Peter Singer Famine Rhetorical Analysis

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Chris Townsend 9/21/08 Writing 1 Moser Rhetorical Analysis Assignment Out of the three possible essays we could choose from for this assignment I found Peter Singer’s “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” the most interesting and debatable. His conclusion states that if it is within our personal power to prevent something bad from happening, we morally ought to unless it will cause something comparably bad to happen. This is a controversial main claim that should be seen from different points of view. It is apparent throughout this essay that the author Peter Singer is consumed with the well being of society as a whole and throws the individual needs of average people out the window. According to him, “we ought to give money away…show more content…
This as the author’s main claim is agreeable, but the extent he takes it to is not for most. It is his argument that its all men’s duty to support his piers no matter the distance between them and the number of others who are helping should not be a factor (Singer 396). In other words, you shouldn’t help someone within your community over someone in India or another third world country and if nobody else is helping that should not stop you rather it should motivate you to provide more. Again, this argument has its flaws. People feel a sense of closeness to those within their community and are therefore more likely to help. Also if you have a number of people donating you feel more obligated to that cause. The author does a respectable job trying to persuade the audience to his beliefs but most will not take action due to the responsibilities he tries to put on…show more content…
Evidence. Proof. Reasoning. Ideas. These are the most important parts of any piece of work. Why should someone care what you say if you can’t back it up? Singer had plenty of evidence to support that we as society are not giving as much as we can to relief funds. The argument though is should we give as much as we can. Will this solve the problem in the long run? This is where the author falls short. Among his weakest ideas states that although the problem will persist for lack of population control, we should do what we can at the present time. Basically he tells us that we are wasting our time and the problem will not be solved until we get a hand on the population, but we spend billions of dollars until then. Why not focus on population control first? Singer also goes on to say that we as individuals should be giving away about 50% of our total income (Singer 399). Anybody that has worked for anything in their life would not agree to hand out half of their hard earned money for a cause with so little affect on themselves. Humans are naturally self-absorbed. One of his more powerful points is how he shows most countries spend as much as 30 times more on themselves than the aid in Bengal. Britain for instance is spending about E440, 000,000 compared to the E14,750,000 they gave to the relief fund (Singer 391). The author tries to focus the pathos of this argument on guilt towards the reader for living better than others. His moral reasoning is that you should
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