Each response should be at least 150 words. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries

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Each response should be at least 150 words.

  1. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries are morally obligated to help people in absolute poverty? Why or why not?
  2. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you think there should be reparations to African-Americans? Why or why not? If so, what should those reparations be?

Below is another students’ discussion posts and respond in Prompt #1 which is below- write a least 60 words on whether and why you agree or disagree with what they said.

I total agree that there should be reparations for African Americans.  Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Testimony on Reparations underscores why it should not be up for discussion, slaves were and the largest single asset to American Slave owners, more than all other assets in the country.  We are still suffering from the ill of slavery beyond the 1800’s into modern day society as we continue to strive to bring equity in all facets of society for African Americans.  There are so many families that as the articles state did not get the enjoy the benefits of economic security, and when we did with such communities like Black Wall Street, once again they were wiped out to reduce political and economic power and freedom that comes with wealth.  Finally, for all the products that were designed, developed, and contributed to make America, the great nation its supposedly is, African Americans and their generations that followed are owed to opportunity to joy the benefits of their building of America and those products we benefit from today.  This argument that individuals of today are not responsible for the ill will of those before them should also not have the benefits of the ill that those individuals stole.

In theory, the three acres and a mule should apply, including land and the teaching of how to cultivate that land into an economic wealth for their families.  In addition, generations of family’s impact by redlining, bombing and displacement of black wealth economic centers and patents should be either restored with an education component around the importance of managing wealth.  The victims and their family members are very much alive today and we continue to see laws and practices today that continue to prolong the inequity in our communities.

Quiz 7

1.     From the course materials, what is the core argument in favor of believing that affluent people (whose basic needs are met and have some luxuries) are morally obligated to assist people in absolute poverty? Attempt to state the argument in logically valid form, so it is clear what the premises are and how they lead to the conclusion.

2.     What are is one of the most interesting, challenging, and serious objections to this argument, or arguments for the conclusion that we are not morally obligated to help people in absolute poverty? Attempt to state the argument or objection in logically valid form, so it is clear what the premises are and how they lead to the conclusion.

3.     What are reparations in general, and what particular forms could reparations to African-Americans for slavery take?

4.     From the course materials, what is at least one of the most important arguments given in favor of reparations, that is, for the conclusion that reparations are morally obligatory or justice requires reparations? Attempt to state the argument or objection in logically valid form, so it is clear what the premises are and how they lead to the conclusion.

5.     From the course materials, what is at least one of the most important arguments against the claim that reparations are obligatory or required by justice? Attempt to state the argument or objection in logically valid form, so it is clear what the premises are and how they lead to the conclusion.

Each response should be at least 150 words. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries
A Basic Argument for Reparations (10 minutes) Reparations By Colin McGinnJune 20, 2019The demand for reparations for the evils of slavery is often met with the argument that present-day white people are not morally responsible for the sufferings of black people under slavery.That is true, so far as it goes—no one now living is an agent of past injustices committed before they were born. That would require backwards causation!But this response misses the point of the demand for reparations.Suppose your parents stole from their neighbor’s family—they broke into their house and burgled it, taking everything that have, even cleaning out their bank account. Suppose the neighbors suffered great financial damage from this theft, from which they never recovered, which blighted their children’s lives. Meanwhile, the thieves prospered on their theft and gave their children every advantage. The result is that you are doing very well in life, but the children of the neighbors are not.Now those impoverished children ask for reparations: they want their parents’ assets back, which were wrongfully taken. They ask you to provide those reparations.It will be to no avail for you to insist that you are not responsible for the sins of your parents—you didn’t commit the burglary and subsequent financial ruin. That is no doubt true, but not to the point—which is that you benefited unjustly from the crimes of your parents. You owe the neighbor’s children the good things that would have been theirs were it not for the theft of their assets. You are benefitting from the theft from their family, and you need to give something back. It is irrelevant that you didn’t commit the original crime; you are benefitting from the ill-gotten gains of that crime, and you need to make amends.Suppose there is a particular vase that was stolen from the neighbor’s house and is now in your possession. The neighbor’s children now ask for that vase back. They have every right to it, even though you didn’t personally take it. You ought to give it back. This is entirely obvious.Now observe that slavery is (among other things) labor theft: slaves have their labor forcibly taken from them without proper compensation. That labor builds wealth for the slave owners, which they pass on to their children, and so on down the generations. Meanwhile, the children of the slaves suffer the impoverishment resulting from slavery—notably the lack of wealth accumulation. They are victims of economic exploitation, which is a type of theft. Therefore they have the right to reparations.Roughly, those reparations should be calculated according to what the stolen labor would have been worth under non-slavery conditions. None of this depends on the claim that the current beneficiaries of past slavery are responsible for what their forefathers did in order to acquire their wealth; it is, rather, a point about theft and the just allocation of assets.You steal from a person if you exploit them and forcibly take the fruits of their labor. If the slave owners had first stolen the material assets of their victims and only then subjected them to conditions of forced labor, we would all agree that their descendants have a claim on reparations for the initial theft—but the same logic applies to labor theft.Hence the demand for reparations is morally just. It is a further question of how the reparations should be computed and distributed, and whether they would have desirable consequences.
