Sample Paper

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Peter Singer propounds a version of consequentialism known as partiality utilitarianism, according to which individuals should perform those actions that maximize their preferences what they would prefer to be the case without regard to the nature of those preferences themselves. On this approach, it is good – intrinsically valuable – for persons to have their preferences satisfied, no matter what those preferences may actually be. A more serious and, it turns out, related, a problem arises for the utilitarian when one faces the fact that the theory requires individuals to bring about the best consequences – that is, the maximum balance of pleasure over pain or happiness over unhappiness. The problem is that sometimes the best-aggregated consequences for everyone concerned are not essentially the best for each individual. Utilitarianism is inherently an aggregative theory; different individuals’ pleasures and pains are aggregated. Taken in a purely quantitative sense, the theory might seem to permit us, indeed to require us, say, to kill or torture an individual if this would promote the utmost benefit of others: the majority.

World poverty and hunger are severe problems and require serious, but also feasible, solutions. Perceptibly, in addition to encouraging efforts among the poor that could help therapy or mitigate their poverty for example, birth control information and devices so that poor families don’t have more children than they can afford to raise, and job training that prepares people to earn decent wages, we should motivate people who have more than enough to give away more of their excess income but not all of it to charities that aid the poor.

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