By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.
Peter Singer has won the Berggruen prize a $1 million award given annually to a thinker whose ideas have “profoundly shaped human self-understanding and advancement in a rapidly changing world.”
Singer, the author of the book Practical Ethics, is the most controversial “ethicist” for his support of infanticide and euthanasia for people with disabilities and mental illness. More concerning than his ideas is the many people who “think” that he is right and follow his dangerous philosophy.
According to The New York Times’s Jennifer Schuessler
In its announcement, the Berggruen Prize committee lauded Singer, a professor at Princeton, for reinvigorating the philosophical tradition of utilitarianism — which holds that creating the greatest happiness for the greatest number, rather than absolute principles of the good, should be the guiding principle for action — both within academic philosophy and as a force in the world.
has also been a controversial figure, particularly among advocates for disabled people who have contended that his utilitarian analysis discounts the value of their lives. (In his 1979 book “Practical Ethics,” he argued that parents should have the right to end the lives of newborns with severe disabilities.) In 1999, his appointment at Princeton drew protest from the disability advocacy group Not Dead Yet, whose founder has called Singer “the most dangerous man on earth.”
I agree with Diane Coleman that Singer’s philosophy should be rejected as dangerous, discriminatory and anti-human.
Singer justifies killing people based on utilitarianism. He believes that eliminating humans with cognitive disabilities will lead to a great level of overall happiness.
Singer’s philosophy is anti-human because the characteristics that make us truly human include human equality, caring for others, and respecting human diversity.
Every human should have an equal right to live because they are a member of the human family. When we denigrate and kill people with disabilities, babies requiring treatment and care and the elderly needing care and respect people do not become happier but rather people become cold, calculating killers.
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