Topic: Concede and Parry
According to Singer’s principle, we have a moral obligation to donate to OXFAM in order to prevent something very bad—death because of famine. The money which we saved from the non-essentials that we’re willing to pay (like Netflix subscription fee mentioned in class) is just a little amount. If there’s a large amount of people donating their subscription fee as famine relief, the result will be better. Also, it is hard to measure the consequences. We're not sure if the donation really comes in handy. Does the money directly save their lives? The answer is definitely NO. The donation for them can only provide them with some living essentials. Once there’s fewer and fewer people donate for them, they will lose the only source of living necessities. This goes along with Mill’s qualitative distinctions: donating the money to people suffering famine to provide them with living essentials and save their lives could be viewed as lower “base” pleasures. Instead, using the money to support the opera could be viewed as a pursuit of art, which is higher “intellectual” pleasures. Therefore, we should donate on “qualitative” activities which can provide people with more “utility.” So, I don’t agree with Singer’s argument—we have an obligation to donate our non-essential resources.