d. misguided to feed the hungry. According to Narveson, which will “add more to the sum of human happiness”: supporting Oxfam or going to the opera?. A positive duty is an obligation to do something. A negative duty is an obligation to refrain from doing something (link). Thus, a common. Start studying Jan Narveson Feeding The Hungry. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools.

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People can live as they see fit and pursue their values only if they are alive. Can you state sources? At the same efeding, we are benefited by giving, both in the short run and long run. So, feeding the hungry is a duty of justice. If I act to bring something about, then I am the cause of an intended outcome, whereas if I merely allow it to happen, then I am not the cause of an intended outcome.

Notice that the above argument is logically compatible with utilitarianism. Note that the conclusion of the argument is a conditional: But the question is, how is this denial to be defended?

In Ethical Issues-Perspectives for Canadians, 2nd ed. Edited by Eldon Soifer. Post as a guest Name. Sign up using Facebook.

Jan Narveson: Feeding the Hungry

The cost of giving is far below the benefits. Even the utilitarian is given quite a bit of freedom to maximize utility when Libertarianism is in force. Feeding the hungry is saving lives, so it makes us like heroes. Perhaps it is better for maximizing nrveson in the feefing run to use our resources to strengthen our society here at home, rather than feeding starving mouths overseas.


Inthe UN recommended that developed countries devote at least 0. If we did exactly as Singer urges, then the world hujgry be much worse off. For natural disasters, we still cannot completely be exempted from it.

OK, here we go, the ca A negative duty is an obligation to refrain from doing something link. We must obey the law and we should follow the moral rule.

In other words, we maybe somehow lead them to establish bad governments.

Jan Narveson Feeding the Hungry

Feeding the starving is morally right. When we feed the starving, the starving gets benefits. Chen 3 If people are starving to death, their happiness becomes zero.

Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. As Narveson points out, however, such reforms would likely require military intervention, since it is the governments of impoverished countries that are largely responsible for starvation, and the governments are evidently not willing to enact the reforms themselves.

Jan Narveson Feeding the Hungry

In Moral Matters, 2nd ed. A Libertarian would probably be inclined to deny premise 3.

Therefore, some clarifying remarks are narvrson order. I do not agree with his claim because I believe that we should feed the hungry. This claim seems to be supported by two general considerations: If, as Narveson maintains, our basic moral obligation is to let others live narveskn they see fit, then there is a strong moral presumption against forcibly intervening to change the government of another country, or stopping a civil war.

A corollary of this doctrine is that there is no moral difference between killing and letting die. On the other hand, if we allow others to die when we could have saved their lives, then we are not respecting them or their values.


The above reply to the argument is still not entirely successful. I believe that when people tthe starving, we, over fed people, are at the right jn to feed them. Enforced feeding of the starving, however, does cross the line, invading the farmer or the merchant, forcing him to part with some of his hard-earned produce and give it without compensation to others.

Conversely, a positive duty would be a duty to save people or intervene if we see a child molester or to serve in the army. Therefore, we are in fact forced to feed them by moral power.

Historically, some utilitarians, such as John Stuart Mill, have advocated military intervention for humanitarian purposes, but Singer gives us no reason to believe that he would support such a policy.

It will improve the relationship between the others and us. Rhe many times during your life you have the chance to save a life of human beings? The one-time cash infusion from the U.

Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. If Narveson gets his way, then the utilitarian would not be allowed to impose paternalism and welfarism on others, and so would not allowed to live according to utilitarian values.