Essay on The Singer Solution And World Poverty

1672 Words Sep 21st, 2016 7 Pages
In a society where “giving food to starving kids in Africa” has become almost a cliché, utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer makes the readers of The New York Times step back and reevaluate their spending choices in his 1999 essay “The Singer Solution to World Poverty”. Through a mixture of examples and facts Singer calls upon those with excess money, typically used on luxuries, to instead donate that money for overseas aid agencies. In order to persuade the reader to follow through with his solution, he utilizes anecdotes and facts, emotional statements, and an impression to communicate the importance of donating to these agencies.
At the start of the article, Singer opens with an anecdote from the movie “Central Station”. He uses the character Dora, who finds out that instead of sending a boy off to be adopted, she sent him off to be killed. Her incentive was $1000 that she was going put towards a new TV, but after hearing what was actually going to happen to the boy she quickly tried to reconcile her actions. Singer relates Dora’s motives to those of the average American, who usually spends their leftover income on upgrading what they already have or purchasing new items that they do not really need. Singer states, “...So much of our income is spent on things not essential to the preservation of our lives and health.” He asserts that when the general public is shaming Dora for her actions, they are ignoring the fact the they are more or less committing the same crimes.…

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