Hunger is the craving for food that causes uneasy sensations. A person who lacks food for a prolonged period becomes exhausted and malnourished in the end (De Onis, Frongillo, and Blossner 1128). Reports indicate that 13.1% of the population in the world is hungry. In 2010, an approximated 7.6 million children died due to hunger. African countries such as Somalia, Niger, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Kenya face food scarcities form one time to another.
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The earth has the capability to produce enough food for the entire population, but the soils are not fully utilized. People in the developing nations have little potentiality to employ modernized agricultural practices and thus, they rely on lowly productive traditional methods. At the end of the day, people in developing countries are unwillingly struck by hunger.
Peter Singer position in the solution to world hunger
Peter Singer is one of the most influential philosophers who encourage people to have a sense of compassion for the staving Africans. Singer has a strong belief that we collectively have significant duties to alleviate world hunger. It is ethical to have sympathy to those suffering from hunger, and according to Singer, we ought to strive to enhance the happiness of the human race by eradicating poverty.
This paper analyses the topic on world hunger, why the topic is important in the study of ethics, and Peter Singer’s position on what we ought to do to alleviate world hunger.
Why the topic is important to our study of ethics
The hunger calamity that hits African countries from time to time has no direct distress to the people of the United States. However, the moral principles of the American people drive them to donate some of their income to help the starving nations. Peter Singer installs the moral obligation of valuing human life.
According to Singer, all lives are homogenously equivalent. Every individual’s life is highly valued, and the value cannot be stripped away whatsoever the case (Singer 366). Peter Singer’s perception of life plays a critical role in upgrading our moral ethics. Therefore, regardless of the difficult life situations, or the demanding need for extra cash, compassionate people will find it ethical to donate some of their income to the less privileged individuals.
Generally, the topic on world hunger touches our inner soul, and though sacrifice and donations are not compulsory, we feel obligated to sacrifice for the sake of those starving individuals. Though we may not know the starving individuals at a personal level, compassionate love forms, and we do all the doable to save their lives. Peter Singer’s solution to world hunger that states that we all have significant duties to alleviate world hunger is a very important topic in our study of ethics.
Peter Singer’s perception of what we ought to do to alleviate world hunger
Peter Singer is so stringent on the issue of world hunger. Singer cannot withstand the fact that Americans are living luxurious lives whereas some people in Africa are dying of hunger. According to Singer, it is ethical for every person to work towards ensuring there is mutual happiness of the human kingdom.
To alleviate world hunger, people ought to donate all monies spent on the luxurious lifestyles to charities that reach the starving individuals. According to Singer, whenever people spend unnecessarily, they enhance the death of innocent children (Singer 370). Recent reports indicate that Peter spares at least one-fifth of his earning for the sake of the less privileged.
The money is given to famine relief agencies located across the globe to reach the starving individuals. Peter Singer could not bear up with the fact that he lives comfortably while some innocent children crave for food somewhere in the world. Singer holds that the Americans have the obligation to help the world’s poor and hungered individuals. In fact, Singer feels that his 20% donation is not enough, and that he needs to increase his donations.
Arguments and reasons that Peter Singer gives in support of his position
People have often criticized Peter Singer’s position in alleviating world hunger. They cannot find it logical to sacrifice all their luxuries and donate the monies to alleviate world hunger.
Singer’s unwavering ethics causes divisive controversies wherever he goes. However, to drive the point home, Singer uses various illustrations from books and films. The most insinuating illustration involves Bob, a man who has invested a lot in a valuable Bugatti car. Bob loves his car to the extent that he opts to sacrifice the life of an innocent child to save his car from being crashed by a runaway train.
This sad incident portrays selfishness for luxury at the expense of a life. Peter Singer describes Bob as a fellow who does not know the value of life. Many audiences would feel that Bob’s deeds were gravely wrong. He could just let his Bugatti be smashed and save the life of the child. From the illustration, Singer likens the American’s who feel pinched in sacrificing their luxurious spending to save starving individuals. According to Peter Singer, people should judge their actions and determine if they are ethically worthy (Singer 373).
People should ensure that the consequences of their actions are unbiased. There is the utilitarian stance of Singer that states that a person can sacrifice one life to save many. Though not practical, Singer points out that we can sacrifice the $9,000 spent annually on a child in the American families to save 45 African children. However, letting a child die in the name of sacrificing for a stranger is not only scandalous, but also ethically unacceptable.
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From the discussions, it is noteworthy that Peter Singer insists on people to become selfless to alleviate world hunger. Singer stands strong to support his perception that people have to surrender their superfluous income to alleviate poverty. While Peter Singer’s utilitarianism is too much for people to handle, I would propose that people should donate the much they can.
The famine relief agencies should then invest in projects that render long-lasting solutions to world hunger. Sustainability projects to alleviate poverty will work towards alleviating world hunger (Shaohua and Ravallion 3341). As stated before, the soils of the earth have the potentiality to produce enough food for every individual. However, the sad part of it is that those people in the developing nations do not have the capacity to invest in modernized and improvised agricultural practices.
It is also noteworthy that a great percentage of the people in the developing nations do not have the financial potentiality to afford a balanced diet. Therefore, upgrading agriculture though investing in environmentally sustainable agricultural innovations, and investing in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the hunger stricken countries is the only way to alleviate hunger in the end.
De Onis, Mercedes, Edward Frongillo, and Monika Blossner. “Is Malnutrition Declining? An Analysis of Changes in Levels of Child Malnutrition since 1980.” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 98.5 (2000): 1222–1233. Print.
Shaohua, Chen, and Martin Ravallion. “How Have the World’s Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 15.7 (2004): 3341. Print.
Singer, Peter. “The Singer Solution to World Poverty.” In Best American Essays. Fourth Fourth College Edition Ed. Robert Atwan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin (2004): 366-373. Print.