Much of the work of aid agencies aims to prevent threats to life, rather than to save lives. And even when an aid agency’s activity does save life, it might be doubted whether my contribution to an agency’s pool of funds will itself benefit anyone significantly. However, whether or not that is true, an argument from the life-saving analogy will still support a collective requirement of beneficence on us as a group; and fairness will require me to contribute to discharging that requirement. The collective activity to which I should contribute includes both preventing threats and saving lives.
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