HAI AWOT, wanna review my summary of "the singer solution to world poverty by peter singer? kthxby
Summary of The Singer Solution to World Poverty
Peter Singer is a philosopher and ethicist that is widely known for his controversial studies and conclusions. Anyone who reads about his solution to world poverty will probably recognize his name from either his placement at Princeton University or one of his other literary pieces, such as the book "Animal Liberation." Throughout his essay, Singer tries to convince the reader as to why affluent societies, such as the U.S. should donate a decent percentage of their income to the poor. He tries to quantify the amount that families should donate through a series of stories, and assumptions about them. Originally agreeing with Peter Unger's recommended donation of two-hundred dollars per child, Singer eventually concludes that any income that is being used on so-called luxuries should be given away.
Peter Singer jumps right into narrating his first supporting excerpt in the very beginning of his essay. It is about a retired school teacher named Dora who works at a train station writing letters for anyone who is illiterate. At one point she receives word that if she convinced a nine-year-old boy to follow her to a particular address where the boy will supposedly be adopted by a wealthy family, she will be given one thousand dollars. Dora accepts the offer and purchases a new television with the money she was given. Her pleasure was short lived, however, because she soon discovers that the boy will probably be killed for his organs because of his age; Dora returns to take the boy back the next morning. At this point is when Singer begins making the assumption that we all automatically feel praise for Dora's decision to save the boy, and then makes the analogy that we should feel this way as well. He also assumes that American's would see Dora as a monster if she were to keep the television set instead of rescuing the boy. At this point Singer begins attempting to persuade the reader that just because the children in need are over seas, this does not change the consequences of deciding whether or not donations should be made, like Dora everyone should give up non necessities to help aid those in need.
Singer's next supporting narrative is a paraphrased except from Peter Unger's book "Living High and Letting Die." It starts off by explaining that a guy named Bob is just about ready to retire. Bob has invested most of his savings in a rare Bugatti, and is awaiting the day of his retirement where he can sell the car and live comfortably due to its constantly rising market value. The only downfall of Bob's plan is that he was unable to insure his huge investment. One day Bob went on a drive and parked his car at the end of a side railroad track to go for a walk. While he was walking he noticed a child walking down the tracks, and coming from the other way was a completely empty runaway train. Bob finds a crossover switch that he could activate that would direct the train away from the child, saving him. However, directing the train away would result in the destruction of Bob's retirement investment. Bob decides to ignore that the child is on the tracks and to not flip the switch; the child is killed but Bob continued to live his happy life. Here is where singer makes his next assumption, thinking that all of the readers will get angry at Bob for his decision. He makes an analogy that everyone has the opportunity to save a person in need, regardless of how the situation arose. Bob, like most people, did not have the opportunity to truly see the child in the way that Dora did and so chose to not save him. Singer, using the aforementioned assumption that we feel anger towards Bob, says that it is very easy to ignore an endangered child if they are not directly in front of you, but once the situation is explained "everyone" will feel the need to help out through any means necessary (namely donations).
At this point is when Singer begins to quantify his argument, originally agreeing with Unger's original estimate of two hundred dollars per child. He seems to begin a rant about how much money should be given once a person starts cutting back on non necessities. An example of this would be not going out to a favorite restaurant, in lieu of saving up for the next two hundred dollar donation. He then begins using the Bob example to even further push how similar the typical person's situation is to Bob and his Bugatti, border lining on almost being excessive. Singer eventually concludes that an average American family spends about thirty thousand dollars a year on necessities, and anything in addition to this should be donated. All in all, Peter Singer has produced an undoubtedly controversial, yet thought provoking, article on the idea of donating excess wealth to conquer poverty. He used good examples for his arguments, however the applications of them seem to be very weak because of the generalizations he makes about the general public.
"A fit young race car driver in a supercar, and he cannot pull away from a fat man in a 4 door saloon"- Jeremy Clarkson