Each response should be at least 150 words. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries
1 https://1000wordphilosophy.com/2018/10/03/soci al-contract -theory/ Social Contract Theory Author: David Antonini Category: Social and Political Philosophy , Historical Philosophy , Ethics Word Count: 997 When you make an agreement of some significance (e.g., to rent an apartment, or join a gym, or divorce), you typically agree to certain terms: you sign a contract. This is for your benefit, and for the other party’s benefit: everyone’s expectations are clear, as are the consequences of failing to meet those expectations. Contracts are common, and some influential thinkers in the “modern” period of philosophy argued that the whole of society is created and regulated by a contract. [1]Two of the most prominent “social contract theorists” are Thomas Hobbes (1588 -1679) and John Locke (163 2-1704). [2] This essay explains the origins of this tradition and why the concept of a contract is illuminating for thinking about the structure of society and gov ernment. 1. The State of Nature and the First Contract To see why we might seek a contract, imagine if there was no contract, no agreement, on what society should be like: no rules, no laws, no authorities. This is called “the state of nature.” What would life in the state of nature be like? Most think it would be very bad: after all, there would be no officials to punish anyone who did anything bad to us, resulting in no deterrent for bad behavior: it’d be every man, woman and child for him or herself, it seems. Hobbes has famously described life in the state of nature as “solitary, poor nasty, brutish, and short.” [3] Locke describes it as where everyone can be jud ge and jury in their own disputes, meaning they can personally decide when they have been wronged and how to punish the offender; clearly, this could get out of hand. [4] Historically, we may not have ever been in a state of nature, but contract theorists use this idea to explain why rules for society, a contract, are desirable. It allows us to peacefully live together with the assurance that no one can simply harm us or take our property without consequence. Contract theorists argue that most people would freely enter into a contract to secure these benefits. A contract has some costs though: to receive the advantages of an ordered society, everyone agrees to give up some benefits they had in the state of nature. Hobbes says we must give up “the right of nature” or the ability to judge for ourselves what counts as our “preservation.” This means that we could kill someone and claim it contributed to our “preservation,” [5] truthfully or not. Locke argues we must give up the right to be judge and jury of our own disputes. Suppose, for mutual benefit, people contract to form some society. What are the details of that contract? 2. The Agreement to Form Government A newly -formed society needs a mechanism for making decisions: who will make and enforce the rules? This authority needs to be established if the new community is to functio n together peacefully. Hobbes argues that the sole decision -making authority should be an almighty ruler, who he calls the “Leviathan,” who rules by force so that citizens are afraid of whatever the ruler says. As Hobbes forebodingly reminds his readers: “And covenants [or contracts], without the sword , are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all.” [6] The contract means that you obey the ruler and his laws or suffer severe consequences, such as imprisonment or even death. Locke’s proposal for the creation of government reflects a more democratic approach in the sense of majority rule: “. . every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic und er one government, puts himself under an obligation . . . to submit to the determination of the majority.” [7] According to Locke, the primary function of governmen t is to pass laws through a majority vote regarding the protection of rights, especially one’s right to property: “The great and chief end . . . of men putting themselves under government is the preservation of their property .[8] 2 Government requires our submitting to someone else’s authority. Submitting yourself to be ruled by someone else requires sacrifice: we give up the right to make laws, enforce those laws, and punish transgressions of them. We transfer these rights to some individual or group who does them on our behalf. These three basic activities — making, enforcing and punishing — form the basis for the three branches of government common in many count ries. 3. Conclusion Living under a contract is likely better than living in the state of nature. Questions remain, however. First, we usually explicitly agree to contracts, but we’ve done no such thing for society. If it’s said we tacitly agree, meaning that we’ve implicitly agreed, Locke responds: “The difficulty is what ought to be looked at as tacit consent , and . . . how far any one shall be looked on to have consented, and thereby submitted to any government, where he has made no expression of it at all.”[9] We haven’t explicitly agreed to any social contract. Do citizens agree simply by enjoying the benefits of things only made possible by living in society? Fo r example, being able to drive on public roads is a benefit. But this is possible only through the existence of government -funded roads. Unless someone refuses to drive on public roads, by accepting such a benefit, is one tacitly “consenting”? Locke’s not ion of tacit consent is problematic because it assumes agreement based on our receiving benefits. However, explicit consent is important because this kind of consent is the mark of voluntarily entering into a contract. Explicit consent is often extremely important – consider consent in sexual relationships – but it is never obtained, or even sought, to participate in and receive benefits from being part of society. A second, deeper problem with the notion of a social contract is who was and is left out of it. Who was not allowed to sign the contract or help create its terms? In many societies, women and non -Europeans were intentionally excluded, and certainly many individuals and groups of people would not consent to much of many governments’ policies and practices, past or