Peter Singer Ethical 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 have the same premises: P1: Suffering and death due to lack of food, shelter…show more content…
Singer’s book is used to be an eye opener, to make people realise how little they are doing in the grand scheme of things. The extremity of the text definitely achieves this, however, it could be just as good at hindering people from taking action. When Singer compares one who seldom donates to charity to someone who refuses to save a child on the grounds that they don’t want to ruin their suit, he immediately offends the reader, given that this reader seldom or never donates. Whilst to some, this offence may inspire them to change, in others it may cause them to dislike the author and thus refuse to give his argument credibility. When Singer also makes this comment, he ignores an aspect of human nature although he does go on to counteract this throughout the text. Singer does later on acknowledge the fact that we deem this more acceptable due to the lack of individual responsibility; however, by creating such an emotive opening he leaves the reader with a very strong preconception of the rest of the text shaping the way they go onto read
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