Many find Professor Singer’s views both shocking and horrific. And they are… although one might well wonder why there is so much shock and surprise, given his materialistic worldview. Transcendent human rights, human value and ethics under such a scheme are an illusion, ultimately; merely human conventions wielded according to the cultural whims or biologically determined concerns of some class who happen to share similar perspectives (for the time being).
That being said, his views are still chilling. Very chilling. And oh, by the way, he’s the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, and Laureate Professor in the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Practical Ethics at the University of Melbourne. Isn’t that grand? Here’s someone who defines “person” as a being who is capable of anticipating the future and of having wants and desires for the future. Sorry, babies [See this link (scroll down to sanctity of human life)].
In this BBC discussion piece, Professor Singer briefly outlines his views and then interacts with Dr. Janet Radcliffe Richards, Director of the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Philosophy, University College London, Kenan Malik, lecturer and author, and Rev Professor Andrew Linzey, theologian and writer.
Unfortunately, the panel is largely unhelpful, even clueless at times.
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Must Listen Factor: Low to Moderate. Peter Singer is an influential figure. So if you aren’t familiar with his views, and if you’re an audio scavenger, give this a go. Don’t listen to this while standing near a cliff, however. The madness may tempt you to toss yourself over the edge.
Download Audio, Peter Singer, BBC Radio 4 Iconoclasts Series. Click Picture.