Philosopher Peter Singer - East Bengal's Issue with Poverty and Famine

Published: 2021-06-29 06:43:13
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Category: Philosophy

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Philosopher Peter Singer writes an essay about East Bengal's issue with poverty and famine, and prompts readers with a question of which type of moral thinking should be at hand in a situation of such significance. Peter's says, "if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything else morally significant, we ought, morally, to do it. I agree with his thesis, we should not disregard issues just because they are not within our geographical presence. Helping others should not be about benefitting ourselves, or receiving gratitude for our good deeds, it should be about providing that hand to one who needs it most. Peter brings up a sound argument; if Bengal is looking for our support we also need their participation. Many of the arising problems in Bengal are from natural and manmade causes, one of which is overpopulation. Although we cannot help everyone, we can put forth as much effort as possible and try to make even a slight difference.
In order for us to provide to the well being of Bengal we must know that they are going to fulfill their contribution of population control. Many countries around the world are suffering from similar situations, and Bengal can only benefit from what we give if they fix their own problems as well. If Bengals population continues to prosper the issues with famine will only get worse and our money will have gone to waste. But if Bengal puts forth effort to change, helping them could be beneficial to both parties; knowing we helped save and rebuild a country who was in cry for help. Peter uses an example of "if we see a child drowning in a shallow pond we aren't going to leave them there", that applies to this situation. Although this situation is not occurring in our presence, it's still occurring. By avoiding the situation, its only going to continually spiral downwards leaving us morally obligated to help. This brings me to another point, we cannot expect that everyone is taking this situation to heart and therefore providing a helping hand; that is why it is important to go with your instinct and help when one feels is right. Giving money to a cause should be a feeling that brings warmth to the heart, not because one feels pity. If anything there should be an overflowing supply of contribution to countries in need, rather than a shortage. World peace is about helping those who need it most, regardless of their location.
Many may disagree with this theory, but if America were in cry for help we would want all the support we could get from those around us. There are many countries suffering from similar issues and as devastating as it is we cannot help everyone, but we can at least try. By doing nothing the problems around us are only getting significantly worse. Again, like Peter said, if we can prevent something without sacrificing anything morally significant we are morally obligated to do it. We cannot watch

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