Metaphysics and murder

Princeton University philosophy professor Peter Singer has for years generated controversy for the cruelty of his opinions on human life, for example arguing that the handicapped are not fully human, and that parents should be allowed to kill their disabled children. In the British Medical Journal Dalrymple reviews his 1981 book The Expanding Circle: Ethics and Sociobiology:
But, says Singer repeatedly, ethical thinking (and conduct) requires that we now include all sentient beings in our concern, and that the interests of no one, including ourselves, should count for more than the interests of any other sentient being merely by virtue of proximity to us. It is our duty to maximise the fulfilment of as many interests as possible; thus if I have the choice between contributing to famine relief or buying an antiquarian book, I should do the former, for the interests of the starving count more than my interest in possession of said book.
To some people, this view might seem humane and generous of spirit, but actually it would sanction (if, impossibly, it were put into practice) the greatest cruelty, and destroy civilisation and all hope of progress into the bargain. A surgeon who saved someone’s life with a technically complex and costly technique would not be a hero but a villain (and let us remember that routine medical care in a country such as Britain is costly by comparison with what is available in much of the world). The surgeon could not defend himself by saying that he relieved suffering where he found it, namely in the vicinity of his hospital; he should have been using his skill, and the resources, to relieve a much greater amount of suffering elsewhere. Far from being a saviour, he is in fact a murderer.

2 thoughts on “Metaphysics and murder

  1. TMay

    Poverty creation: The Left has a totalitarian streak and doesn’t understand the American economy nor the concept of liberty other than licentiousness. The whole carbon footprint idea is a rationale to kill the American economy and jobs.
    They want all to go back to having no possessions other than what “they” approve of” and don’t realize that jobs are created when people can indulge their special interests and people who share the same enthusiasm supply them.

    Where I live, Santa Cruz, CA, they did away with plastic bags at stores like food stores, Safeway, and Best Buy and Staples, and are doing away with paper bags, “to save the trees” as if the bags are not made from trees a farmer grows to sell. They disapprove of Christmas trees which are also “a crop” for the Xmas season. So you would think that if they disapprove of using paper, that they would not get the physical version of the New York Times, but no, the NYT’s is something they approve of, it is a Leftist tradition, and the Holy Grail, so somehow cutting down tress to print the specific paper called the NYT’s and then transporting the weight of it clear across the country from New York City to Calif, that’s OK, even though the information printed in the articles can be accessed using the internet. So the legislators here annoy the stores who can no longer visually know who has paid for the merchandise or not based on whether the items are bagged, they annoy the buyers who like to walk out with their food bagged and who have uses for the bags, they hurt the farmer, and the bag manufacturer and the bag distributor. They recommend that we use reusable bags, overlooking that the bags become dirty and one is putting one’s food into them and bringing them into stores. They overlook that paper bags are more reusable than the NYT’s other than for canary/budgie owners. Even where it is permissible to give out a paper bag, the Leftists cut back and over fill bags and don’t double bag so that the bag rips and drops the food all over the place and then can’t be re-used, and force older people to lug around very very heavy bags that they can barely lift, all in the name of the Leftist religion of “saving the trees”. I have often thought that the centralized government of China which would love to come up with jobs for its one billion people has a similar view of “serving the public interest” rather than liberty, that if they would get over themselves and allow some liberty for their citizens that since all the cute things for dogs and cats are made in China anyway, that they could create a great industry by letting people buy dog things and cat things for their pets and create jobs and keep the $ moving, good for the economy, collect taxes, but because they are stuck on their power they create jobs for Chinese to beat pet dogs to death in the street. Doing it low tech makes more jobs. The Left wants to kill coal jobs. We need to say “No” loudly. If THEY want to sit in the dark it’s a free count


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