The term marginal utility came up around the 18th century as an economic endeavor to fathom and decide in a justified way the price of commodities in the market. Peter Singer came up with the concept as an avenue to elucidate morality and affluence in drought periods. In economics terms marginal utility means the point that exhausts the level of contentment when a product is tried over severally. Peter Singer used the word to elaborate and suggest solutions to social matters. According to him, marginal utility refers where persons assist one another in reducing problems before they worsen. He proposes that wealthy nations should support the poor countries by offering aids to reduce vulnerability. This paper shall give a counter argument discourse against Peter line of thought in contradiction to that of Garrett Hardin and John Arthur.
Peter Singer puts across that there are mass hunger and thirst in many parts of the world. The advantaged people with capabilities should assist the less privileged to reduce hunger. It is morally wrong to ignore the needy. Many parts of the world people die because of malnutrition and lack of food.Suffering, the increase in mortality rate, lack of shelter and medical care is intrinsically evil. People can assist people at far distances because of the discoveries in the technology (Peter 2006).
We have the potentiality to reduce suffering from others. We should follow the golden rule which states that the known good should be done and the evil avoided. The only people who can prevent bad things from happenings are us. Poverty, overpopulation, pollution, and insecurity affect everyone either directly or indirectly. We must charitable in assisting the poor with what we have. Singer holds that it is through assistance that developing nations that can become developed alleviate sufferings of others and boost the autonomous of the people.
Garrett Hardin argues the dangers and the consequences brought about by overpopulation. He holds that a planet that is overpopulated would overload the existing environment which would require assistance in the future. The first obligation is to our future generation, and it would be absurd to allow the wealthy to offer support to the impoverished nation (Hardin 2007). Hardin has the conviction that the morally right determination can liberate people from poverty. He says that assisting the poor in our current today’s world would not offer significant assistance and it would lead to higher liabilities in the future.
Hardin’s theory of rights and responsibilities affirms that sorrows and perils are as a result of someone merits. The government should be culpable in governing the individual to assist the other. The earth has limited space and likewise has a limited number of resources (Kenneth 2009). The high population would lead to a complete menace of the environment resulting to food shortages and drought. The backward and underdeveloped countries should not depend on the developed countries.
He advocates that the policies that lead to the long-term benefits for everyone should be adopted. Assisting the poor, concerning a World Food Bank or liberal immigration policies would result in the termination of the environment and an unsuccessful world for the future generations. In his article tragedy of the commons, Hardin states that by giving food to feed the poor and by permitting the poor to immigrate to the rich countries food is made a universal property.
Arthur claims that a person has the free will to use the money according to what pleases him. Positive rights are the rights of a recipient and negative rights being those of interference. Arthur believes that the ideal social, moral code will mostly give an impact and boost the common good of everyone. There is no binding agreement between the poor and the rich of being assisted. The rich are entitled to enjoy their vast riches without helping those in need. Arthur line of argument means that we have the right not to support the poor because were are not obliged to do so but doesn’t say to help the poor.
Arthur believes that we have the right to personal property, our own body, and resources which supersede the rights of others against us and our resources. According to Arthur the moral code must be practical, must be able to gain support from the majority and must not assume people that they are better than they are. Arthur brings the aspect of economic justice to the countries by where he says that positive rights come about only through contracts or commitments.
Arthur is pragmatic in his line of thought. The food and the goods needed in starving areas are often difficult or impossible to be there, in many instances they are hampered by civil unrest, dysfunctional governments, and lack of infrastructure. Even when money and food are donated, and make it to the people involved, making such donations, ongoing basis tends to skew local economies and cultures to be dependent on them.
Arthur puts down in the right way the duty of being kind may give a case of behavior other than selfless giving that Singer wishes to encourage. The principle would contribute to crimes of theft in the absence of moral rules governing entitlement. He says that a code which requires people to give away massive amounts of wealth could not gain extensive spread of support among the rich. He does not analyze the reverse situation that the poor may not feel obliged to recognize the enlightenments guaranteed by social, moral code.
In this paper, it depicts clearly that the theory of Peter Singer and those of Garret Hardin and John Arthur differ in a significant way. Assisting the poor and the suffering is morally right in some way. On the other side, people should train themselves on how to remain independent without being supported by others. Creativity, diligence, innovation, and determination should be inherent among the people. Overpopulation leads to poverty and may affect the changes of weather and the atmosphere. States with high population are dependent, insecure, polluted and experience economic instability. Societies should come up with measures to reduce overpopulation. Communities and the organizations should bring up children which they are capable of bringing up. Developing nations should be taught new methodologies to combat poverty right from its genesis and start imitating the developed countries. People live in happiness and satisfaction when the state is economically stable.
Peter Singer (2007) Famine, Affluence, and Morality in Ethics in Practice. Blackwell Publishers.
John Arthur (2007) Famine Relief and the Ideal Moral Code in Ethics. Blackwell Publishers.