is a Lockean conception ofproperty individual rights3. Peter Singer fails to establish the distinction between what one morally is supposed to do and what individuals will owe to other people.

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From this discussion, it is clear that aid should be granted to those individuals or countries that benefit from the support. Rich countries may not assist countries that will in the very end be in a position to help its citizens and similarly it is not even reasonable to help countries that do not require assistance. Therefore those poor countries that are classified as helpless should be left out should instead of being given food handouts, they should be assisted to regulate their population growth to ensure they can adequately cater for the population. Peter Singers argument does not hold in this view. Therefore, the rich countries should leave the poor countries to starve or else they are brought down. Rich and poor.

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