Utilitarian ethicists believe that the consequences of an action determine whether or not it’s moral.
But Singer suggests that there may now be more refugees in part because it’s become easier to flee disaster and, in previous decades “those who were not displaced were suffering more by staying put.” Though the civil war in Syria is an undeniably terrible humanitarian crisis, Singer says it should not obscure the fact that the world is slowly improving overall.
This doesn’t absolve us of our moral responsibility, of course.
Peter Singer has written many essays, including some that argue for vegetarianism.
He is still alive as of this article and still working as a philosopher.