Although he wouldn’t necessarily oppose government donations for famine relief, he argues that it is the moral responsibility of the individual citizen to donate excess wealth in reallocating resources to impoverished regions. This is because individuals are capable of developing a causal link between their monetary donation and the lifestyle improvement its makes in an impoverished country. Singer also argues that geographic distance should make no difference in determining one’s moral obligation to aiding countries in famine relief. In an effort to expand to make Singer’s use of the Pareto Principle more argumentatively sound through his incorporation of Sen’s concept of final value as substantive freedom. In developing his claim Peterson considers the nature of final value. While traditional utilitarianism seeks methods of linking the abstract concept of increased happiness to objective entities such as primary goods, including things like health care, education, etc., this causes the same logical inconsistency as Singer’s weak implementation of the Pareto Principle. As a result, Peterson turns to Sen’s concept of substantive freedom, rather than the traditional utilitarian understanding of final value. Sen’s concept of substantive freedom considers the nature of the final value in terms of capabilities and functionalities. The Ethics of Assistance in Famine.
Peterson, Martin. (2004). ‘Foreign Aid and the Moral Value of Freedom’
Singer, Peter. (2004) The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. Random House.
Singer, Peter. (2004) One World: the Ethics of Globalization. Random House.
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