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JWU PHIL 3240 - A Letter to Garrett Hardin

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Acosta 1Lorraine AcostaPHIL324015 September 2019Mr. Garrett Hardin,I hope this letter finds you well. Before reading Lifeboat Ethics: The Case Against Helping the Poor, I was very skeptical about not being able to help the poor. I had this idea that there was enough money and natural resources for everyone in the world and that it was just a maldistribution issue. However, after reading your piece, my mind has been expanded beyond previous misconceptions. Your arguments about a nation’s land carrying capacity, overpopulationand rapid reproduction rates in poor countries, as well as the tragedy of the commons certainly made an impact on my decision-making when it came to agreeing or disagreeing with you. I will admit that, as I read, I felt uncomfortable with a lot of your concepts. A little angry, even. The one where you proposed that our only shot at survival is to preserve “our small safety factor and admit no more to the lifeboat.” As horrendous as the thought of not lending a helping hand tothose in need made me feel, I couldn’t deny the facts and the logic behind it and was obligated toget on board with the idea. This is something I have never experienced before; agreeing with something that I am so against. As you said, we have already exceeded our carrying capacity andas much as we may want to help, it would only lead to catastrophe and crippled systems. It would all fall apart, and we would all be doomed. There are just too many people for a boat that is too small and has a limited amount of resources. As shocking as this has been, I am grateful I was exposed to all of this information because I feelthat now that I know what is really going on, I have a little more faith in our government. I reallyAcosta 2just thought we were being greedy and stingy just because we could. I was oblivious to a lot, apparently. I am also very excited to start this learning journey, which will give me more insight on this topic and perhaps will be able to help come up with more solutions. Sincerely,Lorri


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