Monday, August 16, 2010

Do me a favor...

Click here. Don't worry, you don't have to read the whole thing. Scroll down to the section entitled "Life and Death Decisions for Disabled Infants" -- you'll find it right under the heading of Justifying Infanticide and Non-Voluntary Euthanasia. Read the whole section. Take it in. It's important.


I want you to read it because soon I will be doing a commentary post on this man's thoughts, and I think a lot of things will come clear to you, as they did to me. You might actually be very surprised at what I am going to say. So consider this some "homework" if you will. It's important that we know this, that we teach ourselves, our husbands, our children, our nieces and nephews, our friends and even our clergy.


By the way, the man who wrote it, Peter Singer, is one of the "architects" of the Culture of Death. He is not some ranting, crazy freak that all reasonable people rightly shun. In fact, it's quite the opposite: Singer is a highly respected and sought-after academic, and even holds a bioethics chair at Princeton University, among other high distinctions.


Hat tip to Monica for the link to the article. I had always known Singer held unconscionable views, but to actually read his own words is a shock to the system.

35 comments:

  1. I'm curious what you might say that would surprise us about this article... unless you are going to suggest "non voluntarily" euthanizing Singer as a utilitarian move to increase happiness in the world... :-)

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  2. Monica, ha!! Good point, but that's not it. :)

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  3. That's really, really, really disrespectiful and quite frankly gross Monica. you may violently disagree with the man, but to suggest his death-as some sort of 'just desserts' well, that's stunningly creepy on your part.

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  4. Gwen, so it is then still okay to kill in the womb for the sake of a choice...Please. Of course you would jump on something like that and not on the bigger issue at hand.

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  5. Gwen, in a truly civilized society, a man who advocated the killing of children for the "happiness" of the parents (and even stating that NOT killing them would be immoral) might be placed in an asylum, or in jail.

    You don't find the promotion of killing of helpless four-month-old babies "creepy"?

    The man is promoting evil, Gwen.

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  6. And really, Gwen... think about it: You are horrified that someone would suggest (jokingly) an involuntary euthanasia on Singer, when Singer himself is advocating involuntary euthanasia upon millions!

    Don't you see?

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  7. Oh brother. Seriously? Have you READ the article? Life is so precious that I can't even jokingly call for the death of a man promoting infanticide... but abortion is STILL TOTALLY COOL?

    Thank you ladies for getting my back.

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  8. This makes me literally sick.

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  9. And let's be really clear here... When you read, you will see that Singer is talking about killing born babies, up to several months old, at the discretion of the parents. So, we have moved beyond abortion.

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  10. When society has commidified life as drastically as ours has (contraception, artificial insemination, IVF, surrogacy, abortion on demand for any or no reason, early induction for fetal abnormalities incompatible with life , assisted suicide and euthanasia) it's no surprise that such a cost/benefit analysis would be applied to any and all individual lives. The evil we have allowed to be sown is going to bring a hideous reaping.

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  11. Oh, and the term fetal abnormalities inconsistent with life is a crock - the baby is alive until forced out of Momma.

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  12. Honestly I don't even know what to say about this. It makes my physically sick. How in the world this can be justified is beyond me.

    I have worked with special needs children for several years...some of them very "severe" cases. Yes they are difficult. Yes it is very hard on their parents. But cause for death? I think not!

    One of my former students comes to mind. This child was born with a severe heart problem that caused him to stop breathing immediately after birth. It took them several minutes to get him breathing again. At 3 days old he had his first heart surgery. By 2 years old he had had 6 surgeries. He is now diagnosed TMH (trainablly mentally handicap) as well as autistic. His parents more than have their hands full and life has drastically changed for them. But to say that he should not live because of this is unbelievable! Yes there are some serious restrictions on what he is going to do in his life but I cannot see how that warrants death. He is happy and working heard to the best of his ability.

    Ugh...I'm just disgusted at this!

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  13. This man's only hope is a really, really good exorcist. No amount of debate can do any good for someone so surrounded by deamons.