present. [10] Notes [1] “Modern,” for the purposes of the history of philosophy, refers roughly to the time period from the mid -17th century to the late 18th century. However, “mod ern” does not only designate a time period but refers to the beginning of the Enlightenment, the rise of modern scientific thinking (Galileo, Newton), and to a turning away from the established order of the Church. [2] Generally included with Hobbes and Locke is a third theorist, Jean -Jacques Rousseau (1712 -1778). Rousseau is not discussed here because views are quite different from Hobbes’ and Locke’s. Rousseau is critical of both Hobbes’s and Locke’s views on the social contract because he is not convinced that society and government are an improvement over the state of nature. He outlines such an argument in his Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754). His own version of the social contract is found in On the Social Contract (1762). See Jean -Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contact (Penguin Books, 1968) and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (Hackett, 1992) [3] Thomas Hobbes Leviathan (1651), ed. Michael Oakeshott (Simon and Schuster, 1962), 100. [4] Locke, Second Treatise of Government (1690), ed. C.B. Macpherson (Hackett, 1980), 10 -11. Locke proposes that we give up the right to be judge and jury of our own disputes in order “to avoid, and remedy those inconveniences of the state of nature, which necessarily follo w from every man’s being judge in his own case,” p. 48. [5] Hobbes, Leviathan, 104 . [6] Hobbes, Leviathan , 129 [7] Locke, Second Treatise , 52. [8] In Chapter 5 of Locke’s Second Treatise , he famously argues we have a natural right to private property by mixing our labor with land. For example, if I pick an apple from the tree, because I own the labor I used (picking the apple), the apple becomes “mine.” Government is created to protect the property I have acquired. [9] Locke, Second Treatise of Government , 64. [10] For an account of how race factored into the terms of the contract, see Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (Cornell University Press, 1997). For an account of how gender factored into the contract, see Carole Pateman, The Sexual Contract (Stanford University Press, 1988) References 3 Thomas Hobbes Leviathan (1651) , ed. Michael Oakeshott (Simon and Sch uster, 1962) John Locke, Second Treatise of Government (1690) , ed. C.B. Macpherson (Hackett, 1980) Carole Pateman, The Sexual Contract (Stanford University Press, 1988) Charles W. Mills, The Racial Contract (Cornell University Press, 1997) Jean -Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762) (Penguin Books, 1968) Jean -Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality (1754) (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1992) Related Essays John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice’ by Ben Davies About the Author David Antonini received his PhD from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2018. His dissertation is about Hannah Arendt’s political thought, specifically her concept of the public space. He is currently a lecturer in philosophy at Clemson University in the departm ent of Philosophy and Religious Studies. http://www.clemson.edu/caah/departments/philos ophy -religion/people/facultyBio.html?id=2263 FOLLOW 1000 -WORD PHILOSOPHY ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER AND SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE EMAIL NOTICE OF NEW ESSAYS AT THE BOTTOM OF 1000WORDPHILOSOPHY.C OM
Each response should be at least 150 words. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries
1 1000wordphilosophy.com/2020/02/02/ethical – egoism/ Ethical Egoism Author: Nathan Nobi s Category: Ethic s Word Count: 99 9 Selfishness is often considered a vice and selfish actions are often judged to be wrong. But sometimes we ought to do what’s best for ourselves: in a sense, we sometimes sho uld be selfish . The ethical theory known as ethical egoism states that we are always morally required to do what’s in our own self -interest. The view isn’t that we are selfish — this is psychological egois m[1]— but that we ought to be . This essay explores ethical egoism and the main arguments for and against it. 1. Understanding Egois m Selfish people often have nasty dispositions towards other people, but ethical egoism generally discourages that: such selfishness is rarely to our advantage, especially in the long run. And egoism does not suggest that we never help others: egoists might be quite generous . Egoism does entail, however, that what makes acting like this right, when it is right, is that it’s for our own benefit: it makes us better off. So, if you must help someone else, this is only because doing so would be good for you; and if you should refrain from harming someone that’s also only because doing so is for your benefit . 2. Why Egoism ? 2.1. Individuals Know Themselves Bes t Some egoists argue that, since we each know our own wants and needs best, everyone should focus on themse lves: people meddling in other people’s lives tend to go badly . 2.2. The Unique Value of Your Own Lif e Also, some claim that egoism uniquely recognizes the value of individuals’ lives and goals. Other ethical theories can require altruistic sacrifices of your interests for the sake of other people or abstract standards, whereas egoists maintain that each pe rson has their own life to live for themselves , not anyone or anything else .[2] 2.3. Egoism’s Explanation of Right and Wron g Finally, some egoists argue that their theory best explains what makes wrong actions wrong and right actions right. Kantians say it’s whether anyone is used as a “mere means”; consequentialists say it’s an action’s consequences; egoists say it’s really how someone’s actions impact their self -interest .[3] Let’s respond to these arguments by reviewing some objections . 3. Why Not Egoism ? 3.1. Egoism and What’s Good for Everyon e First, in response to the claim that egoism is desirable because everyone adopting it would be good for all, we should notice that this isn’t an egoistic argument since the motivating concern is everyone’s interests, which aren’t important if egoism is tru e: only you should matter to you . And are we really always “meddling” with people when we help them — say by trying to help feed people who are starving to death or are living in dire poverty — as some egoists say we are ? 