Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer Essay

1120 Words Nov 3rd, 2013 5 Pages
PHI 240 HE 1 Famine, Affluence, and Morality by Peter Singer

The Elements of Reason #8

1. Use two or three sentences to state the main purpose or argument in this article. In other words, what is the argument the author is making? (This should be a specific argument. We all know that the authors are writing about morality and ethics.)

The main purpose or argument in this article is that Peter Singer believes that richer nations should give assistance to other nations who are in need, in order to prevent unnecessary suffering and death. He used the situation in East Bengal in 1971 as an example for when he
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721). This is a much more valid argument in support of his point. The argument against Britain’s transportation system doesn’t hold much water since that is something that probably greatly improved their country and was greatly needed. The argument about Australia donating less than 1/12th of what they were putting into one of the new opera house’s was much stronger because something as frivolous as an opera house should never be placed above the life of a person regardless of the circumstances.

3. The main assumption(s) underlying the author’s thinking is (are):
(Remember an assumption is something not stated, an underlying belief the author holds.)

The main assumption underlying the author’s thinking is that Singer believes that if it is within an individual’s or government’s power to prevent suffering, or save lives that it should be done no matter what the circumstances or costs just so long as the reasons for doing so are not morally skewed. “If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it” (Singer, Pg. 722).
4. Relate this article to at least two of our class readings and any theories discussed in class thus far. (Kant, Mill, Aristotle, Utilitarianism, Consequentialism, Virtue Theory, Ethical Egoism, etc. Please reserve your discussion to the philosophers and not the generic

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