Free Argumentative Essay Sample
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Argumentative Essay Sample
A strong case emerges from the issue concerning; Are we morally obligated to send money to organizations such as UNICEF to save the lives of children in third world countries. Many would say no, as I had when first being prompted with this issue, but Unger persuades his readers through various arguments that our own intuitions about not sending money is wrong. Unger uses many cases, but only two of which will be used concerning this issue, that will help enlighten individuals about helping children in other countries. The Envelope and the Vintage Sedan case help strengthen Unger’s argument and the merit of his persuasiveness.
Since we already have an understanding of both cases we can begin assessing the views between two groups about the conduct in these cases: On one side the Preservationist and on the other the Liberationist. So as follows both groups have different views concerning our conduct in each case. In which the Preservationist approach is trying to uphold that our intuitive responses to particular cases accurately reflect our basic moral values. And thus we should seek to preserve our intuitive responses in light of any potential inconsistency. They are trying to preserve the fact that our conduct in the Vintage Sedan case is harsher then our conduct in the Envelope case. On the other side we have the Liberationist, which states that our intuitive responses often don’t reflect our basic moral values, but reflect instead certain distortional tendencies that we have, thus we should seek to liberate ourselves from both these tendencies and the responses that derive from them. So in contrast the Liberationist believe that something is distorting our intuitive response, also that our judgment in the Envelope case should be the same, in fact even harsher, of that in the Vintage Sedan case.
Now Unger believes that the road ahead for the Preservationist looks very bleak in trying to prove that there is a morally relevant difference in saying that our conduct in the Vintage Sedan case is worser then the Envelope case. The reason Preservationist have a long row to hoe is because the Liberationist already have many sound arguments that outweigh that of the Preservationist. On the side of the Liberationist they have argued the element of cost. Meaning the convenience of only $200 to save a kids life, and the mass majority of American consumers spend a lot more then that on non-necessities. There is also a second element of what’s at stake. When we analyze both cases we can see that in the Vintage Sedan case the person’s limb is at stake, but in the Envelope case it’s a kids life. It’s obvious that we value a person’s life more then a limb when compared together. The third element deals with responsibility for their predicament; where the kids are not responsible for their current situation, there is nothing in their power that they could actively do to isolate them from this predicament. On the other hand in the Vintage Sedan case the individual was trespassing into a place where he shouldn’t have been in the first place. Lastly, there is the fourth element of moral innocence; in the case with the kid’s they didn’t do anything wrong or against the law, its not their fault that they have to suffer. Now if we apply the fourth element to the Vintage Sedan case we see that the man is guilty as charged for trespassing onto someone’s property. These are the arguments for the Liberationist supporting that our conduct in the Envelope case is seriously wrong. These four elements is very hard to refute by counter arguments and arguments in general, meaning that the Preservationist has a long row to hoe in overcoming the Liberationist’s arguments.
Some arguments have been attempted by the Preservationist to preserve our harsh conduct in the Vintage Sedan case and our lenient conduct in the Envelope case. Preservationists have proposed many, but only some I will present in my essay that support their main argument. They believe that some main factors are: physical proximity, experiential impact, and unique potential savior versus multiple potential saviors. Now lets keep in mind that the Preservationist goal is to find a difference that is morally relevant that would justify the Vintage Sedan case being worser then the Envelope case. Now when Unger analyzes these arguments he concludes that all of them are irrelevant and implies that they need to be thrown out of the window. When discussing physical proximity, Unger view can be expressed in the Elevator case. In this case there is an Elevator control tower which controls elevators in Tokyo, and there happens to be a kid that is about to be smashed by the elevator in Tokyo, the operator in the Elevator control tower is on break and the button begins flashing, Now is the operator obligated to push that button. Indeed the answer is yes which proves that proximity doesn’t matter. It would be wrong not to press the button knowing that a kid is going to die regardless of physical proximity. And concerning experiential impact, just because you do not see the actual situation, doesn’t mean that it isn’t taking place. Just like in the elevator case we are not actually experiencing the event, but its still happening; likewise with third world children we don’t actually see them dying but they still are. And concerning the multiple and unique saviors, we look at the Pond case. A boy is drowning in a small pond on campus, and many people are walking around beside you, it would be wrong not to save the boy just because others are not trying to save him or to think that out of all these people walking around on campus someone will save him just not me. So Unger believes all of the arguments that the Preservationist have proposed is not relevant in justifying that the Vintage Sedan case is worser then the Envelope case.
Thus knowing both arguments from the Preservationist and the Liberationist and Unger’s responses we can say that the Liberationist have the upper hand. The Liberationist states that the Vintage Sedan case best reflects are moral values in saying that in the Vintage Sedan case is wrong, and says that there are some distortional tendencies within the Envelope case. This distortional concept stems from artificially grouping which spawns into futility thinking. Now how this works is in the Vintage Sedan case we group this as one person to save, and in the Envelope case it’s millions of kids to save. When we save the person in the V.S. case we actually solve the problem, but in the E. case we think that we don’t solve the problem as a whole. This is where the distortional thinking happens; reason being is that we think our effort is futile. But in actuality we are saving an individuals life, even though we cant pin a name or face on the individual we are saving. So the Liberationist is saying that if we block this distortional tendency then we’ll be able to open our eyes and see that our conduct in the E. case is just as bad as that of the V.S. case.
So the question on whether we should send money to UNICEF or not, is hard to answer straight off. After reviewing Unger’s arguments it seems plausible that those of us who have a surplus of wealth to spend on non-necessities should be obligated to donate money to UNICEF. I have spent $200 on a jump suite in the past, and that tells me that I have a surplus of money that could go towards saving a kids life. This essay definitely makes me think about the issue of children in situations that they are not responsible for in more depth, and of course their moral innocence. But still I don’t think that the mass majority of people in the U.S. will ever learn or hear about Unger and his views to convince people to donate, so I guess all I can be responsible for is my part.
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