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Peter Singer: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Hypocrisy

November 11, AD2013

As a member of the Homo sapiens species, I have always found it blatantly paradoxical that the very people who purport the stringent ground rules for the legitimacy of life, whether in or outside the womb, healthy or infirmed, are themselves blessed, if not merely lucky, to have survived birth to live without someone condemning them to death just for breathing.  Despite the Gospel of Life, we continually embrace the extremist philosophies that promote a Culture of Death.

“Membership of the species Homo sapiens 

is not enough to confer a right to life.”

There was a time when the world heard the nonsensical ravings of a madman and rejected them as absurd, preposterous, and too outlandish to take seriously.  And yet, the world watched as one man, a fascist and anti-Semite, propelled a whole country, and portions of the world, to believe that Aryans were the superior race, and thus began to  “ethnically ” cleanse their society, eliminate inferiors, and attempted to redefine the framework of the Homo sapiens.   One might think the above quote was from that particular infamous madman.  It is not the words of Adolf Hitler.  The statement is by the Australian moral philosopher and bio-ethicist, Peter Singer; the acclaimed utilitarian who is regarded by liberal academics and the political elite as the perhaps the most respected ethical philosopher alive today.

Like Hitler, Peter Singer ardently believes and postulates that the value of life should be determined by selective reasoning.  And like Hitler, Peter Singer is a hypocrite with the charismatic ability to persuade self-absorbed pliable minds to believe his rhetoric of determining the right to life.  How ironic that Singer is the son of Jewish parents who escaped Nazi-ruled Vienna in 1938.

The Utilitarian Focus

How many times throughout history have we heard the vindication used,  “The end justifies the means? ”

This mentality is an offshoot of utilitarianism, which is based upon, if not merely the modernized version of, the ancient philosophy of hedonism.  Defined by the claims that pleasure and pain motivates us, utilitarianism is the belief that the sole standard of morality is determined by an issue ‘s usefulness.  Christianity is based upon God’s law and morals with consequences, whereas utilitarianism is based upon man ‘s justified results; “for the greater good. ”

Utilitarianism began with the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).   The brand,  “utilitarianism, ” gets its name from Bentham’s test question:   “What is the use of it? ” After reading Joseph Priestly ‘s Treatise of  Government, Bentham conceived his philosophy based upon Priestly ‘s words, “the greatest happiness of the greatest number. ”  Thus Bentham developed his ethical philosophy based upon the idea of achieving pleasure while avoiding pain, referred to as the “utilitarian calculus”.  Bentham advocated that an act is moral if it brings the greatest amount of pleasure and the least amount of pain to the greatest number.  Bentham believed that pain and pleasure not only  justify  our actions, but also help us define what is good and moral.  He believed that this foundation could provide a basis for social, legal, and moral reform in society.

Inspired by Bentham’s example, John Stuart Mill came along and modified the scope of utilitarian philosophy. Where Bentham established an act-based utilitarianism, Mill established a rule-based  utilitarianism.  According to Mill, one calculates what is right by comparing the consequences of all relevant agents of alternative rules for a particular circumstance. This is done by comparing all relevant similar circumstances or settings at any time, thus making almost anything we choose to do justifiable.  The utilitarian philosophy maintains that each person is governed by their own internal compass.  No one is accountable to a Divine Entity, and thus no one set of standards applies to each person.  Since the end justifies the means for the great good of one’s self or humanity, a decision, a choice, an action is predicated on the perceived outcome.

Adolf Hitler believed and successfully convinced others to support his systematic annihilation of any ethnic group that did not fit his idea of a Master Race, because it was for the greater good.  This effort  included not only the Jewish people, but people of color, homosexuals, gypsies, the physically and mentally challenged, and the infirmed.  Thus, Hitler believed that by eliminating the world of these unacceptable individuals, he and his followers would make the world a much better place for the majority of people; thus, the end justified the means.

The Hypocrisy of Hitler

Recent research and DNA results show that Hitler was more likely of Jewish and African lineage. Hypothetically, perhaps fully aware of his family’s lineage, and ashamed that his genealogy didn’t hold more “noble ” genes, Hitler felt compelled, insanely driven, to remove himself from any such reference by creating this Master Race of his own design.  Another irony is Hitler with an olive complexion, dark hair and eyes, sought to create a race of blond-haired blue-eyed humans. Some biographers have also speculated that after Hitler was spurned by a Jewish girl while in his teens, it left him heartbroken and bitter. This is not to suffice that if this young woman had accepted Hitler ‘s affections, the Holocaust would have been avoided.  It is to merely say that here is a man who condemned an entire race of people when in truth he was more closely identified with them than once thought.

