Famine, affluence, and morality by Peter Singer analysis

Conflicts and natural disasters in the world have resulted in large numbers of refugees. Most of these refugees are suffering from malnutrition due to lack of enough funding from different donor countries. The following discussion analyzes the views of Singer arguments on the issues affecting refugees, the moral issues on attending to their needs, andthedonorfunding. The paper will also examine the basis of Singer arguments.

Singer argues that refugees’ numbers have increased due to the rising conflict and natural disasters in the world. He picks East Bengal to illustrate how lack of shelter, food, and Medicare has affected the refugees. The suffering and death of refugees is evitable or unavoidable due to lack of theproper support structure[1]. Civil wars led by greed for power, ethnic, and racial profiling has been a major contributorto the rising numbers of refugees. Singer argues that despite the high levels of refugees’ numbersit is not beyond the powers of first world countries to help. Individual and state decision to support them can end their suffering and improve their livelihood[2]. Refugees undergo a lot of sufferings because their home countries are unwilling to set aside enough budgets to fund their supports systems[3]. In addition, those affected are not willing to lobby for their rights as refugees. The home country government has also refused to seek more funding for the support of refugees from international sources. The lack of political will has heavily affected the funding and support process[4]. He gives an illustration of Britain, which had provided over 14750000 Euros to fund the refugee assistance programs. However compared to what the country invests in its infrastructure the amount provided is very little[5]. The vast number of asylum seekers in the country has affected India. According to world, back report India financial ability to sustain the refugee support was inadequate. The country has a large population forcing it to decide if to allocate its resources to the locals or refugees[6]. If the country decides to invest more on the refugees it, citizens will also suffer from hunger.

The author argues that the affluent countries reaction to the refugees problem is wanting. They fail to support the refugee-funding program fullydespite their knowledge on the issue. Singer furthers states that the deaths caused by lack of food and Medicare is immoral. He argued that the affluent countries have power to stop these deaths but fails to do so due to their lack of concern. They have thehuge financial ability to support the refugees without sacrificing anything on their part[7]. The author states that the general principle that should guide the first world countries is that it is their role to stop something bad from happening[8]. If the affluent countries acton thetime,itwillrevert the death and suffering experienced by the refugees. There is no moral difference in supporting an individual cross to you and helping one who is miles away from you. The fundamental fact in this scenario is that both need help and if one does not act quickly, it will result in more suffering. Singer states that countries need to adopt the principals of impartiality, equity, and universality when helping the refugee.

The primary reason for refugee suffering is because affluent countries are failing to support the refugeeduetoofthedistancedifference. Wealthy countries should help the refugees despite the physical distance between the donors[9]. The globalization of the world means that the difference in physical distance is eliminated. Individuals and countries should understand that they are the only ones that can stop the suffering experienced by different countries[10]. According toSinger, individuals feel theless psychological guilt of failing to support someone need if they can identify someone else who did not help. Countries should not fail to helpindividualsinneedbecausetheother countries have refused to allocate their funding toward refugee support[11]. The author father argues that the idea that numbers lessen obligation is inaccurate and absurd. The primary reason for this view is that if each of countries contributed fewer amounts due tothelargenumbers,itwouldnot be enough to support the refugees in the country. Refugees funding should be based on their budget requirement rather than the numbers of donors[12]. Funding should also be analyzed based on the amount each contributes toward the refugee program. The author argues that individuals should provide more up to appoint where thefurther donation will lead to serious financial problems. The contribution should be up to the point where thefurtherinput will lead to a bad state than the state of the refugees. The result would be better if every individual does what is required than when everyone does little tohis or herrequirements[13].

Singer further argues that there is no distinction between duty and charity when it comes to helping those suffering. The traditional view that the act of giving is charity cannot hold is such circumstances where those being helped are in dire need of assistance. The author argues that there is aneed to change the moral view of helping the needy. Individuals should contribute more to those who are needy since such act will alienate their poverty and suffering. Refugees too need to live a decent life since it was not their fault that they ended to be the way they are. Individual should look beyond the moral view of their society when it comes to helping the needy[14]. The tradition moral and ethical views cannot hold due to the changing circumstances in the world. New morals should be formulated to represent individual the need to end the suffering of the people beyond our society. Singer is against the idea that personal support or funding should be discouraged since it is the duty of the state to support those in need. Every person in the society has a moral obligation of making sure that those in need of food, shelter, and Medicare are supported[15].

In conclusion, thegovernment should recognize the need for improving the lives of refugees. The rise of the numbers of refugees in the world is mainly due to human conflict. Traditional morals should be revised to reflect the general society needs. Distance should not be affected of refusing to support those in need. Furthermore, countries should help individuals based on their financial ability but not in their numbers.

[1] Haerens, M. 2010. Refugees. Detroit, MI: (Greenhaven Press.) 124

[2]Singer, Peter. 1972. Famine, Affluence, And Morality. Ebook. 3rd ed. Princeton: (Princeton          University Press) 196

[3] Bradby, Hannah, and Gillian Lewando Hundt. 2010. Global Perspectives On War, Gender And             Health. (Farnham, England: Ashgate) 531

 

[4] Runner, Michael, Mieko Yoshihama, and Steve Novick. 2009. Intimate Partner Violence In         Immigrant And Refugee Communities. Princeton, NJ: (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) 234

[5]Spoerl, J. S. 1992. ‘Peter Singer On Famine, Affluence, And Morality: A Christian Response’.                 The American Journal Of Jurisprudence 37 (1): 113-133

[6]Spoerl, J. S. 1992. ‘Peter Singer On Famine, Affluence, And Morality: A Christian Response’.                 The American Journal Of Jurisprudence 37 (1): 113-133

[7]Singer, Peter. 1972. Famine, Affluence, And Morality. Ebook. 3rd ed. Princeton: (Princeton          University Press) 122

[8]Spoerl, J. S. 1992. ‘Peter Singer On Famine, Affluence, And Morality: A Christian Response’.                 The American Journal Of Jurisprudence 37 (1): 113-133

[9] Haerens, M. 2010. Refugees. Detroit, MI: (Greenhaven Press) 145

[10] Monsutti, A. 2008. ‘Afghan Migratory Strategies And The Three Solutions To The Refugee       Problem’. Refugee Survey Quarterly 27 (1): 59

[11] Shiblak, A. 2005. ‘Review: The Politics Of Denial: Israel And The Palestinian Refugee Problem’.             `Journal Of Refugee Studies 18 (1): 139

[12]Singer, Peter. 1972. Famine, Affluence, And Morality. Ebook. 3rd ed. Princeton: (Princeton         University Press) 231

[13] WierzbickI, Bogdan. 1990. ‘Co-operation in the Refugee Problem in Europe: A New      Perspective’. Int J Refugee Law 2 (1): 118

[14]Spoerl, J. S. 1992. ‘Peter Singer On Famine, Affluence, And Morality: A Christian Response’.                The American Journal Of Jurisprudence 37 (1): 113-133

[15] Singer, Peter. 1972. Famine, Affluence, And Morality. Ebook. 3rd ed. Princeton: (Princeton       University Press) 176