Poverty & Aid 10-6

Poverty & Aid 10-6 - GlobalPoverty&InternationalAid...

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9-27-2010
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The Question:   What obligations do individual citizens of wealthy nations (for example, you) have  towards people suffering from poverty in  faraway countries?
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Some numbers: Global Poverty
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Some Numbers: Global Poverty Every year more than  6 million  children under the age of five die  from preventable causes (malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia). More than  50%  of Africans suffer from water-related diseases  (cholera, infant diarrhea). 3 Million  people per year die from malaria. Of the  300 million  children who go to bed hungry each night, more  than  90%  are suffering long-term malnutrition. More than  2.6 billion  do not have basic water sanitation; more than  1 billion  use unsafe drinking water sources. Women in Africa have a  1 in 16  chance of dying in pregnancy or  childbirth. ( 1 in 3,700  in North America).
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Peter Singer Born 1946 Career at Monash University (1977- 1999) and Princeton University  (1999-Present)  Author of: “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”  (1972)   Animal Liberation  (1975)
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Singer’s Argument: P1: Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and  medical care are bad. P2: If it is in our power to prevent something bad from  happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of  comparable moral importance , we ought, morally, to do  it. (STRONG version) . . .without thereby sacrificing anything  morally  significant , we ought to do it (WEAK version) P3: Most of us are in a position to prevent suffering and  death (bad things) without sacrificing anything of  (equal?) moral importance (new clothes, nice dinner,  booze, movies).
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Singer’s Conclusion:   We have a  moral duty  to prevent  suffering and death, even if it  requires sacrificing “luxuries” for  ourselves that we could afford to  enjoy.
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Theoretical Interlude 1 Philosophers divide actions into several categories: Morally  Prohibited Actions that are not prohibited are: Morally  Permitted.  Actions that are permitted are either: Morally  Neutral              Or Morally  Obligatory            Or Supererogatory An action that is morally obligatory is called a  moral duty  or  moral obligation.
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Theoretical Interlude 1 A person who performs a  morally prohibited  action, or fails to perform a  morally obligatory  one, has failed in their moral duty.  This means: They are subject to moral criticism. They may be subject to punishment.
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2010 for the course PHIL 140 taught by Professor ??? during the Fall '08 term at Maryland.

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Poverty & Aid 10-6 - GlobalPoverty&InternationalAid...

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