Philosophy



On the Supposed Obligation to Relieve Famine


John Kekes 

Abstract

In an influential paper, Peter Singer claims that affluent people have a strong obligation to relieve famine. If they fail, they allow others to die, and makes them murderers. In responding to this outrageous claim, which has given uneasy conscience to many, I show that Singer is engaged in indefensible moralizing that substitutes bullying for reasoned argument and gives a bad name to morality.