World hunger has been an escalating and continuous problem in third world countries. Many questions are asked by an individual in order to comprehend this uncontrolled dilemma. The questions comprise if the affluent countries are doing everything within their capability to eliminate this problem? What are the main causes of economic suppression in third world countries that subject them to such famine? Has lack to modern technological advances made it impossible for hunger stricken countries to excel within the market and industrialization practices? Are funds allocated to these countries being placed into the right programs for relief and precautions for reoccurrence once organized? Whatever the questions may be, the answer remains the same. The issue of famine is an epidemic that is continuously killing millions every year. Famine faces challenges relentlessly and continues to be unchecked. When studying the works of Peter Singer, John Arthur, and James Shitwaki, a person deducts three different perspectives of this phenomenal man killer, but still they hold a common ground amongst their theorems, and that is famine is an issue that requires to be handled appropriately whether it is done from subjective moral obligation or not.
Notably, the definition of moral obligation needs to be presented to simply in whose regards the moral code is being upheld. According to Kant, moral code should depict absoluteness, universality, consistence that does not have contradictions. In addition, it should be motivated by goodwill rather than the thought concerning the consequences (Blackboard Notes). Thus, Kant’s moral law advances that moral action should be motivated by duty rather than charged idealism of emotions and consequences.
The book “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” by Peter Singer advances that human, moral code needs a reassessment in order to arrive at the standards of well-being and concern for others. In addition, Singer asserts the need for a renaissance or reformation. This implies that Singer considers elimination of other people’s misfortune as more essential than people to think about indulging in luxuries. Notably, he proposes two ideals to support his claims. Firstly, he intimates that people suffering or dying because of lack of basic needs is dreadful, and if people have the power to change the course of a situation that is alarming without strain, it is ethical to do so Singer, 368-369). In the first quote, Singer expresses disgust with the situation and indicates that a person can take many ways to arrive at that conclusion, but one might still find it insignificant because anyway the idea results represents the idea’s construct. On the other hand, Singer expresses the second point in a manner that requires a detailed definition. Singer advances in the second point that a person should not hesitate to do anything within his or her reach to prevent a grievous thing from happening. In addition, he proposes that a person should do anything within their reach to stop the further occurrence of a bad thing. Arguably, he refutes the idea that distance should be a determiner of who should help who or what person is more inclined to help the other in the event of a problem. Singer believes in the elimination of people’s suffering around the world as he projects the world as a “global Village” because of advancement in technology. He refutes the idea that moral action should determine case-by-case ideology. Thus, (Singer, P 369) advances that principle do not differentiate cases where he is the only person that can alleviate a situation or where he is one among millions facing the same problem.
To simplify Singer’s sentiments in the above paragraph, he conveys that a person’s aptitude to offer help should not be motivated by what another person would offer as that causes stagnation in the following outcomes. Firstly, people will be reluctant to help within their potential basing on the fact that others can contribute as they can. Secondly, some people would not help to their maximum if there was a set limit to the allocated help because of the knowledge of the balance required (Singer, P 371). To recap Singer’s sentiments, he believes that research should not be entailed in the issue of famine because it is not a matter constructed socially. Thus, people should not wait for more information regarding famine in order for them to act upon it morally because it can be solved through population control or famine relief Singer, P 374).
“World Hunger and Moral Obligation: The Case against Singer” is a work by John Arthur that offers a counter-argument to Singer’s sentiments. Arthur refutes the idea that famine is a moral issue, which requires people to sacrifice for others. Arthur bases his arguments on rights and deserts entitlements, and he distinguishes rights in two categories. Firstly, it is the negative rights that he christens as noninterference rights, and secondly, are positive rights that he christens the recipient rights (Arthur, P 378). On the other hand, Arthur projects deserts as people who deserve the benefits earned by others. Notably, Arthur advices against Singer’s moral obligation theorem as he feels it amount to neglecting the same premises, which he proposes. Thus, he provides several arguments to illustrate Singer’s inconsistencies. Firstly, he suggests the significance of considering geographical position because if it is neglected, some people who require help might be sidelined. Secondly, it amounts to prejudice when considering people’s needs unequally, and lastly, moral comparability is not applicable when a person offers to help as this amounts to moral entitlements. Arguably, Arthur considers helping others as a right rather than based on moral code, which does not require any reformations.
James Shitwaki takes a remarkably different stance on the matter. In his book “For Heaven’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid”, Shitwaki feels that the third world countries particularly in Africa should be blamed for the problem of famine. He cites several reasons why the aid to these countries is harmful and they include dwindling industrialization within the societies and corrupt leaders. In addition, he views aid as being a crippler to these countries efforts to work on self-sustenance. Thus, he advances the solution to be a reformation of people from this hunger stricken countries, and observes that Africa was in existence before Europeans came along, but they did not fare that badly (Shitwaki, P 383). Shitwaki points out that the goods exported to third world countries hinder their development and entrepreneurial skills as they resort to subsidies from abroad, which they can remarket cheaply and gain profit. Notably, Shitwaki advances that the efforts of the developed countries to alleviate the situation in third world countries only worsens the situation as the countries become vulnerable to poor economic conditions and self-pity.
Notably, despite our social issues been a combination of many things, it serves to portray our mentalities in that, we need to consider some uncertainties as natural, and that we can relate to it rather than basing our judgments from moral obligations. This is what results to differences in arguments by the three theorists discussed. Thus, we need to be able to differentiate between what is better and who we are, but to do this, people need to be aware of the deeper level discrepancies. This explains why accepting the fact that famine exists does not serve to alter our history, but acts as a sign of human advancement towards taking care of the problem. The above arguments help in coming up with a solution to the problem of world hunger. It can be argued that leaders are the main perpetrators, but they blame the issue on civilians through claiming that they do no depict willingness.