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  14. This is without a doubt the most disturbing thing I've ever read. That is satan speaking. Although I did find one statement I agree with him on:

    "I cannot see how one could defend the view that fetuses may be 'replaced' before birth, but newborn infants may not be."

    Of course I use it as an argument AGAINST abortion.

    And it always creeps me out when my OB brings up prenatal screening. What Singer argues for may not be as far off as we think, yet what is already allowed today (and discussed by my very kind OB in a very sweet voice) is pretty sick indeed.

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  15. I agree that the pre-natal screening hype does a grave disservice to our unborn children. I've known about a bazillion women that have had false positives on these "tests." Even if the child is disabled in some way, they are a still a gift and our path to sainthood as chosen by God. It is immoral to murder our children under any circumstances, since not only are we killing an innocent child, but also God's plan for our sanctification.

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  16. I’m just shocked. I was reading and could not believe how matter-of-fact this all was. I am curious as to what you are going to say that would be surprising.

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  17. It took every bit of my will power to get through this article... I kept wanting to close the computer and cry, but I read the whole thing.
    The part that hit me was that he kept saying that a newborn baby has no right to life until he has a self conscious view of himself and when he can see a long term future for himself.
    So where does he draw the line? How on earth can anyone definitively define when this happens? My 11 month old daughter is aware of herself, but I'm pretty sure that her idea of the future only extends to when she gets to nurse next! Is that considered long term? Or what about a 3 year old with a speech delay who can't communicate what's actually going on in his head....?? How can you quantify someone's capacity of thought in such a way that you can determine who has a right to life and who doesn't.
    The only clear cut moment for when life begins is at conception...so the only clear cut time to give value to a person is at conception.

    Also, when he was talking about babies with spina bifida, does he realize that doctors do surgery while the baby is still in the womb, and this can have dramatic impacts on their quality of life? Oh, and even when the baby is in the womb, they still use anesthesia for both mother and BABY.
    Also, AYWH, I was thinking the same thing!

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  18. After reading the article I am really interested to hear Gwens support side of the issue....Gwen? Because I'm not sure how anyone that was born with a conscience can read that and think it was "light" reading and justifiable.

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  19. Sanger is one of the most disturbing figures in America today. Interestingly, he admitted a few years back that he is unwilling to live out some of his views in regards to his mother who has Alzheimer's disease. Not sure why he expects others to do this when he himself cannot.

    I had a fantastic human development prof in college (PhD) who railed against stuff like this (state school, not a private one!). She asked the class if they would opt for "reductions" in various circumstances... then she listed off all the brilliant, famous, amazing people of history that were born with those disorders.

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  20. Sorry, I meant Singer, not Sanger. But both have their issues! :)

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  21. Sarah, I think I read somewhere that he actually would be fine with killing his mother, but his sister won't agree to it.

    Gwen, I would be interested in your response to the section of the article. You responded to a commenter, but can you respond to Singer's thesis?

    Also, you may have missed my overpopulation post, but you had mentioned to me on Rebecca's blog that you would be interested in the facts I might present on that. I haven't heard from you on it yet. Thanks!

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  22. I don't believe you want to hear my take on Peter Singer at all(and I'm fine with that). After all, you've already come to your own conclusions on my opinion-according to Sew I am an "unconscionable" person and according to you Leila, I am unable to read/understand Singer and his "evil."

    In fact, it would probably be near impossible for any civilized exchange on this matter as we come from two very different moral standpoints, simply delineated as Catholic and non-Catholic.

    As to the overpopulation post, I notice with the exception of some UN stats, your sources are a Catholic based entity. So, of course that source would tell you that the world is "underpopulated" (at 6 billion, no less) and that you need to procreate and protect every possible fertilized egg in the entire world.

    And finally, my earlier comment at Monica defines what I find very, very grizzly about pro-lifers: it's ok to kill rational, conscious adults (and perhaps all those in favor of abortions??) in favor of unconscious, unborn fetuses. to take a life that has begun is just fine, but to take a life that hasn't yet begun consciously is evil? I realize this plays into your idea of sin and innocence (grown adult being assumed to live with sin, fetus assumed innocent). How can an unconscious fetus be given any moral standing as innocent/pure/sinful?

