John Arthur Famine Relief And The Ideal Moral Code Pdf
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This paper maintains that oversimplification has been a common and recurring problem in philosophy that has not only been ignored, but has also gone largely unnoticed. The paper argues that these oversimplifications have come at considerable expense as they have often kept us trapped in dead-end and counterproductive theories and perspectives which have taken us away from truth and understanding instead of toward them.
The division into wolf and man, flesh and spirit, by means of which Harry tries to make his destiny more comprehensible to himself is a very great simplification … and even the most spiritual and highly cultivated of men habitually sees the world and himself through the lenses of delusive formulas and artless simplifications… Hesse, Steppenwolf, pp.
The world is populated by a myriad of objects, forces, and living beings which interact in a vast variety of ways. Simplification allows us to better understand our complex world. It also assists in our survival since simple rules help one quickly react to emergency situations which require split-second judgments and actions.
Simplification is the hallmark of academics in all fields as it allows us to see the forest from the trees, as the saying goes, as it omits details that can obscure the bigger picture or hide more salient lessons and facts.
We often learn from simplifications. They are not merely convenient to use, they often expand our knowledge 1. We can say that the goal of simplicity in academic fields is to bring us closer to knowledge and the truth. Simplicity is a necessity. Nicholas Rescher, Co-chairman of the Center for Philosophy of Science at the University of Pittsburgh, emphasizes the practicality of simplicity.
Simplification not only becomes desirable; it becomes necessary… And we use the least cumbersome viable formulations because they are easier to remember and more convenient to use.
I am concerned here, however, with the problem of oversimplification, which I define as simplification which brings us away from knowledge and truth instead of toward it. While proper simplification aids and furthers our understanding, oversimplification undermines and often stymies it.
Oversimplification involves the omission of relevant details. Rescher explains as follows:. Oversimplification always involves errors of omission. It occurs whenever someone leaves out of account features of an item that bear upon a correct understanding of its nature…Whenever we unwittingly oversimplify matters we have a blind-spot where some significantly-relevant facet of reality is concealed from our view.
Oversimplification involves the loss of information. And this is turn involves the incapacity to understand and explain phenomena Rescher, p. Simplifications have been utilized in all scientific and academic fields to our great benefit.
On the other hand, oversimplifications have produced the reverse in all academic areas, i. Be that as it may, oversimplifications are unavoidable 3. In science, oversimplifications have temporarily taken us away from the truth, but those oversimplifications have often been stepping-stones on the way to a greater understanding.
It lies in the rational economy of sensible inquiry that the history of science is an ongoing litany of oversimple old theories giving way to more sophisticated new ones that correct their oversimplification of the old. As such, in many instances scientific oversimplifications can be said to have been only temporarily bad as they have often served as vehicles to new and improved theories. This is because scientific theories have first and foremost tried to best explain how the world really is.
Simplicity has never been the goal of good science. One favors a simpler theory only when there are two competing theories that seem to have equal explanatory power 4 or it is understood that the simplification is being used due to our cognitive limitations. Scientists usually are well aware that the simplicity brings some level of inaccuracy at the same time.
Philosophers, on the other hand, seem to too often go with a simplified explanation or theory without also recognizing the significant mischaracterizations of the world which the simplification creates. Indeed, there has been less of an emphasis on ensuring that our philosophical ideas match or fit the facts of reality.
A simple theory often is viewed as meritorious for its own sake. It seems enough if it sometimes works well or sometimes provides true information. One need not be too concerned that there are situations which the theory or idea does not adequately explain or fit. But this, unfortunately, has kept us wedded to inadequate theories 5.
It is my contention that many oversimplifications in philosophy have not ultimately led us to a greater understanding of our world, and as such are counterproductive and much more pernicious than the oversimplifications in science.
They have misled us at the outset and continue to mislead us. This is true in spite of the scope and ubiquity of philosophical oversimplification. This paper will set forth examples of oversimplification in the following areas: Moral theory, moral ideas, a variety of monisms which maintain that the world ultimately consists of only one substance or thing, and analogical arguments.
I have tried to include enough examples covering well over two thousand years of philosophy so that the scope, breadth, magnitude, and seriousness of the problem can be appreciated, but with the caveat that due to limited space, this paper will give only a relatively brief exposition of each example—although it should be sufficient to illustrate the danger present in each oversimplification.
