Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Moral Obligation of Charity

I call your attention to the cover story of the New York Times Magazine of December 17, 2006, entitled What Should a Billionaire Give, and What Should You? by Dr. Peter Singer. Dr. Singer is a contemporary philosopher with a profound-appearing, but really quite simple point of view of the obligations of the haves to the have-nots. I have always admired this ideas; particularly his thought processes.

The confounding factor not included in his discussions is that of human nature - that human beings will not behave in the fashion he feels is obligatory.

He relates his foundation-building anecdote - a helpless child drowning in shallow water - water that any adult could easily enter and save the child. He maintains that no-one would excuse any adult passing this scene who would do nothing to save this child - even if it required walking and wading through muck and slime, ruining a very expensive pair of shoes as well as an extremely costly suit. The price of these items could hardly be considered valuable in comparison with the life of that child.

Dr. Singer goes on from there. Don't miss this. If you wish the article e-mailed to you, please get in touch with me.

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