Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Peter Singer

Marvin Olasky has a clear and short understanding of Princeton Professor Peter Singer, who, sitting among the ivy at Princeton’s Center for Human Values, blandly responds to a question: Is anything wrong with a society in which children are bred for spare parts on a massive scale? "No." Professor Singer teaches ethics.

Discussions - 7 Comments

I believe it is also the idea of Prof. Singer that parents have a certain number of days after a new baby is born to decide if they want to keep it or terminate it. He’s a sicko!!!

A graduate student has previously pointed out here that graduate programs are phasing out the influence of post-modernism for the more fashionable post-colonialism and "ethics" of Peter Singer. Imagine the world that will be created as legions of future professors mindlessly and fashionably include the paradigm of Singer’s radical relativism in their dissertations, which would shock any American if it were readable or anyone would want to read it. To place him on the pedestal as the most significant ethicist in this country is a sad commentary on American culture. His ideas are strikingly similar to that of the Nazis in many ways. Is this the best we can do? Does the New Yorker and NY Times really praise this man? My mother would be a better foremost ethicist than this guy because she at least knows the difference between right and wrong.

Professor Singer’s prominent, honored status at Princeton is Exhibit A for James Burnham’s "Suicide of the West" thesis.

In a healthy society, a monster like Singer would be both unemployed and unemployable, homeless and friendless.
He would die under a bridge somewhere.

David Frisk wrote:
"In a healthy society, a monster like Singer would be both unemployed and unemployable, homeless and friendless. He would die under a bridge somewhere."

Well, as much as I disagree with Singer’s work (100% of the stuff quoted above, and much of the rest that I’ve read as well), it’s not particularly useful or helpful (nor factual) to simply call him a "monster" and wish him a miserable death. Sure, Singer is probably one of those liberals (although I’d bet money that a whole lot of libs/lefties would not consider him one of their own) that Ann Coulter would like to have executed (per her CPAC proposal to kill more liberals as some kind of ambiguous warning), but this kind of thinking really only seems to stoop to Singer’s level in a way, doesn’t it?

I did not "wish" Professor Singer a miserable death. I simply said that in a healthy society, he would be so utterly and completely shunned for his evil teachings that he would in fact die a miserable death.

No morally serious person simply "disagrees" with Peter Singer, as one might disagree with some idiot Democratic senator, or a next-door neighbor who painted his house an ugly color. People like Singer must be condemned in the harshest possible terms. To do less is to allow their evil teachings the dignity of normal discourse, which they most certainly are not.

That is precisely the purpose of calling Singer a "monster."

Well, ok, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt there, but what you wrote certainly seemed to be something like a wish (assuming that you’re hoping/striving for the healthy society that you describe). Okay, you didn’t wish him a miserable death.
I’m happy to use the term evil and condemn Singer’s ideas in the harshest possible terms (which yes, they clearly deserve). But it might be worth considering that some ideas that have lately emanated from people (not monsters) in the Bush administration -such as the acceptability of torture to gain information or confessions - also do not deserve the dignity of normal discourse, according to quite a few people who do not occupy the left fringe. Nonetheless, these abominable ideas have really gained currency as of late (despite U.S. laws and international agreements that the U.S. has signed onto which forbid them), whereas, I would hasten to point out, Singer’s "ideas" show no signs of penetrating the mainstream. There are no Economist or Newsweek or U.S. News & WR covers that say "Infanticide: Should We Consider It?" (but a few magazines did ponder torture in just such a way), so perhaps the right needs to consider that some sliding on the slopes of moral relativism can actually occur on their home turf, and presently this sliding is affecting the mainstream moral compass. I completely agree that infanticide and baby-parts factories shouldn’t be open to discussion, but I also think the same of torture. And I’m hardly alone. But I would not call those who disagree with me "monsters." Clearly, they are human beings, even if they approve of rather inhumane acts. If those of us who wish to stop government-sanctioned torture are to accomplish this, it will likely require some discussion with other humans who don’t see things our way. Similar things could be said regarding the death penalty, but that’s another ball of wax...

Have you guys actually read any of Peter Singer’s work instead of hearing second hand from some other blowhard? He’s a very thoughtful writer and instead of just writing him off as some crank, why don’t you answer his arguments? It’s not like he just decided one day to say you know what I really like infanticide. He’s thought about it and so should you.

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