Posted by dweeb on July 08, 1999 at 03:35:29:
In Reply to: Mother Teresa posted by Angel on June 17, 1999 at 17:42:39:
I was just wondering through philosophical websites and found this one. I don't consider myself a philosopher (as of yet) however I wanted to offer some info.
I just read an article entitled something to the effect of Famine, Affluence and Morality by Singer. Basically, Singer and Mother Teresa have something in common here. They both believe that people are dying and that people aren't doing anything about it. Both of their arguments rely on the fact that there are many rich nations as well as individuals. Apparently most of these people, as countries or as individuals, are not doing the "right" or shall I say "moral" thing and contributing to relieve poverty. I'm inclined to believe that it is because these rich nations or individuals have other agendas instead of contributing to end poverty or aid in famine relief. Other agendas? Such as? Well, Singer says that some rich nations are more interested in putting their money into such projects such as the supertransport of some such. Individuals? Look at Bill Gates. This man owns a castle. Do you think he's willing to give up some luxuries to aid people who are suffering famine or live in complete poverty? That is the question. Who wants to give up luxuries? Bill Gates is by far an extreme example. Sometimes Angel, what you and I may consider rights may be luxuries to someone else. Is that bar of soap I use everyday to wash my body with a luxury? Of course not for me! But for someone else that may be the best thing they could get their hands on. So what then are luxuries? Wow, this seems to be just back stroking and semantic problems, but nonetheless they are important!
I suppose Singer was some form or other of Utilitarianism, the view that we should do what would produce the greatest amount of good for society or something. So basically, he wound up arguing this:
1) Suffering and death from lack of food is bad
2) If it is in our power to prevent bad (poverty, famine...)and we don't have to sacrifice comparable moral importance (i.e. sacrificing all of our food so that in turn WE starve or donating all of our money until we are in utter poverty)
3) We ought, MORALLY, to do it.
*Applause for Singer here*
Well, I had to include that tid bit of information that I just learned myself cuz I thought it pertained to Angel's question. Wow, this is my first posting on the web board type deal thingies ever. *Wipe sweat off brow* :>
Post a Followup