Class Notes (839,091)
United States (325,774)
Philosophy (20)
PHIL 201 (20)
James Scow (11)

Singer and Hill--Duty

2 Pages

Course Code
PHIL 201
James Scow

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Singer He argues charity should be looked at as a strict duty. P. 874—if it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything morally important, you ought to do it. 876—if we accepted this principle the traditional categories of duty and charity would have to be revised. Charity would become duty. You wake up and say oh I have to send money to _______. He is talking about famine cases. But what would be of morally important not to sacrifice. Well if you were to give so much that you cause yourself to be unable to eat and such. Think about how much you can give up and still be above someone who is suffering from famine. p.874—he prefers the stronger version, but he says even the weaker one would cause some great change. if a child is drowning you should sacrifice your clothes and save the child. This wouldn’t be sacrificing anything of moral significance, but it is still your duty. He says it shouldn’t matter how far the event is that needs help. Proximity. Distance is not morally relevant. There might be practical reasons why distance is relevant, but he doesn’t take this into consideration. The second principle is would it matter if other people can help? P.878 2 column—we might think, oh well the government will take care of it. I don’t really have to do anything, I pay taxes to the govt. so im taken care of. Well, also there are other people around helping, maybe we all don’t have to give up so much. We can all help a little. But singer says, most people wont fulfill their duty, so you have to make up for those who don’t. He is saying these duties could be enforced by law. He is limiting it to famine cases, but shouldn’t we help whenever there is someone who needs more than us? Ths would be too radical of a change, we just don’t think of it this way. There is a difference between comporable significance and sacrificing something of moral significance. He says you shouldn’t do the charity if you sacrifice something or moral duty-but this is the weaker form of it. The stronger form is if you make yourself on the level of the person you are helping, this is as best you can do. Comporable significance. If you have everything and more that you need, you are taking things away from people that god intended it for. P. 878 If the government sees that people are not helping, than they will feel less inclined to help. p.879 2 column—if you were to give to these types of problems, everything above for your general well being, were talking about the gnp would go down. Because if your sending all the extra money that is earned overseas, that money is not staying in our economy. There might be a
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