Samaritanism and Duties

Singer’s famous example is taken to establish that some acts of Samaritanism are morally required. He writes, “if it is in our power to prevent something very bad from happening, without sacrificing anything morally significant, we ought, morally, to do it.” There are three ways to … Continue reading

On Singer’s Thought Experiment

Apropos Matt's recent post: Peter Singer argues we have stringent duties to give to charity. He relies upon a thought experiment: One Drowning Child You come across a child drowning in a pool. You can save the child at some personal expense. Imagine you'll have to jump in right away and thus ruin … Continue reading

A Little Bit of History Repeating

Yesterday, I said this. Whatever one thinks the proper role of government is, it surely is not this. At a bare minimum, we must demand that the government not force us to be less kind than we already are. Today, all over my newsfeed, is a story about a 9 year old who was forced by the city … Continue reading

Reverse Hugo, with a Twist

In Victor Hugo's great novel Les Miserables, Jean Valjean is sentenced to five years on the prison galleys for stealing a loaf of bread to feed his family. It is an outrageous sentence, and Hugo intends it to enrage us and to move us to charitable action. I wonder what Hugo would have made of … Continue reading