Poverty and Hunger

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The topic that I thought was important to discuss in this class was the issue of poverty and hunger. When this topic was one of the options, I immediately agreed to study this issue, along with three of my classmates, because it was a concern that I have had recently. There are two competing authors that my group members and I read and discussed thoroughly.

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Peter Singer and Jan Narveson wrote two articles about how individuals should think when it comes to providing money to people who are less fortunate, and whether it is an obligation or not to donate money. In this paper, I hope to discuss the two issues thoroughly, provide an ethical theory that we learned this semester that most correlate to this issue, and my closing remarks on this issue. I believe that virtue ethics closely aligns with my view on how we should go about providing financial support to health organizations. We ought to be able to donate as much as we feel fit without being pressured and obligated. Our hearts should donate on the basis of what the person feels is virtuous, not out of obligation or one’s duty.

The first author is Peter Singer, who wrote: The Singer Solution to World Poverty. The overall objective in this writing piece was to show how one spends their money on inessential things or pleasures that could be funneled towards relief agencies around the globe. Peter Singer is honing in on the idea that we have a moral duty to give funds to others people around the globe who are less fortunate instead of spending it on things that are not essential to our lives or health. (The Ethical Life). He seeks to further his argument by providing examples and hypotheticals, which we will help us understand his train of thought more clearly.

Singer brings in philosopher Peter Unger, who wrote a book full of make-believe examples intended for us to think through whether people living on a comfortable salary not giving to people who are hungry, malnourished, or dying from easily treatable diseases are morally in the wrong. The one example that Peter Singer mentions a man named Bob, who owns an old Bugatti knows that in later years, it will be worth cashing in on to live comfortably. He is out for a little drive, and parks near a railway track. In an instant, he sees a runaway train, heading towards a stuck child on the track. Now, Bob happens to have a switch that could derail the train. But here is the catch: If he flips the switch, it will save the child but ultimately crash into his valuable, car. In this example, Bob decides against flipping the switch and allows the train to kill the child.

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