Chapter 3: Common Objections to Giving Matias Beeck & Ari Pompas Summary • As the title suggests, this chapter covers the common objections people would have and the arguments many people would make towards giving aid. Throughout the chapter Singer presents these objections/arguments and refutes them. Major Argument • Despite the objections people have or arguments they make, people should still give. People give multiple reasons/excuses for not giving, but the majority of these reasons are not good enough to justify not giving. Common Objections • People work for their money and they have the right to spend it on themselves • All people are entitled to follow their own beliefs • This is not fair to say because people are born into different financial opportunity. Some are more fortunate than others with the place they end up working in. • We don’t owe anything to someone we have done nothing wrong to • Giving money away will reduce future growth • We still have a responsibility to those in need and there are many ways in which we hurt the poor that go unnoticed. • We cannot ignore moral relativism • Growth is based on your investment abilities. You can still give at some points. Quotes • “Charity begins at home” (24). • “Social capital” is responsible for at least 90% of what people earn in wealthy societies (26). – Herbert Simon • “But we could still think that to choose to do these things rather than use the money to save human lives is wrong, shows a deplorable lack of empathy, and means that you are not a good person” (27). • “You are causing aggression to us by causing global warming” (32). Facts • In the U.S., charitable giving is around 2.2% of gross national income (23). • U.S. ranks as the world’s 3rd most generous nation (23). • In 2006, the U.S. fell behind Portugal and Italy, leaving Greece as the only industrialized country to give a smaller percentage of its national income in foreign aid (33). • “Just two percent of the world’s people own half the world’s wealth, and the richest 10% own 85% of the wealth. In contrast, half the world’s people have barely 1% of the world’s assets to split among them” (29). Discussion Question • “We are certainly responsible for evils we inflict on others, no matter where, and we owe those people compensation…Nevertheless, I have seen no plausible argument that we owe something, as a matter of general duty, to those to whom we have done nothing wrong” (28). – Canadian Philosopher Jan Narveson • Even if we as individuals have not done anything wrong to the people in need, is it our moral obligation to help them? Why or why not?