Selene

Peter Singer - Bio ethicist - "one of the 100 most influential men in the world"

Recommended Posts

The Idea

If we could easily save the life of a child, we would. For example, if we saw a child in danger of drowning in a shallow pond, and all we had to do to save the child was wade into the pond, and pull him out, we would do so. The fact that we would get wet, or ruin a good pair of shoes, doesn’t really count when it comes to saving a child’s life.

UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, estimates that about 27,000 children die every day from preventable, poverty-related causes. Yet at the same time almost a billion people live very comfortable lives, with money to spare for many things that are not at all necessary. (You are not sure if you are in that category? When did you last spend money on something to drink, when drinkable water was available for nothing? If the answer is “within the past week” then you are spending money on luxuries while children die from malnutrition or diseases that we know how to prevent or cure.)

The Life You Can Save – both the book and this website – seek to change this. If everyone who can afford to contribute to reducing extreme poverty were to give a modest proportion of their income to effective organizations fighting extreme poverty, the problem could be solved. It wouldn’t take a huge sacrifice.

But first we need to change the culture of giving.

Research has shown that people are more likely to give if they know that others are giving. So we need to be upfront about our giving. The Life You Can Save - the book – asks readers to come to this website to pledge that they will meet a standard set out in the last chapter – the standard you can find on the pledge page on this website. Will you take the pledge, and thereby encourage others to do the same?

For more details, and sources for the claims made here, please see The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty.

You can also take a look at some other writings by Peter Singer on this topic.

'Famine, Affluence and Morality', Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 1 (Spring 1972)

Chapter 8 of Practical Ethics, Cambridge University Press, various editions

’The Singer Solution to Global Poverty’, The New York Times, September 5, 1999

‘What Should a Billionaire Give - and What Should You?’, The New York Times, December 17, 2006

For articles by Peter Singer adapted from or about The Life You Can Save, click here.

You can watch two clips of Peter Singer discussing this topic in Astra Taylor’s 2008 movie Examined Life here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Idea

If we could easily save the life of a child, we would. For example, if we saw a child in danger of drowning in a shallow pond, and all we had to do to save the child was wade into the pond, and pull him out, we would do so. The fact that we would get wet, or ruin a good pair of shoes, doesn't really count when it comes to saving a child's life.

UNICEF, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, estimates that about 27,000 children die every day from preventable, poverty-related causes. Yet at the same time almost a billion people live very comfortable lives, with money to spare for many things that are not at all necessary. (You are not sure if you are in that category? When did you last spend money on something to drink, when drinkable water was available for nothing? If the answer is "within the past week" then you are spending money on luxuries while children die from malnutrition or diseases that we know how to prevent or cure.)

The Life You Can Save – both the book and this website – seek to change this. If everyone who can afford to contribute to reducing extreme poverty were to give a modest proportion of their income to effective organizations fighting extreme poverty, the problem could be solved. It wouldn't take a huge sacrifice.

But first we need to change the culture of giving.

Research has shown that people are more likely to give if they know that others are giving. So we need to be upfront about our giving. The Life You Can Save - the book – asks readers to come to this website to pledge that they will meet a standard set out in the last chapter – the standard you can find on the pledge page on this website. Will you take the pledge, and thereby encourage others to do the same?

For more details, and sources for the claims made here, please see The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty.

You can also take a look at some other writings by Peter Singer on this topic.

'Famine, Affluence and Morality', Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 1 (Spring 1972)

Chapter 8 of Practical Ethics, Cambridge University Press, various editions

'The Singer Solution to Global Poverty', The New York Times, September 5, 1999

'What Should a Billionaire Give - and What Should You?', The New York Times, December 17, 2006

For articles by Peter Singer adapted from or about The Life You Can Save, click here.

You can watch two clips of Peter Singer discussing this topic in Astra Taylor's 2008 movie Examined Life here.

Peter Singer's proposal is based on the assumption that one gives a damn for the life of poor folks. Suppose one did not give a damn? Suppose one asked himself the question: what would I gain if I gave some of my money to alleviate the hunger of the poor? And suppose further one came up with the answer: not a damned thing. What have the poor done for me lately?

My proposal to Singer would be: You give away your money. Do not give away mine.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Baal has this question right.

Peter Singer should do everything he by himself for himself including his idea of ending unproductive life especially his own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Idea

If we could easily save the life of a child, we would. For example, if we saw a child in danger of drowning in a shallow pond, and all we had to do to save the child was wade into the pond, and pull him out, we would do so. The fact that we would get wet, or ruin a good pair of shoes, doesn’t really count when it comes to saving a child’s life.

UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, estimates that about 27,000 children die every day from preventable, poverty-related causes. Yet at the same time almost a billion people live very comfortable lives, with money to spare for many things that are not at all necessary. (You are not sure if you are in that category? When did you last spend money on something to drink, when drinkable water was available for nothing? If the answer is “within the past week” then you are spending money on luxuries while children die from malnutrition or diseases that we know how to prevent or cure.)

The Life You Can Save – both the book and this website – seek to change this. If everyone who can afford to contribute to reducing extreme poverty were to give a modest proportion of their income to effective organizations fighting extreme poverty, the problem could be solved. It wouldn’t take a huge sacrifice.

But first we need to change the culture of giving.

Research has shown that people are more likely to give if they know that others are giving. So we need to be upfront about our giving. The Life You Can Save - the book – asks readers to come to this website to pledge that they will meet a standard set out in the last chapter – the standard you can find on the pledge page on this website. Will you take the pledge, and thereby encourage others to do the same?

For more details, and sources for the claims made here, please see The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty.

You can also take a look at some other writings by Peter Singer on this topic.

'Famine, Affluence and Morality', Philosophy and Public Affairs, vol. 1 (Spring 1972)

Chapter 8 of Practical Ethics, Cambridge University Press, various editions

’The Singer Solution to Global Poverty’, The New York Times, September 5, 1999

‘What Should a Billionaire Give - and What Should You?’, The New York Times, December 17, 2006

For articles by Peter Singer adapted from or about The Life You Can Save, click here.

You can watch two clips of Peter Singer discussing this topic in Astra Taylor’s 2008 movie Examined Life here.

Again, we have the "ought to" stance where someone tells others what they "should" do. I have no objection to a person giving to others (Mr. Singer included), or promoting a charity. I too have donated to quite a few similar organizations, but Singer's "you should" makes me feel uncomfortable since it proposes to send people on a guilt trip who don't bow to his personal preferences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Precisely xray which is why I asked you about your argument on subjectivity and the initiation of force, wherein you gave your "drawing straws decision making" example with two other subjectivist decision making paradigms.

I converted your three examples into three villages as a way to categorize and explore your idea.

Now when the residents of Singertown inform you that you can no longer have the fresh water from their reservoir which you straw drawer's need, unless to give to the globe...

what do your subjectivist town folk do?

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Singer is all wet on this. His supposition is that the only issue in the children not getting clean water is money. I assert that most of the charity money sent over there ends up in the hands of dictators and criminals. The problem is not money, it's a lack of liberty. If Singer were truly interested in helping those children he'd work to institute Capitalism over there instead of enabling tyrants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Singer is all wet on this. His supposition is that the only issue in the children not getting clean water is money. I assert that most of the charity money sent over there ends up in the hands of dictators and criminals. The problem is not money, it's a lack of liberty. If Singer were truly interested in helping those children he'd work to institute Capitalism over there instead of enabling tyrants.

Or teach them how to pick tall grass out of their ass!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1208895/Scientists-design-plant-filtration-lets-drink-SHOWER-water.html

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He also doesn't seem to understand that there is no such thing as free water. If the enduser does not exchange something of value for the water he uses, that only means that someone else has borne the cost of locating the water and providing the infrastructure which brings it to the enduser.

He also seems to have the idea that anything bought over the bare minimum is a luxury. Perhaps someone should instruct him in freeganism, so he can conform his private life to his ideals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Precisely xray which is why I asked you about your argument on subjectivity and the initiation of force, wherein you gave your "drawing straws decision making" example with two other subjectivist decision making paradigms.

I converted your three examples into three villages as a way to categorize and explore your idea.

Now when the residents of Singertown inform you that you can no longer have the fresh water from their reservoir which you straw drawer's need, unless to give to the globe...

what do your subjectivist town folk do?

Adam

Selene, you have misunderstood what I outlined in my posts on the other thread if you I believe there was an all-encompassing "plan for man involved".

Such a "plan for man" would be a denial of subjective value. I did not presume to make choices for others. I merely pointed out some options without inserting my personal preference or the assuming preferences of anyone else.

There is no "subjectivist town folk" in my personal philosophy of individualism. I never said anything about towns. As stated and emphasized, how some, or all, deal with the issue of property of any other issue is a matter of personal choice as long as initiation of force and/or coercion is excluded. It's a matter of non imposing choice and non imposing actions.

Initiation of force and coercion will result in resentment, hostility and violent conflict, the exact opposite of peace.

You either leave others to their non imposing choices, or you don't. Freedom and a "plan for man" are mutually exclusive. Do you have a "plan for man?" If so, on what rationale? Do you have something against the exclusion of initiation of force and/or coercion?

