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“Practical Ethics”, one of the most comprehensive works by Peter Singer, critically examines reasons as to why and how interests of all creatures should be weighed. According to his argument, different interests of living beings are entitled to different treatment. Basing on this approach, famine striken individuals who are probably starving would be given a privilege over those who are slightly hungry. The majority of living beings have been said to have a common interest of avoiding pain, whereas few of them have an interest of cultivating their potentials. It also has to be mentioned that basic needs such as shelter and food are of common interest. Furthermore, living beings need a conducive environment that will allow them to pursue their projects with little or no interference at all.
From this third edition book, Singer have revised and updated all the chapters. He has event gone a notch high by introducing a new chapter concerning the climatic changes. Currently, climate is one of the most important ethical challenges facing all the living beings. Other important factors that have been discussed in this chapter include the preservation of the environment, political violence and terrorism, abortion, euthanasia and, equality and discrimination. In order to create an appropriate environment to undertake various projects, human beings have a mandate of preserving the planet’s environment. Without adequate preservations, all the living beings are placed at a risk of calamities such as drought and famine. The aspect of politics has also been analyzed by the author. In most cases, politics plays a vital role in determining whether there is peace within a nation or not. Countries with good political backgrounds have been associated with peace amongst its inhabitants. Without proper politics, a country might be subjected to violence and terrorism unrest. Human beings are entitled to rights and freedoms as stated in the international human law. The chief right is that of life. This explains the reason why the author condemns deliberate abortions. He beliefs that life begins in the womb, hence young innocents should not be deprived their right.
Upon reading Singer’s work, we tend to ask ourselves many questions. An example of such question is: Should we leave our fellow human beings to languish in poverty at the expense of others? The answer to this question is “Absolutely no”. Since we are all human beings, who hate suffering, it is our obligation to help those in need. The rich should help feed those who are starving instead of ignoring them. In addition, the corrupt officials in government should have a sense of humanity and avoid misappropriating the public funds meant to alleviate poverty. The author is quoted saying,” if we can prevent something bad without sacrificing anything of comparable significance, we ought to do it; absolute poverty is bad; there is some poverty we can prevent without sacrificing anything of comparable moral significance; therefore we ought to prevent some absolute poverty.”
In essence, putting ethics into practice is essential to lead a successful life. Being well versed with the aspects of climate and climatic changes helps individuals to prepare for the future. In order to deal with political violence and cases of terrorism, human beings ought to be treated with equality. There should be no cases of discrimination or marginalization of one society over the other. Ethical conduct is very crucial in order to address all the challenges faced by living beings.
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