For example, modern day moral philosophers still call themselves Kantian or Utilitarian even though those positions are based on oversimplifications which take us away from a better understanding of morality instead of toward it, as will be discussed in the next section of this paper. Of the three leading moral theories, which include virtue ethics, deontological ethics, and utilitarian or consequentialist ethics, only virtue ethics does not suffer from patent oversimplification. Our most famous versions of Deontological and Utilitarian ethics each give us a one sentence test to determine right from wrong actions.
On its face, it is surprising that anyone would think that we could differentiate right from wrong with a simple and abbreviated formula that is supposed to suffice for all the complex moral situations we find ourselves in, including all the different relationships familial, personal, professional, etc. The categorical imperative is his moral test.
Interestingly, Kant has several versions of the categorical imperative—so one might argue that he actually has more than one test, but Kant did not think so.
Kant explains that maxims are the principles or rules that we should follow and that these principles must apply to all people on an equal basis. This version of the categorical imperative is notoriously hard to apply as it seems that reasonable and rational persons could disagree as to what laws or rules should be universal. Kantian expert Barbara Herman freely admits that this one sentence test of the Categorical Imperative CI is unclear as experts cannot even agree on how it is to work.
This is not at all surprising as one would not expect a one sentence test to contain the precision necessary to be adequate for application to all possible scenarios calling for ethical analysis and action. Herman further claims that even the role that Kant intended for the categorical imperative to play has been uniformly misinterpreted 6.
Kant believed that rational nature was of absolute value and since virtually all human beings have this nature, their autonomy was to be respected. As such, Kant seemed to believe we should never lie to or deceive another person because this would always be disrespecting their autonomy to make their decisions with knowledge of the truth or facts.
In fact, in various writings Kant finds three problems with lying: it disrespects the autonomy of others, it disrespects humanity in general, and it disrespects the liar himself. So according to Kant, certain types of actions are never morally permissible. If a Nazi soldier asked you where your family was, according to Kant it would be immoral to lie to the Nazis—even though the truth would lead to the concentration camps and a probable death for your loved ones.
Indeed, if we followed Kant then one would be morally compelled to never lie to a tyrant even when it would result in the deaths of millions of good and moral people. While it certainly makes sense to have a general rule of telling the truth, to not allow one to lie under any circumstances seems to most people to be unduly inflexible and extreme.
The fact is, some people do not deserve to be told the truth. They simply become too dangerous as they can be expected to exploit the truth to their own advantage and to the disadvantage of innocent others. Moreover, it seems evident that life should be valued more than truth for without life one cannot engage in truth-telling or anything else of moral or other value 7.
She admits that under most circumstances one cannot lie even to save an innocent life:. Deceiving to save a life involves an assault on the integrity of a rational will. This fact is deliberatively determinative unless failing to give aid is also incompatible with respect for rational agency.
And it is not: we may fail to aid… To the bare question. It is not clear that there is good reason to find this conclusion objectionable. Notwithstanding her admission, Herman has proposed that we should interpret Kant in a novel way to conclude that under some circumstances one can lie to save an innocent life 8. First, Kant himself never wrote that the categorical imperative should be limited to only general maxims, nor that its prohibitions should be viewed as merely deliberative presumptions which could be overruled or superseded.
They have often done so in spite of the fact that Kant himself seems to continually reiterate his position of accepting only exceptionless maxims.
But no one has a right to a truth that harms others. Truthfulness in statements that cannot be avoided is the formal duty of man to everyone, however great the disadvantage that may arise therefrom for him or for any other… For a lie always harms another; if not some other human being, then it nevertheless does harm to humanity in general… emphasis added Kant, a: p.
It is certainly true that Kant does in fact address the legal ramifications in lying to the murderer, although he makes a mess of the legal analysis 9 , but he does much more than this as he also addresses his views on lying in general—specifically affirming that there are no exceptions to this duty. It should be noted that Kant does not devote much attention to lying or deception in this book and does not even include it as a violation of a duty to others. Kant is, however, quite clear and consistent in condemning all lying in the Doctrine of Virtue—focusing on the harm it does to the liar.
By a lie a human being throws away and, as it were, annihilates his dignity as a human being. A human being who does not himself believe what he tells another even if the other is a merely ideal person has even less worth than if he were a mere thing…and such a speaker is a mere deceptive appearance of a human being, not a human being himself Kant, b: , p.
Further, in his section on Casuistical Questions, Kant again is consistent in his intolerance for lying under seemingly any circumstance when he gives us the following example:.
The servant does this and, as a result, the master slips away and commits a serious crime, which would otherwise have been prevented by the guard sent to arrest him. Who in accordance with ethical principles is guilty in this case?
