Jan Narveson Feeding The Hungry
Terms in this set (10)
1) How does Narveson define justice for his essay? How does he define charity?
Justice are actions which others, can if needed, force us to do (and be in the right). Charity instead are actions that come from the heart, based on caring. Note if you force charity it really isn't from the heart anymore.
2) What question is Narveson asking about feeding the starving? (233) What is a possible position almost none of us would take on this issue?
Narveson is not asking whether charity is something we ought to do but rather whether we must. Is charity really something we can be properly forced to do? One "logical" but unlikely position to take would be that giving to charity is immoral.
3) Why does Narveson not think that when we let someone else starve to death that we are guilty of causing them to die?
No he does not. He thinks there is a difference between murdering someone is cold blood and letting someone else die by your inaction. (Think of someone drowning in a river with a fast current and not trying to save them because you aren't much of a summer. Or, not going into a burning building to save a stranger because you are not a trained firefighter.)
4) What will the liberty proponent say about how Beethoven spent his time?
Beethoven had the right to spend his time composing music instead of trying to feed the poor.
5) When would I, according to Narveson, be morally obligated to feed the starving?
If the other person is starving because of something I did to him, then I would have an obligation to feed him.
6) What are the ethics of the "Hair Shirt" and why does Narveson reject them?
Hair shirt ethics suggest that I should impoverish myself until all are equally "average"/well off or impoverished.
7) According to Narveson, are we ever obligated morally to help others in need? If so, when?
In emergencies we are obligated to help someone in need if a modest effort will do a great deal... Emergencies must be unusual, however, or they aren't emergencies. And the help offered should be genuinely modest. (Maybe you don't jump in the water or run into the burning building but you should call 911 on your phone.
8) Why does Narveson not think I am morally obligated to spend money I was saving for my daughter's birthday on starving children on the other side of the world?
Simple. My daughter matters more me than strangers on the other side of the world. And Narveson thinks that is perfectly all right. Narveson rejects Hair shirt ethics. Everyone in the world does not have an equal claim on me (or my time and money) My daughter has much bigger claim. She is "set apart" by my love as a father for her.
9) Explain Narveson's efficiency argument against utilitarianism
We know ourselves and our loved one's better than strangers. We are much more efficient at benefiting them. The utilitarian demand that I think of all others having an equal demand on my time and money is inefficient for promoting happiness.
10) Does Narveson think that starvation is more of a political problem or an agricultural problem?
Narveson thinks starvation in the world is more of a political than an agricultural problem.
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