The Different Duties Of Beneficence Proposed By Singer And Murphy Essays Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Ethics, People, Morality, Society, Principles, Song, Singer, World

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2020/11/23

Introduction

Morality and ethical behavior are part of the society. It sets the acceptable standards for the coexistence of people within the society. Different societies have different sets of moral practices that they consider as acceptable. Socio-economic and political development plays an important role in the establishment of moral standards in the community. People owe each other a responsibility of moral care and a sense of selflessness where they can allow them to enjoy their rights and freedoms within the society. Incidences of criminal activity and other behaviors considered anti-social result from the lack of consideration for morals and ethics in the society. People try to maintain order in their environment by setting up institutions such as governments. These institutions exercise authority over people to maintain social order and ensure they respect the fundamental ethics of their societies. In researching ethics and morality, beneficence refers to the obligation of the researcher to have the welfare and interests of the research participants at the heart as an objective of the research study. The paper evaluates the different duties owed by individuals regarding morality based on the discussions by Singer and Murphy.

Different Duties of Beneficence Proposed by Singer

Singer offers a proposal he considers lacks any controversies about the moral principle. He suggests that people ought to mitigate the possibility of something bad happening if they have the power to do so. However, exercising this power should not make the person sacrifice anything that has a similar value of moral value. Here, the author implies that it is meaningless to do something considered essentially ethical in an effort to prevent the occurrence of a harmful event. The result is similar because the detrimental event may have a certain amount of harm that equals that caused from sacrificing the consideration of ethics (Singer 2). If someone has an intention to prevent the occurrence of a terrible event, he or she must do it within the acceptable moral standards. In the adherence to this proposal made by Singer, there would be a significant change in the lifestyle of the rich people within the societies of the world.
The first issue raised by the authors touches on the duty of care owed to other people besides the individual in question. The authors ask for the reason people have an obligation to mitigate the possibility of a bad event if they are not liable for its happening. In this light, it is important to consider that human beings are similar to individual islands, and they require other people to survive in the world. For instance, when someone establishes a particular business entity, the enterprise requires employees, suppliers, and clients for the proprietor to achieve then objectives within the market. Just as they depend on other people for their survival when conditions are in their favor, they should also prevent the occurrence of a detrimental event. They ought to do so even if they are not guilty of causing the occurrence of that event. The same case applies to the example given by the author in the article. Singer laments that millions of people are losing their lives due to widespread famine, lack of shelter, and medical care. On the contrary, there are some rich nations making much many every year they cannot offer any help to the victims. As much as they are not responsible for the catastrophes faced by the victims in other countries, it is morally right for them to the extent any amount of help they can to the victims. In fact, part of the success achieved by the so-called rich nations may be a result of trade with the home countries of the dying victims (Singer 3). Singer insists on the aspect of fulfilling the duty of care owed to other people beside the ones closest to and known to the party in question.
It is important to consider the reason societies behave differently towards other people when it comes to fulfilling moral obligations. Socio-economic development and political in various parts of the world makes people view problems and challenges from different perspectives. For instance, the manner in which people will view problems in the American society differs from the manner in which the problems will be perceived in the society in Asia. The magnitude of the problem may not have the same impact on the societies in these different contexts.
In this case, Singer accomplishes his duty of beneficence to the society by calling for a better and moral society. He puts the interest of the research participants at the heart and uses clinical examples to portray the moral decay within many contemporary societies in the world. These examples play a crucial in portraying the extent to which many people in the world ignore their moral duties and allow the occurrence of detrimental events while they are in a good position to help. These duties of beneficence as discussed and illustrated by the author work towards the improvement of the society by encouraging morally acceptable deeds.

