Whatshould a billionaire give and what should you, is a piece written byPeter Singer. He begins by asking a question on what one thinks thehuman life is worth.Singer poses a discussion about massive donationsto charity by two of the world`s richest gentlemen. Whether theircontributions that were a whopping, 67 billion dollars were enoughand what this meant to those making relatively less. The world`swealthiest man, Bill Gates gave 35% of his whooping $53 billionfortune to charity. On the other hand, mogul Zell Kravinsky has givenlarge sums to medical charities. (Puch0022).
Singer argues that one is under obligation to help alleviatesuffering brought about by extreme poverty. Donating to charitablecauses can reduce suffering for those in poverty stricken areasthrough the provision of necessities for example, food, clean water,and medical facilities. In his work, he argues that the wealthyhave amoral obligation to the community in which they live (Hume 5). Theyare obligated to provide resources for humanitarian courses. Thepiece by Singer paints a good picture of the ordinary way of thinkingabout famine, charity and morality. However, few people have embracedthe idea and tried to act on the conclusions. The morality in eachshould dictate our relations, but some choose not to honor the moralintelligence. (Puch0022).
Singer`s argument has a basis upon his perspective and in thisparticular case shows how donations the wealthy towards charitableworks affect them to a minimal extent but have a significant impacton the society. That helps to reduce the suffering in the world.Singer’s main point seems to be that most wealthy people have moreto offer in terms of welfare, and that is what they are entitled todo. Singer’s argument is that much of the aid given to most of thedeveloping nations seems to have little or no effect on thealleviation of poverty. It is a typical scenario that thosebenefiting from the fund are relieved from the immediate need, butthey tend to bear more children and these strains the resourcesavailable to cater for them. Donations are, therefore, evil in itselfsince the suffering of the starving increases due to theirskyrocketing population and strained resources. Singer, however,feels that those who think the poor bring suffering upon themselvesshould also try to make contributions towards the charities. Hethinks the poor are in their current states due to the state of thecorrupt governments.(Puch0022)
Singerin his work uses an explanation of objections. He does this to bringout and pass across certain information regarding morality and itsrelationship to famine and affluence. He starts by stating that ifonly each and every individual were to contribute towards famine theneach would be obligated to provide a relatively small amount. Therewould be no individual refusing to contribute (Hume 7). The wealthysuch as Bill Gates would not bear the responsibility for the worldsince everyone would be obligated to do the same.
Singer,however responds to the objection by saying that not everyone givesdonations to famine relief. That makes the earlier assertion null andvoid since when compared to the actual situation we find the world oftoday. Singer’s objection would pass the test of time as beingtrue. It makes the objection irrelevant.
Hegoes ahead to pose a successive opposition. He states that since notmany people give to the less fortunate while they are in a positionto do so, they should donate. That is up to a point where theirsocial standing is roughly equal to those of the people they arehelping. (Singer 509).
Singerobjects to the second objection, since it seems to be an imaginaryobjection and not in the slightest means possible a workableobjection. It would only be able to play out effectively if thosedonating had no knowledge of what each of them was donating and theydonate simultaneously. It was not possible since the wealthy ought tointeract at one point. It is impossible for the affluent to be in aroughly equal social standing with those they are helping.
Peoplewent ahead to object Singer’s calls for radical changes in socialnorms. (Singer 508). Peter considers a hypothesis that is put forwardby J.O Urmsonthat gives the distinction between what is justifiablygood and what is obligatorily in development. One should then be ableto judge and do what is good and in a justifiable manner rather thanto do something out of obligation. Singer’s conclusion was alsoposes objections because if he were to be correct then, People shouldregularly work to generate happiness.
Inan essay, he gives a hypothetical example to show the sad state ofaffairs. He says that if one is in an excellent position to help achild who is drowning in a pond, he or she should do it even thoughit means dirtying themselves. Letting the child die is an extrememorally corrupt state of affairs while dirtying one`s clothes is nota potentially necessary cost.