No one will ever know the real motivations that compelled Hitler to execute the most horrific ethnic cleansing preceding the Rwandan Genocide.  But his accomplishment has left humanity an indelible testimony to how vulnerable we human beings are when we turn our eyes away from God and allow man to define the face of humanity.

Ultimately, Hitler’s warped perspectives proved not to be worthy of defense.  The shameful coward, guilty of murdering millions for the sake of his own perceived Master Race utopia, killed himself rather than be held accountable for his beliefs and actions, thus proving himself a hypocrite.

Peter Singer’s Propaganda

Peter Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princeton University, and a laureate professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.  He views filter  through a utilitarian lens, and thus a secular perspective on life issues such as animal rights, human rights, initiatives to eradicating poverty, and implementing stringent population control.  He is best recognized for his groundbreaking book entitled, Animal Liberation published in 1975.  His perspective on animal rights has been embraced as the pinnacle of intellect in defining man s obligation to animal protection.  Meanwhile, he has also been outspoken about the normalcy of  “consensual” sex between humans and animals.  Singer’s main premise is that humans’ current perception and treatment of animals is morally indefensible.  Yet, in stark contrast, Singer views terminating a human life that is less than perfect as defensible.

To appreciate the Singer ‘s philosophy on life, it is best to listen to Singer’s own words.

–   “The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.”

–   “The traditional view of the sanctity of human life will collapse under pressure from scientific, technological and demographic developments.”

–    “I ‘m a Utilitarian, so I don ‘t see the rule against lying as absolute; it ‘s always subject to some overriding utility which may prevent its exercise. “

–    “To be a utilitarian means that you judge actions as right or wrong in accordance with whether they have good consequences. So you try to do what will have the best consequences for all of those 

–    “The life of a fetus is of no greater value than the life of a nonhuman animal at a similar level of rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, capacity to feel, etc. If we compare a severely defective human infant with a nonhuman animal, a dog or a pig, for example, we will often find the nonhuman to have superior capacities, both actual and potential, for rationality, self-consciousness, communication and anything else that can plausibly be considered morally significant.”

–    “When the death of a disabled infant will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed. The loss of happy life for the first infant is outweighed by the gain of a happier life for the second. Therefore, if killing the hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him.”

If we ever implement Singer’s philosophy, think of what we will lose.  Singer advocates  trading a disabled or  “defective ” child for one that has a better prospect of  a happy life, reinforcing the already troubling trend in our culture of selective genetics.  From Singer’s perspective accomplished human beings such as Helen KellerCharles KrauthammerStephen HawkingChristopher ReeveItzhak PerlmanFranklin RooseveltStevie Wonder and Ray Charles would have been euthanized, because in Singer’s mind they are defective human beings and are incapable of living a happy and productive life.

Opposition Takes Aim

Some of the most acclaimed and well-respected philosophers find Singer’s assessments frightening, while others view him has a forward-thinking academic with respected credentials addressing difficult issues with sound reasoning.  However, although his strongest opponents may respect his accomplishments, they are cognizant that Singer’s philosophy on the value of life is contrary to Christian and Judeo teachings, and is very dangerous.  Professor Donald DeMarco, refers to him – – – the “Architect of the Culture of Death”.  Donald DeMarco, PhD is a Senior Fellow of HLI America, an Initiative of Human Life International. He is Professor Emeritus at St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario and an adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, CT.  DeMarco says, ” The new tradition that Peter Singer welcomes is founded on a “quality-of-life” ethic. It allegedly replaces the outgoing morality that is based on the “sanctity-of-life.”   

Singer is often compared to Joseph Mengele, nicknamed The Angel Of Death, who was the Auschwitz Nazi-doctor that performed medical experiments of unspeakable horror in seeking to clone Hitler’s idea of a Master Race.  There is a haunting similarity in Singer’s concepts to that of Mengele. Singer ‘s book entitled “Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Our Traditional Ethics” has been coined the ‘Mein Kampf of the euthanasia movement. ‘  From Singer’s perspective, a nonproductive human being is an expendable human being, and therefore, the killing of that human being is justifiable.

Mengele said, ” The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”  This chilling statement is a sinister reminder that the more we are seduced into accepting any philosophy that is contrary to God’s teachings, the more inclined we are to forget that we were ever duped.

