Sometimes there is nothing wrong with letting a child drown

Analysis 75 (2):204-212 (2015)
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Peter Singer argues that we’re obligated to donate our entire expendable income to aid organizations. One premiss of his argument is "If it is in your power to prevent something bad from happening, without sacrificing anything nearly as important, it is wrong not to do so." Singer defends this by noting that commonsense morality requires us to save a child we find drowning in a shallow pond. I argue that Singer’s Drowning Child thought experiment doesn’t justify this premiss. I offer my own Drowning Children thought experiment, which should reveal that commonsense morality entails that premiss two is actually false

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Travis Timmerman
Seton Hall University


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