The Life You Can Save

In my Philosophy class at Lincoln, I am reading a book called the life you can save. This book is fascinating because it goes through our everyday routine and discusses how the world would be a better place if we were more moral in a few ways. One way the author says that Americans are very immoral is when it comes to giving money. We come up with many reasons not to give money. He goes through the reasons that we make up in our head and shows why they are not valid. I urge readers to think about these things and ask themselves if there is more they can be doing to help people in need.


Common Objection Singer’s Response
I already give enough Americans donate twice as much as individuals in other rich nations, but only a fraction goes to help people where there is the greatest need and where a dollar goes the furthest. Simple interventions can actually save lives and reduce unnecessary suffering with donations to effective charities working in the developing world.
I need to save for my family There are two ways to help without hurting your family now or in the future. First, you can shift a portion of what you currently give to charities that have proven dramatic impact.  Secondly, slightly increase the overall amount you donate to charity and give this increase to these very effective charities.
My donation won’t make a difference Actually, small donations can make a huge difference.  For example, an anti-malaria bed net costs only $2.50 and protects two people for up to three years.  
Problems can’t be solved While sustainable development is critical to the elimination of extreme poverty, individual giving plays a crucial role in combating extreme poverty.
Poverty isn’t a problem, its a symptom The fact is that helping people now not only reduces unnecessary suffering and saves lives, but helps create the conditions that favor eliminating both extreme poverty and many of the factors that maintain it.  
Donations don’t help the people who need it most Several organizations conduct extensive research in order to determine which charities will most effectively use your money to help the world’s neediest people.
Poverty should be helped by the government While the majority of Americans think that the United States gives too much in foreign aid, most feel that between 5 to 10% of government spending should go to such overseas aid!
People should solve their own problems People in poverty are much more likely to be incapacitated by illness and its after-effects, and you can see that their starting conditions are significantly stacked against them.
Giving aid makes countries dependent Many types of interventions can successfully reinvigorate and strengthen local economies by providing foundations for long-term healthcare, agricultural, and educational solutions for those in developing nations.
Giving leads to overpopulation Death rates, in fact, have little to do with declines in populations. On the contrary, a lower birth rate is the most important contributing factor for a viable and stable population.

4 thoughts on “The Life You Can Save

  1. All very good suggestions. Perhaps you could urge your readers to check on the organizations to which they are donating. Donors should be sure that organizations have low administrative costs, reasonable salaries for executives and low overhead costs. At least 93 percent of all monies donated should be serving the stated mission of the organization.


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