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Should Rich People Feel Morally Obligated to Help the Poor? Essay Example

3 pages
612 words
Harvey Mudd College
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The rich people and the poor people act and think differently from each other. In fact, they have different perceptions of the world. The rich people appear to have enough resources to make their lives comfortable while the poor struggle to cater for their basic needs such as food. Now my question is, do the rich people have a moral responsibility to help the poor people? Well, I understand many people have different opinions, but in my opinion, rich people do have a moral responsibility to help the poor.

When we visit a place where people who cannot access basic amenities such as food, housing, and healthcare live. What should we think of ourselves, should we just leave and say Those individuals should work harder to cater to their needs as we do or say that we must assist those individuals. We are humans, and it is a common fact that we do not have similar thoughts. But let us think of this, there are people in this world who suffer from diseases, poor sanitation, and hunger because of scarce resources and unstable government. So do these people deserve to die or suffer because they do not have enough resources to gather for their needs? No. On the contrary, everybody deserves an equal chance to live a life free of suffering. Those who have been blessed with more than enough resources should share their resources with the less fortunate in our societies. Some people would argue that while rich individuals should assist poor individuals, it is not their work to do so. Helping the poor should be a choice. But I believe this is incorrect. The rich people should assist the poor people and the poor people, on the other hand, should help the rich. Our society should be about helping each other out.

According to blogger Eric Ringham, when rich people adopt a feeling of moral responsibility for the less fortunate people in our societies, they can protect many people from suffering from lack of basic amenities hence making them happy and prosperous individuals. However, it is improbable for this kind of situation to occur because our societal values have been swayed and a lot of people are becoming selfish with their hard-earned money. I am not saying that people should not be proud with the money they have earned, but what I mean is that in events where we have more than enough resources we should not hesitate to help the less fortunate people in our societies. Peter Singer in You Tube video (Eidos84) tells us about the crisis in Bangladesh where millions of people were in danger of starving and challenges us to think if we have a moral obligation to help people who are in danger of starvation. Singer uses applied ethics knowledge to respond to the question of moral responsibility. He talks about the common sense moralities and explains that ethics has to come to ourselves but that does not suggest that ethics is subjective. He argues that when we start looking at things ethically, we have to do more than thinking of our interests we have to ask ourselves how we take into account the interests of others. Obvious things that occur when putting ourselves in the position of others is the priority of reducing suffering. Therefore, given the opportunities that we have to help, we have a moral obligation to help the poor people in our societies.

Works Cited

About the blogger Eric Ringham Do the wealthy have an obligation to help the poor? Today's Question, 11 Jan. 2010,

Eidos84. YouTube, YouTube, 27 Nov. 2010,

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