The Moral Duty Of Generosity Essay

1892 Words Oct 24th, 2016 8 Pages
Charity is, by definition, “The voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need,” and for many, this contribution implies varying amounts of income and time commitment (Oxford). However, in his work The Life You Can Save the philosopher Peter Singer argues for his extended conclusion that even though the amount of contribution may vary between people of different means, the ratio should not. The staying power of Singer’s claim holds due to its rather strong opinions and directives pertaining to the moral duty of generosity. The obligation of generosity is not by any means a new component of charitable arguments—rather it is deeply integral to the principles of charity itself. Donating a portion of one’s surplus wealth seems reasonable in the effort to aid the less fortunate. However, the writer’s stipulation and assertion that an individual is obligated to donate to charity until he himself is in the state in which the amount given is as valuable to him as it would be to the receiver—donating all of his surplus wealth—rises as the point of contention. The claims that I will be asserting and supporting in this paper maintain that the view of utilitarianism on life—even if only in the aspect of charity—undermines the living of a good life, one filled not just with basic necessities, as well as the view that charity by guideline is not charity at all. In essence, Singer focuses too intensely on the utilitarian aspects of charity, which focus on the…

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