Just think of how much suffering and misery would end by applying the simple principle of non-initiation of force and non-coercion.

No ideological indoctrination, no child labor, no sexual exploitation, no atrocities like throwing bombs on "enemies" etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Precisely xray which is why I asked you about your argument on subjectivity and the initiation of force, wherein you gave your "drawing straws decision making" example with two other subjectivist decision making paradigms.

I converted your three examples into three villages as a way to categorize and explore your idea.

Now when the residents of Singertown inform you that you can no longer have the fresh water from their reservoir which you straw drawer's need, unless to give to the globe...

what do your subjectivist town folk do?

Adam

Selene, you have misunderstood what I outlined in my posts on the other thread if you I believe there was an all-encompassing "plan for man involved".

Such a "plan for man" would be a denial of subjective value. I did not presume to make choices for others. I merely pointed out some options without inserting my personal preference or the assuming preferences of anyone else.

There is no "subjectivist town folk" in my personal philosophy of individualism. I never said anything about towns. As stated and emphasized, how some, or all, deal with the issue of property of any other issue is a matter of personal choice as long as initiation of force and/or coercion is excluded. It's a matter of non imposing choice and non imposing actions.

Initiation of force and coercion will result in resentment, hostility and violent conflict, the exact opposite of peace.

You either leave others to their non imposing choices, or you don't. Freedom and a "plan for man" are mutually exclusive. Do you have a "plan for man?" If so, on what rationale? Do you have something against the exclusion of initiation of force and/or coercion?

Just think of how much suffering and misery would end by applying the simple principle of non-initiation of force and non-coercion.

No ideological indoctrination, no child labor, no sexual exploitation, no atrocities like throwing bombs on "enemies" etc.

"Selene, you have misunderstood what I outlined in my posts on the other thread if you I believe there was an all-encompassing 'plan for man involved'"

You just do not get it xyz ray - there is nothing, absolutely, nothing that I said in asking my original question about the next town that remotely related to your phrase inserted into my rhetoric, e.g., plan for man involved. That was your iteration.

Therefore, I stop reading the rest of your post as it is following a completely imaginary argument that I was not making,

The purpose of my three town example was to apply your assumptions to reality. Nothing more.

So go back and answer the original original question that I proposed.

You will like it, it will be objectively your original sin.

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You just do not get it xyz ray - there is nothing, absolutely, nothing that I said in asking my original question about the next town that remotely related to your phrase inserted into my rhetoric, e.g., plan for man involved. That was your iteration.

Therefore, I stop reading the rest of your post as it is following a completely imaginary argument that I was not making,

The purpose of my three town example was to apply your assumptions to reality. Nothing more.

So go back and answer the original original question that I proposed.

You will like it, it will be objectively your original sin.

Adam

You just can't get past categorizing, and thus create in your mind an imaginary "subjectivist town folk" confronted with another group coercing this group, right?

Whereas what I had in mind was a vision of how much what could be accomplished in terms of peace if all people lived by the simple principle of non-initiation of force and non-coercion. So there's a total different focus.

I'm by non means not blind to the world as it is, Selene but it is precisely the primitive friend-enemy think which has it careening from one disaster to the next. I don't believe throwing bombs on "the enemy", including babies children (see Peikoff interview by Bill Reilly) will solve anything, on the contrary. Do you?

You will like it, it will be objectively your original sin.

What "original sin", please?

Edited by Xray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam, to read words from an objectivist that involve giving to others is so refreshing it brings tears to my eyes. If you're saying we are all bound by a common humanity, I agree. (BTW Ba'al, get a clue.) If I could help the starving children, I would (although I would not accept being forced to do so.). I also believe that some of the other poster have one good point - that much, if not all, of the money would end up in the hands of corrupt officials. Any solution?

Ginny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam, to read words from an objectivist that involve giving to others is so refreshing it brings tears to my eyes. If you're saying we are all bound by a common humanity, I agree. (BTW Ba'al, get a clue.) If I could help the starving children, I would (although I would not accept being forced to do so.). I also believe that some of the other poster have one good point - that much, if not all, of the money would end up in the hands of corrupt officials. Any solution?

Ginny

I believe that many will not agree with one aspect of problem of efficiently delivering the service and that is a religious or evangelical component.

Most of the somewhat effective point of use delivery of services has been through religious entities.

I would like to see a private partnership with those entities which would incorporate the dedication and commitment to actually helping the end user with

the efficiency of our profit models.

It would work and it would not be coerced.

Do not know if that even remotely answers your question Ginny.

Adam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious, Does Mr. Singer live just above the bare minimum required for sustenance? I wonder if he still buys a soda now and then. Or drives a car for that matter.

Jordan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...