Ethics and Survival. It is hard to realize the amount of pain and suffering In this world. It can be said that It Is even harder to do something that could make In Impact to help all of those in need. With the advancement In communication and technology, the world has become a very small place. Even though we are separated by borders and beliefs, we are still one species trying to survive. We as a species are all that we have In this universe, and it is important to try and stick together and help wherever and whenever we can.
This world is ravaged by poverty and sickness, while there are there with vast wealth and power. It is hard to believe that there are billionaires and people who cannot afford food on the same planet. Peter Singer states a moral problem in his paper Famine, Affiance, and Morality. He says that it is Just as important to help those in need where distance and time are not important. He says that it is Just as important to help a starving child far away as it is to help a drowning child right In front of you.
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His major principle Is that our ways of understanding moral “rights and wrongs” are in fact wrong and that our societies’ definition of orally right needs to be changed because we allow poverty and pain to go on while others spend money on unnecessary luxuries. Singer states that If someone has the power to help others, without causing harm to others, they are morally required to do so. However the harm to oneself has to be equal to or greater than the action that would help others, so you cannot refuse to help save a person from a blizzard Just because you refuse to give up your expensive coat.
There are those with such vast wealth that only ten percent of their wealth could provide food to whole countries. I eel that these people more than anyone else are the ones who are most at fault. While there are those who could afford minor parts of relief funds, and should very well do what they can, I believe that those who can make a giant impact in the lives of those in absolute need, are the people who should be held accountable for all the pain that these starving people go through.
I am not at all saying that people other making sure that this world Is safe for every person. Singers second implication is that you are not required to save some one if equal or greater harm is to come to yourself. This includes giving so much money to the poor, that you yourself become poverty stricken. So if someone you know needs surgery on their heart, but you need surgery on your liver, you are not obligated to give the other person the money needed for your surgery so that they can survive.
Furthermore, you are not required to put others in harm equal harm to help someone else. But on the other side of the argument, there are people who would rather spend money on expensive nonsensical items, than send the money to help with the relief of those without food, water, or shelter. To singer this is the same as ruder, because they are deliberately doing something that will cause the death of another. So, If there Is a millionaire who spends his money on cars and houses, he should be called a murder because he “could” have saved countless lives with his wealth.
This man’s wealth should be used for the survival of others, but since it isn’t, tons man Is no netter than a murderer. Lastly, Its Important to say a t TN TTL Is onto reasonable excuse to say that you didn’t help others because no one else did, as said by Singer. This excuse is so terrible because if everyone kept this mindset no one loud ever be helped, so it is important for mankind to take action when it is most important so that no one can ever use this excuse. Singer states that societies’ definition of what is morally right and wrong is incorrect.
He says that not helping someone avoid death is the same as killing them. He goes on to say that societies’ definition of charity is wrong, and that helping others in need is not charity, but is in fact what is required of a human being. I disagree with this because we live in a society where helping others is not seen as often as it should. I’m not saying that eloping others in need shouldn’t be required and not looked on as “extra”, but realistically speaking if we do not give any incentive to help others, such as the title of charity, we could see much less acts of kindness between humans.
I wish we could live in a world where helping others was as common as breathing but this is not the case so I believe that charity must stay as it is so that the people, who are helping others, can have what they want, recognition, and that people in need are still being helped. So finally, I believe that realistically charity should keep its definition in society because I believe that the most charity comes from the wealthy looking for recognition. This in itself may be morally wrong, but in the end people in need are being helped. Say there is a village. His village has a system where every citizen is tested to find out what its citizens are the most capable, then assigning them to the profession the would be most beneficial for the entire community. There is a citizen in this village named Nick. Nick is six foot, five inches tall and 275 pounds of muscle. Nick, at a young age was playing with his small pet dog. His size and strength led him o accidentally kill his dog when he was playing too hard with it. This experience led Nick to become a gentle soul who refused to act violently or ever use his strength to hurt others, and for him to respect life.
Then come the day of Nicks assignment to a career. Due to his hulking strength and speed, the best assignment is that of a solider. This devastates Nick as it means he will have to fight others and most likely kill, but what it also means is the Nick will be able to protect him home and all of its citizens. Nick is now left with an option, run away to another society but potentially UT his home in harm because he could not defend it, or he can compromise his own integrity and fight in the name of his home. But there is another catch.
Leaving his home is a serious crime, one that could put his family in danger. This makes Nick negatively responsible for the imprisonment of his family. This conflict deeply digs at Nick because society is asking him to change his greatest beliefs for the betterment of others in his home, including his own family. Even though the harm to his family would come from the government and not himself, should Nick be held responsible or that as well? Nick realizes all of his choices and decides to put his integrity aside for his home and his family.