    Now that I've stirred the pot, I'll leave the discussion for those who are (it appears) always in entire agreement with you.

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  23. Gwen, first, I have never, ever framed the abortion debate between "innocents" and "sinners"... in fact, I have never in my life heard it framed that way, so that's a new one for me.

    Second, I used math (which is neither liberal or conservative, I think??), I used more than one U.N. source, I used an ABC news show, and I used a secular journalist's reflections. The only Catholic source I used actually used secular sources to make the case. So, can you clarify what you mean?

    Third, where did I ever come close to saying you can't read/understand Singer's "evil"? I am totally confused.

    Fourth, you completely dodged the question of Singer's thesis. I was counting on you being the one liberal who could give me an honest response. You have been honest before and I have admired you for your integrity. I truly don't understand. Have I treated you unfairly or misrepresented your positions?

    Finally, when did Monica or anyone here say it is okay to kill people? That is beyond the pale. She was making an ironic point. And by the way, she is not Catholic (I don't even know if she is religious), and she is not a Republican. She has called herself a liberal as far as I can tell, except she has recently moved to the "pro-life" camp.

    I am sorry you won't address the issues at hand. I have enjoyed the exchanges with you and thought I finally had someone who would dialogue. I hope you change your mind.

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  24. Gwen, a sarcastic comment by a commenter does not reflect Catholic thought. In fact, the Church and the vast majority of pro-lifers condemn the killing of abortionists and those who advocate for it or euthanasia or any other form of evil.
    It may surprise you to know that many of us are also against capital punishment.

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  25. If you don’t want to engage or explain, then why do you comment at all? Don’t misunderstand because I have seriously enjoyed your comments when you do stick around and discuss things and it has helped me to understand the other side. It isn’t your opposition that bothers me, but rather your refusal to discuss the substance. No, you probably aren’t going to be in the majority on this blog, but you know that going in, so why this “hit and run” commenting without substance or dialogue? As I pointed out to you on another blog months ago, when you comment on a Catholic blog, it is safe to assume that the blogger has similarly minded friends who are readers. I take that risk on the rare occasion when I comment on blogs which clearly hold opinions different than my own. I know that going in.

    I feel the need to point out that non-Catholic, liberal Monica was not advocating the euthanasia of Singer. Not only was she joking, but her joke was to specifically state that the suggestion of it was the very thing that would surprise her.

    “it's ok to kill rational, conscious adults (and perhaps all those in favor of abortions??)” . . . Did I miss something? When did anyone say it was okay to do this? (and if you are referring to Monica’s comment, read it again).

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  26. Not Catholic. Not Republican. Not religious. Although, after much back-and-forth with my brother, I am willing to concede that I must be a deist. Luckily, neither Catholicism or Republicanism is necessary to be pro-life.

    You can't classify any person commenting on this blog, based on my remark, as someone calling for the murder of abortionists. Heck, you can't even qualify ME as such, since, to anyone capable of understanding humor or irony, it was obviously a JOKE!

    Is joking about someone being euthanized off-color? Absolutely. I'm terribly sorry. Is being SERIOUS about euthanizing living children, elderly, infirm, incapacitated, disabled, etc, possibly even more off-color? Ummm... Yes? To put it mildly?

    I began reading this and other Catholic blogs in an effort to understand the "irrational" decision of my brother to become Catholic. All I have learned thus far is that Catholic philosophy is utterly rational. The only defense for things like abortion or Singer's worldview are emotion (illogical) or utilitarianism (unconscionable). I have no intentions of converting to Catholicism at this time. As my brother said, he could only take me so far in discussing Catholic philosophy, and I'll have to wait for the supernatural aspects to take care of themselves. lol. Lucky for me, Catholic philosophy doesn't seem to require much more than deism as a starting point.

    Leila... I don't know if I'm a liberal anymore. In the mean time, I'll try to take each issue on a case-by-case basis.

