Skip to comments.Baby Rebuts Peter Singer
Posted on 10/22/2010 8:01:04 AM PDT by Academiadotorg
For once, a left-wing speaker on the college lecture circuit got heckled and by a most unusual heckler. A babys cry, piercing the air from the back of an Ivy League academic hall, offered a disquieting counterpoint to a startling argument for abortion rights, Terrence McKeegan, J. D., reported in an article for the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute.
An infant has no moral status because he is not self-aware, Peter Singer, a professor of bioethics at Princeton said in a conference there. In his utilitarian view, Singer believes that there can even be a moral duty to kill humans lacking self-awareness, including the disabled, which he has been criticized for not following in the case of his mother, Dr. McKeegan writes.
Remarkably, for a conference examining abortion, there was virtually no discussion about the act of abortion itself, Dr. McKeegan noted. What was discussed would startle regular churchgoers, a statistical minority in academia.
We have to get rid of the idea of evil, Frances Kissling, an abortion rights advocate turned bioethics scholar said. The University of Pennsylvania, where Kissling is a visiting bioethics scholar, has drawn criticism for appointing the long-time abortion activist who lacks significant academic credentials, Dr. McKeegan asserted.
Kissling shocked the audience in the last session by saying, I dont care how you accomplish it [the right to abortion], whether through a constitution, the UN, state laws or federals laws, or by the Taliban, Dr. McKeegan reported.
On the other side of the question, John Finnis, a professor emeritus of philosophy in the University of Oxford argued that biology and metaphysics determined the status of the fetus. He objected to the very use of the term, calling it an F-word.
(Excerpt) Read more at academia.org ...
Interesting. Bring babies and cause them to cry.
BTW, do you FReep while your hitting it? (lol)
Biology is pretty much irrelevant to the question. We all know what a fetus is and what it turns into if you don't kill him/her.
The question is one of morality and ethics. Science, as such, is not particularly relevant to questions of right and wrong.
When I hit it, I yell "FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP! FREEP!"
With all due respect, i think that is phrased incorrectly.
A fetus does not "turn into" anything at all. A fetus is a human. It's been a genetically unique individual, clearly identifiable as a Human Being since the moment of conception, and will remain exactly that until long after that individual passes away (hopefully at an advanced age).
A fetus is a human being.
My only disagreement with you is on the appropriate level of emphasis. Correted observation: “EVIL EVIL people.”
With no apologies whatsoever to anyone anywhere, at any time.
The problem with deciding on who lives and who doesn’t all revolves around who has the bigger and most guns. If that be me or many other people, it may be decided that Mr. Singer doesn’t have the right to live. He is a professor, the elite, not the common man.
Always the problem with living by the sword with no moral absolutes: you open yourself up to dying by the sword with no moral absolutes.
We have to get rid of the idea of evil, Frances Kissling, an abortion rights advocate turned bioethics scholar said.”
Fine. Works for me. Let’s start with Kissling and Singer....
Perhaps you are correct about the terminology. I won’t argue the point.
But the appropriate legal status of any Human Being is a moral and ethical question. Determining scientific facts about any HB cannot answer the question of how that person should be treated.
For example, I believe slavery to be wrong, but studying the practice of slavery scientifically and gathering data about it (present and past) cannot by itself lead me to that conclusion.
A purely Satanic idea of course.
How can anyone who believes in wholesale death be called an expert in bioethics? By that standard, so were Hitler and Mengele.
With what justification does Prof. Singer elevate self-awareness to the ulimate criterion for establishing an entity's moral status? Couldn't one just as easily substitute virtually any other absurd criterion, e.g.: "A Jew has no moral status because he is not 'Aryan'?"
Also, I assert that Prof. Singer is not self-aware when he is sleeping and/or under anaesthesia. Using his logic, I therefore claim that a sleeping or anaesthetized Prof. Singer has no moral status, and that one could therefore justifiably kill him.
An interesting position. I would say that this is a binary problem. If we're dealing with something which is not human (and we may have a handy scientist who will testify that "this is less than human") then society is free to kill, imprison, or experiment on the creature in question.
However, if we conclude that we are dealing with a human (and a simple look at the genes can certify this) then we have a whole body of law in existence that says due process must be invoked and that humans cannot legally be killed on a whim.
This binary issue covers both abortion and the Jewish Holocaust. Sub-humans can be killed without cause. Humans cannot. If we say that Jews are humans or a fetus is human, then we say that the killing is improper.
I think it is undeniable that both Jews and fetuses are human beings. I see this as a matter of science and a matter of law. Of course it is also a matter of morality.
We’re getting heavily into semantics here.
Law is, of course, or at least should be, based on morality.
But the point I’m trying to make is that how fetuses, or blacks, or Jews, or women, or any other group should be treated cannot be determined by knowing facts about that group.
The laws you mention are all based on the premise that “all men are created equal.” Now I happen to agree with this, but it is not a scientific position. Scientifically no two humans are alike or “equal.” You simply cannot derive human equality from science.
Once you have accepted the “all men are equal” proposition, then you can extrapolate from that proposition all the laws and moral principles you mention. At this point, science can provide useful information about a fetus that can help us decide whether it is human and therefore has human rights. But science can only help, it cannot answer the question.
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