Complete notes for PHLB08

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University of Toronto Scarborough
International Development Studies
Prof J

January 10, 2008 PHLB08 Amal Abdirahman Ethics and International Development 1971- Peter Singer -famine in Bengal -controversial - can still apply it with regards to global situation at present Argument: Is a formal term for explaining why you think what you think definition: A set of reasons that together are intended to support a view Philosophers Viewpoints Premise: The reasons! Things that are supposed to explain the conclusion Conclusions: The thing you are supposed to persuade someone of. Two Basic Things to ask about a Premise 1. Are the premises true? - Is it false? - It is a big flaw if it does now. It does not support anything. 2. Do the premises support the conclusion? - A premise can be true, but not necessarily support the conclusion E.g. Person 1 says That stuff is a myth Person 2 says Why? P 1 says I saw Tom and he said so ---> The premise is true but, it doesnt give you a reason to believe the conclusion. 3. Even if the premises are true, do they REALLY support the conclusion? Peter Singer: Believes we need to give more to people in need, ALOT more. - Developed countries are affluent, while others are starving. The fact that they are far away shouldnt make a difference. [He means that the distance makes it harder for us to see this. We lose sight of the fact that those in developing countries are human too.] --> He says we NEED to give more, if not we are immoral His Argument: www.notesolution.com1. A person ought to do what heshe can to eliminate or reduce suffering whenever heshe can do this without sacrificing anything of moral significance. (idea not to be a constant thing, but if you come across something you can do, do it) 2. The fact that many people in the world are suffering from preventable hunger IS BAD. 3. We could eliminate this suffering without sacrificing anything of moral significance (C) Therefore we ought to do so. Example: Child falls into a pond. You see it and are walking by. Should you save the child? Yes--> at almost no cost. --> This is related to premise two --> you arent a good swimmer, risk is involved. Child is far out, water is deeper. Should you? Basically, if it will benefit someone else, with no cost to you, you should. 1. Do we have a moral obligation, when we will end up living poorly ourselves? -> He thinks it would be right, but that people wont buy that. Moderate principle: His idea suggests that a lot of things we think of as frivolous or extra (just for fun) --> these should be eliminated in order to help them. {Some people equate it as being harder to give away things we enjoy} Premise 3 Problem: Doubts about how effective aid is People dont think aid is effective because we will not be able to rid of the suffering. War and other circumstances will just move this suffering to other places in the world. January 15, 2008 PHLB08 Amal Abdirahman How do we Proceed In Ethics? We internalize certain things throughout our lives. Example: Pedestrians we dont run over them, we see them as deserving of life.
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