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Philosophy 2810F/G
Jennifer Epp

LIFEBOAT ETHICS - SCHEPER HUGHES CONTEXT • extreme poverty, economic exploitation • chronic hunger, lack of adequate health care • jobs where mothers cannot bring children • catholic prohibition on birth control • lack of education • leading to appalling infant mortality rates • maternal detachment/indifference • selective passive infanticide, a migua • of weaker babies, or those with signs of dehydration, starvation or gastric illness • a prolonged, painful, ugly, death • withdrawal of care - neglect RATIONALIZATIONS • some babies want to die they were already starving in the womb • • too weak to survive the struggle for life • it is better that they die because they would never be right, would be useless or couldn't fend for themselves if they lived • combined with the belief that mothers could become sick from sick babies, and that their breast milk is insufficient or polluted • those who live are accepted, loved and cherished • not saying that this is a situation of no ethics, but how it changes to a morality of triage because there is often no other option • women know whats going on, however they wont say its MY kids that are suffering from all these things and thats why these kids died CAPACITIES • harms, we want to ask who harmed and where does the responsibility lay • social institutions are to blame for harm according to Scheper Hughes • birth rates have plummeted over the last 20 years • education for women has being a driving factor in women not having many kids • there's only so much governments can do sometimes POGGE WHAT'S POGGE'S THESIS • reforming the practice of state - citizens hold the government accountable • most people think its not a moral problem if some people make more than others, if a country has more than another. Pogge says its income inequality is unjust and not fair OVERVIEW • income inequality makes eradicating poverty possible • severe poverty is not primarily the result of morally unproblematic processes. That be- lief is merely a rationalization for global inequity • severe poverty is a harm inflicted by wealthy, developed nations on poor, developing nations • therefore (those in) wealthy nations have a duty to act reduce global poverty • Diminishing Marginal Utility - the more you have, the less it means when you get more of it • one of Pogges reasons for saying we should aid those who are in poverty is because it doesn't hurt us very much at all to give that small bit up but it helps them out so much in the current global context, citizens of affluent countries are not morally entitled to so • their huge percentage of global wealth while citizens of poo countries live in extreme poverty • difference from usual arguments about moral duties in response to poverty • moral: his argument is about a violation of our negative duty not to harm, rather than about a positive duty to help • empirical: his argument is not about how poor countries should run their markets, gov- ernments etc. it is about the causal role that the global economic institutional order lays in maintaining radical inequality ARGUMENT STRUCTURE 1. it came about in a just way 2. it could have come about in a just way 3. the institutional rules through which it came about are just INEQUALITY DID JUST OCCUR • radical inequality is morally justified if • - it evolved in a morally unproblematic way • - the wealthy are mostly causally involved in its production • it did evolve unproblematically. Causes: national political and social culture, local cor- ruption, local environmental factors, luck • the wealthy aren't involved • Conclusion: radical inequality is morally justified • Colonialism - I challenge this sort of justification by invoking the common and very v
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