To summarize: Jack Palance, who refuses to hand a sandwich to a starving child, is a moral monster. But we feel intuitively that we are not so monstrous, even though we also let starving children die when we could feed them almost as easily. If this intuition is correct, there must be some important difference between him and us. But when we examine the most obvious differences between his conduct and ours—the location of the dying, the differences in numbers—we find no real basis for judging ourselves less harshly than we judge him. Perhaps there are some other grounds on which we might distinguish our moral position, with respect to actual starving people, from Jack Palance's position with respect to the child in my story. But I cannot think of what they might be. Therefore, I conclude that if he is a monster, then so are we—or at least, so are we after our rationalizations and thoughtlessness have been exposed.
(James Rachels, "Killing and Starving to Death," Philosophy 54 [April 1979]: 159-71, at 163)
Note from KBJ: According to Rachels, the following three propositions are incompatible:
1. There is no morally relevant difference between Jack Palance and us.
2. Jack Palance is a moral monster.
3. We are not moral monsters.
Rachels rejects 3. Which proposition do you reject?