3.2. Egoism and Contradiction s One obj ection assumes that ethical theories should help resolve conflicts: e.g., for consequentialists, who should win a presidential election? Whoever will produce the best consequences as president. Egoists, 2 however, say that each candidate should do what’s in their best self -interest, which is winning the election. But, critics argue, they can’t both win, so egoism requires the impossible, so it can’t be correct .[4] Egoists mig ht respond that not everyone can do what’s right: if you win, you do what’s right; if you lose, you’ve done wrong . They can also use this objection to refine egoism: you must try to do what’s best for you, not necessarily achieve that. Actual success is often difficult, but everyone can try . 3.3. Egoism and Wronging Others for Your Own Gai n Another objection takes us to the heart of the matter. Imagine this : Your credit card bill is due tonight, but you won’t be able to pay the full amount until next month, so you will be charged interest and a late fee . You just saw someone, however, accidentally leave their wallet on a park bench with a lot of cash hanging out of it. You saw where they went, but you could take the cash to pay the bill and nobody would ever know . Also, you know of an elderly person who always carries a lot of cash on their evening walk. You know you could rob them, pay your bill, certainly never get caught and then buy dinner at a fancy restaurant . If ethical egoism is true, not only can you permissibly take the wallet and rob someone, you must : not doing so would be wrong, since these crimes are in your self -interest. (If you’ d feel guilty doing this, egoists respond that you shouldn’t since you’ve done nothing wrong on their view. ) Many believe that, since actions like these are clearly wrong, this shows that egoism is false and the argument at 2.3 fails: egoism does not best explain our moral obligations even if we sometimes must do what’s best for ourselves . An egoist might respond that we are just assuming their theory is false: they don’t agree that we shouldn’t steal the wallet and refrain from assault .[5] But we aren’t “assuming” anything: we just have better reason to believe that assault for personal gain is wrong than that egoism is true . Recall that racists and sexists do not agree tha t their forms of discrimination are wrong either, but this doesn’t justify racism or sexism. People sometimes hold false moral views; this might be true of egoists . 3.4. Egoism and Discriminatio n Finally, racists and sexists think that people of their group are entitled to special benefits and are even justified in harming people not of their group. Egoists think something similar, but about themselves : harms they allow for and inflict on other peo ple just don’t matter . But is there anything about one’s race or sex or oneself that justifies treating others badly? No, so egoism is a form of prejudice, in favor of your own group of one, you .[6] This objection agrees with the argument at 2.2, that everyone does have their own life, but corrects it with the fact that everyone’s life matters, not just the egoist’s . 4. Conclusio n Doing what’s right is sometimes in our self -interest. If the above discussion is correct, though, that an action benefits us is never the sole reason it is right. And, more importantly, if an action is not in our own self – interest, we might be obligated to do it, nevertheless .[7] There are other arguments about egoism. Reviewing them might be in our self -interest. Should we ? Note s [1] Psychological egoism presents itself as an empirical, scienti fic, observational, or descriptive claim about our motives: everything we do is an attempt to make ourselves better off . The problem though is that there is no good scientific evidence for this claim. We are sometimes selfish, or seek our own best interest , but what kind of observations could show that we are always selfish? 3 Our many motives have never been adequately examined to conclude anything like that: furthermore, it’s often hard to conclusively determine what anyone’s motives are, especially since motives are often mixed . Advocates of psychological egoism simply don’t have any such evidence, and perhaps couldn’t have such evidence, so the view is usually proposed as a kind of dogma or unsupported hypothesis, and so should not be accepted . It’s worthw hile, however, to note that if psychological egoism were true (and we always did what we believe to be in our own interest), and ethical egoism were true (and so we must do what’s in our best self -interest, or try), then we would always do what’s right and could do no wrong we would always do what’s in our best self – interest. Since it seems clear that we don’t always do what’s right, or even try, at least one of these theories is false, if not both . Also, if psychological egoism were true, then, since most other ethical theories require some altruism (that is, actions that benefit others, for their own sake), these other theories demand the impossible. And since some of us sometimes seem to be altruistic, psychological egoism seems to be false . Furthermore, since ethical egoists advise making choices that benefit ourselves, that acknowledges that we might fail at doing that, and not even try, which suggests that even ethical egoists recognize that psychological egoism is false . [2] For a presentation of this and related concerns, see Rand (1964) . [3] For an introduction to these theories, see Deontology: Kantian Ethics by Andrew Chapman and Consequentialism by Shane Gronhol z [4] For a presentation of this and related arguments, see Baier (1973) . [5] Egoists might consider this a “question -begging” response to their theory. To “beg the question” is to offer an argument that in some way assumes the conclusion of the argument as a premise: it’s a type of circular reasoning. So here the charge is that this response assumes that egoism is false in arguing that egoism is false. In the main text of thi s essay, I respond to this charge and explain why this argument against egoism is not question -begging . [6] This argument was developed by James