Essay On Famine Affluence And Morality

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This is a reprint of an essay, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality," that Peter Singer wrote 40 years ago.

As Bill and Melinda Gates write in the new Forward, maybe "it's time has now come." I remember reading it as a student some twenty years ago and I'm even more persuaded by it today than then.

As Bill and Melinda Gates observe in their foreword, Singer's essay is as relevant today as it ever was.

This short edition provides a valuable collection of the original article, two of Singer's more popular writings on our obligations to those in poverty and a new introduction by Singer that advances the topic with his current thinking.

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We should give to the level that does not reduce spending in a consumption-based society (like ours) below the point that would start to decrease what we have available to give.

So expecting people to give 1% is far too little, but expecting 25% from everyone would be too much.

This does not support the status quo (a mere 1% going to famine relief).

Instead, it opens the door to our discussion of how far to increase relief.


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