Peter Singer

Peter Singer - Fibiger 1 An Analysis of Peter Singers...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Fibiger 1 An Analysis of Peter Singer’s Morality Peter Singer’s moral philosophy falls in the tradition of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill; that is, he is a utilitarian. He sees ethics as wholly consequence-based, and therefore judges things to be right or wrong solely on the basis of the outcome of a situation, disregarding the intent of any of the involved parties. In his article discussing world poverty Singer berates modern society for being excessively materialistic. He claims that people are morally bound to donate as much money as they can to charitable organizations, and that they should spend money only on necessities. Using a utilitarian framework, Singer rather effectively and convincingly argues his point; however, his theory is not without its errors. For instance, he makes the claim that by not donating $200 to help a starving refugee is the same as costing oneself a $200 suit in order to save a child from drowning – the error here is that by not donating $200 you are not sentencing a child to certain death, but in letting one drown you are. One might respond to and criticize Singer’s argument through a simple rejection of utilitarian principles. Using objectivist thought, one can make the argument that the utility of a refugee from Bengal is not necessarily as important as one’s own utility. Through the use and acceptance of utilitarian principles, Singer presents an effective, successful, and unusually practical (compared to most philosophical texts) argument that essentially proves it is morally wrong to not “give until it hurts.” Singer begins by describing the humanitarian crisis presently occurring as he is writing the article. He makes the point that if the financial aid was available, all of the refugees could be kept alive (he estimates a price of 464,000,000 Euros). He then
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 4

Peter Singer - Fibiger 1 An Analysis of Peter Singers...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online