Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Singer Solution to World Poverty

The Singer Solution to World Poverty

See also one of my favorite papers, if there can be such a thing: Famine, Affluence, and Morality

 Singer's Simple Syllogism (from The Life You Can Save)
1. Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad
2. If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, we ought, morally, to do it.
3. By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care, without sacrificing anything nearly as important
4. Therefore, if you do not donate to aid agencies, you are doing something wrong.

Perhaps I will post on this argument, perhaps not, it seems completely sound; so I really don't see much to comment on.

Check out Give Well for evaluations of charities: http://www.givewell.org/


  1. Opposing, though not necessarily correct argument:


  2. Sorry that I took so long to reply apparently I am not notified when someone comments.

    I think if one takes in mind that with affluence population growth rates decrease, it would be in the long term quite beneficial for rich nations to aid poorer ones. This would be "population control the good way" instead of crudely allowing poorer populations to escalate further. Rather then showing that "pure justice produces infinite regression to absurdity" it seems as though one could read Mr. Hardin as giving arguments for the cause of helping the poor nations since by doing so we would be ultimately decreasing population growth. This would clearly be beneficial for food resources, the environment, and immigration policy.