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. According to him, people living in absolute poverty are those people who are finding it challenging to survive while people living in absolute affluence are those people who have more resources than they need. He believes that poverty menace will only be dealt with when rich people give up on their luxurious lifestyle. This is because rich people waste a lot of money doing unnecessary things that could otherwise help the poor. Singer argues that individuals should offer help to the poor using their surplus resources. until there are no longer capable of doing so. It is until then that poverty problem will be dealt with in totality2. The rich people do not have to go to the fields to help those in poverty, but they can channel their contribution to charitable organizations that aim at eradicating poverty. Therefore, no one can argue that they are too busy to help. He feels that by not supporting the needy it is clear that the rich people should be held accountable for the suffering that the poor people go through.

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It is important to note that throughout this article, Peter Singer does not give a specific definition of both rich and poor. 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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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. Ethics Across the Professions) 3. Core. Ac. Uk, 2019, https://core.

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