The demands of beneficence by Murphy

Singer tends to focus on the principles or guidelines of beneficence. The principles require people to promote the good and ethical deeds within the society. Such a society is conducive to the coexistence of the people of the community. Murphy addresses the demands that follow the duties of beneficence. He argues that it is important to fulfill these demands because they give meaning to beneficence in the practice of morality, and the research related it. About beneficence and the demands it imposes on the individuals, some writers are in favor of principles with extreme demands while some defend those with limited demands. Murphy suggests a unique mechanism for evaluating the demands imposed on people by the principles of beneficence. He proposes that people should consider the effect of compliance with the principles of beneficence by other parties with the demands imposed on a particular agent (Murphy 4).
Murphy talks about the first demand of beneficence that requires every individual to act in the manner available to him or her, which aims at making the securing the best outcome. In this light, Murphy urges people to be creative and learn to improvise solutions to the best of their ability. Sometimes, they may not have the required resources and inputs necessary for the performance that morals demand of them. No matter the nature of the problems, the action taken should always remain within the moral standards of the society. The simple beneficence principle is similar to consequentialism because the result of ignoring the problem is similar to the cost incurred by the individual in the performance of the best immediate course of action. The simple principle relates to the objection of over-demandingness objection element of beneficence. Given that, it requires an individual to perform the proximate action; beneficence may be termed over-demanding because the person may not have the least capacity to perform that particular act (Murphy 5). Therefore, the judgmental people may think that the person is immoral and inconsiderate while he or she does not have that capacity in truth. For example, a beggar in the street may come across a similarly hungry person on the same street. The proximate action is to find some food for the hungry person, which may require him or her to use the money acquired through begging. The beggar may be willing to help, but he or she may not do it because the little money available may not be enough for his or her personal needs. Morally, many would judge that the beggar is not doing the proximate action but in truth, he or she is an equally poor and dire situation similar to that of the hungry person.
I am determining the over-demandingness of the principles of beneficence, most of them seem clear and direct. However, it is important to note that entitlement of the party requiring the moral act is subject to discussion. As much as people may be in a bad situation, it is upon the person willing to give help to act in accordance with that needs. However, the society does not have a right to impose an obligation on the person if they are not willing to help. In short, Murphy argues that no one has an entitlement to factors resulting from charitable behavior because they are at the peril of the person offering them. All of them rely on the principles of morality.
The limited principle relates the principles of beneficence to the realities of the world today. Murphy holds that the extent of the problem is not subject to the limitation of the principles of beneficence. The principles seem to contain many obligations, and the nature of the contemporary society does not offer a favorable platform for the fulfillment of all these obligations (Murphy 6). They work according to a set of theories, which do not make an exemption for special obligations. Take the theoretical framework of the principles of beneficence and compare them to the modern laws enshrined in the constitution in many countries of the world. The constitutions often provide for special provisions tom cater for the dynamic realities of the lives of the people that they govern. They recognize the possibility of extraordinary events that may not be covered by the provisions of the law. The principles of beneficence are weak in this sense because they do not allow for the exercise of actions shifting away from the norm or ethical standards. In this light, the efficiency of these principles may be more effective if they allow for the violation of moral standards provided it is for the greater good of the community. In short, the principles of beneficence should allow the exercise of immoral acts and standards if the performance of such acts is in line with the interests of the greater community.

Conclusion

Singer offers a proposal he considers lacks any controversies about the moral principle. He suggests that people ought to mitigate the possibility of something bad happening if they have the power to do so. On the other hand, Murphy talks about the first demand of beneficence that requires every individual to act in the manner available to him or her, which aims at making the securing the best outcome. In this light, Murphy urges people to be creative and learn to improvise solutions to the best of their ability. At times, the conditions imposed on the agents or individuals within the society may be too much to an extent that they may not be able to fulfill them. The principles require people to promote the greater good within the society to the extent that his or her well-being reaches a level where they also demand help from the people around them. In this light, the principles are weak as they discourage the growth and development of an affluent society in an environment where some people are poor (Murphy 6). The principles seem to push the society to a level where all people are either affluent, in the middle class or poor. Such a scenario is disadvantageous to the society because it encourages mass suffering in cases where all people are poor.

Works Cited

"Famine, Affluence and Morality, by Peter Singer | Giving What We Can." N.p., Web. <https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/get-involved/videos-books-and-essays/famine-affluence-and-morality-peter-singer>
Murphy, Liam. “The Demands of Beneficence”. Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 4(Autumn), 1993. Print
Singer, Peter. Practical Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1979. Print.

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WePapers. (2020, November, 23) The Different Duties Of Beneficence Proposed By Singer And Murphy Essays Example. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/the-different-duties-of-beneficence-proposed-by-singer-and-murphy-essays-example/
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