Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sometimes Is Better Than Never

Singer's controversial argument states that self-indulgent spending of surplus funds is morally deplorable, and that wealthy people should give as much of their funds as possible to those in needs (although surprisingly, someone read his work and actually changed their major and went about their life giving as much of his money as possible, to which he responded not to do that). As much as utilitarian arguments make perfect sense to the majority of us, we feel inherently uncomfortable with them. It's as though we don't want to face the moral misalignment that results from the actions we enjoy (like, for example, going out to dinner or seeing a movie). When reminded of starving, dying, or poor children and their need, we experience a little discomfort, but usually not enough to actually motivate a change in our plans. Unless most people are moved by that, in which case I'm just a horrible person.
Well, we're all in luck, since Singer himself states that the vast majority of people will not do this. This is something he fully acknowledges. Even if a moral proposition is one that the majority of people will not adjust to, it's still important to recognize this gap. This, ultimately, seems to be the ultimate point of his argument. Even if we don't implement heavy fundamental changes to our lifestyles, which is far too much to ask of the average human being, maybe instead Singer's argument will pop into our head and we'll decide to donate to charity instead of splurging on something self-indulgent. It's better than nothing, right?
What do you guys think? Can we really expect most people to fully abide by Singer's proposition? Is it enough for us to just keep it in the back of our minds?

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