The Hypocrisy of Peter Singer

When Michael Specter, writer for The New Yorker, and author of the book entitled, \” Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives,”  interviewed Peter Singer for an article, Specter said about the interview:  

“He [Singer] told me that he has no respect for people who donate funds for research on breast cancer or heart disease in the hope that it might indirectly save them or members of their family from illness, since they could be using that money to save the lives of the poor.   “That is not charity, ” he said.  “It ‘s self-interest. ”  

Based upon Singer’s assertion and his personal choices, Singer’s ardent worldview on the value of life and justification of death flunks the reality test.

When Singer’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, he didn’t starve his mother to death.  He didn’t deny her quality of care.  He didn’t withhold funding to attend to her care, and instead, donate those funds to feed the impoverished.  On the contrary, he chose to contradict his lifelong pontifications by spending thousands of dollars to provide quality care for his mother in a nursing home. He chose to provide for her the most basic care and comfort deserved for every human being instead of terminating her life, because she was  “defective. ”

When the Singer was confronted with the hypocrisy, the staunch advocate for euthanasia justified his actions with this matter-of-fact statement:   “It s not the best use you could make of my money, that’s true.  But it does provide employment for a number of people who find something worthwhile in what they’re doing. “

So there we have it. Peter Singer ‘s authentic philosophy on life and death: ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ Like Hitler, who was able to charismatically inspire people to embrace his ideology and chose not to live and stand up defending it, Singer is nothing more than an attention seeking introvert academic who refuses to live by his own principles.  He seeks control over others by imposing criteria that he wishes to see them live by, but would never dream of embracing himself.

The Gospel of Life

We are given the Gospel of Life from Our Heavenly Father.  It is clear, concise and irrefutable.  It does not require any amendments or appendices.  Yet, we have a pathetic history of embracing charlatans who are merely hypocrites that thrive on attention-seeking and control.  Nothing more.  They do not live by the same principles that they wish to impose on others. Two additional hypocrites that constantly remind me of our short-sighted vulnerability are Gloria Steinem and Betty Freidan.  Here are two women who single-handedly adversely changed God’s definition of divine femininity for women, and thus the quality of life for children. We are still paying the price for that poor judgment.

St. Paul warned the Roman Christians against self-seeking teachers, who had no purpose but their own personal gratification.  “For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but they own appetites and by fair and flattering speech they deceive the hears of the innocent. ” [Romans 16:18]

In his Evangelium Vitae, Blessed Pope John Paul II writes  “The role of families in proclaiming the Gospel of Life and building a “culture of life”, the pope says, “is decisive and irreplaceable”, and involves education, formation of consciences, as well as prayer and worship (§93). “There can be no true democracy without a recognition of every person’s dignity and without respect for his or her rights. Nor can there be true peace unless life is defended and promoted”, Pope John Paul writes (§101).

When we stop giving these  “Architects of Death ” the time and attention they do not deserve, and devote our energy in supporting and promoting the Gospel of Life above all things, in all circumstances, and in all situations, eventually the babbling propaganda of the Peter Singers of this world will fall on deaf ears, and be dismissed for who they truly are.

© 2013 Diane McKelva.  All rights reserved.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Recognized as the former Editor in Chief, Diane McKelva is now the Editor Emeritus of Catholic Stand. You can learn more about Diane and her work here.

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  • Pingback: Liberty and Education | Why Peter Singer is Almost Certainly Wrong – Part 1()

  • Max Driffill

    Godwin-ed right out of the gate. No real consideration, or philosophical work is done with Singer’s ethical work whether he observes his ideas perfectly or not. This article seems to suggest, mostly that Singer is wrong in his conjectures because..Hitler. The other technique of refutation seems to be incredulity. However “can you believe he said that” does not constitute even the hint of a rational argument.

  • Andre Boillot

    “The statement is by the Australian moral philosopher and bio-ethicist, Peter Singer; the acclaimed utilitarian who is regarded by liberal academics and the political elite as the perhaps the most respected ethical philosopher alive today.”

    Out of curiosity, how would you support this assertion?

    • Guest

      Yes, I was wondering the same thing.

    • Gentlemen, I did not see your questions until now. Forgive the delay. My assertions regarding Peter Singer are taken from credible sources such as LifeNews, etc. I do not use Wikipedia in my research for various reasons. I’m confident that if you Google or Bing “Peter Singer”, you will find more information than you desire. Hope this helps.

    • Andre Boillot

      “My assertions regarding Peter Singer are taken from credible sources such as LifeNews, etc.”

