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Analysis Of The Singer Solution To World Poverty By Peter Singer

946 words - 4 pages

Saint Augustine once said, “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” (Augustine). Augustine's belief that it is the duty of the individual to assist those less fortunate than themselves is expressed in the essay "The Singer Solution to World Poverty" by Peter Singer. Singer shares his conviction that those living in luxury should support those struggling to survive in poverty. Singer adopts the persona of a sage utilitarian philosopher who judges the morality of actions based on the consequences that are wrought by them. Singer utilizes powerful pathos, rhetorical questions, ethos, and a bold tone which contributes to his purpose of persuading his intended audience of American consumers to live only on necessity rather than luxury as well as to donate their discretionary income to the impoverished.
In the essay, "The Singer Solution to World Poverty", Singer uses pathos and an assertive tone to emphasize the dire moral issues plaguing the United States and to demonstrate to the audience that their money would be best spent helping others. Singer begins his essay with an allusion to the Brazilian film, Central Station, when he says, "He (a homeless boy) will be killed and his organs sold for transplantation" Singer uses his bold tone to bluntly state that an innocent boy, like an old car, will be used as spare parts. Since the boy was an innocent child, Singer evokes anger from the audience who resents Dora, the one who sold the boy, for her immoral decision to trade the boy's life for something as menial as a television set. The audience, in reaction to the emotional appeal and bold tone, find themselves wishing there was a way that they could help the boy and makes them more willing to listen to Singer's assertions. The speaker emotionally manipulates the audience again when he brazenly states, "… Bob decides not to throw the switch. The child is killed" by describing the death of another innocent child in such a curt manner the audience is again incensed by the injustice and is more motivated to prevent such moral atrocities by renouncing their life of opulence in exchange for a life of minimalism. The speaker utilizes pathos along with an assertive tone to appeal to the emotions of the audience and to empower them to adjust their lifestyle.
To accomplish his purpose of persuading Americans to give up materialism in exchange for minimalism the speaker utilizes thought provoking rhetorical questions which contribute to the aggressive tone of the essay. When the speaker inquires, "what is the ethical distinction between a Brazilian who sells a homeless child to organ peddlers and an American who already has a TV and upgrades to a better one - knowing that the money could be donated to an organization that would use it to save the lives of kids in need" he causes...

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