Defending Limits on the Sacrifices We Ought To Make For Others Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • How much are we morally required to do to aid others? After articulating some of the main contributions to this debate, I defend the position that we are sometimes morally permitted to spend our time and resources satisfying our own interests and needs rather than using them to aid others who are in desperate need. I argue that the duty to aid the needy should not always take priority over every other end we have. Whatever else we value, we most highly value the ability and opportunity to live our lives on our own terms; this grounds both our obligation to aid others and places limits on how far these obligations ought to extend. Persons ought to respect others and fulfill their moral obligations but they must also be given the moral space to set ends and pursue those ends just because they are theirs.

publication date

  • December 2008