Peter Singer is a bigot. Not a racist. Not a sexist. But a bigot, nonetheless.
He denies the equal value of the most vulnerable and defenseless human beings, indeed, asserting that so-called human “non persons” have lower value than some animals. And as always occurs when some of us are (in essence) demunanized and denigrated as “the other,” he supports the propriety of their killing and instrumental use as a mere natural resource. But he says it with a charming Aussie accent, so for some, perhaps it sounds okay.
In spite of these views—heck, perhaps because of them—Singer was recently awarded Australia’s highest civilian award. That act reflects poorly on the country. After all, when the government issues such a high honor, it at least implicitly gives its imprimatur to Singer’s views.
I posted about the award here, but decided to expand on my thoughts in the Center for Bioethics and Culture newsletter. Here’s my conclusion. From “Peter Singer’s Views Deserve Scorn, Not Awards:”
A Peter Singer world would be profoundly immoral. It would be a society in which babies that did not suit the interests of their parents could be killed. It would be an era in which the most vulnerable human beingsliving fetuses, unwanted infants, people with profound cognitive impairmentscould be used in medical experiments of the kind decried by the Nuremberg Code and/or be subjected to death by organ harvesting. It would be a world in which universal human rights would have been discarded and replaced by a society in which our rights were subject to revocation based on our quality of life. And yet, despite these and other awful consequences, he’s the most celebrated bioethicist and moral philosopher of our times.
Here’s the hard truth: The problem isn’t Singer. The real source of the moral collapse comes because too many of us are unwilling or unable to defend the intrinsic dignity and importance of human life.
Look at the stories I have covered here in just the last two weeks: Can anyone honestly say I am wrong?