Those who advocate for rich countries giving up a portion of their wealth to help developing countries are confused about the virtue of liberality. They assume that the moral and virtuous thing is to help others to the point that it does not hurt yourself. In monetary terms, people should use their disposable income to help combat poverty in the world. To Aristotle, this is a vice of excess. Aristotle would argue that people should give some money, but not the amounts that Peter Singer calls for in “Famine, Affluence, and Morality.” The key is finding the virtuous mean to figure out how much money to give. Justice does not occur when you give money to the ones that need it. Some help is fine, but giving large sums of money does not bring justice to our world. In our chapter about Moral Ideals this week, we learned that the ideal of justice does not play favorites. A proposition that encourages people to donate all of the money that they use to spend on “material things,” to relief funds, does not embody justice. The Guardian article says that the claim that the developed countries are already being over-generous is a bunch of rubbish. I sincerely believe that the rich countries of the world are somewhere near that virtuous mean of giving. They may be giving a little too much or not quite enough, but their virtues continue to stay strong.
Tackling the kinds of arguments which advocate for relinquishing all belongings that we don’t “need,” is easier. Peter Singer’s arguments resemble Marxist philosophy. Singer believes that we should help all of humanity become developed. This notion has good intentions, but the methods used to get there are flawed. If we give away all “unnecessary possessions” and all disposable income to help those in need, we would definitely solve the problem of poverty. Nevertheless, some problems cannot be solved and more problems will result. Civil war is an aspect of poverty that will not necessarily be solved by this system. Not all people can be reasoned with. Perhaps guns would solve this problem by forcing issues to go away, but I do not think this is the best solution, considering this is supposed to be a humanitarian proposition. The biggest problem that ensues is the halt of innovation and development. An unfortunate part of our world harps on development and industry which cannot grow without the haves and the have nots. Capitalism needs executives and cheap workers. We would like a system where everyone is out of poverty, but this notion cannot exist along capitalism and the growth of industry. To suggest that we rid ourselves of Capitalism is an even crazier notion and would not receive helpful feedback.