Explain all the ways in which the views of singer and narveson conflict with each other.

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Nov 8, 2022


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In this essay, you will explain and analyze the arguments of two contemporary philosophers,
Peter Singer and Jan Narveson, who have opposing positions on the same issue. Singer, in the
course handout “Peter Singer’s World Poverty Argument,” and Narveson, in the handout
“Feeding the Hungry,” both address the following question: Do people with wealth that exceeds
their essential needs have a moral obligation to help those in life-threatening poverty around the
The essay needs an introduction paragraph that includes a thesis statement, and it needs a
conclusion paragraph. The body of the essay should consist of the following:
1. Explain Peter Singer’s argument, being sure to address the following points:
• What is Singer’s conclusion concerning whether people with the ability to help have a
moral obligation to help those in life-threatening poverty around the world?
• What reasons/premises does Singer give to support his conclusion?
• What is the example of the drowning child, and how does it illustrate Singer’s argument?
• What is the example of Bob and the Bugatti, and how does it illustrate Singer’s
• How much are we obligated to give, according to Singer? What is Singer’s reasoning for
why we are obligated to give that much?
• How does the fact that others are also in a position to help affect our own obligation to
help, according to Singer? What is Singer’s reasoning for his view?
• What are the differences, according to Singer, between giving as a moral obligation
versus giving as an act of charity? Why should we consider giving to international aid
organizations that address extreme poverty to be a moral obligation rather than an act of
2. Explain Jan Narveson’s argument, being sure to address the following points:
• What is Narveson’s conclusion concerning whether people with the ability to help have a
moral obligation to help those in life-threatening poverty around the world?
• What are the differences between killing and letting die and between starving versus
allowing to starve, and how do these distinctions support Narveson’s conclusion about
whether giving to the world’s neediest is a moral obligation?
• To what extent, according to Narveson, should we be expected to help a stranger in time
of need?
• What is Narveson’s reasoning for the claim that not everyone counts equally for us?
• What is Narveson’s view concerning giving to others as an act of charity?
3. Explain all the ways in which the views of Singer and Narveson conflict with each other.
4. Provide a thorough, well-developed analysis of what is correct and what is incorrect in
Singer’s argument that addresses each of Singer’s points listed above.
5. Provide a thorough, well-developed analysis of what is correct and what is incorrect in
Narveson’s argument that addresses each of Narveson’s points listed above.
6. In light of your analysis, then, who has the better argument: Singer or Narveson? What are
reasons for your judgment? Is one of these arguments correct, or are they both incorrect? Explain
your reasoning in a detailed, well-developed manner.
The essay does not need to follow the exact order of these points; these points are enumerated
here to show what a complete and thorough discussion on this topic should include.


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