      Could you provide any citations?

      “I’m confident that if you Google or Bing “Peter Singer”, you will find more information than you desire.”

      This doesn’t really answer the question now, does it? In my experience it’s quite rare for Mr. Singer to be mentioned by anyone other than pro-life groups – and to the extent that I’ve seen him lauded, it’s usually by way of those same groups claiming he’s one of the most respected thinkers in liberal / academic elite circles. Surely, you have some evidence for these claims that you can share with us.

    • Howard

      Check out the part where Princeton University calls him “a leader of public debate”

      http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S33/94/45C47/index.xml

    • Andre Boillot

      Actually, that’s an Australian award. I think if you look down the list of recipients, you’ll likely a) not recognize many; and b) wonder if this is evidence that he’s viewed by the liberal elite as being “the most respected ethical philosopher alive today”.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Companions_of_the_Order_of_Australia

    • Howard

      I see nothing invalid with an award from a country like Australia. It does show recognition by his home country. Princeton is certainly part of the liberal elite. As far as who exactly is number one, it probably could be debated if it has not been awarded by some strange ranking organization. Public debate in this context is certainly not carried out in forums like “Good Morning America”. I also can’t see radical academics sharing the spotlight willingly with another. He is an influential leader if you only want to accept students as a valid audience.

    • Andre Boillot

      “Princeton is certainly part of the liberal elite.”

      Yes, and that they praise their employee is quite shocking, no? One pat-on-the-back from one’s own employer does not grant you the status the author is according him for the purposes of this piece. More-over, I think there’s a good case that the status he does have is due to his animal rights theories in the 1970s, and is in fact in-spite of his views on infanticide, which I would guess are quite unpopular, even in liberal academia.

    • Howard

      Well since you are concerned with who is number one give us your choice.

    • Andre Boillot

      What a silly comment. I’m concerned with people having evidence for claims. Ms. McKelva has given none for the claim I contest.

    • Howard

      Within the subjects that Singer writes, teaches, and speaks about you have been given evidence that he is respected, wanted and paid to influence young minds by an elite university. You dismiss this as hyperbole by an employer. But, you overlook the fact that if his ideas were “quite unpopular” a self-interested employer would certainly not have hired and bragged about him. No one is gong to do the research for you. This is a subject that is not widely reported on right now in the popular press. Wait until animal rights groups push for animal marriage.

    • Andre Boillot

      Let’s be clear, to the extent that I’m “dismissing” the praise he gets from Princeton, it’s in the context of attempting to prove that he’s a hero of a much larger cross-section by pointing to one, biased data-point.

      “But, you overlook the fact that if his ideas were “quite unpopular” a self-interested employer would certainly not have hired and bragged about him.”

      I would agree if that person was regarded primarily for these unpopular ideas. As I said before, to the extent that he is highly regarded, it might be due to his work regarding animal rights, or other aspects of his social-justice theories, and not his views on infanticide (I would think this would be similar to Catholics lauding Aquinas for the bulk of his work, in spite of his support for putting heretics to death).

      “No one is gong to do the research for you.”

      You seem to not understand the concept of ‘burden of proof’. Ms. McKelva made a sweeping claim, I’m just asking for her to back it up.

    • Howard

      I understand what is proof. Burden here is often accepted if proof will be accepted in return.

      My “one, biased data-point” is a valid data-point when you consider the reason for any bias. I am not interested in providing any more, you asked for “any citations” and I gave you one. Your argument is with Princeton saying he is “a leader of public debate”, not me.

      Philosophy today is populated with persons promoting their own unique visions. Very specialized ideas that really don’t overlap much. Science seems to be a popular background in which to create a dogmatic philosophy today. Leaders are recognized by their contributions, often being the first to propose an idea no matter how long ago.

      Within Singer’s area of philosophical interest (the context of this article), I see him also being looked to by animal rights groups as their philosophical leader.

    • Paul Boillot

      “But, you overlook the fact that if his ideas were “quite unpopular” a self-interested employer would certainly not have hired and bragged about him.”

      A university’s hiring criteria might not be obvious at-first-glance to the outsider–and while it might well be self-interested–it might be the case that you do not understand what they see as their self interest.

      It might be the case that an institution of higher learning hires faculty *not* on the basis of cultural popularity.

      PS. Nice slippery-slope argument from gay-marriage to animal marriage.

      PPS. Don’t you need a license already to be a dog breeder?

