Practice with Paragraphs
Instructions: This student paragraph should be broken into four separate paragraphs. Drag the following paragraph markers into the places you think the paragraph should be broken. When finished, click on "check your answer" below to see if you broke the paragraph correctly.
Peter Singer was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1946. A professor of bioethics at the University Center for Human Values, Princeton University, Singer is the author of Practical Ethics, one of the most widely used texts in applied ethics, and Rethinking Life and Death, which received the 1995 National Book Council's Banjo Award for non-fiction. As one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, Peter Singer in "The Singer Solution to World Poverty" tries to draw the attention of the readers to the fact that together wecould solve the problem of world's poverty, or at least minimize it. He is not only writing about his solutions to this problem in his article, but puts himself as a personal example. The New York Times mentioned that he donates one-fifth of his income to the poor, and wants to convince his audience to participate in helping. Although helping the poor is one of the most humane actions in our cruel world, he goes much too far by considering extreme charity our responsibility when it in fact such extremes aren't required for morality. First of all, I don't think that we, hard-working citizens are responsible for those careless mothers and fathers whose children who are thrown on the street. I don't find it fair that we should pay one-fifth of our income for strange children while their own parents might live well and even enjoy life. We might help those children out of charity, but we are not obliged to take over the responsibility of freeriders. Why should we pay for something what is not our fault? If parents cannot care for their children, they shouldn't have had them in the first place. We simply cannot be sure that the money we pay for charity goes to the needy and not in the pocket of the agency or organization. Even Singer admits that the actual amount which reaches its target is less than the amount donated. In addition, it should be the government's job to allocate money for charity since citizens pay a substantial amount of tax. The government has many possibilities of helping the poor directly and indirectly through this collective tax. Instead of spending millions of dollars on militaryand on projects that benefit elites, for instance, more SOS children villages could be built. In this way the poor would be provided for without each citizen emptying his pocketbook beyond the standard required tax.Finally, Singer's claims rest on a narrow view of what it means to be moral. Claire Andre and Manuel Velasquez, in "Word Hunger: A Moral Response," that "our moral duty is always to act in ways that will maximize human happiness and minimize human suffering." In other words, we are entitled to our money to maximize our human happiness. We are already paying a lot. A certain and a quite high percentage goes to the government as taxes and insurances; a big part is spent on living, and we are entitled to use the rest for relaxation and entertainment. Relaxation and entertainment--as elements of our human happiness -- is our entitlement as human beings. It's our hard earned money, and we should be free to decide how we would like to spend it. In conclusion, life doesn't only consist of work and responsibilities. Dan Roentsch says, 'Life is not all restricted consumption and delayed gratification. It offers evidence to your senses that your life is good." In other words, life is not about giving up all comforts, luxuries, and personal joys in order to maximize survival of every living being. It is of course admirable for people to give away the things they don't need any more to the needy and poor; but these same people certainly have the right to buy new things for themselves because they are working hard for the money. Singer's logic just leads to absurd conclusions. After everyone pays a part of his/her income for charity, what would be his next step? Asking us to take a strange child in our home and care for it? Or not to get our own children at all and take children from the street instead? I understand that his point of view is humanity, but in my opinion he goes much too far.
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