Analysis Of Garret Hardin And Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping The Poor

1859 Words 8 Pages
Poverty, poor, and overpopulation are becoming major issues in today 's society. As time goes by, it becomes awfully clear that these issues are problems we must deal with. While many want to address and solve these issues, there tends to be a divide on how to do so. There are many papers available concerning this problem. The two I find to have the strongest arguments are actually quite contradicting. First was Garret Hardin’s essay “Lifeboat Ethics: The Case against Helping the Poor” where he argues that we should not aid the poor. On the other side, Peter Stinger makes a convincing case in his essay “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” arguing that it is our moral obligation to help the poor.
Even though both writers made good points, we do undeniably have a responsibility to help the poor. While reading through Hardin’s essay he failed to convince me otherwise. In his essay, he uses two different metaphors. First, he talks about the spaceship image stating that we should share all resources. Hardin discredits the metaphor by suggesting that a true spaceship would be under the control of a single captain; which the world is not. He instead goes on to portray the lifeboat ethic, by the world being a lifeboat with only enough room for a few people. This leaves the majority of the people in
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The prominent philosopher Thomas Malthus addressed sustaining our resources in his essay, An Essay on the Principle of Population. Malthus proposed that human population would grow faster than our resources; our resources are limited and, therefore, we cannot sustain the population. Malthus himself writes, “to meet the needs and aspirations of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (552). Basically, Malthus is warning us that we need to find a way to control overpopulation, so we have enough resources for the future

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