But Singer suggests that there may now be more refugees in part because it’s become easier to flee disaster and, in previous decades “those who were not displaced were suffering more by staying put.” Though the civil war in Syria is an undeniably terrible humanitarian crisis, Singer says it should not obscure the fact that the world is slowly improving overall.
This doesn’t absolve us of our moral responsibility, of course.
On the animal rights cause, too, Singer sees reasons for optimism.
“Over the last 15 years or so, there’s been legislation that’s really changed the way animals can legally be kept in factory farms in Europe,” he says.
Utilitarianism is a philosophy that states that the best way to approach a problem is to maximize utility.
The utility can mean many things, but the basic definition is how useful something is.Given the positive effects Singer’s achieved throughout his own life, it’s not hard to understand his optimistic insistence that we’ll continue to grow and improve in the future.Updated January 02, 2019 Reviewer Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC Source: Famine, Affluence, and Morality is an essay published in 1972 in the academic journal Philosophy and Public Affairs. A moral philosopher is someone who argues what is right and what is wrong, and Peter Singer has been doing this for many years.Singer compares the inaction of rich people to see a child drowning in a pond that is shallow.The adult can save the child without the risk of death, and if they choose not to, they are not a good person. Peter Singer is a moral philosopher from Australia, and he works as the professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, among other things.His issues are approached from a secular perspective, meaning that it is free from religious influence, and also a utilitarian perspective.Singer calls on individuals to gradually increase the amount they give to charity every year (he donated 40% of his salary last year).Similarly, he believes everyone has a moral responsibility to avoid eating meat products or, at the very least, factory-farmed animals.And so, given that accepting large numbers of refugees tends to result in surges in harmful far-right sentiment, Singer believes that the most practical solution is to fund the largest refugee camps in less-affluent nations closest to the conflict.The humanitarian crises worldwide are not only a concern for governments.