Peter Singer Solution to World Poverty Essay

3126 Words Nov 5th, 2010 13 Pages
September 5, 1999
The Singer Solution to World Poverty
By PETER SINGER
Illustrations by ROSS MacDONALD
The Australian philosopher Peter Singer, who later this month begins teaching at Princeton University, is perhaps the world's most controversial ethicist. Many readers of his book "Animal Liberation" were moved to embrace vegetarianism, while others recoiled at Singer's attempt to place humans and animals on an even moral plane. Similarly, his argument that severely disabled infants should, in some cases, receive euthanasia has been praised as courageous by some — and denounced by others, including anti-abortion activists, who have protested Singer's Princeton appointment.
Singer's penchant for provocation extends to more
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But one doesn't need to embrace my utilitarian ethic to see that, at the very least, there is a troubling incongruity in being so quick to condemn Dora for taking the child to the organ peddlers while, at the same time, not regarding the American consumer's behavior as raising a serious moral issue.

n his 1996 book, "Living High and Letting Die," the New York University philosopher Peter Unger presented an ingenious series of imaginary examples designed to probe our intuitions about whether it is wrong to live well without giving substantial amounts of money to help people who are hungry, malnourished or dying from easily treatable illnesses like diarrhea. Here's my paraphrase of one of these examples:
Bob is close to retirement. He has invested most of his savings in a very rare and valuable old car, a Bugatti, which he has not been able to insure. The Bugatti is his pride and joy. In addition to the pleasure he gets from driving and caring for his car, Bob knows that its rising market value means that he will always be able to sell it and live comfortably after retirement. One day when Bob is out for a drive, he parks the Bugatti near the end of a railway siding and goes for a walk up the track. As he does so,

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