Peter Singer Analysis

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Part A - Explain Singers basic argument that we are obligated to give to aid agencies Peter Singer uses a utilitarian ethic insisting that our money can do more good being spent on aid abroad than being spent on our own luxuries. On this basis, claims that one may spend £100 pounds on a night out and attain pleasure from this; however, that one night could have instead funded four school children with a school meal for a whole year if it had instead been donated to oxfam. Singer also goes on to compare not saving lives through aid to letting a child drown. On this basis Singer claims that not wanting to ruin your new suit is the same as not saving a life on the grounds that you’d like to go out to dinner. He assumes this position as they…show more content…
So just as the child drowning in the lake is more important than the suit, the people you could feed are more important than your luxury dinner. Singer also excuses common objections to giving. He comments on the fact that we do actually “owe” the people in LEDC’s so we have to assume so responsibility for their circumstances. Singer states that our overconsumption, which has increased the magnitude of global warming, does not nearly affect us in MEDC’s as much as it does where climates are more severe, typically the LEDC’s which require our aid. As we are constantly increasing the difficulty for them to make a sustainable life it is necessary for us to help them overcome these problems. Furthermore, Singer goes on to question whether we really are entitled to all that we have. Many people object to giving on the grounds that they have worked hard for what they have earned and thus should be entitled to enjoy it for themselves. However, Singer states that 90% of wealth is determined by our capital, and so, as much as we may work hard, our wealth is ultimately determined by…show more content…
When Singer talks about government aid, what many people think may count as their “contribution” to society, he destroys the image that i) we are giving enough ii) we are giving it effectively. Singer draws light to the common misconception that 15-20% of US taxes is used for foreign aid, instead less than 1% is donated. However, what’s interesting is that most Americans thought that it should be at 5-10%. In drawing the distinction, Singer highlights the fact that not only does less money get sent to overseas aid than he expects, but considerably less than the average American also expects. In doing this, Singer offers opinions from people who aren’t necessarily as benevolent as he appears, making the statistics more relatable to the reader. In reference to ii) Singer manages to make explicit the amount of damage “overseas aid” can actually do. Coming from the government, of course they are going to try to benefit their country too. So, when you think <1% is being donated straight to poorer countries, it is actually making people profit in the US. So, the produce they buy is from american farmers, which then costs to ship and costs more than buying from the locals. What’s more, in doing this the aid of which the LEDC’s attain does actually hinder them as there is no need for the locals to farm as they cannot compete with the price of the aid, stopping development. In doing this,
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