Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Famed Bioethicist Peter Singer On Paltalk


Peter Singer, the Princeton University bioethicist whose book, Animal Liberation was credited with launching the animal rights movement, believes that the harsh economic times provide no excuse for cutting back on charity to the developing world. In fact, in his new book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now To End World Poverty, Singer argues that now is the time to ensure that the developed world continues to properly fund humanitarian efforts abroad.

This may be a difficult concept for many of us to swallow. Because we are all fighting to maintain our standard of living, or any standard of living for that matter. It's a time, many might argue, to triage the situation. Take care of those closest to us first. Then and only then can we look at the resources that remain at our disposal to help those less fortunate than us.

But Singer says that each American earning less than $100,000 annually should, for example, commit 1 percent of his income to help those in the developing world. Those making more, he says, should contribute a greater percentage of their incomes.

Singer, a native of Australia who also teaches at the University of Melbourne, will be my guest on News Talk Online on Paltalk.com at 5 PM New York time Friday March 27. To talk to him then CLICK HERE.

Paltalk is the largest multimedia interactive program on the Internet with more than 4 million unique users.

News Talk Online is also syndicated by CRN Digital Talk Radio to an additional 12 million households.


Anonymous said...

What nice sentiments!
In an ideal world we would ensure that poverty was eliminated, that nobody suffered from an illness that was curable, and that everyone should be treated fairly.
This applies to our own countries too Mr Singer!
Don't get me wrong, I do believe in charitable giving - only difference is nowadays I give to charities in my own country.Tell you what, Mr Singer, there are people here living in poverty, people here suffering from illnesses that are curable, and people here who are not treated fairly!
My justification for this? My country pay on my behalf, with MY money, aid to these third world countries, and soon they will be paying more. The Global Poverty Bill will shortly come into operational status and this will commit 0.7% of the country's GDP to 3rd world countries. This is not instead of the aid we already give but in ADDITION. Even charity has its limits!
Our TV screens are bombarded with emotive images of children with fly covered eyes and pot bellies scrabbling in the dirt - this is very sad and nobody could help but be moved. Yet shouldn't these be juxtposed with scenes of the politicians who run these countries who live like rich potentates where money is no object and who leave their people in poverty with narry a second thought?
Why don't the organisations that we pay for (yes, we do pay for the UN) do something more about dealing with poverty instead of playing a political game of making judgments about one country over another. Why don't organisations like the Red Cross and Oxfam cut down their administrative costs (which are huge) and ensure that the charitable funds donated through them go to source for which they were donated?
India and China were considered 3rd world countries, now they are emerging economies - in fact we're having to approach them for help! Maybe the UN could study them and see how they have turned things around and then give some seminars to other 3rd world nations on how to turn round your economy! Maybe Mr Singer could give us some indication of the level of giving from the oil rich Middle Eastern countries to non Islamic countries where poverty is rife.
Lets stop with the guilt trip for being hard working and diligent and for ensuring that we have enough to get by! As for suggesting a percentage of what shoud be given my answer to you, Mr Singer would be pfffffftttt.

Consumer Kim said...

That is great advice -- but it is just his opinion. We should all try to do our part to help anyone, any cause, anything we believe in -- any way we can do it. I help people do resumes when they are out of work. I walk to raise money for MS. I give $25 here or there when I can. But we need to pay bills, a mortgage, car payment and eat -- and things are not pretty. So I don't think anyone should tell us how we should spend, how we should give, or how we should prioritize. Thanks, Pete. But you are dead wrong.