Assignment 10: Food Ethics
Textbook: Louis Pojman and Paul Pojman, Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application. Seventh Edition. Cengage Learning.
Read the introduction to Chapter 9 and the following:
1. Mylan Engel: Hunger, Duty, and Ecology: On what We Owe Starving Humans (See Chapter 9)
2. Garrett Hardin: Lifeboat Ethics (Chapter 11: This was also assigned in the previous assignment.)
Please write at least 300 words for this assignment. You may always right as much as you want to do good work.
Question 1: Do moderately affluent people have the two obligations that Mylan Engel argues they have? He is arguing for the two claims he labels: (O1) and (O2). Find them. I want you to carefully consider his moral argument for these two claims. He says that the existence of “global hunger and absolute poverty” implies that people who are “affluent and moderately affluent” have an obligation “to provide modest financial support to famine-relief organizations ….” Please don’t say that no one can argue that anyone can have an obligation to give people money, or something like that, or that he is rude to suggest that. That misses the whole point of the moral argument. It is very common for people to have a moral obligation to give people money and even help people. The question is whether this particular argument is any good or not. You have to deal with his argument. Are his claims true or not? Why or why not? If they are true, do they even support the conclusions (O1) and (O2)? Why or why not?
Question 2: Contrary to Engel, Garrett Hardin argues that it would be wrong to help starving people. See especially the “ratchet effect” he talks about. Explain his view.
Question 3: Who seems to be more correct about the subject of helping people in other countries who are starving in poverty, Engel or Hardin? Critically discuss their views. Explain your views.
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