Inhis study, Peter Singer tries to explain the morality that shouldexist in the society. He does this by the use of two objections. Heexplains two conditions and goes on to show why the situations cannotwork in the community. He also gives a hypothetical example todemonstrate how moral costs should not be above moral rights.Therefore, Singer thinks our morality should be at the forefront indictating our relations. A critical analysis would show that Peterwas right since the world needs help and only the able can help theless fortunate.
Inthe first evaluation as a fellow student, I tried to look criticallyat the paper and try to point out the aspects that are not inalignment with the topic. In doing this a number of questions neededanswers. What is the one thing a writer does well in the essay? Whatdoes the author need to work on in the paper? What are the writer’smain points? Is there flow and prose in the essay? Andis theformatting correct. The five questions enabled me to evaluate thepaper in a perceptive manner and come out with a number ofobservations that provide answers to the questions posed.
Inhis essay, the author tries to give a superb and clear introductionof what he is to discuss. He sets his thesis statement in the lastline of his introductory paragraph. That gives him an edge since manypeople will be yearning to know what the article says about morality,affluence and famine. The composition flows from one section toanother, and this makes sure readers do not get out of line ofdiscussion.
Thewriter, however fails on one front he fails to give a lengthyexplanation of the works of Peter. Doing that, would have shown hisunderstanding of the topic in question. The author has also tried toapply the MLA formatting styles apart from the inclusion of a fewin-text citations.
Inmy evaluation, I will base my analysis on three principal aspects.That is the subject, the arguments and finally, what could have beendifferent.
Thetheme used by the author is a bit captivating since it is short andcontains words that many people would want to know about such amorality and its relationship to affluence. The topic is what makesone read the essay and want to know about the writer’s views.
The arguments that the writer poses are both broad and shallow atdifferent levels. At some point, he gives clear examples andexplanations while at other places is arguments are wanting sincethey lack supporting facts or examples.
Thestudent should have paid attention to details and tried to researchfurther on the topics as well as consult with colleagues. It wouldhave helped the writer come up with a conclusive essay.
Theessay was an eye opener on matters of morality and how it interactswith the affluence as well as famine. It is a well-known fact thatthe rich want to be rich forever while the not so rich would doanything to rise above their present state.
Ithink we are not required to do as much as Singer would want us tobelieve. If we were to do all that he says in his works, then, wewould distract the existing moral balance. The needy would entertheir comfort zones and relax since the rich are morally obligated tolook out for them. I think people should be morally independent toconduct their lives in the mode they deem fit and pursue theirinterests.
One should be morally allowed to devote their time, effort and moneyto activities that do not have a direct bearing on famine or similarundertakings. Contrary to Peter’s arguments, if people were to putall their efforts in famine relieve situations then they wouldneglect other equally important projects.
Inwriting this paper, I had to go through a brainstorming process whichincluded the analysis of the pros and the cons of writing on thisparticular topic. In writing about it, that means that the pros gotthe upper hand. That is because the society confuses humanity forduty. In choosing a topic, I choose to write on famine, affluence andmorality since many are those who think the rich are there to helpthem by dishing out money or other goodies.
Thepaper was not entirely easy to write since one needs to convince thegeneral population that there exists a boundary between obligationand humanity. It needed a certain amount of critical thinking andattention to detail. I enjoyed reading the facts on the topic that isthemotive, and I tried to the best of my ability to convince readersof why morality is a real thing as well as an evil thing
Hume,David. An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. Oxford:Oxford UP, 1999. Print.
Puch0022. ""What Should a Billionaire Give,What Should You?" by Peter," – Philosophically Speaking.14 Sept. 2012. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.<http://blog.lib.umn.edu/puch0022/myblog/2012/09/what-should-a-billionaire-give–and-what-should-you-by-peter-singer.html>.
Singer, Peter. "Famine, Affluence and Morality." TheNorton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction. 12th ed. New York:W.W. Norton, 2008. Print.
Singer,Peter. Famine, Affluence and Morality. Blackwell, 2007. Print.