    • Howard

      Ran across this:

      http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2013/11/10/peter-singer-advocates-for-animal-rights/

      Hiring a teacher of young minds I would hope would be done with care, and not knowingly subject them to nonsense and promote it as truth. Any other course would be insane.
      Not my slope, wait and see or investigate the subtle beginnings.
      I don’t get the license comment?

    • Paul Boillot

      I think bad thinking is bad wherever it is, whoever engages in it, and whatever their employment/employer.

      The goal of my reply you was not to debate Singer’s viewpoint or to talk about slippery slopes: my goal was to point out your bad thinking.

      Your logical argument:
      IF a prospective employee’s point of view is quite unpopular,
      THEN a self-interested employer will not hire then, much less brag about them.

      Now.

      You might be able to make that case with respect to some business models in some markets at some times and have facts and logic on your side.

      How ever when talking about universities, among the services being sold are access to diverse ideas, challenging professors, and a liberal (in the original sense of Liberal Arts) approach to study.

      Hiring someone controversial/challenging may well be an action-item for a university’s board, even if they’re unpopular. I know my small conservative christian college hired many professors that my fellow orthodox students/the community didn’t like, presumably to add diversity to the education curriculum. Their positions and contributions were certainly a bullet point on recruitment materials sent out to prospective students.

      As for “hiring a teacher of young minds I would hope would be done with care.”

      Are we talking about kindergarten? I’m sure that university students around the globe are grateful to you for your condescending concern for their mental and spiritual well-being.

      More dangerous to a human’s mental life by far than occasionally running into a teacher who challenges your whole world view -I think- is habitually engaging in sloppy logic and fuzzy thinking.

      I know I’ve run into a few such professors, and I’m grateful to them for treating me like an adult, whose ideas and ideals can withstand the light of scrutiny.

      *Edit for clarity*

    • Howard

      Okay, I’ll play for a while. As much as I appreciate your attempts to improve my thinking, there are a few points that can be made.

      First of all you misunderstand me. I said “nonsense” and was referring to your comment “quite unpopular, even in liberal academia”. A University may indeed offer someone who is not entirely mainstream, but, I do not see one as a matter of course fighting the liberal elite structure or teaching what IT considers as nonsense. If you wish to claim that Universities are open minded and welcome diversity (in it’s non-political sense) then we should not see the rejection of Religion in the academy. The “light of scrutiny” in the academy seems to me to be based on science being the only arbiter. Tenure always leaves a residue though.

      I cannot speak for Princeton, I can only accept what they
      say and do. If you chose to reject what they say, I really don’t care.

      Kindergarten came a few short years before. University
      students, unless they are professional students, are very, very young minds. Not fully formed physically or
      emotionally. I am afraid that you approach the word “adult” as a buzz word with emotional attachments. They are adult in age by law but not in knowledge and world experience. How a teacher relates to this young student is a matter of his character not a matter of how you wish a student to be
      described.

      http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10000872396390443713704577601532208760746

    • Paul Boillot

      “Okay, I’ll play for a while. As much as I appreciate your attempts to improve my thinking”

      It’s a shame that you think I’m playing with you, or that I am motivated by improving your thinking. My goal was *to point out* your shoddy logic, I have no hopes of improving the mechanism which developed it.

      “your comment “quite unpopular…”

      You’ll notice that my brother and I have different first names.

      “I do not see one as a matter of course fighting the liberal elite structure or teaching what IT considers as nonsense”

      I’m sorry, but I’ll just have to disagree with you here. You’re making a false assumption that ‘a university’ can ‘believe’ anything: the hiring decisions are the result of aggregate faculty and director input. In so far as any one institution has a history/tendency/mission to push MODE A of thinking they often do hire someone of MODE B, if only as a counterpoint to emphasize MODE A.

      ” we should not see the rejection of Religion in the academy”

      There are dozens, if not hundreds, of religious institutions of higher learning. I went to one.

      “University students, unless they are professional students, are very, very young minds. Not fully formed physically or emotionally”

      As you get older, I imagine you continuing to add more and more groupings of people into your categorization of “very very young minds.” If universities produce the necessary medical advances in the coming years to drastically increase the average life span, I wonder if you’ll talk about the malleability of first-year retirees, ranting about the dangers of exposing 65 year-olds to dangerous ideas before they’re emotionally ready.

      Institutions of higher learning have an obligation to teach their students how to reason well, how to learn, how to weigh evidence, how to handle conflicting points of view. To do so…they have to have access to conflicting points of view. To do so…they have to hire people who have conflicting points of view.

