Duties to Prevent Harm
This chapter defends the intuitions about cases analysed in Chapter 7. Morality must include a restricted requirement to aid. A criterion is needed to pick out a set of cases in which agents are required to make substantial sacrifices. In taking a criterion that appeals to features such as proximity, morality shapes itself around the agent’s point of view. This is morally appropriate. This provides a response to the second part of Peter Unger’s argument: his claim that our moral commonsense tells us that none of the features distinguishing the Pond case from the famine relief cases could be morally relevant. The chapter also shows that agents are required to make limited regular sacrifices in response to ongoing need, addressing the moral analogue of Robert Nozick’s right-libertarian position.
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