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Peter Singer’s Ethics

o Identify the issue that is addressed and the conclusion that is presented.
o Identify the premises that are given in support of that conclusion.

o Explain whether or not you think the argument is convincing by presenting your reasons for this
position. If you do not have evidence for your position, you should consult scholarly materials that relate

to the position you present.

Argument Outline

Peter Singer’s Ethics
The issue that is being addressed in this argument is the role that is currently being played by the
affluent in society towards the alleviation of the suffering of the poor in society. The proponent
of this school of thought is of the opinion that the loss or expense incurred wealthy in society is
nothing compared to the gain that will be realized by the austere who will be on the receiving
end of this help.
Peter Singer, the Australian Philosopher published what he termed as ‘Practical Ethics’ in 1993.
This publication was basically made with the sole aim of convincing the affluent in society to
give towards charitable causes. His principles are based on the doing of the greater good through
minimizing pain and in the process alleviating pleasure (Singer, 1972).
The Premises that the author takes are dependent on the relative positions of the two parties.
The first premise he puts forward is the fact that everyone who has even abit of surplus is
morally destitute. This is because anything extra that they have could be used to improve the
welfare of the poor.
Another premise that he forwards is that all suffering experienced by each and every organism is
the same and there is no form of suffering that is more special than the other. This means that
animal suffering is just as grave as that experienced by humans (Singer, 1974).
I agree only partially with the conclusion. The reason why this is partial is the fact that it is
indeed morally upright to help out the less fortunate. I however disagree with it too in that the

Argument Outline
strict application of this is bound to create laziness and also discourage hard work which leads to

Argument Outline

Singer, P. (1972). Famine, affluence, and morality. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 229-243.
Singer, P. (1974). AH Animals Are Equal.

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