John Harris’s idea of a survival lottery David Hume benevolence Essay Assignment Paper

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John Harris’s idea of a survival lottery David Hume benevolence Essay Assignment Paper

Survival and Benevolence

Please respond to the following:

Debate It; Take a position for or against Harris’ proposal for a “Survival Lottery.” Provide reasons and examples to support your view.

From the e-Activity, discuss your level of agreement or disagreement with the author’s view that benevolence and justice make a pair; that is, when benevolence cannot provide for social utility, cold justice ensures that social utility is served. Provide reasons and examples to support your view.



In John Harris’s idea of a survival lottery, he is basically telling us he believes there is value in numbers and that two lives are twice as valuable as one so if one person must die to maximize the survival of other individuals, that one person must be killed to accomplish saving multiple lives. My problem with Harris’s survival lottery is that I think there is big difference morally between killing and letting die. Everyone on this Earth has a right to life. I do not agree with his philosophy that killing and letting die are equivalent because they are not the same. Based on Harris’s views he makes it sound like an individual has a claim on the rights of others on whether they live or not and we do not; to me, he is telling us it is alright to play God. Based on Harris’s idea, I have an example. Let’s say my neighbor, and I have the same make and model of laptop, and the maker of the laptop no longer exists. One day at the same time both laptops breakdown. The part I need for my laptop my neighbor has and the part my neighbor needs I have. Do either one of us have the right to go and claim and forcibly take the parts we need from each other, no we do not, and the same principle applies to human life. It doesn’t matter if a hundred people could be saved by the blood of one, we have no claim to that person ’s life for the sake of saving others that is not our call.

e-Activity No, I cannot see where David Hume makes the connection where benevolence and justice are a pair. When we speak of the topic of benevolence, we are talking about turning outside of ourselves to those in need, doing acts of kindness — for example, volunteering at a shelter, teaching someone to read or whatever act of kindness that a person does to help the less unfortunate. When I think of justice it is very distinct from benevolence. When I think of justice, I immediately think of root causes such as inequality, poverty, racism; causes for change and that is what justice is about changing a system not about being kind.

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