      Your original point that market pressure would preclude Princeton hiring someone who advocated MODE B thinking unless they had an ulterior motive in supporting MODE B ideology is incorrect.

      MODE A institutions often hire MODE B teachers to provide diverse and challenging learning opportunities.

      PS.
      If you were really worried about university student’s formation, you would champion the use of logic, the exposure to difficult opposition in the service of sharpening your own thinking — the thesis, antithesis ==> synthesis model, not their sequestration from ‘dangerous’ ideas. That sort of mollycoddling and protective-mother instinct is what stunts intellectual development.

    • Howard

      Different first names, same thinking. You blend into a tag-team.

      The reason we three are far apart in our thinking is reflected in your interpretation of “play for a while”. Is the understanding you came up with the only one possible?
      Or, the rather strange twisting of “my goal was to point out your bad thinking” into some kind of a word play about motivation and pointing out.
      Far apart we shall remain.

    • Paul Boillot

      “Different first names, same thinking. You blend into a tag-team.”

      Look, it would take me a long post to enumerate all the things my brother and I disagree on, so I’m not sure that I agree with your characterization. But hey, you made a little mistake. I can’t blame you; understanding or caring about the nuances in groups you’re not a part of is a pain: all Scientologists sound alike to me!

      “Far apart we shall remain.”

      Are you under the impression that I was looking for rapprochement? I was not. I subscribe the the dogma that discussion between reasonable parties entails a responsibility that either raise objections to logically invalid statements by the other.

      Eg. “But, you overlook the fact that if his ideas were “quite unpopular” a self-interested employer would certainly not have hired and bragged about him.”

      There was no need to go down all the other tangents we followed, that was a simple case of a poor (or poorly phrased) argument.

    • Howard

      Look you interpret as you wish then call it a reality. It is your style. I am not under any impression of rapprochement. Just a matter of fact as I see it.

      You create little boxes and then try and crush them. No imagination, no possibility of any common ground for discussion. Even language is a malleable commodity in your hands.

      Far apart we shall remain.
      .

    • Paul Boillot

      “Just a matter of fact as I see it.”

      I mean, fair enough…although I refrain from random-fact spouting unless they have a bearing on the topic under discussion. Eg. “Thorium has exciting potential as a nuclear fuel in the future.” Is that a matter of fact, as I see it? Yes. So what? Why mention it? It seems important to you to underline the distance between our points of view (though you know not mine)…again, fair enough, but so what?

      “You create little boxes and then try and crush them. No imagination, no possibility of any common ground for discussion. Even language is a malleable commodity in your hands.”

      I’ll give you this: you have a flair for the dramatic.

      But I’m not sure what box I created when you asserted that a university would never hire someone unless they backed his world view 100%. You made that claim all on your own. You didn’t need my help to build your own box.

      My only goal in replying was to point out that your assertion was logically invalid.

      I figured that with your far greater…life experience…you would remember a time when people respected logical thought, and welcomed corrections during dialogue.

      http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Pepperidge+Farm+Remembers_c98143_4471037.png

    • Mr. Boillot, it appears from your comments here and the responses
      offered to you by me and others that every effort is being made to
      respectfully answer your questions. Obviously, none of the answers
      satisfy you, and appease your motives in this discussion. I made no “sweeping claims” in my article. You have been given resources – – Google, Bing, do your thing and educate yourself on the information here. It appears that you have an axe to grind about Peter Singer and are looking for a place to expound. Are you an apologist for Peter Singer?

      Biography: Peter Singer
      http://www.biography.com/people/peter-singer-39994
      Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People
      http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1972656_1972712_1974257,00.html
      About: Agnostics and Atheism: Peter Singer
      http://atheism.about.com/library/weekly/aa050300e.htm
      Publications by Peter Singer
      http://www.utilitarianism.net/singer/
      Famous People: Peter Singer
      http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/peter-albert-david-singer-2563.php

      We appreciate your participation here, and always welcome reasonable intelligent debates that respect all views. However, there are times when we must simply know when to stop and move on. I will make no further comments in this discussion. The article stands on its own merit. Thank you.

    • Andre Boillot

      Ms. McKelva,

      Your original claim:

      “Peter Singer; the acclaimed utilitarian who is regarded by liberal academics and the political elite as the perhaps the most respected ethical philosopher alive today.”

      I believe that asserting anyone to be ‘the most _____’ is a sweeping claim, deserving of some substantial evidence.

      In response to my original request for supporting evidence, your response:

      “My assertions regarding Peter Singer are taken from credible sources such as LifeNews, etc.”

