Peter Singer Famine

Peter Singer Famine - Sam Black PHIL 120 Peter Singer...

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Sam Black, PHIL 120 Peter Singer, ‘Famine, Affluence, and Morality’ Thesis : ‘the way people in relatively affluent countries react to a situation like that in Bengal cannot be justified,’ there is a moral duty for the wealthy to help less well off people (227). The Supporting argument: 1. Death resulting from lack of food, shelter, medical care, is bad (227). 2. The Prevention of Bad Principle: A person has a duty (is strictly required) to prevent something bad happening if they can prevent it w/o sacrificing anything of ‘comparable moral importance’ or comparably bad to happen. (228) 3. Wealthy people can prevent death from happening in many poor countries by giving their money to people in developing countries without causing death, or causing anything as bad as death,. 4. Therefore, people in wealthy countries are strictly required to give their money to people in poorer countries until the donors reach a condition where the poor are no worse off. This duty has the status of being a requirement rather than an option, such as an act of charity. This seems to be an example of a valid argument. An argument is valid if the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. An argument is sound if (i) it is valid and (ii) all its premises are true. Q: are the premises true? NB Writing Your Papers You will normally be asked to evaluate an argument. You have the option of evaluating the argument’s validity, or alternatively, its soundness. In the latter case, you would normally evaluate a critical premise to determine whether it’s true or plausible. 1
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You would demonstrate to your reader that you appreciate the most persuasive things that can be said for and against that premise. About Singer’s Premises: Re (1) : Meaning : This is a claim about what is good for a person or what contributes to their welfare. How it’s known: if it is known it is known by reason rather than observation; it is true a priori if it is true. (This contrasts with claims whose truth could only be discovered by the evidence of the senses.) Supporting Evidence: Singer does not argue for this claim. Note that the argument still has radical implications if we substitute a different claim about personal welfare. Suppose the worst bad for a person (that lowers their welfare most) is not having a car, iphone, house to live in, TV or whatever. The argument entails that you would need to give up all you have until you would be left with only that possession. Re (3): Meaning: This is a claim about the causal relationship between one kind of event <The action of giving money to the poor> and another kind of outcome <The outcome in which fewer people suffer death from lack of necessities>. How it is known:
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Peter Singer Famine - Sam Black PHIL 120 Peter Singer...

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