Poverty is all around us. You can see it as you walk down the street and a homeless person is holding a sign saying, “Anything helps”. The question is do the rich have any responsibility to help the poor? According to Peter Unger and Singer they have a utilitarian look on it. In the article I read it gave a scenario: Suppose that Bob is on his way to the University and he passes by a shallow pond. As he walks by the pond that morning he sees a little child who appears to be drowning. What should he do? He has two choices. One is to go into the pond and save the child, though he would at the same time dirty his clothes and thus miss his class. The second choice is to walk pass the child to get to his class and leave him to drown to death. Obviously you would stop and help the child. But the other questions asked were: what if other people were around? Or what if the child was from a far away country but Bob could safe him/her with little cost to him? In the article it explains that it is more of a moral fulfillment to give the homeless person money, send money to a third world country, and help charities out by donating money. For Bob, by saving the baby it isn’t a charitable act but his obligation. The article explains that if someone could give money to different organizations and not see it as a charitable act but a responsibility because they can afford it without sacrificing much in return then it will be just like saving the baby as an obligation.
Honestly, you always see the commercials to send like 25 cents a day over to a starving child in Africa and you want to send money but you don’t. I don’t personally think that it is the rich’s obligation to help the poor. The people who help the poor most of the time are people who have the biggest hearts and care about helping. I feel like the rich are the people who care the least. I worked at a church serving food to the homeless over Jan Term and the church started out by serving six people and now every Saturday they serve around 100 homeless people. The people there aren’t rich but have a heart big enough to help these poor people.