      While it’s nice to allude to credible sources, citing actual sources is better, and I hardly think my lack of satisfaction with such a response is a discredit to me.

      “You have been given resources – – Google, Bing, do your thing and educate yourself on the information here.”

      I hope you understand that telling somebody to ‘look it up’ after being challenged to provide evidence for a claim is not how “reasonable intelligent debates” generally work.

      “Are you an apologist for Peter Singer?”

      Actually, no – and I find his views on infanticide particularly disturbing.

      “It appears that you have an axe to grind about Peter Singer and are looking for a place to expound”

      That axe I have to grind is using fringe ideas of one individual in order to build a straw-man to attack an entire group. Surely you did some research in order to come to the conclusion that I’m objecting to, which is why I find it curious that you’ve yet to point me towards anything concrete.

    • Mr. Boillet, you said: “While it’s nice to allude to credible sources, citing actual sources is
      better, and I hardly think my lack of satisfaction with such a response
      is a discredit to me. Credible vs actual sources? Really? You obviously enjoy playing word semantics. I don’t play that game. As for any efforts here to discredit you? It is blatantly obvious that you came here to try and discredit us .;) How regretful that you missed the point of the article.

    • Andre Boillot

      Ms. McKelva,

      “Credible vs actual sources? Really? You obviously enjoy playing word semantics. I don’t play that game.”

      I’m sorry if I came off as trying to play games, though I think you misunderstand me. When I say “allude to credible sources”, I’m referring to your mentioning “LifeNews, etc.” as your source. When I say “citing actual sources is better”, I mean that linking to a particular article on LifeNews (or elsewhere) is better than merely saying what your source is. If we were having a debate about finance policy, and you asked for supporting evidence for some claim of mine, and I answered with only ‘The Economist, etc.’, would you find that very helpful? Would you feel justified in asking for something more specific / concrete?

      “As for any efforts here to discredit you?”

      I think you are again mistaking my meaning. I was saying I could hardly be blamed for being dissatisfied with the vague response to my initial question that I got from you.

    • Max Driffill

      Andre,
      I think the the thing that we must say about Singer is this.
      1. He has done some interesting and challenging ethical work that is not, when addressed with an inquisitive and ironic mind, as easily dismissed as this article attempts.

      2. His employment at a large university, or his citation rate, do not make him a champion of the left, They simply make him a figure in ethical philosophy one must tackle from time to time, and that this tackling is a useful exercise, as illuminating when one agrees with Singer, as when they disagree.

    • Paul Boillot

      “I will make no further comments in this discussion. ”

      I regret that we live in a society where people who want a public voice don’t expect to be held to their word.

    • Paul, attacking someone’s credibility to make yourself appear superior is perhaps one of the first public forum No-No’s if you want to be taken seriously.

      I responded to Andre (Are you related?) out of respect to him. I appreciate him being here and desiring to engage in a discussion. However, it appears that in “texting” back and forth much of my intent and his intent is being either lost or misunderstood.

      Meanwhile, you appear to be a sideline agitator. I’m done here. God bless you both.

    • Max Driffill

      Lifenews? A credible source?

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  • Guest

    Greg, thank you for commenting. The article was part of an symposium on popular thinkers, primarily philosophers. It was not intended to focus on the Obama administration, or any axis of evil from a broader perspective. This article focused on Peter Singer and his “gospel of death” efforts as it relates to the Gospel of Life. Agreed, there are other factions of evil that are not directly related to utilitarian philosophies, but can certainly be considered offshoots. These movements are equally troubling and show be addressed. Perhaps a topic for a future article. Thank you for sharing. Peace be with you, Diane

  • Greg

    Perhaps the article misses the mark a bit. This can be dangerous as it then does not allow us to take measures to prevent future harm.

    Hitler and other masters of mass death – Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, etc. – were not utilitarians as a core philosophy. They were Marxists. When we overlook the strain of Marxism running through such evil eras, and now in our time, we err.

    First comes the Marxist view that catapults an elite into power through the use of deception and corruption. Then those elite use utilitarianism merely to justify their heinous acts – but such is an after-the-fact ploy, not a driving philosophy. The Marxist destruction of societies is not utilitarian and cannot be justified in that manner.

    As in the references to the past, we have a self-hating Jewish Marxist, who collaborated with the Nazis, now managing our government and media. George Soros (Anglicized name) is running the same types of deception and corruption we see throughout history as the precedent to a small elite gaining total power and enslaving the rest. Soros, like the others is good at spouting rationales that seem to be utilitarian but which are only smokescreen justification for what are essentially evil intentions.

