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week 1 michael smith 618
Here is some tough introspective thinking for your first week in our Leadership Ethics class. We know from population studies that before you finish reading the end of these instructions, several children, somewhere in the world, will die from entirely avoidable circumstances like curable disease, lack of access to clean drinking water, etc. We also know that the cost of saving one life is not be terribly expensive (i.e. how much does clean drinking water cost for one person in the U.S.?).
There is an ethical theory (see Peter Singer) which argues that if someone has less than you, the most ethical choice is to share what you have until there is no difference in wealth (i.e. until the scales are balanced and you each have the same level of happiness or suffering). Every person in this class (students and faculty alike) inarguably has the means to help alleviate some of the suffering around the world, yet we know that not all do (somewhere between half and two-thirds of all American households give money to charity, and less than half volunteer their time). Additionally, even if you are one of those who already donating, you are very likely not donating everything you possibly could (don't be offended...this is a reality for almost everyone...myself included). Given this reality, are we all not acting in an immoral way by neglecting an opportunity to help others, and even save lives, when doing so is within our capability?
Think carefully on this point. Your response should include a reflection on the moral duty of one human being to another. How much help is enough help? Is it morally defensible to live with the creature comforts of first-world civilizations when one is aware of the destitution to which other people are relegated through no fault of their own? These are tough questions...welcome to the world of ethical inquiry.
250 words atleast, plus 2 refs..