Flaws of peter singers arguments

Some of those "fallacies" remain with us today. Bentham collected examples of fallacies, often from parliamentary debates. One thing on which both Immanuel Kant and Bentham agree is that this last example is a fallacy:

Flaws of peter singers arguments

In a tidal wave of publications over nearly four decades — a bibliography including translations and reprints runs for over fifty pages — Singer, an Australian philosopher now at Princeton, has argued for these and other controversial conclusions in a manner accessible to non-philosophers.

His views have been extensively discussed in the popular media. For the general public, he may be the most influential philosopher of the last half century. Somewhat paraphrased, these principles are, first, maximize pleasure and minimize suffering; and second, all pleasure or suffering counts equally.

You can question how to apply these principles in particular situations, but for Singer there are no principles more fundamental. Since there are so many people in the world who suffer more than you, it follows Flaws of peter singers arguments you should give a substantial part of your wealth to alleviate that suffering.

This conclusion is supported by the assertion, common in economics, that wealth has a diminishing marginal utility: A dollar means more to a beggar than to a millionaire.

To convince you that you should give more of your wealth to alleviate suffering, Singer uses a persuasive analogy. Suppose you see a child drowning in a pool. You can rescue the child at no danger to yourself, but at the cost of ruining your new suit PE, p. Clearly, you are morally obliged to wade in, suit be damned.

You have to grab your chequebook and wade on in. However, for most of us, issues about abortion and euthanasia seldom arise, whereas eating and spending are daily events.

The Life You Can Save, p. Lions prey on zebra, wildebeest and other large herbivores. These prey animals presumably suffer in their deaths. We could end all their suffering by eliminating the lions. Sure, the lions would suffer, but the overall amount of suffering would much decrease.

The same argument holds for other carnivores — tigers, crocodiles, owls, weasels, and the others of that bloodstained lot. In each case, a one-time destruction of the species would reduce the suffering of untold generations of herbivores, and the world would be a kinder, gentler place.

We could perhaps keep a few representatives of each carnivore species alive in protected habitats, where we would feed them veggie burgers.

Peter Singer has argued in Practical Ethics () that you are morally deficient if you eat meat, or if you fail to give a good bit of your income – 5% if you earn more than $,, and at least 10% of income over $, – to help the world’s most destitute. It’s actually worse than that. Dan Gaskill’s LECTURE NOTES on. Peter Singer “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” Bob and the Bugatti: An argument by analogy. Singer describes a hypothetical situation in which Bob has invested his life savings in an uninsured car – a Bugatti – which he parks on a railroad siding before going on a walk. Apr 17,  · The flaws of Singer’s solution to end world poverty outweigh its benefits. It is unjust and unwise for the wealthy to use their money towards providing immediate relief to a few individuals. Furthermore, by human nature, and rightfully so, we give priority .

Messing with nature — especially our natures — is what Singer is all about. Ignoring the suffering of the zebra and the wildebeest is akin, in Singerland, to ignoring the drowning child.

When an argument reaches an unpalatable conclusion, we can reject some of the premises, we can look for some misstep in our reasoning, or we can decide that the conclusion is correct after all. Singer often takes that third path, denying that seemingly unacceptable consequences are really unacceptable.

How could such appealing principles and direct arguments get us to such problematic conclusions? What has gone wrong?

There are no objectively-existing moral facts. Rather, Singer argues that once we decide to be ethical — that is, to seek principles to justify our actions — then reason forces us to conclude that those principles must be universalizable: On this approach, practical ethics is much like geometry: There are, however, other views on ethics.

One, most forcefully voiced by the eighteenth century Scottish philosopher David Hume, and currently undergoing a revival in the field of moral psychology, is to see ethical rules as having been established by communities to promote human interests.

Thus, human interests include the need for food, shelter, sex and other self- regarding pleasures, and avoiding physical and mental pain. So we derive pleasure from the pleasure of other people, most especially our immediate families, and to a lesser extent our more distant relatives, friends, acquaintances, and compatriots.

We also find pleasure in completing challenging tasks, engaging in cooperative work, and a host of other activities only distantly related to sensual pleasure.

Our drives to maximize our own pleasure and minimize our own suffering are in themselves neither good nor bad, rational nor irrational. But we can do a better or worse job of developing social rules to enable us to pursue our aims. Ethical principles are rational to the extent they generally further our interests in the social world in which we live.

S ince we want to live in communities, our ethical principles must work for most members of the community. However, rational people realize that others are unlikely to agree to such rules, so we accept that we must work with rules that treat us all equally, furthering our major interests by suppressing some of our impulses.

In particular, it sees the equal treatment of interests universalizability as stemming from reason attempting to establish rules to maximize personal interests.

In real societies, and especially in large-scale modern societies, there are a profusion of competing ethical principles.

We harmonize them, to the extent we can, by adjusting the contexts in which we see them as applicable.Dan Gaskill’s LECTURE NOTES on. Peter Singer “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” Bob and the Bugatti: An argument by analogy.

Flaws of peter singers arguments

Singer describes a hypothetical situation in which Bob has invested his life savings in an uninsured car – a Bugatti – which he parks on a railroad siding before going on a walk.

Peter Singer has argued in Practical Ethics () that you are morally deficient if you eat meat, or if you fail to give a good bit of your income – 5% if you earn more than $,, and at least 10% of income over $, – to help the world’s most destitute.

Flaws of peter singers arguments

It’s actually worse than that. Singer's Argument In various written work, notably the article “Famine, Affluence and Morality” [FAM], Peter Singer argues that people living in affluent societies have a duty to help those in famine-.

1 Explain and critically assess the “Singer Solution” to Global Poverty Introduction In this essay, I will summarise Singer's “solution” to world poverty, and then consider some.

After completing his factually dubious (see here and here) takedown of the “vegan Utopia” in The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan is ready to eat meat caninariojana.com writes to Peter Singer to make sure that his arguments for eating meat from a “good farm” are .

Peter Rabbit is a story, not a model of how to think about animals. So where does all this leave us? If you want to eat meat, and you decline to give even 1% of your income to charity, then there’s nothing in Singer’s arguments that can as a matter of pure reason convince you to do otherwise, or prove that you are a bad person.

Bentham’s Fallacies, Then and Now by Peter Singer - Project Syndicate