In “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” (1974), Hardin debates whether rich countries should provide aid to poor countries through food supplies or immigration. Garrett Hardin was a renowned Americans philosopher received his PhD in microbiology from Stanford University. He has written several books and articles that mainly focus on ecology, and throughout his life, has constantly forewarned the world about the risks of overpopulation. Due to his deep understanding of ecology, and due to the intensive research the author has done on this particular topic, Hardin is credible to write an article about this topic. Moreover, Hardin’s main purpose in writing this piece is to persuade the readers, the population of the rich countries and their governments, not to help the poorer countries. Nevertheless, Hardin does not succeed in persuading the readers of his viewpoints, as Hardin fails to provide enough evidence to support his controversial arguments. In the article, Hardin discusses the principles behind supporting poor countries and how it can substantially hinder the growth and prosperity of the rich countries. Initially, the author provides two metaphors, the widely accepted spaceship metaphor and his own lifeboat metaphor, explicating why his lifeboat metaphor is more realistic. After that, the author elucidates to his audience how the rate of population growth in poorer countries is much greater than the rate of growth of rich countries, and how with the
Agricultural Economist Nils Olsen predicted that the world would overpopulate and not have enough food to sustain the world. This warning encouraged farmers to yield as much as the could. Despite Nils Olsens’ false prognosis the effect it had on a farmers ideology was
In today’s world, food is one of the most discussed topics. Robert Paarlberg, in his essay, Attention Whole Food Shoppers, spells this out as an ‘elite preoccupation’ (Paarlberg, 141), especially in the West. He argues that there is a current trend where modern eco-foodies are pushing for a sustainable world and are not taking into account the more crucial problem: global deprivation and hunger. Robert Paarlberg is a B.F Johnson professor of political science at Wesley College and an associate at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
Hardin strongly appeals to logos to show his readers that rich countries like the United States shouldn’t help poor countries because it would continue the growth rate of poor countries and will leave future generations with a poor quality of life. One way he does this is by using statistics. While discussing at the beginning the metaphor of lifeboats and explaining the gap between the population of rich countries compared to poor countries Hardin says, “On average poor countries undergo a population a 2.5 increase in population each year; rich countries about 0.8 percent” (par. 28). This is effective because it is makes the reader realize that poor countries are taking over population wise; therefore, are in need of more resources than we are. That means that if we want to help poor countries we have to share with them, but
Hardin calls this idea the tragedy of the commons. One of his first arguments is that the rich countries cannot help these poor countries forever because they are growing at around three times the rate. Hardin sees Institutions like the world food bank to be a waste of resources. Rich countries will not be able to one day feed the faster growing poor populations. He also has issue with the world
In “Slow Violence And The Environmentalism of The Poor”, Rob Nixon contrasts our vision of the world. Indeed, his book paints and tend to explain facts that can be directly related to neoliberalism. He looks toward the poorest countries and people that suffer the most. Their freedom is mainly base on their financial capacities. In other word, the people that are not able to afford a sustainable environment have to live in an unhealthy environment.
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).
Ethics Paper Today there are multiple countries struggling with lack of food due to various reasons such as natural disasters, manmade disasters, government policies and individuals actions. In Peter Singer’s article “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” we see him focusing on all these aspects and the negative impacts they portray on those in desperate need (Singer, 1972, 229). Singer does this with a utilitarian approach which means he looks at situations as either right or wrong solely on the outcome of choosing one thing over another(Schweickart, 2008, 473). This, therefore, takes into account the interests of others.
Taylor, I liked how you incorporated the fact that most Americans are beyond lucky when it comes to the adequate supply of food we have and how others around the world are not as blessed. This showing that many Americans take for granted the resources that we have. By including this you explain that we are very lucky, and therefore it would be possible for us to help others in need. You stated, “It rarely comes into our minds about the possibility of spending our money to benefit others rather than to benefit ourselves,” which is something that is in fact very true about most people (Long 1). I also agree with your opinion that it America should work on helping people who face poverty in our country, before helping those in other countries.
Due to overpopulation and the increase in prices, there are many people that can not provide for themselves and their families. Natural resources are becoming so limited and needed that people will do anything for them. The strong taking from the weak is just how Charles Darwin believed it should be. Darwin’s theory was that people are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals. (OI) Tribes are being separated from their homes so that others can take the resources.
Hardine declared the metaphor “spaceship” can be dangerous when used by misguided idealists, sharing our resources with uncontrolled immigration and foreign aid would consider to be the ethics of a lifeboat. He gave a logical reasoning about if we help all the swimmer to get on the boat, the boat will drown and we all die. Also “when we let an extra 10 into our lifeboat, we will have lost our “safety factor”, this is true, if we don’t leave space for safety factor, even us can face some catastrophic consequences. He said “since the world’s resources are dwindling , the difference in prosperity between the rich and the poor can only increase”, the poor nations reproductive rate is a lot greater than the rich, and so helping the poor probably will lead to more poor people. In “the tragedy of commons” , he concluded “only the replacement of the system of the commons with a responsible system of control will save the land, air, water and ocean fisheries” which an accurate statement for “commons” can be diminish overtime if no one take the responsibility to care for it.
The less fortunate are often overlooked because of their distance in the world. Contrary to this popular belief, philosopher Peter Singer believes that distance is both irrelevant and insignificant when helping others. Throughout this essay, I will argue in favor of Singer’s arguments. I believe Singer is accurate when he claims distance is irrelevant when human lives are at stake. Privileged people should always help the less fortunate as long as they are not sacrificing anything of comparable moral value.
In the movie Crimson Tide, we look to the question ethical decisions, and what someone would do when thrown into a situation that made them question themselves, and who they serve for. In this example, when serving in the United States Military, once a solider is given orders, that solider must follow the orders out and not to question them. The trust between the solider and the higher command giving orders is almost based on blind faith. The solider relies on the higher commands decision of protecting democracy, even if someone, or a lot of people are killed. Is it an ethical decision to follow a commander’s order even if it means killing mass numbers of innocent civilians?