Aug. 3, 2012
Morningside College students taking Introduction to Ethics recently raised enough money to save seven lives, based on estimates in a book they studied.
The students read “The Life You Can Save” by Peter Singer, which reports that World Health Organization programs for “reducing deaths from malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections and measles cost roughly $300 per life saved.”
After they read the book, they were asked to raise awareness and/or money for those living below the world poverty line – that is, making less than $1.25 per day. Many of the students decided to raise money and awareness. In total, they raised $2,100.
Students were encouraged to donate the money to reputable organizations discussed in class. Most of the students donated to Oxfam International, a relief and development organization.
The students raised money and awareness in various ways. One group received a donation from a South Dakota state senator; used the money to buy wrist bands that said "Above The Line," referring to the world poverty line; and sold the wrist bands to raise about $250.
“Around the world, 23,000 children die every day from easily preventable causes,” said Alden Stout, visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Morningside, who taught the course. “Everyone agrees that something needs to be done, but very few actually do anything. Unlike many people who learn about world poverty, these students took it upon themselves to save lives. Their work is commendable.”