Peter Singer is an Australian Philosopher. He is considered as a controversial ethicist, who gives one-fifth of his income to famine relief agencies.
Recently he wrote an article in The New York Times “The Singer Solution to World Poverty” in which he has suggested that those who have money to spend on luxury should generously donate to help poor people. In this article he has represented some unconventional thoughts about rich people`s obligation for needy ones. However, he has overlooked many facts and has unanswered many questions.
Peter Singer has suggested that prosperous people of America should limit their luxurious activities for the sake of poor, hungry and malnourished people.
Here question arises what does luxury means? Everyone in this world has different perception about luxury for example many people consider Television as the basic need of life in order to get information and current situation of the world where as some people consider it as a luxury like Peter Singer who strongly believes that the amount of money we spent to buy a TV could be donated to a hungry person who can buy healthy food for himself with that money (Singer).
Today people do not consider TV as a luxury but they rely on it for their daily activities they wanted to know about weather emergencies, current events and happenings that are going on across the global.
One more important question is about “necessity”. Most of the American people consider toilet paper a necessity whereas other might consider it as a luxury those people who are living in stricken localities. In this article Peter Singer emphasizes on the need to save lives of poor people by donating that money which goes for luxuries (Singer).
Money should be donated to the organizations like UNICEF that could send the money across the boundaries. With that money clothes, food shelter and basic necessities of life could be provided to needy people.
However, many people doubted the amount of money they donate to such organizations would really reach to the people it was send for? Peter strongly believes that people of America may become kind one day and they start donating money for hungry children in foreign countries. There is urgent need to realize the fact that if a person just gives up eating out in a restaurant for only one month he could easily save amount that can save life of a child (Singer).
From this it could be suggested that saving life of a child is much more valuable than dining out. The perception of donating might be difficult for few years but gradually prosperous people would start donating and this trend could be passed on to generations to generations.
Another important question which has left unanswered is that what will happen if organizations such as UNICEF will receive more and more money, they will become power full and would be able to take decisions that might affects the whole world. It could result in causing anarchy, more poverty, hunger and destruction (Singer).
According to Peter there is greater need to help people overseas but what about poor needy people of America? Here poverty level is rising day by day, when the government is unable to resolve their issues than how can they give permission to organizations to give money to foreign countries (Singer).
Therefore it could be concluded that there are various facts is this article that are left unclear. Although Peter`s thoughts are really good and humanistic but there is no practical application of his perceptions in today`s world.
Singe, P. “The Singer Solution to World Poverty.” 5 September 1990. people.brandeis.edu. 20 June 2011