G. Hardin – “Living on a Lifeboat” (in James E. White text). Hardin’s thesis: People in rich nations should do nothing for the people of poor. The University of Dayton. Dayton, OH Garrett Hardin presents the metaphor that the United States and other developed coun- tries constitute a lifeboat of. This is where Garrett Hardin, and his work, Lifeboat Ethics enter the scene. Throughout Hardin’s work, he lays out the premises of how each.

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Alan Patten – – Ethics and International Affairs 19 1: Thompson – – Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 3: Should we not at least ask if that is what we want?

Lifeboat ethics – Wikipedia

The boat swamps, everyone drowns. Sign in Create an account. But, one could argue, this discussion assumes that current population trends will continue, and they may not. Unrestricted immigration, on the other hand, moves people to the food, thus speeding up the destruction of the environment of the rich countries. For example, the weather varies from year to year, and periodic crop failures are certain. Garreth the Hard Way What happens if some organizations or countries budget for accidents and others do not?

So here we sit, say 50 people in our lifeboat.

Year by year the ratio gwrrett worse, as the fast-reproducing poor outnumber the slow-reproducing rich. Clearly, the concept of pure justice produces an infinite regression to absurdity. Drawing a line after an arbitrary time has elapsed may be unjust, but the alternatives are worse. We have several options: But because the implied inferiority of foreigners was used then as justification for keeping them out, people now assume that restrictive policies could only be based on such misguided notions.


But before we rush ahead with such a plan, let us recognize where the greatest political push comes from, lest we be disillusioned later. There will be almost no overlap. And we’ll all drown!

Immigration What are the real reasons that rich countries permit immigration? And since the world’s resources are dwindling, the difference in prosperity between the rich and the poor can only increase.

Lifeboat ethics

We cannot safely divide the wealth equitably among all peoples so long harsin people reproduce at different rates. Some say they feel guilty about their good luck.

Find it on Scholar. The interests of the employers of cheap labor mesh well with the guilty silence of liifeboat country’s liberal intelligentsia. As in the case of foreign-aid programs, immigration receives support from selfish interests and humanitarian impulses.

A well-run family, company, organization or country prepares for the likelihood of accidents and emergencies. Our interventions replace the natural cycle with a pejoristic ratchet system.

To get cheap labor. Just consider the numbers involved. There is only so much lufeboat on the islands, and the islanders know it. Adrift in a Moral Sea So here we sit, say 50 people in our lifeboat. Justice, we feel, should not change with time and place.


Let us now enrich the image, step by step, with substantive additions from the real world, a world that must solve real and pressing problems of overpopulation and hunger.

For example, if we don’t leave room for excess capacity as a safety factor in our country’s agriculture, a new plant disease or a bad change in the weather could have disastrous consequences.

There are other grounds. Two decades ago he expressed strong doubts about the hqrdin of such attempts to increase food production. If he overloads it, erosion sets in, weeds take over, and he loses the use of the pasture.

Now suppose the U. This is the tragedy of the commons. But consider what the ratio would be after 87 years, by ethicw time the Americans would have doubled to a population of million. As an ancient Chinese proverb goes: Request removal from index. The modern approach to foreign aid stresses the export of technology and advice, rather than money and food.