Surely the servant, too, who violated a duty to himself by his lie, the results of which his own conscience imputes to him Kant, b: , p. Indeed, I think that Kant is consistent in his view that there are no exceptions to the moral prohibition against lying. Given how brilliant he was and coupled with the fact that he gave us several examples to demonstrate how the various forms of the categorical imperative were to be applied, it would be surprising if Kant really were favorably disposed to exceptions for moral maxims since he never gave his readers even one example of how lying could at times be morally justified or even required or when any of his prohibitions could be excepted or overruled They would be oversimplifications that would require much sophisticated analysis to fruitfully deploy and utilize The result is that we are left with Kantian theory as the starting and ending point—without making appreciable, if any, philosophical progress.
Jean-Paul Sartre provides us with the example of his student who must decide during WWII of whether to go to fight the Nazis or stay with his mother. His father was a collaborator with the Nazis and had abandoned the family, and his elder brother had already been killed in the war. He knew if he were also killed his mother would be devastated as she would have lost her entire immediate family, but he also wanted to do his part in the war.
Who could help him to choose? The Kantian ethic says, Never regard another as a means, but always as an end. Very well: if I remain with my mother, I shall be regarding her as the end and not as a means: but by the same token I am in danger of treating as means those who are fighting on my behalf; and the converse is also true, that if I go to the aid of the combatants I shall be treating them as the end at the risk of treating my mother as a means.
What destroys more quickly than to work, to think, to feel without inner necessity, without a deep personal choice, without joy? It misleads one into believing that a simple formula can determine right from wrong actions in all circumstances. This it cannot do.
Utilitarianism fares no better. There are many problems with this test, only five of which I will mention. First, Utilitarianism oversimplification sacrifices individual rights for the sake of the greater whole. It does not guarantee any basic human rights to anyone as the greatest overall good is all that is considered.
Famine Relief and the Ideal Moral Code - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
This paper maintains that oversimplification has been a common and recurring problem in philosophy that has not only been ignored, but has also gone largely unnoticed. The paper argues that these oversimplifications have come at considerable expense as they have often kept us trapped in dead-end and counterproductive theories and perspectives which have taken us away from truth and understanding instead of toward them. The division into wolf and man, flesh and spirit, by means of which Harry tries to make his destiny more comprehensible to himself is a very great simplification … and even the most spiritual and highly cultivated of men habitually sees the world and himself through the lenses of delusive formulas and artless simplifications… Hesse, Steppenwolf, pp. The world is populated by a myriad of objects, forces, and living beings which interact in a vast variety of ways. Simplification allows us to better understand our complex world.
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Lessons can be taught to help prevent future disasters and save lives: respond during the early symptoms Canada para 1. Ever since late , the horn of Eastern Africa has had to deal with a major food crisis Loewenberg The food crisis began with a drought which lead to very little food and water sources Martin Somalia people fled to Kenya and Djibouti; for that reason, the refugee camps became crowded, unsanitary, and lead to many deaths Martin Thousands of unnecessary deaths occurred and millions of wasted dollars were spent because the world failed to take action on the early warnings of the aforementioned food crisis Canada para 1.
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Famine Relief and the Ideal Moral Code - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
It argues that affluent persons are morally obligated to donate far more resources to humanitarian causes than is considered normal in Western cultures. The essay was inspired by the starvation of Bangladesh Liberation War refugees , and uses their situation as an example, although Singer's argument is general in scope and not limited to the example of Bangladesh. The essay is anthologized widely as an example of Western ethical thinking. One of the core arguments of this essay is that, if one can use one's wealth to reduce suffering—for example, by aiding famine-relief efforts—without any significant reduction in the well-being of oneself or others, it is immoral not to do so.
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Solving World Hunger through Microenterprises, Policy, and Community Health Workers
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution. Rent this article via DeepDyve. But quite generally, this cannot be proved: there is no way of quantifying over ranges of available options. I pass over this argument here; I develop it in Chappell A similar view is now argued in Wiland
Unlike other tragic famines in the past, the Great Famine was caused by avoidable human mistakes—not by inevitable natural disasters. The Great Irish Famine - Reformation. Hoover has been an active supporter from the time when Rosen went out from the staff of the American Relief Administration to take charge of this farm colonization. Famines - History s Most Deadly Disasters. Wikipedia claims that in China in , there was a famine.
Наверное, она подумает бог знает что: он всегда звонил ей, если обещал. Беккер зашагал по улице с четырехполосным движением и бульваром посередине. Туда и обратно, - мысленно повторял .