Garrett Hardin's Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping The Poor

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Without Earth’s limited resources, the human race would not be able to exist. Our planet supplies us with the food, air, water, and other necessary resources to ensure our ability to survive. Unfortunately, these necessities are not guaranteed to be infinite and could eventually become insufficient to human needs. As Earth’s human population increases, more and more resources are required to be used to ensure survival. I believe that human overpopulation is detrimental to the planet and equality among the human race. As more humans are born at such an alarmingly quick rate, the resources on earth cannot increase at the same rate. The more humans that occupy Earth, the more resources will need to be stretched in order to ensure survival of the world’s population. However, in Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor, author Garrett Hardin makes a very interesting metaphor between a lifeboat and the rich countries of the world. In his lifeboat analogy, there are 50 people aboard the lifeboat with a total capacity of 60. If there are 100 people in the ocean which represent the poor countries, what should the rich countries do? One…show more content…
The purpose of the bank is for countries to store any extra food in the bank so that countries which are in need can withdraw this food (586). However, this bank will only encourage poorer nations to rely on the food of other countries to sustain their rapidly increasing population. The poor countries will be greedy and only take food without adding food to the bank. This unequal sharing of food takes away the potential for the generous nations to increase their own population. The bank will also remove the natural checks in place on poor countries. Without the checks of crop failures and famines as mentioned by Hardin (588), the human population will continue to grow, which will eventually lead to a food shortage

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