Skip to comments.The most influential philosopher alive [Infanticide Advocate Peter Singer]
Posted on 12/02/2004 6:24:24 AM PST by Unam Sanctam
PRINCETON, N.J. -- Republicans are winning elections, but the long-term problem of the left dominance within academia remains. Consider, for example, the influence of Princeton professor Peter Singer.
Many readers may be saying, "Peter who?" -- but The New York Times, explaining how his views trickle down through media and academia to the general populace, noted that "No other living philosopher has had this kind of influence." The New England Journal of Medicine said he has had "more success in effecting changes in acceptable behavior" than any philosopher since Bertrand Russell. The New Yorker called him the "most influential" philosopher alive.
Don't expect Singer to be quoted heavily on the issue that roiled the Nov. 2 election, same-sex marriage. That for him is intellectual child's play, already logically decided, and it's time to move on to polyamory. While politicians debate the definition of marriage between two people, Singer argues that any kind of "fully consensual" sexual behavior involving two people or 200 is ethically fine.
For example, when I asked him recently about necrophilia (what if two people make an agreement that whoever lives longest can have sexual relations with the corpse of the person who dies first?), he said, "There's no moral problem with that." Concerning bestiality -- should people have sex with animals, seen as willing participants? -- he responded, "I would ask, 'What's holding you back from a more fulfilling relationship?' (but) it's not wrong inherently in a moral sense."
If the 21st century becomes a Singer century, we will also see legal infanticide of born children who are ill or who have ill older siblings in need of their body parts.
Question: What about parents conceiving and giving birth to a child specifically to kill him, take his organs and transplant them into their ill older children? Singer: "It's difficult to warm to parents who can take such a detached view, (but) they're not doing something really wrong in itself." Is anything wrong with a society in which children are bred for spare parts on a massive scale? "No."
When we had lunch after our initial interview and I read back his answers to him, he said he would be "concerned about a society where the role of some women was to breed children for that purpose," but he stood by his statements. He also reaffirmed that it would be ethically OK to kill 1-year-olds with physical or mental disabilities, although ideally the question of infanticide would be "raised as soon as possible after birth."
These proposals are biblically and historically monstrous, but Singer is a soft-spoken Princeton professor. Whittaker Chambers a half-century ago wrote that, "Man without God is a beast, and never more beastly than when he is most intelligent about his beastliness," but part of Singer's effectiveness in teaching "Practical Ethics" to Princeton undergraduates is that he does not come across personally as beastly.
C.S. Lewis 61 years ago wrote "That Hideous Strength," a novel with villainous materialists employed by N.I.C.E. (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments). Their offices were to be in a building that "would make quite a noticeable addition to the skyline of New York." But Singer sits in an unostentatious office at Princeton's Center for Human Values, which is housed in a small and homey grayish-green building with a front yard that slopes down the street. The center even has a pastoral-sounding address: 5 Ivy Lane.
C.S. Lewis's N.I.C.E. leaders are totalitarian. They use media control and a police force to push opponents into submission. Singer says he's not totalitarian because he accepts debate and says that "people can draw the line anywhere." But, within Singerism, should they? He scorns attempts to set up standards of good and evil that go beyond utilitarianism, and hopes to convince people willingly to do it his way.
The challenge for conservatives during the next several decades will be not only to win elections, but to win the intellectual battles.
All I can say to some of Singer's statements...yuk
It time that public money is used to promote bablance.
A required course at my daughter's college (Global Justice) features this man. Last year, he actually spoke on campus. This year, Monday of this week in fact, they were forced to watch a video of an interview with him. My daughter's disgust was beyond words. This requirement, more than any other factor, has shown her the bias in today's higher eduction.
I am sure we can find people who need his kidneys, heart, lungs, and eyes. Why doesn't he practice what he preaches and farm his organs out? Interesting how the living are always the ones who want to kill someone else and take something.
Relativism and Sartre wrapped in contemporary clothing.
Intellectuals don't exist unless you want them to and, whenever I hear the word "professor" I always reach for my "Buy 'em for what they're worth, sell 'em for what they think they're worth" Table.
Moral Absolutes Ping.
Singer is definitely an evil person. It would be good to have an indepth article about his beliefs, his ideas of right and wrong, for better understanding of him and those he influences. Singer is obviously an avowed atheist.
Parents - DON'T send your kids to Princeton!
Let me know if anyone want on/off this pinglist.
The greatest evil is not done in those sordid dens of evil that Dickens loved to paint but is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. C. S. Lewis
Conservatives who sneer at ivory tower elitists forget that said ivory tower is the control tower for our society. I would argue that the limited degree of success that conservative and pro-market ideas have experienced in public policy have been achieved through neo-conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Claremont Institute, and even libertarian think tanks like the Cato Institute. Despite these successes, conservatives have not carried the struggle into the academic arena. Except for a few, relatively unknown colleges like Hillsdale in Michigan or Grove City in Pennsylvania, there is no serious challenge to the liberal and secular humanist death grip over the prestigious private and state run universities. The lure of these schools attracts many of the "best and brightest" from traditionally Christian and culturally and politically conservative families just as the "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" popular culture destroys some of the less intelligent or upright from such families.
Restoration of the American republic is dependent in the long run upon the development of an elite that can take on the current ruling class. Talk radio, the Internet, alternative schooling (home school and private), and evangelical congregations have done some good. But the agenda of restoration must be continued in other arenas.
I've read more indepth stuff about P. Singer, detailing his views about bestiality and other depravities. The man is really, really repellent.
Really, really repellent.
Anyone defending, supporting or promoting evil is just as responsible as the schmo who actually does the deed. In Singer's case, maybe even more so, since he attempts to influence many people. He has a load of very heavy debt to pay. I won't say anything more as someone may take it amiss.
This line of thought was used by supporters of Eugenics, as well as NAZI "medical researchers" like Dr Mengele. It's nice to know that Princeton University has this professor of "ethics."
Singer is giving a talk at the philosophy dept at Rutgers (where I'm a grad student) right at this very moment. I chose not to attend because I'm too disgusted with the man. To paraphrase GEM Anscombe, if someone needs a rational argument to convince them that infanticide is wrong, I do not wish to debate with him, for he shows a corrupt mind.
A frightening trio - Singer, Soros, and Dr. Ronald Cranford. All have brought the culture of death to our country with much success over the last decade.
Your comments are right on. The only reason leftists and amoralists have achieved the influence and prominence they have is because conservatives - especially those with religous values - have been wimps. We've let them encroach. And if we don't stop their onslaught, the future is very dark indeed.
The instruction of "turn the other cheek" is for personal insult, not when barbarians are tearing down the walls.
Pardon my ignorance, but who is Ronald Cranford?