The ethics of Peter Singer and Jesus compared

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by Neil Godfrey


Peter Singer is a moral philosopher currently based at Princeton University (see his Princeton homepage). He is most famous for his pioneering work on animal liberation but has advanced his utilitarian philosophy into a range of other controversial public areas as well. He has expressed disappointment that his arguments for alleviating human misery have been less influential than those he was expressed to reduce animal suffering.

The Singer Solution to World Poverty is a timeless argument, elegant in its simplicity and lacking only in suggestions that are consistent with what people have become habituated to doing and thinking. (And as “Bad” commented, it is essentially a discussion of Peter Unger’s argument in his 1996 Living High and Letting Die.)


I won’t repeat the argument here. It is only the equivalent of a 6 page chapter in his book, Writings on an Ethical Life. It’s readily available to all online.

But let’s compare relatively modern utilitarian ethics (judging an action to be right or wrong according to its consequences) with the ancient ethics of Jesus in relation to the poor. Continue reading “The ethics of Peter Singer and Jesus compared”