Rachels (1941 -2003). For its most recent presentation, see Rachels and Rachels (2019) . [7] Related, but more subtle ethical questions, beyond the egoism -inspired question of whether others’ interests must be given any moral consideration or moral weight, are whether, and to what extent, we can ever be justifiably “partial” to anyone’s interests: e.g., can I permissibly act in ways that favor the interests of my family and loved ones, over the interests of, say, strangers? For an introduction to these quest ions, see (Im)partiality by Shane Gronholz. Reference s Baier, Kurt. “Ethical Egoism and Interpersonal Compatibility.” Philosophical Studies , vol. 24, no. 6, 1973, pp. 357 –368 . Rand, Ayn. The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism . New York: New American Library, 1964. Rachels, James and Rachels, Stuart. The Elements of Moral Philosophy , 9th Edition (1986, 1st edition). Boston: McGraw -Hill, 2019. For Further Readin g Shaver, Robert, “Egoism”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). Moseley, Alexander, “Egoism,” the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Related Essay s Deontology: Kantian Ethic s by Andrew Chapma n Consequentialis m by Shane Gronhol z (Im)partiality by Shane Gronholz Evolution and Ethic s by Michael Klen k 4 Social Contract Theor y by David Antonin i John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice ’ by Ben Davie s About the Autho r Nathan Nobis, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA. He is the author of Animals & Ethics 101 , co -author of Thinking Critically About Abortion , a co -author of Chimpanzee Rights and author or co -author of many other articles, chapters, and reviews in philosophy and ethics. www.NathanNobis.co m Follow 1000 -Word Philosophy on Faceboo k and Twitter and subscribe to receive email notifications of new essays at 1000WordPhilosophy.co m
Each response should be at least 150 words. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries
1 1000wordphilosophy.com/2021/03/05/ethics – and -absolute -poverty/ Ethics and Absolute Poverty: Peter Singer and Effective Altruism Author: Brandon Boesc h Category: Ethic s, Social and Political Philosoph y Word Count: 99 8 Imagine you are walking by a shallow pond and see a drowning toddler. Do you have a moral obligation to save the chi ld, even if it means ruining your clothes? It seems so . Now consider that there are millions of people suffering and dying due to absolute poverty — the inability to maintain basic standards of living. In 2017, over 700 million people lived on less than USD $1.90 per da y[1], over 800 million lacked clean drinking wate r[2] and over 800 million people did not have enough to eat .[3] Over 5 million children died in 2019 from preventable and treatable diseases .[4] Contemporary philosopher Peter Singe r[5] famously argues that if you’r e obligated to save the drowning child, you are equally obligated to help save people dying due to absolute poverty by donating to effective aid agencies. This essay explains his argument and considers some common objections to it. 1. Singer’s Argumen t Sin ger’s argument depends on a fairly straightforward moral principle: if we can prevent something very bad from happening without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, then we are morally obligated to do so.[6] This principle explains why we should save the drowning child: her life is far more important than your outfit . But millions of people are suffering or dying from absolute poverty and many of us could easily do something to prevent this by donating to effective aid agencies. Further, our doing so wouldn’t require that we sacrifice anything of comparable moral importance: we would just need to spend less money on things less important than hum an life: e.g., vanilla lattes, Netflix, and other luxuries. So, Singer concludes that it is wrong for many of us not to donate — it’s like letting the toddler drown in the pond to prevent our clothes from getting ruined . Singer’s argument has radical implications for how many live, since most things routinely purchased in affluent countries are less important than a human life. It has thus given rise to many objections, several of which are discussed below. 2. Objection s 2.1. Too Demandin g Some interpret Singer’s argument as too demanding — implying that we must live simplistically, giving away any and all money we would otherwise spend on luxuries . Singer responds that if his argument is sound then it doesn’t matter how radical it is— morality is sometimes challenging .[7] Others suggest that we consider making a less radical commitment and donate ten percent of our income .[8] Research suggests this donation wouldn’t negatively affect the average donor (with about a 0.1 drop on a 10 -point happiness scale for an average US citizen) .[9] Indeed, many enjoy helping others and find it increases their happiness .[10] And it’s worth noting that meaningful good would still be done with an even smaller commitment .[11] 2.2. Distanc e Others argue that we would be obligated to help the drowning child because she is part of our local community, arguing that our moral obligations derive from the relationships we have with others , [12] and so we are not obligated to help those in far -distant countries . But suppose that there were a button in the pond which, if pressed, would save a toddler’s life in another country. If you think you’re still obligated to ruin your clothes to press it, then distance doesn’t change our obligations . Others argue that we sho uld focus on local poverty first .[13] But the costs of helping people in wealthy countries are significantly higher than aid in impoverished countries — making your donation less effective .[14] 2 2.3. Whose Responsibility ? Some argue that we don’t have an obligation to donate to aid agencies since there are many othe rs who aren’t donating . But suppose in the drowning toddler case, there were people standing at the shore watching and doing nothing .