Analysis Of Jan Narveson's Argumentative Summary

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In this paper, I present Jan Narvesonʻs argument that no one should be morally required to assist those who are impoverished or starving. I will then object to this statement by arguing that those who are financially secure who are able to maintain comfortable lifestyles are morally obligated to distribute a portion of their wealth or excess food and supplies to those in need. My objection consists of two main arguments, the first being that those who are financially secure may be responsible for the impoverishment of others as a result of their consumption habits. The second component of my objection is that people should be morally obligated to distribute any excess money, food, or supplies they feel that they are able to because it would …show more content…
According to Narveson, the ethics of the hair shirt entails considering the interests of others with equivalent worth to our own (Narveson, 237). This form of ethics, Narveson states, would require people to contribute to the gratification of those who are less fortunate than them as much as they spend on their own gratification (Narveson, 238). He then claims that doing so would eventually create a deficit for those helping others in need because they are burdened with financing those peoplesʻ needs and desires (Narveson, 238). Narveson also delineates that people who are financially privileged are not directly responsible for the impoverishment of others because it is usually a result from an ineffective government (Narveson, 241). Since those who are financially secure and comfortable are not the reason for the impoverishment of others, morally requiring them to aid the impoverished would only become an unnecessary burden (Narveson, 243). To conclude his argument, Narveson states that people who are able to sustain themselves should not be obligated to aid the less fortunate unless they are responsible for their impoverishment, or if the need for aid becomes severe (Narveson,

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