eng111_lifeboat - Arguments For and Against Hardin's...

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Arguments For and Against Hardin’s “Lifeboat Ethics” I) Pro: 1) In “Lifeboat Ethics”, Garrett Hardin argues for a very harsh thesis: “The spaceship metaphor can be dangerous when used by misguided idealists to justify suicidal policies for sharing our resources through uncontrolled immigration and foreign aid. i ” Simply put, wealthy nations, and specifically the United States should refrain from granting aid to people in poor countries. 2) Hardin’s argument is one in which he sees the end as catastrophic, and the future consequences of adopting the worldview of all humanity living in oneness outweighing the good of helping others temporarily. He claims that the net result of doing so would be negative -- would in fact be courting large-scale disaster. 3) He points out that while the metaphor of earth as a grand spaceship has a certain popularity (or did in the early seventies) it is a flawed metaphor nonetheless. Claiming that the United Nations lacks authority and is inefficient, Hardin argues that the world lacks a authoritative captain—an essential component of all spaceships.
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