Famine Affluence And Morality By Peter Singer

1157 Words 5 Pages
Peter Singer’s paper “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” analyses the ethical and moral responsibility of those living in relative affluence and their actions pertaining to famine relief in less economically advantaged parts of the world. Singer calls for much greater action, and a cultural shift in priority and attitude towards those suffering, no matter their proximity to the reader. While Singer’s writing is focused specifically on the 1971 Bengali Famine, the ideals proposed are applicable for modern situations as well. Singer begins by outlining the fact that, if willing, first-world nations and their citizens are more than capable of alleviating states of famine in the third-world, but have not provided assistance of a high enough quantity to do so. This, according to Singer, is morally wrong. He postulates that dying from famine is bad, no matter that location or individual, and if one has the ability to prevent something bad from occurring, then it is a moral failing if they do not act to the best of this ability. It would be incorrect to allow a child to drown if the drowning could have been …show more content…
He points out an accurate representation of the excess of consumerism and western culture. Western cultures have more than enough capability to stop death due to famine and starvation, but the focus on individual success and personal wealth is engrained into cultural norms. The main cause of resistance to personal donation is an unwillingness to part with wealth or the options that wealth opens up. However, wealth is so prevalent in the West that many could survive and thrive with many times less than currently possessed. Thus, the moral standard needs to be changed so that the base moral duty is not doing nothing with a donation being counted as generosity, but to raise the standard so that donation and assisting the international community is deemed morally correct, and doing nothing is a moral

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