Peter Singer's Argument In Famine, Affluence And Morality

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Philip Manning 12504697 Q) Evaluate Peter Singer’s argument in ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’. There can be no doubt that Peter Singer’s argument in ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’ is unrealistic, unfair and not sustainable. Singer’s arguments are valid arguments but not sound. In order to get a clear and balanced view of my arguments which disprove the Singer article, it is first necessary to examine and lay out the main aspects of Singer’s argument in ‘Famine, Affluence and Morality’. My arguments against Singer’s claims shall then be detailed and examined in depth. Therefore, Section I of this essay shall outline and describe Singer’s arguments and conclusion, while Section II shall examine the objections and counter-claims to Singer’s …show more content…

However, Argument I of Singer’s essay is quite obviously correct and to argue otherwise would be foolhardy and morally cruel. Similarly, Argument III of Singer’s essay, that people in developed societies possess the resources and abilities to alleviate famine and suffering is equally hard to refute. Therefore, it is Argument II of Singer’s essay that I will examine in detail and then offer several objections that will repudiate the hypothesis of Singer’s essay, ‘Famine, Affluence, and …show more content…

There can be no doubt that people should be morally free to live their own lives and pursue and develop their own interests, to a certain degree at the very least. This necessitates then that a person is morally permitted to dedicate one’s time, energy, and money to activities that don’t directly have an impact on famine relief or similar worthy causes. For example, it could frequently happen and has happened whereby certain pursuits and recreations have beneficial and favourable outcomes and consequences that could not have been foreseen. My argument lies with the issue that if people are not free to follow their intellectual interests when it is not obvious what positive impact they might have, or whether they would have any positive repercussions at all, humanity in general could be worse off than we actually are. This is tied to Singer’s argument if people are obligated to do as much as they possibly can, to aid famine relief, they would have to give up many of their own special projects and interests in order to do so. (Singer, 1972, p. 235) This could end up with humanity missing out on revolutionary improvements in human knowledge and impede the betterment of civilisation. However, this does not imply that people are morally permitted not to contribute to famine relief, and does not imply that people are only obligated to

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