In class we discussed Singer’s argument for why we should each live a more selfless life. It seemed that we all generally agreed that he was right, and that we can and should do more to decrease the amount of suffering in the world. And yet, it didn’t seem like we emphatically, as a class, were willing to alter our lifestyles significantly for the betterment of the world. This phenomenon of rationalizing why we ought to perform a certain action, but still not feeling strongly compelled to perform it was very puzzling to me.
We either must accept that we’re bad people or we must reject Singer’s argument. Well, I personally cannot find any problems with Singer’s argument so I can logically conclude that I’m a bad person. By enjoying the life I do I am morally responsible for a great amount of suffering in the world. Despite this, I don’t really feel bad about it even though I’ve rationalized that I ought to.
This made me wonder if I am actually a rational being or not.
Perhaps I just do what is rational when it conveniently coincides with my emotions. I found this possible conclusion somewhat concerning, as I’d like to believe I’m a rational being.