The morality of individuals in developed countries spending money on luxuries instead of doing philanthropic activities has come into question. These individuals appear not to care about the suffering that is going on around the world as a result of poverty. Beitz (1979) stresses about the state that can influence people’s welfare and their rights is obligated to satisfy definite moral conditions in order to considered as legitimate (p. 13).
This essay therefore aims to discuss the argument that international theorists have put forward about the introduction of the principles of international justice between societies of nationalists and obligations towards the eradication of world poverty. World Poverty and International Justice Hurka (1997) observes that moral issues have arisen from the issue of nationalism as a type of partiality whereby nationalists appear to be more concerned about their own country and its citizens than about others countries and their populace thus the aspect of partiality. The moral justification of this issue has been put into question.
He further stresses that racial partiality has been widely condemned and therefore tries to compare whether national partiality is similar to it by investigating the general justification of the attitudes of partiality (p. 139). Singer (1985) observes the plight of people in East Bengal who are dying from the lack of food, shelter and medical care. Nine million people have become impoverished refugees as a result of continuous poverty, a cyclone and a civil war. However, this situation is not outside the capacity of the richer countries to offer assistance to reduce the amount of suffering.
He further asserts that humanity has not been portrayed by people who are capable of donating large amounts of relief funds nor have they communicated with their parliamentary representatives to press for government aid (p 247). This may indicate that the rich are busy enjoying luxurious activities and pay little attention to the plight of those in trouble. Caney (2006) first questions whether it is possible to intervene for humanitarian reasons when a political regime appears to be inflicting harm on its own citizens. He makes an observation whereby it is discovered that there are occasions when agencies have taken part in interventions.
However, it has become a moral issue where external agencies have not intervened. Therefore, Caney urges the need to concentrate on the moral justification of intervening in another country’s affairs, no matter how inhumane they are (p. 227). O’Neill (1985) argues that everyone has a duty to try and prevent the unjustifiable deaths of people as a result of famine therefore people have a right not to be killed unjustifiably (p. 262). Dower (1998) refers to bodies that deal with international violations of the law such as The International Court of Justice in The Hague.
This organization acts as the final court of appeal. He stresses on documents that are bear moral emphasis more than legal emphasis. An example of such a document is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which together with legal binding agreements and procedures that have been under the sponsorship of the United Nations since the World War II (p. 180). Pogge (2001) observes that in order for one to appreciate the query about priorities, they must acquire knowledge on the most important facts about global poverty. Further observations reveal that 1.
5 billion of the human beings who are alive today manage to survive below the international poverty line (p. 7). In Jones’ (1999) view, the human rights thinking in its current structure became possible as a result of the negative response to credited social status in order for universal equality of concern to substitute the earlier emphasis on the social significance of birth as a deciding factor of an individual’s outlook on life. It is therefore concluded that the possibility of human rights thinking comes about as a result of deviation from a certain view of the social world (p.
51). Pogge (2008) questions the rationale of people in developed countries for being indifferent about the issue of severe poverty overseas. He comes up with several reasons in which these people find it easy to ignore world poverty: • The first one is that they make an assumption on the basis of the history of failed attempts at development assistance and decide that poverty cannot be eliminated by giving out money to solve the problem. Therefore they use perception of world poverty as an overwhelming situation to form an excuse not to contribute anything to solve the problem (p. 7).
It is also discovered that some contributions are not aimed at promoting development but are rather directed at people who are able and willing to reciprocate the same action (p. 8). • The second one that Pogge discovers is that people assume that world poverty is such a huge problem that it cannot be eliminated at a cost that rich communities can afford to put up with (p. 9). The excuse given by one rich individual is that the practice of ending serious poverty for more than 2. 5 billion people would put the 1 billion people in wealthy countries in jeopardy hence weakening their ability to achieve social justice in those countries.
This situation would apparently render them politically unachievable (p. 10). • The third reason for ignoring world poverty is whereby the prevention of poverty is considered counterproductive since it will result in overpopulation and thus more deaths related to poverty will be experienced in the future. However, this reason is not in line with the facts. It has been discovered that in the previous decades, the increase in human population has been due to massive efficiency growth in the production of food which has portrayed a 45 percent decline of the real prices of basic food.
