' Lifeboat Ethics, By Garrett Hardin And Clark Wolf Essay

1267 Words Nov 20th, 2014 6 Pages
Worldwide population growth is an issue that grows more and more urgent with each passing day. Our earth is nearing its capacity, and its important that we address this issue to avoid a worldwide state of emergency. Garrett Hardin and Clark Wolf both discuss this issue in detail, and offer their own solutions on how we should solve this problem. However, while Hardin presents a valid view of our world population problems, Wolf provides a more well rounded argument, and goes further to provide reasonable, effective solutions that target the true source of the issue.

Garrett Hardin, in his essay “Lifeboat Ethics,” describes the problem of current world population growth, and how we are making this already very serious issue even worse by living according to “the Marxian ideal, ‘to each according to his needs.’” (p. 397) He informs us that we must discard the popular metaphor of Spaceship Earth and instead chose the metaphor of the Lifeboat. He explains that, although harsh, we have no other option but to allow no one else on our lifeboat, for if we do welcome the needy onto our lifeboat then “the boat is swamped, and everyone drowns. Complete justice, complete catastrophe.” (p. 396) According to Hardin, the allegory of allowing no one else on our lifeboat translates to offering no aid to poor and suffering countries. For if we do offer aid, in the form of food or handouts, he warns us of what he has coined as The Ratchet Effect: when “reproduction pushes the population…

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