[15] Virtually no one wo uld stand and watch a toddler die when they could easily wade in and save her, regardless of the inaction of others . Some argue that issues related to absolute poverty are really the responsibility of the government. Others say that absolute poverty is the result of underlying structural problems and so we should solve those structural issues instead . But suppose the reason the toddler is drowning is because there’s a playground right next to the pond and toddlers keep falling in. Surely, we should advocate to move the playground — but not before saving the toddler! Similarly, it seems like we have reasons to both help those who are currently suffering and advocate for larger scale solutions .[16] 2.4. Effectiveness of Donation s Others point out that in the pond example, I personally save the child whereas if I donate, my donation could be stolen, embezzled, or otherwise fail to save lives . To address this worry, several organizations have been created which identify aid agencies with a proven track record and monitor their success .[17] And suppose that when wading into the pond, you only had a 75% chance to save the toddler’s life. Wouldn’t you still try to save her ? 2.5. Personal Commitment s Another objection is that Singer’s argument requires that we ignore our personal commitments . For example, paying your friend’s exorbitant US medical costs is less effective than paying for medical costs in a poor country. But friendship ignores concerns of effectiveness in favor of loyalty and personal commitment .[18] Arguably, personal commitments and moral identities require that we at least consider donating to less effective causes which support our personal comm itments .[19] But, Singer might contend that you should do both — donate to effective causes in addition to (not in place of) your friend’s medical costs or yo ur other moral identities .[20] 3. Conclusio n The response to global poverty is among the most practical ethical issues that exists. Many reading this could do something right now making a donation onlin e, of any amount, to effective aid organizations . Singer’ s work, along with that of others ,[21] has inspired a movement called ‘effective altruism” which advocates for altruism — being concerned for others for their own sak e[22] — in the most effective ways possible, generally by giving to aid agencies which do the most good .[23] If they’re right, then many of us will need to radically change our lives for the good of all . Note s [1] The World Bank (2020) . [2] World Health Organizati on (2019a) . [3] World Health Organization (2019b) . [4] World Health Organization (2020) . [5] To learn more about Peter Singer, see his webpage at www.petersinger.in fo. [6] Singer’s 1972 essay “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” is the first and most famous exposition of the effective altruism movement. Singer offers two versions of his principle (see pages 231 and 235) — this formulation combines them . [7] This is the first response Singer offers on page 236 of his (1972) . [8] MacAskill, Mogensen, and Ord make this argument in their 2018 essay. Singer (1972, 235) makes a similar move by considering a weaker version of his original principle: that our moral obligation is to prevent something very bad from happening without sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance. MacAskill, Mogensen, and Ord offer an even weaker (but still meaningful) suggestion that we draw the line at 10% of income, which is quite a bit over the average amount donated in the United States each year of about 2% . [9] MacAskill, Mogensen, and Ord spend quite a bit of time outlining their evidence for their claim that giving is not demanding. See their (2018, 186) . [10] MacMillan (2017) discusses a study in which generosity was shown to lead to higher reported levels of happiness . [11] Fo r example, in 2016, only 44.3% of Americans gave more than $25 to charity (Michigan Institute for Social Research 2017). If those people were to give 3 $50, that would amount to several billion dollars in additional donations . [12] For example, Friedman (1991); Reader (2003); and Abelson (2005) . [13] Angus De aton (2018), for example, argues that there is a sufficiently high number of people in absolute poverty in the US to merit focusing attention on eliminating that poverty . [14] Singer (2018) makes this argument in response. He discusses this objection in conversation with Julia Taylor Kennedy in this 2011 “Extreme Poverty” video. [15] Singer offers this modification in his original 1972 essay, page 233 . [16] Ashford (2018) argues that we have a primary duty to help resolve the structural problems, but a back -up duty to help those suffering in the meantime . [17] See, for example, Giving What We Can (https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/ ), Give Well (https://www.givewell.org/ ), and The Life You Can Sa ve (https://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/ ). [18] This argument is made by Amia Srinivasan (2015) in her review of MacAskill’s (2015) book . [19] I make this argument in Boesch (2018) . [20] This response works particularly well if we are working with a weaker proposal, like that given by MacAskill, Mogensen, and Ord (2018). It is less effective if you take the stronger version of Singer’s argument . [21] See, as important examples: Unger (1996); Singer (2015); and MacAskill (2015) . [22] Contrast altruism with ethical egoism, an exclusive concern for one’s own self, potentially at the expense of others. See Ethical Egois m by Nathan Nobis for an introduction to egoism . [23] “Most good” is typically understood as the greatest amount of reduction in death or suffering due to lack of basic necessities (adequate food, water, medical care, shelter, etc. ) Reference s Abelson, Raziel. 2005. “Moral Distance: What Do We Owe to Unknown Strangers?” In The Philosophical Forum , 36:31 –39. Ashford, Elizabeth. 2018. “Severe Poverty as an Unjust Emergency.” In The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy , edited by Paul Woodruff, 103 –48. Oxford University Press. Boesch, Brandon. 2018. “Integrity, Identity, and Choosing a Charity.” In The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy , edited by Paul Woodruff, 149 –77. Oxford University Press. Deaton, Angus. 2018. “The U.S. Can No Longer Hide from Its Deep Poverty Problem,” The New York Times, Jan. 24, 2018. Friedman, Marilyn. 1991. “The Practice of Partiality.” Ethics 101 (4): 818 –35. MacAskill, William. 2015. Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference . New York: Penguin Random House. MacAskill, William, Andreas Mogensen, and Toby Ord. 2018. “Giving Isn’t Demanding.” In The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers’ Perspectives on Philanthropy , edited by Paul Woodruff, 178 –203. Oxford University Press. MacMillan, Amanda. “Being Generous Really Does Make You Happier.” Time , Jul. 14, 2017. Michigan Institute for Social Research. 2017. Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Reader, Soran. 2003. “Distance, Relationship and Moral Oblig ation.” The Monist 86 (3): 367 –81. Singer, Peter. 1972. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality.” Philosophy & Public Affairs , 229 –43. ——— . 2018. “Is Extreme Poverty Being Neglected in the U.S.?” The New York Times, Jan. 28, 2018. Srinivasan, Amia. 2015. “Stop the Robot Apocalypse.” London Review of Books 37 (18). ——— . 2015. The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically . New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. The World Bank. 2020. “Measuring Poverty.” Unger, Peter K. 1996. Living High and Letting Die: Our Illusion of Innocence . Oxford University Press. W orld Health Organization. 2019a. “Drinking -Water.” ——— . 2019b. “World Hunger Is Still Not Going down afte r Three Years and Obesity Is Still Growing – UN Report.” 4 ——— . 2020. “Children: Improving Survival and Well -Being.” 2020. For Further Reading and Viewin g Ilingworth, Patricia, Thomas Pogge, and Leif Wenar. 2011. Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy. Oxford University Press . MacAskill, William. “What Are the Most Important Moral Problems of Our Time?” Youtube. Moody, Michael and Beth Breeze. 2016. The Philanthropy Reader. Routledge. Reich, Rob. 2018. Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better. Princet on University Press. Singer, Peter . 1999. “The Singe r Solution to World Poverty.” The New York Times, Se pt. 5, 1999. ——— . 2010. “The Life You Can Save in 3 Minutes.” Youtube. ——— . 2011. “Extreme Poverty.” Youtube. ——— . 2013. “The Why and How of Effective Altruism.” Youtube. Zunz, Olivier. 2012. Philanthropy in America: A History. Princeton University Press . Related Essay s Applied Ethic s by Chelsea Harami a Consequentialis m by Shane Gronhol z Distributive Justice: How Should Resources be Allocated ? by Dick Timmer and Tim Meiker s Ethical Egois m by Nathan Nobi s (Im)pa rtialit y by Shane Gronhol z John Rawls’ ‘A Theory of Justice ’ by Ben Davie s Mengzi’s Moral Psychology, Part 1: The Four Moral Sprout s by John Ramse y The Repugnant Conclusio n by Jonathan Spelma n About the Autho r Brandon Boesch, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Morningside University in Sioux City, IA. His research focuses on the nature and role of models and representation in scientific practice as well as issues in applied ethics, including ethics of philanthropy and biomedical ethics. https://sites.google.com/view/boesch b Follow 1000 -Word Philosophy on Facebook and Twitte r and subscribe to receive email notifications of new essays at 1000WordPhilosophy.co m
Each response should be at least 150 words. Based on the arguments and discussion from the course materials, do you believe that people who have their needs met and are able to purchase some luxuries
7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 1/8 POLITICS R ea d T a-N eh is i Co ate s’s T estim on y o n Rep ara tio n s “ e q uestio n r ea lly is no t w heth er w e’l l be tie d t o t he s om eth ing s o f o ur p ast, bu t wheth er w e a re co ura g eo u s e no ugh t o be tie d t o t he w hole o f t hem .” B y O li via Pasch al a nd Mad ele ine C arli s le P aul Marotta / Getty J UNE 19, 2019 Sub sc rib e S HARE 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 2/8 Fiv e y ea rs a go , t he jou rn ali st T a-N ehi si C oa te s p ubli she d “  e C ase f or R ep ara tio n s ” i n  e A tla ntic , a cov er s to ry t ha t wo uld r ein vig o ra te n atio n al d isc u ssi o n o ver d eb ts o w ed f or sla ver y a nd d isc r im in atio n a ga in st b la ck A meric a n s. T od ay, o n Ju n ete en th , he is t est ify in g at a H ou se he arin g o n H .R. 40, a bill t ha t w ou ld e st a b li sh a com missi o n t o s tu dy re p ara tio n s. I t’s t he rst s uch he arin g i n m ore t ha n a d eca d e. B elo w , t he full t ex t o f hi s o pen in g s ta te m en t a s d eli v ere d : Y este rd ay, w hen a ske d a bo ut r epa ra tio ns , S ena te M ajo rit y L ea d er M it ch M cConne ll o ff ere d a fam ili a r r epl y: A merica shou ld no t be held lia bl e f or s om eth ing that h appe ned 150 y ea rs a go , s ince none of u s cu rre nt ly a li v e a re r esp ons ibl e.  is r ebu tta l pr off ers a str a ng e th eo ry o f g overn ance , that A merica n a cco unt s a re s om eh ow bo und by th e l if e tim e o f its gene ra tio ns . B ut w ell i nt o t his ce ntury , t he U nite d S ta te s w as s till pa ying out pe nsio ns to th e h eir s o f C iv il W ar s old ie rs. W e h ono r t re a tie s t hat d ate ba ck s om e 200 y ea rs, d espite no one be ing ali v e w ho s ig ne d t hose t re a tie s. M any of u s wou ld love to be taxed f or th e th ing s w e a re s ole ly a nd ind iv id u all y r esp ons ibl e f or. B ut w e a re A merica n citiz ens , a nd thus bo und to a co lle ct iv e e nt erp ris e t hat e xte nd s beyo nd our ind ivid ual a nd pe rso n al r ea ch . It w ou ld s eem rid icu lo u s t o d is p u te inv oca tio ns of th e F ou nd ers, o r th e G re a te st G ene ra tio n, o n the ba sis o f a lack of m em be rsh ip in eith er g ro u p. W e r e co gni ze o ur l ine ag e a s a g ene ra tio na l t ru st, a s inh erit a nce , and th e r ea l d ile m ma p ose d b y r ep ara tio ns is j u st t hat: a dile m ma o f inh erit a nce . It is im possibl e to im ag ine America w it h ou t t he i nh erit a nce of s la v ery . A s h is to ria n E d B aptis t h as w rit te n, e nsla v em ent “sh ap ed e very cr uci al a sp ect o f t he eco no my a nd po li t ics ” o f A merica , s o t hat b y 1836 m ore t han $600 milli o n, a lm ost h alf o f th e e co no mic a ctivity in the U nite d S ta te s, d eriv ed d ir e ct ly o r i nd ir e ct ly f ro m th e co tto n pr od u ce d b y th e m illi o n- od d s la v es. B y t he t im e t he e ns la v ed w ere e m ancipa te d , th ey co mpris ed th e la rg est s ing le a sse t i n A merica .  