Another important fact is evident steep decline in birth rates as a result of poverty alleviation and the acquisition of better economic prospects for women in addition to improved methods of accessing reproductive information and contraceptives. Therefore, this information does not provide enough grounds to assume that efforts to reduce serious poverty have multiplied human suffering and mortality over a period of time (p. 10). • The final reason is the portrayal of great optimism by rich countries that poverty is quickly disappearing anyway due to the combined efforts of the rich and poor countries.
With this in mind, then the mentality is that there is nothing more to be done. This mentality has become popular due to the hypothetical displays of the benefits of globalization by economists who describe and measure poverty in ways that illustrate improvement. Therefore ordinary citizens of wealthy countries readily believe these theories (p. 10). Singer (1985) urges that one should do what is within his power to prevent something bad from happening without forgoing anything of comparable moral significance.
This means that one should not do something equally bad in order to accomplish preventing another bad thing. Caney (2006) investigates the principles of distributive justice and discovers that it was assumed in the past that these principles were to function at the state level. Today, there are still legitimate principles to some extent that emphasize that distributive justice should be carried out either within states or nations but not globally. For that reason, those who acknowledged human rights tended to do so in for civil and political human rights but denied economic part of them.
Pogge (2001) examines the fading of the Soviet bloc which resulted in certain events such as the increase in prospects for states to integrate their moral values and concerns into their foreign policy thus enabling wealthy countries to cut their military costs as a share of the gross domestic product (GNP). By sustaining strong economic and technological development the wealthy countries had the power and finances to direct their endeavours toward the eradication of poverty (p. 6). This however did not occur since these developed states dedicated their official development assistance (ODA) to becoming a share of the GNP by a percentage of 27.
The distributions to multilateral development efforts were a demerit to developing countries. Cabrera (2006) comments on the constitutive reaction to foreigners who assume that they can simply recognize a lack of shared understanding between the citizens of a country. Therefore, the foreigners are warned not to intervene in another nation’s affairs especially where allocations are concerned since communities of shared understanding exist and individuals from these communities are morally brought up and identify with the methods of distributing resources generated in their society (p.
11). This may have prompted the rich to refrain from doing charity work to help the ones who are suffering. Shue (1996) notices that countries in the third world that suffer from poverty, extensive illiteracy and a wide gap in domestic allocations of revenue and wealth, a freedom of opposition in accordance to the constitution may not be as important as being free from misery, disease and deprivation. The happiness in the societies may be witnessed if they had food, health care centres and assurances of employment (p. 66).
In Pogge’s (2001) investigation of organizations with international reach, he discovers that different organizations generate distinct average levels of material wealth and therefore if public societies are not connected to each other sufficiently then the special grounds for moral concern would cease to exist. Nevertheless, these societies are linked to each other by numerous international organizations and it is very reasonable for the actions of the superior ones to affect the welfare of the inferior ones. It is therefore in question whether this is enough to ascertain a unique problem of international justice.
The obligation towards global poverty and other situations Dower (1998) notices that in the past the opportunity for effective action by caring for people in other parts of the world was infrequent unless one enthusiastically sought for it plus the tendency to be morally satisfied with passive involvement if the rules of war were abided by. However, it is a different case today whereby individuals are becoming actively involved in responsibilities towards people in other parts of the world. Some of these responsibilities include giving aid and opposition of practices that undermine the welfare of others.
Most importantly, they are engaged in duties that oppose the potential to be beneficiaries of economic practices that are associated with exploitation of the poor somewhere else or bring harm to the environment (p. 7). Mack, Schramm and Klasen (2009) make suggestions as to the obligations owed to the victims of injustice. They first state that the beneficiaries of injustice are required to surrender the profits they gained whereby the measure for what is owed is the harm inflicted and the measure to set things in order.
Therefore, making up may be worse option for them but it is the suitable one. Jenkins and Micklewright (2007) reflect on the Lisbon European Council of 2000 which marked a change of angle in the recognition of strategic objective of greater social unity and developing an obligation towards making a crucial impact on poverty eradication. This strategy resulted in the implementation of the Laeken social indicators in 2001. These indicators which consist of income poverty and inequality indices are meant to examine and compare the social performance of every member of the European Union (p.