    Unless we fully come to grips with evil and evil intentions – we will not have a true fix in sight.

    • Guest

      And what is your conspiracy theory about Rupert Murdoch and the Koch brothers?

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  • jamey brown

    Thank you, Diane, for an excellent and thorough article. The quote from Mengele, “The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it,” is chilling. It seems to be the motto of the Culture of Death. There are so many outrages against God’s Laws that before we can even respond to one, we’re hit with another, and then another. Keep up the good fight.

    • Thank you, Jamey. I’m wearing my Holy Spirit armor and saying lots of prayers. 😉 God bless.

    • jamey brown

      And don’t forget the sword, you gotta have the sword. “The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). With the way you write, you are going to need it–but it sounds like you know how to use one.

  • Howard

    Great article! I find it incredible that anyone follows him. The only way I can see that this could happen is if you separate your life into make-believe stories where you control the outcome as you wish, and reality where it really matters. Or, his followers just are lazy and don’t think at all.

    • Thank you, Howard, for the inspiration. The more I researched the angrier I became. How can people follow so blindly and not see the realities of such insane philosophies? I will never know. My mother always said ‘If you keep your eyes on God you will only believe the Truth. Take your eyes off God, and you will believe anything.’

  • james

    But if we said to the pope, surely Hitler is in hell, he would be compelled to say (as
    the nuns said to us ) we do not know that at all. So, if this kind of evil abomination
    isn’t obvious in ultimate consequences why would anyone care about mortal sin at all ?
    That’s what I love about our Church: the distinctive way it hedges. In the end, mercy
    is invoked as a catch 22 to what is unknowable. Now eastern deism has a broader
    view of hell and it doesn’t hedge at all.

    • Howard

      The evil is obvious and the direction Hitler was headed was Hell with no doubt. But, we cannot, except to speculate, as to the actual outcome – only God knows that. Our purpose is not to determine who is in Hell but to try and avoid it ourselves.

    • James, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Let me see if I can offer you this perspective.

      The Pope would be correct. We do not know if Hitler is in hell or purgatory. Based upon what Scripture clearly tells us, it’s a good bet that he is not in heaven. St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans (2:6-8) “He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”

      The Church doesn’t hedge anything. Scripture tells us not to judge. Therefore, the pope is not going to say where he thinks Hitler is, because that would be judging. Being the Pope, who tries to live the exemplary life exhibiting God’s mercy and grace, it is fair to say that the Pope would never disparage even the most evil human being that ever lived. Remember, Pope John Paul II went to prison and met with the man who shot him to forgive him.

      Personally, I have a difficult time reconciling that Hitler would be forgiven for being directly responsible in killing 6 million people. Just as I have a difficult time reconciling that an abortion doctor, who never asked forgiveness for the murder of the children he aborted, would see heaven. But then, I am not God. Thankfully, I don’t get to decide someone’s eternal fate. I’m not qualified. However, I do know, because Scripture tells me that there is a judgment for each and every person that walked on the face of this earth, except Jesus and Mary. And I intend to live my life as close to what God expects of me, and I don’t worry about anyone else. God will take care of them….including Hitler, Mengele and Peter Singer.

    • james

      Very well said and what I was taught and understand and believe. Though, I do understand that ED also doesn’t condemn. Yes, there
      is a hell, but it can be a revolving door of rendering. Unless a soul is reborn, pays the last jot and tittle, lucky enough to be given a spiritual education and the gift of faith, they have a long haul on the road to salvation. I believe Purgatory is getting it right in this human body and since life is its own reward it stands to reason that we are souls on a human journey looking for release.

  • Phil Dzialo

    As a disability advocate and care-giver to a 27 year old severely disabled, medically fragile son, Peter Singer’s single monument to “soullessness” is his warped distinction between a human and a person. By Singer’s utilitarian thesis, my son is a human but not a person. Since profanity is off-putting, Singer is a deluded, self- defined bioethicist and probably a supporter of T-4. Unfortunately, his ideas lack originality but were heavily influenced by Mary Anne Warren. Thankfully, few human persons take him very seriously, other than to adamantly attack his positions.

    • Phil, thank you for sharing. You are a frequent participant on Catholic Stand and we don’t always agree on every issue. However, on this one….we agree! 😉 You have my respect for your love and commitment for your son. My best friend is doing the same for her son, and they have taught me a great deal about life and people. God bless you.