Essay On Lifeboat Ethics

384 Words2 Pages
Garret Hardin and Walter Benjamin wrote essays called “Lifeboat Ethics” and

“Challenge to the Eco-Doomsters. Both authers present different points of view when it

comes to immigration, foriegn aid, and population.

Hardin is opposed to immigration and compares the United States to a lifeboat that can only hold so many people before it sinks. He belives if we keep letting people in to

the country we will overcrowded and everyone who is already here will be effected. He

says the country is a “commons”, and can hold only so many people. But, Benjamin

doesn’t think the united states has a right to keep people out of it, since he says “neither

the moon nor the sea, nor the minerals under the sea belong ……to any one nation. (349)

and he considers Hardin’s views to be “ethnocentric.” (350).
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Benjamin thinks that just because people are born in a poor country does not mean they

are still not human beings and should be aided by the US. He said the “United States has

always been a humanitarian people’. (350)

Both of these writer’s are not in agreement when it comes to population control

either. Walter says Garret did not consider some possible solutions to the overpopulation

like family planning, and ZPG (Zero Population Growth) (347-348). Hardin writes that

poor country’s have higher population growth than rich countries and that if we send

them food they’re population will grow even higher but if we don’t there population

will be “checked by crop failures and famines” (423). And if they keep drawing food

from us, they will keep having more people born and then they will need more food, so it

turns into a never-ending cycle of overpopulation.

I have talked about how these two writers butt heads with there different points on

foreign aid, overpopulation, and immigration. You can’t really tell which on is more right

but it seems to me they both make some good
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