Thursday, August 2, 2012

Australian Neo-Nazi "ethicist" Peter Singer receives his country's highest civilian honour

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

Surely some future historian, surveying our times, will note sardonically that it took no more than three decades to transform a war crime into an act of compassion, thereby enabling the victors in the war against Nazism to mount their own humane holocaust, which in its range and in the number of its victims, may soon far surpass the Nazi one. It is significant that, whereas the Nazi holocaust has received lavish TV and film coverage, the humane one goes rolling along largely unnoticed by the media. Malcolm Muggeridge, Sanctity of Life, Chatelaine, December 1979, p. 138

Professor Peter Singer, an "ethicist" whose views on the sancity of human life I find virtually the same as those of the Nazis, was named a Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday 2012 Honours Lists (see page 8 of linked document):

For eminent service to philosophy and bioethics as a leader of public debate and communicator of ideas in the areas of global poverty, animal welfare and the human condition.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News has compiled some revealing quotes from major figures in the animal rights movement. Of interest for this post are these, merely a small sample to illustrate Professor Singer's low view of the sanctity of human life:

An animal experiment cannot be justifiable unless the experiment is so important that the use of a brain-damaged human would be justifiable. — Peter Singer, godfather of the animal rights movement, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals, 2nd. edition, 1990.

Surely there will be some nonhuman animals whose lives, by any standards, are more valuable than the lives of some humans. — Peter Singer, godfather of the animal rights movement, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals, 2nd edition, 1990.

There are some circumstances, for example, where the newborn baby is severely disabled and where the parents think that it’s better that child should not live, when killing the newborn baby is not at all wrong … not like killing the chimpanzee would be. Maybe it’s not wrong at all. — Peter Singer, godfather of the animal rights movement.

Your dog can show you when he or she wants to go for a walk and equally for nonviolent sexual contact, your dog or whatever else it is can show you whether he or she wants to engage in a certain kind of contact — Peter Singer, godfather of the animal rights movement.
The one thing I would agree with concerning Professor Singer's "eminent service to philosophy and bioethics" is that while many who share his outlook pussyfoot around the implications, Professor Singer isn't afraid to take his views to their logical conclusions and state them.

Although Peter Singer is of Jewish background, that doesn't seem to have had much influence on his philosophy, as reported by Dan Goldberg of Jewish Telegraphic Agency, June 24, 2012:

Although his family has a Passover seder -- “with a beet root instead of a lamb shank” -- and he celebrates Purim with his grandchildren, and Rosh Hashanah, Singer says Jewish traditions “did not play much of a role in my life.”

He concedes, though, that his family history did play a part in the development of his theories.

“As three of my grandparents died in the Holocaust, and the fourth was fortunate to survive in Theresienstadt, that was very much present in my life,” he said. “I am sure that it had some impact on my thought -- on my abhorrence of cruelty, of the naked use of power over the defenseless and, of course, of racism.”

His parents, he says, gave him the choice of whether to have a bar mitzvah celebration. He declined.

“I never believed in a god,” he said. “There may have been times when I wondered if there might be a god, but it always seemed to me wildly implausible that a god worth worshiping could allow the Holocaust to occur.”

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