Famine, Affluence, and Morality

Publication Status: 
Academic Publication
Year Published: 
1972
Publication: 
Philosophy & Public Affairs,
Publisher: 
Philosophy & Public Affairs
Volume: 
Vol. 1, No. 3
Pages: 
229-243

As I write this, in November Ig7I, people are dying in East Bengal from lack of food, shelter, and medical care. The suffering and death that are occurring there now are not inevitable, not unavoidable in any fatalistic sense of the term. Constant poverty, a cyclone, and a civil war have turned at least nine million people into destitute refu- gees; nevertheless, it is not beyond the capacity of the richer nations to give enough assistance to reduce any further suffering to very small proportions. The decisions and actions of human beings can prevent this kind of suffering. Unfortunately, human beings have not made the necessary decisions. At the individual level, people have, with very few exceptions, not responded to the situation in any significant way. Generally speaking, people have not given large sums to relief funds; they have not written to their parliamentary representatives demand- ing increased government assistance; they have not demonstrated in the streets, held symbolic fasts, or done anything else directed toward providing the refugees with the means to satisfy their es

My Original Work: 
Yes
Author (not in Network): 
Peter Singer
Type of Learning Material: 
Research Paper
Type of Scholarly Article: 
Research Paper
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