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The article “Famine, Affluence and Morality” by Peter Singer demonstrates a strong critique of what individuals think about morality, relief and charity. According to Singer, some of the rich countries, for instance, the United States, have moral obligations to give more international aid for famine and disaster relief. Singer also claims that individuals ought to change their ways of living so as to give support to those who are in need (Singer 231). It is a shame that individuals die due to lack of food and suffer since they do not have a shelter and medical care. Singer argues that if people can prevent awful things from happening without sacrificing something that is moral, significant, then this is a moral act. People should contribute much to famine relief if their status allows. Individuals should be able to offer shelter to those who do not have it and give food to the hungry. Therefore, it is advisable to maximally help others.
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In my opinion, Singer would not be happy with how others and I live. The reason for this is that people nowadays work so as to generate prosperity, and therefore happiness in their families. They work tirelessly day and night in order to provide their families with everything they need and gain financial stability (Singer 233). Often, they forget that they should give charities to the unable people and offer shelter to those who do not have it. However, this is not the case. People struggle to make sure that their families have good shelter, food and clothes, but forget about their neighbors. Singer defines all these as immoral acts.
Speciesism refers to the concept that human is superior to any other animal, and should have more moral rights compared to the latter. Some speciesism critics claim that giving human beings more rights compared to animals is arbitrary. It is similar to giving white individuals more rights than individuals with other color of the skin. Morally, this is wrong. Notably, individuals who fight for sexual and racial equality find this comparison insulting (Singer 29). According to them, their struggle for equality has a social and moral importance that the animals’ rights cannot have at all.
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Singer was a very significant figure in launching of the animal movement. According to Singer, people should not eat veal since this will be violating calves’ rights to life and freedom taking into consideration how they are treated when being raised (Singer 30). Calves deserve better treatment. Just like human beings, animals too have rights. Thus, their rights should always be monitored to ensure effective protection.
Moral saint refers to individuals who act in a moral or right way. According to Wolf, being a moral saint is wrong and moral saints are never attractive. First, they do not have any time for their own leisure activities, such as literature, sports, music etc., and this makes them live a strangely boring life. Second, they cannot enjoy everything that is pleasurable in life. Last, they lack the non-moral virtues, for instance, sense of humor, artistic or refined musical ability, athletic prowess and culinary acuity (Wolf 424). According to Eudemonistic ethics, for an individual to attain true happiness, they must be morally upright. Oppositely, Wolf claims that a moral saint lacks the qualities that are necessary for developing good life. A moral saint also sacrifices themself for other’s well-being. Moreover, they have limited resources. Energy and time spent on pursuing non-moral interests should be spent on things that are of moral interests.
Moral saints come in two forms, namely, a loving and rational saint. Loving saints obtain their happiness making other individuals happy. Often, they act out of love motive. Precisely, rational saints tend to act out of duty, and, as a result, their pay for their saintliness by sacrificing the interests of other individuals (Wolf 420).
From Aristotle’s perspective, moral virtue is the character of behaving in the right manner. Individuals learn moral virtues primarily through practices and habits rather than instructions. Virtues comprise having the appropriate attitude towards pleasure and pain. For instance, cowards suffer undue fear when being in danger (Aristotle 181). On the contrary, a rash person cannot suffer sufficient fear. Moral virtues dispose individuals to behave in an appropriate manner. However, it is also necessary to adopt the right intellectual virtues so as to reason properly on how to behave.
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Finding good people is quite difficult. Most people lack the good virtues. Happiness can only be achievable through living a life that is virtuous. In most cases, virtuous life is full of good reasoning. There are several virtues discussed by Aristotle. First is bravery. A brave person faces what he or she fears for the right reason, at the right time and in the right manner. A brave person is fearless even when facing a noble death (Aristotle 183).
When examinations were approaching, my friend Brian decided not study for his exams. His intention was to cheat, copying from his neighbor’s works. Unfortunately, he did not appear at the examination in time. Upon his arrival, he found that all the seats were occupied except the one that was in the front part of the classroom. He had no one who would sit close to him, so that he had an opportunity to cheat. As a result, Brian had to do the test by himself. When the teacher came in with the test, Brian had no idea of what he could write since he was not ready for the exam.
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The class was in silent and the exam began. Every student was busy filling the answer sheets while Brian wondered what to write on his paper. As a result, he failed this examination. In terms of moral judgment, he committed morally wrong. However, this was a good luck since the teacher did not catch him in the process of cheating. The good luck in this story has affected my moral judgments in various ways. For instance, moral acts should be judged upon the bad or good will. In this case, Brian had good will although the results were bad. I have also understood that moral judgment and honesty are somewhat related. What motivated Brian to cheat was the fact that he wanted to pass his exams; however, he did not get the opportunity.