Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Peter Singer: "Being human doesn't matter"

The infamous Princeton professor in favor of killing newborns has provided us a small taste of his sick version of utopia with this editorial.

According to Singer, "By 2040, it may be that only a rump of hard-core, know-nothing religious fundamentalists will defend the view that every human life, from conception to death, is sacrosanct."

I guess calling your opponents names is what counts as intelligent discourse in Singer's world of philosophy.

It's easy for me and my ilk of know-nothings to brush off insults, especially when the writer is unable to write a short editorial without contradicting himself. In one paragraph, Singer argues that human embryos will no longer be seen as precious because they "have the potential to become human beings" and then later on he adds that "we will understand that even if the life of a human organism begins at conception, the life of a person—that is, at a minimum, a being with some level of self-awareness—does not begin so early."

So which is it? Is the embryo something with the potential to become a human being or an actual human being? Or are human organisms not the same thing as human beings?

Singer also takes on a strawman. The prolife argument is not "the unborn should be protected because they have the potential to be human beings." The prolife argument is the unborn should be protected because they are human beings and its wrong for one human being to intentionally kill an innocent human being based on accidentally acquired properties like size and level of development.

HT: The Thing Is

UPDATE: In his book, "Should the baby live?" Singer and his colleague Helga Kuhse "suggested that a period of twenty-eight days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others."

Here's a picture of my niece hours after birth. A human non-person who doesn't have a right to life in Singer's eyes.


  1. Anonymous4:15 AM

    Why will Peter say such a thing; if he ever agrees that a human person has a right to live at all then it will be a contradiction to say that this his niece does not have a right to live.

  2. Hello all... are you pro-choice or pro-life? Why not Pro-Free-Life? Promote a healthy life and make big money with Himalayan Goji juice.

  3. Anonymous6:38 PM


    It is clear that you haven't read Singer and thus describes his opinions in a completely erroneous way. Just read him and then apologize for this post.

  4. Jonathan7:53 PM

    There are some good points about your post, but the contradiction you point out is not actually a contradiction. Using the term "human organism" Peter Singer is emphasizing that while it may be considered a member of the human species, it has not reached personhood. So a "human organism" might be thought of as a human that has not reached self-awareness, while a "human being" has.

  5. Jonathon,
    I disagree. Singer specifically uses the term "person" in his editorial. It seems to me that Singer believes that the term "person" has its own meaning and is not equivalent with "human being." If he wished he could have easily said "have the potential to become persons" and not "have the potential to become human beings." If Singer wishes to equate being a human being with being a person, he hasn't done that here.