Peter Singer Famine Influence And Morality Analysis

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In his essay, “Famine, Affluence, and Morality”, Peter Singer begins with the assumption that famine should be eradicated, based upon the generally wide held principle that the suffering created by lack of food is bad. He then sets up the general basis for his argument which is: “if it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable importance, we ought, morally, to do it” (Singer 231). From this general idea, Singer outlines the reasons why it is a person’s moral duty to prevent famine and how a person should help alleviate famine, all of which can be backed by the theory of utilitarianism.
Singer claims that a person has the duty morally to give in order to prevent something bad from occurring. Singer advocates that an individual practice marginal utility, which is when the person giving reaches the same material level as the person who is receiving the charity (236). His claim for this follows that it would alleviate the
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Specifically, the part of utilitarianism that supports Singer’s theory is the greatest happiness principle, or the GHP. The GHP claims that “...actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness” (Mill 7). Happiness in this case, is defined as pleasure and the absence of pain. The GHP is also concerned with the the overall happiness and not just specifically the happiness of the individual person. Therefore, since giving to famine relief would increase a great number of people’s happiness and consequently would increase the overall GHP, utilitarianism supports the idea of giving to famine relief. Therefore, consequently utilitarianism does not support not giving to famine relief, validating Singer’s claim that giving to alleviate famine is a moral

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