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"Famine, Affluence, and Morality"

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Jake Williams

on 5 April 2016

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Transcript of "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"

"Famine, Affluence, and Morality"
Do we have an ethical duty to give some disposable income to prevent the otherwise unnecessary death of others?
Premise #1
"Suffering and death from lack of food, shelter, and medical care are bad"
Premise #2
"If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable importance, then we ought, morally, to do it"
Premise #3
"It makes no moral difference whether the person I can help is a neighbor's child ten yards from me or a Bengali whose name I shall never know, ten thousand miles away"
Premise #4
"The principle makes no distinction between cases in which I am the only person who could possibly do anything and cases in which I am just one among millions in the same situation"
Full transcript