Lifeboat Ethic: The Case Against Helping The Poor
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Lifeboat Ethic: The Case Against Helping the Poor
In accordance with this article, there are many environmentalists who metaphorically refer to earth as a space shape. The main idea that they want to instill in people is the fact that there needs to be awareness in regards to keeping the environment safe. Communities, industries and individuals need to stop the vile act of polluting the environment. It is a fact that everyone on the earth shares the same resources and it is unfair if a certain group or individual inconsiderably tries to ruin it. Subsequently, everyone who is living on this earth has the right to get a fair share of these resources, but unfortunately, there is no equal distribution. The riches and resources of this earth have been distributed unfairly and except for a few countries, most are poor and are trying to make ends meet. In this article, Hardin further tries to make things clear by giving the example of a lifeboat with limited capacity (Hardin). The resources of the world are limited, and users are much more. Further, through the reflection of this article, a better understanding of the current world dilemma will be done.
If a lifeboat is present in an ocean with fifty people and a capacity of sixty, what should be done if there are around a hundred people drowning? In accordance with Marxist, they are all our brothers, all hundred should be taken in the boat. This will obviously end in the boat drowning killing everyone giving complete justice. Or, the boat could take in ten more people, but on what basis are they selected? This is tricky, there is also the safety factor. So, the people on the boat can opt for not taking in any more passengers so they can secure the upcoming future of their generations (Hardin).
Multiplying the Rich and the Poor
I agree with multiplying the rich and the poor. If a developed and rich country like the United States decides to share its resources with the poor countries, it will not manage well. The reason behind is the reproductive rate between the rich and the poor. The people in the poorer countries reproduce a lot more than the individuals in the United States (Hardin). That would mean that the population of America will start growing very fast and the resources will be cut short in order to meet the needs of all the people. Something to be kept in mind is that needs are determined by the size of a populace.
The Tragedy of the Commons
Coming to the tragedy of the commons, I will have to disagree. A person who owns a property knows how to take care of it and is well aware of the consequences if they do not. If they let other people in, they will not have the same perspective and urge to protect the land as the actual owner causing the tragedy of commons. However, they can be taught through a system of control, rules and penalty. If people know that there can be consequences if they do not protect the land, they will be more considerate.
The World Food Bank
I will also have to disagree with the World Food Bank. Instead of creating a World Food Bank, investments should be made to bring a change on a universal level. Global warming has had an impact on the production of food. All the rich counties should try to find a fix which can bring a change overall and eliminating the need for a World Food Bank (Hardin). This will also bring a change worldwide, so the poor can find ways to feed themselves.
Lastly, there can never be complete balance and equality when it comes to the distribution of natural resources. There is always going to be a disbalance at some point. To cater to that, work and investment should be done to increase and sustain the present resources.
Hardin, G. (1996). Lifeboat ethics: the case against helping the poor. World Hunger and Morality, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
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