(First Things) Joe Carter—The Dangerous Mind of Peter Singer

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Singer has spent a lifetime justifying the unjustifiable. He is the founding father of the animal liberation movement and advocates ending “the present speciesist bias against taking seriously the interests of nonhuman animals.” He is also a defender of killing the aged (if they have dementia), newborns (for almost any reason until they are two years old), necrophilia (assuming it’s consensual), and bestiality (also assuming it’s consensual)....

For far too many years, Singer’s ill-conceived sophistry has been considered and debated by some of our country’s best minds. It’s time to end such silliness. Let’s assign a sophomore philosophy student to rebut his arguments and the rest of academia can move on to squashing the bad ideas being championed by morally and intellectually serious people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPhilosophy* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

Posted June 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/37200/

1. TACit wrote:

A few years ago I looked at a book on sale at an Australian bookstore, that contained an article about Peter Singer which explained that as a young man he worked or spent time observing at an abbatoir.  This experience seemed to have shaped his attitudes.  Then I met someone in Perth who had known him at one of the universities here. He is a stirrer, and I thought back then maybe a fundamentally non-serious individual who has been seeing how far he can push the envelope before society does hold him to account for his anti-social stances (he takes full advantage of an ivory tower situation).  So it’s good to see in Carter’s 10th paragraph he also suspects this, and bravo, Fr. Neuhaus and Carter, for holding Singer’s positions up to scrutiny - this needs to be done with great frequency.

June 22, 7:36 pm | [comment link]
2. Father Jonathan wrote:

Charles Camosy at Catholic Moral Theology had a response to Carter’s article this morning:


I think his take is basically right. Singer draws some downright monstrous conclusions, but they are logical given the kind of absolute materialism he espouses. Rather than ignoring Singer, we should be acknowledging his intellectual honesty and holding up the truly evil things he has come to believe as an example of the natural end of following a purely secular materialist philosophy.

June 22, 8:33 pm | [comment link]
3. Paula Loughlin wrote:

A very good fictional account of where the mind of Peter Singer leads a society is Dean Koontz’s “One Door Away From Heaven.”  Robert George wrote an introduction.

June 22, 9:00 pm | [comment link]
4. Paula Loughlin wrote:

I may be wrong on the above.  I think maybe Wesley Smith wrote the introduction not Robert George.

June 22, 9:01 pm | [comment link]
5. Confessor wrote:

Singer’s anti-social stances?  Try sociopathic.
The Bible calls this condition ‘without natural affection’ in II Timothy 3:1-5, which goes on at length to describe this ‘Professor’.

June 23, 7:35 am | [comment link]
6. TACit wrote:

OK, sociopathic - and this is what he seemed to me to be when he engaged in a debate with a physically handicapped woman some years ago about the value of her life (what a brave woman she was/is).
Suggesting Singer is an example of someone ‘without natural affection’ brings me to remark that when I consider his ‘philosophical underpinning’ of the animal rights movement, which supposedly emerged from the exposure to the abbatoir, I think also of Temple Grandin and wonder what the (brain) difference is.  Dr. Grandin is well-known as a successful autistic person who developed an affinity for animals and chose to work at helping alleviate livestock handling problems.  Her autism means that certain parts of her brain are not developed in the way most of ours are (including social linking parts; inability to show affection naturally was a major issue).  But her visualizing capabilities are extraordinary, and at the same age as Singer is, she has to her credit that about half the abbatoirs in North America are now her design which is far easier on the stock.  She saw a need and did something about it, the antithesis of sociopathic despite her lack of brain development for social connectedness, which makes me wonder if and how Singer’s brain differs from most of ours and from an autistic person’s, e.g.  Perhaps he should give someone a look at it, via MRI or diagnostic nuclear testing for example.

June 23, 8:05 am | [comment link]
7. Terry Tee wrote:

Folks, here is what I find absolutely extraordinary about Singer: many members of his family perished in the Holocaust.  You can find the details in his partly autobiographical book, Pushing Time Away which details his grandparents’ life in Vienna.  How can someone whose grandfather died in Theresienstadt possibly justify killing of the old and feeble?  It is beyond comprehension.  The Nazi slogan, after all, was to get rid of ‘life unworthy of life’.

June 23, 8:28 am | [comment link]
8. jkc1945 wrote:

Is it at all possible that Singer is devoting his life to being a “devil’s advocate” for all this idiocy, in order to point out to an increasingly secular and deviant society, just how far this type of thinking takes a person if they follow it?  I mean - - I just find it hard to imagine that a sane, rational, even half-way intelligent human can hold these opinions, with sincerity and a good conscience. 

Probably just my hopeful naivete. . . . . .

June 24, 8:48 am | [comment link]

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