Custom «Lifeboat Ethics» Essay Paper Sample

Lifeboat Ethics


Lifeboat Ethics is an article by Garrett Hardin where he has depicted lifeboats as a  metaphor in exploring ways of dealing with the global population crisis as well as the growing disparities between the world's riches and poor (Lodge & Wilson 26).  In this particular article, the author argues that immigration is a major cause of population increase in developed countries and advocates reducing immigration to nearly zero (Lodge & Wilson 29).  Additionally, he compares nation states to lifeboats where the poorer nations are represented by lifeboats which are still within their carrying capacity (Lodge & Wilson 37).   The author is primarily concerned with the issue of population crisis where there is an increased imbalance between the rich and poorer nations across the globe.

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The Singer Solution to World Poverty is an article by Peter Singer which suggests that wealthy or rich individuals should assist the needy overseas through donation of money that would go towards their luxuries (Lodge & Wilson 44).


Hardin's principles from Lifeboat Ethics relate to a personal problem that I recently experienced.  In the neighborhood near where I reside, there are a number of Hispanic immigrants who are considered to be not so well-off.  They have been living in this neighborhood for almost 3 years now and are considered still foreign.  Their living conditions cannot be compared to ours since we are wealthier in terms of food, cloth and luxuries.  These racial minorities work in a nearby factory where they earn peanuts.  From what I have observed since their moving in, no one has ever paid much attention to their lifestyle or wondered how they get by with so little.  No one offers to assist them in perhaps bus fare or even foodstuff and I feel that their employers are actually exploiting them since they are foreigners.

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I am sure that if I would make an effort of taking food stuffs to them or assisting them with clothing especially the ones that I do not necessarily need, the rest of the neighborhood will get the hint and also lend a helping hand, making the racial minorities' lives more bearable.

On the other hand, the article The Singer Solution to World Poverty is perceived as crazy, wrong, impractical and extreme because in the real sense, not every person would want to donate to help the needy.  The second reason is that people, especially the wealthy tend to believe that the poor may not learn how to better sustain themselves as they may become too dependent on the food and money that is donated (Lodge & Wilson 71).  Thirdly, not all the needy will be assisted as some regions tend to be inaccessible due to either war or the terrain (Lodge & Wilson 76).  However, on the positive side of it, this article is perceived as rational, right, balanced and practical in that the livelihood of the needy people will be greatly improved by donations and aid from the wealthier individuals or nations (Lodge & Wilson 80).  Personal satisfaction will also be experienced by those who actually choose to donate and assist the needy and poor nations of the world.  Thirdly, managing poverty is managing the rate of crime as it will be greatly reduced in poor and undeveloped nations (Lodge & Wilson 99).

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Since time immemorial, the world's resources have been inequitably distributed and therefore it is important that people and especially governments call upon the attention of individuals who from the love of justice and equality would be willing to institute a system of the commons in form of unrestricted immigration or better yet, a world food bank.

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