63). Beitz (1979) voices his opinion by stating that it is needless to distinguish natural and social contributions to the society’s welfare when the possibility of social cooperation is coextensive with the protective boundaries of a community. However, when justice is measured internationally, then it is obligatory to face the possibility of moral claims being brought forth by members of diverse social systems which are randomly placed regarding the natural allocation of resources. Pogge (2001) evaluates the motives behind the generosity of the rich.
He provides an illustration of the extent to which organizations with international reach are or can turn out to be causally efficient to enable the rich people to get their resources to the poor. However, he states that the opinion of a Scanlonian contractual person would be that the rich people control the organizations with an aim of fulfilling their own individual obligations (p. 79). Jones (1999) obtains a quote from Miller whose description of Communitarianism was that special obligations to co-nationals are based on the fairly valuable nationwide community (p.
150). Caney (2002) asserts that it is a reasonable observation that membership of a social organization involves obligations to colleagues only if moral value exists. Therefore, membership of a country may well involve special responsibility to fellow citizens if that country is morally a suitable form of human connection (p. 134). Caney further asserts that countries comprise systems of social cooperation and therefore citizens have special rights and special responsibilities obtained because of their membership of a country.
He further discovers that citizens have special obligations to the fellow countrymen since they are members of the same political government and they take part in a system of collaboration (p. 135). According to Mack, Schramm and Klasen (2009) their observation reveals that there are some individuals who would be able to take the appropriate action and others would be qualified to have a special responsibility while in some other situations the duty of correcting the mistakes places extreme demands on individuals.
The authors therefore conclude that it would be morally improper if one was faced with real, huge troubles with misery that have a possibility of being eliminated and allow it to happen and then unreasonably declare that no one is accountable for assisting. It is therefore appropriate for one to ensure that during extreme situations where there is an emergency, the duty to assist can always be associated with someone. Conclusion In some countries there is the occurrence of a situation whereby they show concern for members of their own country but neglect to assist members of another nation who require aid.
The moral justification of this behaviour has been put into question and to some extent it has been condemned just like racial and familial partiality. Some countries have suffered plights such as death from hunger and poverty but some individuals have observed this but have not made any efforts to assist the situation or influence their governments take action. The intervention into another country’s plight for humanitarian reasons has been debated but the moral justification for this has been put into question especially if the type of intervention involved is undertaken in an aggressive manner.
It has been emphasized by authors like Pogge that one must acquire knowledge on the most important facts about world poverty in order to appreciate the question on priorities to the countries that suffer from it. It is discovered that 1. 5 billion of humans who are alive are living below the international poverty line. However, this figure is bound to increase or decrease depending on the action to be taken by the high-income countries. There are unfortunately several reasons that the individuals in wealthy countries come up with to easily ignore the issue of world poverty.
It has been stressed that one should do what is necessary to stop something bad from happening as long as that person does not compromise the morality of preventing that bad thing by doing an equally unethical action. Speculation has arisen about the motives behind the actions that rich people take to help the poor people in other countries. It has been assumed that these rich people use their influence on organizations with global reach in order to fulfil their own individual obligations. Recently, it has been observed that generosity of the rich has increased as compared to the past whereby one had to seek the opportunity to help the needy.
The rich have even gone the lengths of opposing actions that would undermine the welfare of others and benefit from their plight. The Lisbon European Council that was formed in 2000 has made an obligation to cater for the efforts made toward eradicating poverty. List of References Beitz, C. (1979). Political Theory and International Relations. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Caney, S. 2004. Justice Beyond Borders. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cabrera, L. (2006). Political Theory or Global Justice. New York: Taylor & Francis. Dower, N. (1998). World ethics: the new agenda. 2nd ed.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Hurka, T. 1997. “The Justification of National Partiality,” in McKim and McMahan, eds. , The Morality of Nationalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jenkins, S. P. and Micklewright, J. (2007). Inequality and poverty re-examined. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jones, C. 1999. Global Justice: Defending Cosmopolitanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Mack, E. , Schramm, M. Klasen, S. (2009). Absolute Poverty and Global Justice: Empirical Data – Moral Theories – Initiatives. Furnham: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. O’Neill, O. 1985. “Lifeboat Earth,” in Beitz, ed. , International Ethics. Prin
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