This action contradicts what Bernard Williams believes, because he thinks that it is worse for society to make Nick change his beliefs, than it is for Nick to leave and put many others in harm’s way. Williams also says that it is not Nicks fault if his departure can cause the future deaths of people in his home because he was not there to protect it in an oncoming war with another village. John Rails would completely disagree with Williams in this matter. In Rails’ Classic talisman’s nee says Tanat It Is ten responsibility AT can person to create ten greatest amount of happiness for the entire society as a whole.
If there is a way for a person to make life for others better than by all means they should take that action, and not doing that action is the same as causing others harm. Rails would call Nick selfish because his actions cause the misery of a great number of people who lose their homes and lives as a result of Nick not using his natural gifts to fight off invaders. Rails would also say that Nick should be held responsible for all of the deaths caused from his absence, even though it was another village that killed the civilians in his village.
This brings up a strong moral question between utilitarianism and its opponents because of what is more important, Nicks integrity and beliefs or, the overall welfare of a society. To Williams it is too much to ask a person to change their commitments. To Rails, it is very selfish of Nick to even think of leaving his village in its time of need. Also a utilitarian would criticize Nick for allowing harm to come to his family when they were the ones who gave him his beliefs. Rails would blame Nick for the deaths in his village, while Williams would say that it isn’t Nicks fault for doing nothing but it is the fault of the attacking village.
Should one person die if other’s die? This is a very difficult question because it presents many moral problems. Why is one man’s life worth less than say three men’s lives? Why must we automatically assume to save more lives, when all lives have some kind of worth? These questions are presented in John M. Treasures Should the Numbers Count? Tauter presents many different arguments for this subject. His trotters one, in my opinion, is when he says that when someone has to decide between one life or many the best way to think of it is that you shouldn’t compare the one man to the group, but the one man to each individual inside the group.
This one argument makes since because it provides a whole new way to look at this situation. It shows how all life is sacred and that you have to understand that if for whatever reason you are put into this situation. It shows that you can’t say that one man’s life doesn’t mean anything Just because his survival is pitted against a group’s survival. This can go even further when you change certain aspects of the situation. What if you put one old man’s life against a young child’s life? If the old man has lived a long life, while the child has a life ahead of themselves, then this can become a much harder situation.
According to Tauter, this change doesn’t affect how you should handle this situation because one person’s life isn’t worth more than another’s. This goes to Treasures second argument. How can we decide which outcome is better or worse. How can we be put in a situation where we decide who lives and who dies, and expect to find a right choice. That in itself provides a hard point. Any sort of death causes pain be it that of an individual or a group. So trying to decide which party will receive the greatest unhappiness and which won’t is an almost impossible choice.
Usually the best answer is to try and create the greatest amount of happiness, which of course would be to save the most people possible, but a problem arises. How can you Judge the happiness of the group against the misery of the man? What makes a groups happiness greater than one man’s misery. The best way to decide this is to give each party an equal chance at survival, Just as Tauter states. But this method can get a Lot tricky when you Increase ten menders . Want IT Its one man’s T II e gallant one hundred, or a thousand, or a million? This is the greatest counterargument for this specific point.
Common sense says to save the much larger group, but the same problem arises why do numbers make this one man’s life less important. Tauter says that they don’t know matter how large they are because life is always important. The last of Treasures arguments that I will point out is when he bring up “David. ” What if that one person against the group is someone you know and love, while the group insists of strangers? This again changes the entire situation. What is the best way to deal with this new situation? Tauter again says that this shouldn’t change how to deal with this situation.
It is difficult to pit these people’s lives against each other and it is even harder to do so if you know the person who’s life against the others. In a different situation what if you know the one man but dislike or even hat them. This would make the group an obvious choice, but is still morally wrong according to Tauter because the one man wasn’t given a chance to live. Above all Tauter says that n any situation where numbers matter whether it be the amount of people or amount of suffering or happiness caused, that each party should be given an equal chance to live.
My biggest argument against Tauter is how firm he stands by his claims in any circumstance. Imagine an example, where a heart surgeon could save one man at the cost of his hands. This man is a murder and has taken many lives. Tauter says that they both deserve a chance to walk away clean. I can’t agree with this because even though neither will die if the surgeon loses his hands, but the surgeon loses his ability to save countless lives. I don’t understand how a man who has taken lives, should be given the same chance at life as a man who could save countless lives.
His argument that every party deserves a chance doesn’t make sense in this example. I don’t think Tauter could stand by his argument in this example, because, this also brings in the battle of good and evil. Of course the murderer will experience misery, but his misery can’t compare to the life that a surgeon can give to so many others. This is my biggest problem with Tauter because he is so concerned with the equality of life, and the numbers of the situation, that I don’t think he could hanged his mind.
I presented an argument where a man’s hands are more important than another’s life, and while this example may be morally wrong, I don’t think that Tauter could use a compelling argument where the murder should live and the surgeon should lose his hands. In conclusion, there are many different argument that ethics philosophers can make, and Just as many counterpoints to each beliefs, but I think what matters most when discussing ethics, is what you personally think, because it is someone’s beliefs that will guide their actions throughout their life.