Material Aid Approach by Pogge and Singer

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In today’s world, global poverty is a problem. People do not understand who is to blame for the danger and how material assistance can be given. Thomas Pogge and Peter Singer served on material assistance projects. Singer discussed justice responsibility while Pogge concentrated on the natural law. The essay attempts to illustrate the differences between the view of Pogge and Singer and approaches in providing material assistance to eliminate global poverty.
Firstly, Thomas Pogge argues that material support can be provided by foreign structural changes. For instance, the International Borrowing and Resource Privileges are the example of commercial facilities that can transfer money to the poor. They can influence the domestic factors thus promoting prosperity (Pogge 1). The governments can borrow money on behalf of their country thereby incurring the responsibility of paying the debts. The states have the will to borrow or lend to whomsoever they wish to; however, Pogge recognizes that the move sets up undesirable factors that prevent developing countries from flourishing. It becomes a disadvantage to the country because it may benefit those motivated to gain material wealth in offices and those who use oppressive ways to retain the government’s control. According to Pogge reforms are probably needed to sufficiently allow states to enjoy the privileges of borrowing financial aids for their countries to address the issue of poverty faced by many developing countries (Pogge 3). On the contrary, Peter Singer argues that material aid should be given when one is in a position to do so. He elaborates his argument by using a classic example of a drowning boy in a shallow pond. He concludes that one would help the child when it is within their power. This is the approach of justice (Singer 230). The duties of material aid involve extensive responsibilities to assist others whether they are geographically near you or not. Singer operates within the laws of nature that require people to help others with equal minimal effort on their part. The passerby after seeing the boy drown is obliged to save them, the same case with the world (Singer 232). If a person is poor, then those who in a position to render help should do so without hesitating.

Moreover, Pogge considers the outcome of taking responsibility in giving material aid. For example, he believes offering financial transfers to the poor and having international institutional reforms as a possible way of eradicating poverty in developing countries (Pogge 5). Pogge considers the implications of the actions and calls for changes in the government borrowings and lending policies to prevent exploitation of the developing countries. Material aid cannot be given by pouring money to a country; a lot of considerations have to be made to avoid killing the economy of the affected state. Therefore, Pogge takes the outcome responsibility seriously and addresses the issue promptly (Pogge 7). On the contrary, Singer does not take the outcome responsibility seriously. He argues that help should b given only if someone is within the power of doing it without compromising morality. The approach applies directly to those in rich countries who can take part in helping those in developing nations by saving them from starvation and disease threats (Singer 235). Singer further cites that, a person has the moral obligation to withdraw the help if it takes them and their dependents below the welfare of the world’s level of poverty. It is evident that Singer does not ask questions about the outcome responsibility of the global poverty and the implications of the countries who might come in to help with the material assistance. He does not address why the people are poor and who should come in to help, that is if it the role of the rich countries or not. Singer views poverty as a natural phenomenon and explores the remedial responsibility to those who are suffering. One can only help when their capability allows them to without sacrificing anything comparable to moral importance (Singer 240). Singer’s approach to responsibilities of offering material aid is implausible. It is different from that of Pogge views that global financial institutions should be responsible for eradicating poverty in developing countries; however, they should consider the outcome of their responsibilities to avoid causing more harm to the poor states (Pogge 8).

Pogge and Singer approach to charitable giving is entirely different with both writers seeking to provide a solution of addressing global poverty. However, Singer’s principle of justice can be modified to incorporate the aspect of outcome responsibility. For example, Singer argues that if one has the ability and power to help without sacrificing anything morally comparable, then they can give material aid (Singer 241). It does not provide considerations what may become of the future after offering the help. Therefore, to make the approach suitable for my personal life, I would always consider the outcomes of any charitable giving before I proceed to help. For example, a wealthy country should examine the consequences of signing an agreement with a developing country to give them a loan. The results can be positive or negative depending on the intentions of the borrowers who are few financial controllers in the government.

Works Cited

Pogge, Thomas. World’s Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibility and Reforms. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002.

Singer, Peter. “Famine, Affluence, and Morality.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 1.3 (1972): 229-243.

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