In The Life You Can Save, Singer makes the compelling case for the fact that our donations to effective charities make a dramatic difference in the lives of others without diminishing the quality of our own. "Most of us are absolutely certain that we wouldn't hesitate to save a drowning child, and that we would do so at considerable cost to ourselves. Yet while thousands of children die each day, we spend money on things we take for granted and would hardly notice if they were not there. Is that wrong? If so, how far does our obligation to the poor go?" Together, these two questions are the driving force of The Life You Can Save.
Using ethical arguments, provocative thought experiments, illuminating examples, and case studies of charitable giving, Singer shows that our current response to world poverty is not only insufficient but ethically indefensible. He dissects and refutes perceived impediments to giving and provides a number of practical guidelines for making charitable contributions.
This book furthers Peter Singer's urgent call to action and serves as a hopeful primer on the power of compassion, when mixed with rigorous investigation and careful reasoning, to lift others out of despair.
Learn how you can be part of the solution, doing good for others while adding fulfillment to your own life.
Peter Singer is Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University.
Peter Singer is often described as the world's most influential philosopher. He is also one of its most controversial. The author of important books such as Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, Rethinking Life and Death, and The Life You Can Save, he helped launch the animal rights and effective altruism movements and contributed to the development of bioethics. Now, in Ethics in the Real World, Singer shows that he is also a master at dissecting important current events in a few hundred words.
In this book of brief essays, he applies his controversial ways of thinking to issues like climate change, extreme poverty, animals, abortion, euthanasia, human genetic selection, sports doping, the sale of kidneys, the ethics of high-priced art, and ways of increasing happiness. Singer asks whether chimpanzees are people, smoking should be outlawed, or consensual sex between adult siblings should be decriminalized, and he reiterates his case against the idea that all human life is sacred, applying his arguments to some recent cases in the news. In addition, he explores, in an easily accessible form, some of the deepest philosophical questions, such as whether anything really matters and what is the value of the pale blue dot that is our planet. The collection also includes some more personal reflections, like Singer’s thoughts on one of his favorite activities, surfing, and an unusual suggestion for starting a family conversation over a holiday feast.
Now with a new afterword by the author, this provocative and original book will challenge—and possibly change—your beliefs about many real-world ethical questions.