re e bi lli o n i n 1860 dolla rs, m ore th an a ll th e o th er a sse ts i n t he co unt ry co mbine d.  e m eth od o f cu lt iv ating th is a sse t w as ne it h er g ent le ca jo li ng no r p ersu asio n, bu t to rtu re , ra pe, a nd ch ild tra fficking . Ensla v em ent reig ne d f or 250 y ea rs o n t hese s hore s. 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 3/8 When it end ed , th is co untr y co uld h av e e xte nd ed its h allo w ed p rinci ple s—l if e , li be rty , a nd th e pu rsu it o f h appines s—t o a ll , r eg ard le ss o f co lo r. B ut A merica had o th er principl es in m ind . A nd so f or a ce ntury a ft e r t he C iv il W ar, bl ack peo p le w ere s u bj ecte d to a rele ntl ess ca mpa ig n o f t erro r, a ca mpaig n t hat e xte nd ed w ell i nt o t he li f e tim e o f M ajo rit y L ea d er M cConne ll. I t is te mpting to div o rce th is m od ern ca mpaig n o f t erro r, o f p lu nd er, f ro m ens la v em ent, bu t th e l ogic o f e ns la v em ent , o f w hit e s upre m acy , r esp ect s no such bo rd ers a nd th e g uard o f bo ndag e w as l u stfu l a nd be gat m any heir s. C ou p d ’é ta ts a nd co nvict l ea sing . V ag ra ncy law s a nd debt peo na ge. R ed li ni ng and raci st G .I. bi lls . P oll t a x es a nd sta te -s po nsore d te rro ris m . W e g ra nt that M r. M cConne ll w as no t a li v e f or A ppo matto x. B ut h e w as a li v e f or t he e le ct ro cu tio n o f G eo rg e S tinne y. H e w as a li v e fo r th e bl ind ing of I sa ac W ood ard . H e w as a li v e t o w it ne ss k le p to cr acy in h is na tiv e A la ba ma a nd a reg im e pr em is e d o n e le ct ora l t heft . M ajo rit y L ea d er M cConne ll ci te d civil -r ig h ts l eg is la tio n y este rd ay, a s w ell h e s hou ld , be cause h e w as a li v e t o w it ne ss t he hara ssm ent, j aili ng , and be tr a y al o f t hose r esp ons ibl e f or t hat l eg is la tio n b y a g o vernm ent s worn to prote ct th em . H e w as a li v e f or t he r ed li ni ng of C hica go a nd the lo oting of bl ack h om eo w ne rs o f s om e $4 bi lli o n. V ict im s o f t hat p lu nd er a re v ery m uch ali v e to day. I am sure th ey ’d love a w ord w it h t he m ajo rit y l ea d er. R ECO M MEN DED R EA D IN G Every o n e W an ts t o T alk A bo ut R ep ara tio n s. B ut f or H ow L on g? ADAM HARRIS  e Ca se f or R ep ara tio n s TA-NEHISI COATES 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 4/8 What th ey kno w, w hat th is co mmit te e m ust k no w, i s t hat w hile e m anci patio n d ea d – bo lt e d th e d oor a gains t th e ba ndit s o f A merica , J im C ro w w ed ged t he w ind ow s w id e ope n. A nd th at is th e th ing abo ut S ena to r M cConne ll’s “ so m eth ing ”: I t w as 150 y ea rs a g o . A nd it w as rig ht no w.  e ty pica l bl ack f am ily in th is co unt ry h as o ne -te nt h t he w ea lt h o f t he t yp ica l w hit e fa m ily . B la ck w om en d ie in ch ild bir th a t f ou r t im es t he r ate o f w hit e w om en. A nd th ere is , o f co urse , th e s ham e o f th is l and of t he f re e bo asting the l arg est p ris o n po pu la tio n o n th e pl ane t, o f w hic h t he d esce nd ant s o f t he e ns la v ed m ak e u p t he la rg est s hare .  e m atte r o f r epa ra tio ns is o ne of m ak ing am end s a nd dir e ct red re ss, bu t it is als o a q uestio n o f citiz ens hip . I n H .R. 40, t his bo dy h as a chance to bo th m ake good o n its 2009 a polo gy f or e ns la v em ent , a nd reje ct fair -w ea th er p atr io tis m , t o sa y th at th is na tio n is both its cred it s a nd debi ts .  at i f  om as J eff erso n m atte rs, s o does S ally H em ing s.  at if D -D ay m att e rs, s o d oes B la ck W all S tr e et.  at i f V alle y F org e m atte rs, s o d oes F ort P illo w . B eca use t he q uestio n r ea ll y i s no t w heth er w e’l l be t ie d to th e s om eth ing s o f o ur pa st, bu t w heth er w e a re co ura g eo u s e no ugh t o be tie d to th e w hole o f th em .  ank y ou . R ELAT E D V ID EOS Bala n cin g t he L ed ge r o n J un ete en th V ANN R. NEWKIRK II The St ory of the Contr act Buyers LeagueThe Story of the Contr act Buyers League 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 5/8 MOST P OPU LA R Bid en I s S p ea k in g t o a n A m eric a T hat D oesn ’t E xis t D AVID A. GRAHAM T he T ru th B eh in d t h e A m azo n M yste ry S eed s CHRIS HEATH T he M ora l C olla p se o f J . D . V an ce TOM NICHOLS O li via Pasch al is an e dit o ria l f ello w at  e A tla n tic . T witter M ad ele ine C arli s le is an e dit o ria l f ello w at  e A tla n tic . T witter 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 6/8 The M yste ry a t t h e B ase o f O ne o f B io lo gy’s S tr a n gest R ela tio n sh ip s KATHERINE J. WU C ash f o r K id s C om es t o t h e U nit e d S ta te s ANNIE LOWREY T here ’s a W ord f o r W hat T ru m pis m I s B ec o m in g DAVID FRUM W e C ou ld H av e C han ged t h e W orld E KEMINI UWAN M cD on ald ‘s C an ‘t F ig u re O ut H ow I ts W ork ers S u rv iv e o n M in im um W ag e JORDAN WEISSMANN 4 G lo b al M od els f o r H ap pin ess A RTHUR C. BROOKS T he m RN A V accin es A re E xtr a o rd in ary , b u t N ovav ax I s E ven B ette r HILDA BASTIAN M ake y o ur i n b ox m ore i n te re stin g . 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 7/8 Id eas t h at m atte r. S in ce 1 8 57. Sub sc rib e a n d s u p port o ve r 1 6 0 y e ars o f in d ep en d en t jo urn alis m . SU BSC RIB E A BO UT C O NTA C T PO DC ASTS S U BSC RIP TIO N FO LLO W Priv a c y P o lic y D o N ot S ell M y P e rs o nal I n fo rm atio n A dve rtis in g G uid elin es Te rm s C ond it io ns R esp onsib le D is c lo su re S it e M ap T h eA tla n tic .c o m C op yrig ht ( c ) 2 0 21 b y T h e A tla n tic M onth ly G ro up . A ll R ig hts R ese rv e d . E ac h w eekd ay e ve n in g , g et a n o ve rv ie w o f t h e d ay ’s b ig gest n ew s, a lo ng w it h f a sc in atin g id eas, im ag es, a n d p eo p le . S ee m ore n ew sle tte rs E n te r y o ur e m ail S ub m it 7/15/2021 Ta-Nehisi Coates’s T estimony to the House on Reparations – The Atlantic https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/06/ta-nehisi-coates-testimony-house-reparations-hr-40/592042/ 8/8


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