Essay Questions

Plan to write about 400 words:

[1] First, describe and explain Singer’s overall argument for the claim that we have a very (surprisingly) large obligation to give to the global poor. Second, write a paragraph where you give the best reasons you can in favor of Singer’s argument and conclusion. Third, write another paragraph in which you give the bests you can against Singer’s argument and conclusion.

(It is not part of the requirement of this short essay that you take a side overall. Rather, do the best you can to give strong arguments in each of the above two paragraphs.)

Singer’s Argument 1:

Suffering and death (from lack of food, etc.) are (really) bad

1. If you can prevent something (really) bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to.

2.

2. By donating to aid agencies, you can prevent suffering and death (from lack of food, etc.) without sacrificing anything nearly as important.

3. Therefore, if you do not donate to aid agencies [but instead spend it on yourself

for things you don’t really need], you are doing something wrong

Singer’s Argument 2:

The decision about the pond case is morally analogous to the decision about whether to send money to save a child amongst the global poor.

1. Clearly it would be morally wrong to just walk by and let the child in the pond die.

2.Therefore, it would be morally wrong to fail to send money to save the child amongst the global poor