18 September 2018
In the article “The Singer Solution To World Poverty.” the philosopher Peter Singer
presents his ethical solution to poverty is by giving up the money we spend on personal luxuries
and donating all of it. Singer also tries to point out his idea by saying “T ?hat's right: I'm saying
that you shouldn't buy that new car, take that cruise, redecorate the house or get that pricey new
suit. After all, a $1,000 suit could save five children's lives.” as a way to show you how to use
your money more adequately. Philosopher Peter Singer’s solution to solving world poverty is
unrealistic, unfair and too demanding for the average american with their own responsibilities to
Singer tries to bring in his first example by introducing “dora”, a school teacher who is
selling an orphans organs as a way to gain the teacher’s wants in having a new tv set. The writer
then explains the average american “spends almost one-third of its income on things that are no
more necessary to them than Dora's new TV was to her.” as a way of saying we are quick to
judge Dora on selling the orphans organs to gain a want but then again we do this everyday just
by spending money on personal things instead of helping fund an organization to save lives
around the world.
The comparison between Dora and an average american are two highly different
occasions. In the beginning got someone selling an orphans organs for a want, on the other hand
we got a person who has worked hard to earn his/her wants. Meaning he can do what he pleases
with his money because he worked hard for it. Saying to offer all of his/her money to an
organization would destroy the meaning of working hard in a job. When would the compensation
be given off of working hard if we we just offer all of our money. Another problem would be
accomplishing day-to-day responsibilities; such as paying bills, buying food and paying gas. The
humane thing to do is offer a portion of our income to the organization helping kids in need and
keeping the rest for our personal needs.
The writer then constantly justifies his examples and claims by saying he is a
philosopher, and by all means he “judges acts by consequences”. The writer then brings his next
example to now help aid his claim. Singer tells the story of “Bob”, a man who is later on
classified as a wealthy man who owns many expensive things he holds as trophies to himself
such as a bugatti he holds with pride and joy. The man later on finds himself in a position of
choosing between the life of a kid or saving his wrongly parked car. The man chooses his want
by saving his bugatti than saving a kids life. Singer then explains we cannot judge someone and
take polls to explain how wrong it is for singer to choose his decision. Singer then compares our
decision on buying materialistic things than making a “difference between life and death for
children in need”, as the writer continues to explain his reasoning behind his belief, Singer
expects too much from people. Luxuries, cars, houses and materialistic things mean so much to
different people. There are memories, stories or their ancor to there inspiration to keep moving
forward. Singer tries to avoid different perspectives in buying such materialistic things. Some
people are different and have goals to have motives to keep moving forward in life.
Throughout the article Singer has a more biased opinion towards this solution to world
poverty. Everything has a balance and once you add too much weight on one side the other side
fails. This falls the same way in this occasion in which we need to be fair in spending our
income. Singer also knows this is all “Imaginary examples” meaning this can/cannot be true, but
seem too dramatic. Reading this article i believe Singer needs to know the difference between
needs and wants. Singer is wanting to try changing the worlds poverty by but avoids the needs
that a person has to keep progressing in life in a justice and fair manner.
Singer, Peter. “The Singer Solution to World Poverty.” The New York Times Magazine,5 Sept.
1999: 60-63. Rpt. in Utilitarian Philosophers,
https://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/19990905.htm. Accessed 17 Sept. 2018.