Justice Vs. Reality In "Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping The Poor" By Garrett Hardin

570 words - 2 pages

The essay titled "Lifeboat Ethics: the Case against Helping the Poor" by Garrett Hardin, was very interesting. The first part of the essay used a metaphor of the rich people of the earth in a lifeboat and the poor people in the sea drowning. The rich people could only allow a few people in and if they let, too many people in they will sink the boat and all die. The best thing for the rich people to do is not to let anyone in so they will have adequate supplies and space for them to survive.
Later in the essay, Hardin writes about the differences in the population growth between rich and poor nations. Poor nations multiply much more quickly than richer nations. The essay then goes on to explain what the consequences would be of setting of a national food bank. It explains that only the rich nations would be able to contribute to the food bank and the poor nations would only draw. This would only add to the problem of the poor nations as they would have no desire to save of food for themselves since they know they will be taken care of anyways. Giving poor nations food would be bad also because it will allow them to multiply even faster and soon their populations will get out of control. Greater populations will take its toll on the environment and rich nations giving poorer nations food, allowing their population to grow unchecked will lower the standard of living of those that are already there and in the end will have a negative effect. Hardin then presents a good alternative to just giving poorer nations food free. He cites the ancient Chinese proverb: "Give a man a fish...

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