Comparable Once Henry Singer Analysis

1388 Words6 Pages
In addition to Singer’s criticism of affluent nation’s reactions, he proposes that the moral scheme of our society be changed, an argument I agree with to some extent. Singer puts forth two versions of how affluent nations and individuals can prevent suffering and death. The first, his “strong version”, requires one “to prevent bad things from happening unless in doing so we would be sacrificing something of comparable moral significance [which] require[s] reducing ourselves to the level of the marginal utility” (Singer 241). The controversial parts of Singer’s strong version are “comparable moral significance” and “level of marginal utility”. Those phrases are the reason that the strong version is an ideal view instead of a realistic. Comparable…show more content…
The single mother raises a valid point. Why would she watch her children suffer and die while a refugee could live? Singer, however, would counter her argument with the drowning child analogy. Imagine that the single mother is “walking past a shallow and sees a child drowning in it” (Singer 231). She sees the child suffering and nearing death, and has the capacity of preventing that suffering and possible death. At that moment, the single mother can save the child’s life, meaning she “ought to wade in and pull the child out” (Singer 231). In that scenario, the mother’s moral sacrifice would getting her clothes muddy, but that is insignificant in comparison to the child’s life. In order include the single mother’s argument, let’s say the child in Indonesia and she is in the United States. The child is still drowning and the mother is able to prevent child from drowning, thus the principle would still be the same. According to Singer, “ the principle takes no account pf proximity or distance” meaning that “the fact that a person is physically near us, so that we have a personal contact with [them], may make it more likely that we shall assist [them], but this does show we ought to help the one closest to us as opposed [them]” (Singer 232). Simply put, the mother’s distance from the refugee has not effect on her moral obligation to help. If the mother has the power to save the drowning from half way across the world then she ought to do it. Her argument that her child is closer than the refugee; therefore, she will help her child over the refugee fails. I do agree with Singer on his point that distance/proximity have no effect on our moral
Open Document