Explain how there should be mitigation between those who “have” and those who “do not have.” How will this further the idea of one with excess wealth giving to alleviate suffering of...

Explain how there should be mitigation between those who “have” and those who “do not have.” How will this further the idea of one with excess wealth giving to alleviate suffering of another? Explain using several examples, including one from Peter Singer’s paper “Famine, Affluence, and Morality.”

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gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The world is clearly divided between "haves" and "have-nots" (and possibly "have just enoughs"), i.e. people who have money and resources versus people who don't. The clear and immoral division of resources has been the cause of a lot of struggle and suffering, including deaths due to famine/disease, riots, and wars. There is a clear need to mitigate this situation.

Peter Singer in his famous article "Famine, Affluence and Morality" made a passionate argument in favor of the wealthy aiding the poor to the point of marginal utility. The balance between "haves" and "have nots" cannot be established until a clear resource shift takes place from the wealthy to the needy. That is to say, if you have resources to spare you should transfer them to a needy person. Whether we follow this to the point of marginal utility or to the point of significant moral change is another matter. 

Several examples can be made to illustrate how haves can help the have-nots. Consider the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's charity work in eradicating Polio in India. Think of the corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by several companies that aid the efforts to teach young children or provide sanitation or clean water in African countries. We can also cite the charities supported by Hollywood stars and athletes. Singer used the example of how everyone sparing $5 for famine affected millions in India. Clearly, if the "haves" accept the moral responsibility to support and aid the "have nots," we would have less suffering in this world.

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