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  27. Leila - I *could* be wrong but I am pretty sure Singer expressed mixed feelings about following his views when it came to his mother. I have a memory from a few years ago of him being quoted... but I may have interpreted the interview incorrectly or I may be confusing a quote of his with a sibling?

    Gwen - your comment on sinners sounds to me like you are confusing two different Catholic debates: one on abortion and the other on the death penalty. To be clear, the Church condemns the death penalty but does frame that debate differently than the abortion debate b/c well, it is a slightly different debate.

    But regardless, when it comes to life issues of all kinds, pro-lifers (especially Catholic ones) are never for taking life at any age, not even for convicted criminals. The vast majority that wear the title "pro-life" are every bit as horrifed as you are when a crazy person makes the news for blowing up an abortion facility. And the vast majority that claim the title pro-life have done nothing but good for the unborn, pregnant women, elderly, and all the other "sinners" out there (which would include us b.c the Church teaches we all sin).

    Others have said it but I'll say it again: it is obvious Monica's statement was a joke. Don't twist words and context.

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  28. Leila - this wasn't the original article but is similar to articles I read a few years ago:

    http://owenstrachan.com/2009/07/15/peter-singers-ethics-a-strange-and-telling-story/

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  29. Sarah makes wonderful points. Reading this article sickened me (and I'm already pretty nauseated all the time:) due to the morning sickness).

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  30. Gwen has apparently decided to pick up her marbles and go home ... now that she has been confronted with the logical conclusion of the pro-abortion stance.

    Singer demonstrates conclusively that if the definition of "life" is inherently ambiguous, then ALL of our existences are dependent on the whims of other people or institutions, and any deprivation of life becomes defensible, the purpose irrelevant.

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  31. Ken, quite frankly, I don't know what the heck you're talking about. My "marbles" were never lost in the first place, my friend.

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  32. Um. Gwen, I think you're confusing two different sayings: one is "lost your marbles" and the second is "picking up your marbles and going home."

    The former means going crazy, which I won't presume. The latter refers to abandoning something when it doesn't go your way.

    Clearly, I was referring to the latter.

    Hope that helps.

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  33. Ah! that does help since I have never heard of the latter phrase. I'm out of breath, so to speak, commenting here because I think there's a great deal of conversation that gets lost/mis-interpreted in the delivery when these exchanges occur over the internet. Rest assured, I am aware I'm on a Catholic blog, one that shares opinions I don't always agree with, so I'm totally prepared and expect discussions not to go my way. Besides, that would be rather dull.

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  34. Gwen, I love that you are commenting and I hope that you will stay. I just wish you would comment on the facts presented and give your view.

    Also, please feel free to email me anytime. I would love to know more about you. You have stuck around when other liberals wouldn't and I like your spunk. :)

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  35. A month late to the debate... I just found your blog yesterday, as you can probably tell by my buck-late-dollar-short commenting all over your older posts!
    Honestly, I'm relieved when I come across something like the linked article. His logic is impeccable, because it's the same logic as the Church, just going in the opposite direction. And when people see a morally indefensible but logically unassailable argument like this, they often finally take stock of their own beliefs. A rational person can't maintain logical inconsistencies in their thought for very long, in the face of such clear logic. If life isn't *always* sacred, then it's not sacred at all. If it's not sacred, then there's not really a God or a moral order, and if there isn't a God and a moral order to the universe, then we are just smart monkeys with no duty to each other except for what arises out of purely utilitarian ends. The compassion we feel for others? Chemicals in the brain. The duty to our fellow humans? Imaginary, or only a genetic construct to keep an animal social group from falling apart.
    The trouble is, most people are sure that there IS a God, a something out there, and there IS some kind of moral purpose to life. But we just don't think through the implications of that belief. So often we wash around, lost in a sea of irrational, self-deluded, contradictory ideas, defending them to the death, based on...what? I don't know. I don't get it.
    If something doesn't make any sense, we shouldn't be so sure it's right.

    By the way, Leila, I love your affinity to Socrates. I always think of him as the John the Bapist of Greece..."make straight the way of the Lord"...

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