“Unspeakable Conversations” and Peter Singer’s Utilitarian Urge for Euthanasia

February 15th, 2003  |  Published in Uncategorized

Peter Singer, in addition to being a passionate, influential voice for animal liberation, is also, apparently, entrenched enough in his utilitarianism that he believes in infanticide under some circumstances, and euthanasia for people mentally impaired enough that they no longer enjoy personhood, with “personhood” defined broadly as “awareness of your own existence in time. The capacity to harbor preferences as to the future, including the preference for continuing to live.”

As a result of his beliefs, he (understandably) receives no small amount of comparison to soft-spoken, well-intentioned members of the SS by members of groups like Not Dead Yet.

Harriet McBryde Johnson, a lawyer, disability rights activist, and self-described “crip,” met him over the objections of fellow anti-euthanasia activists, who are naturally concerned with one of their own appearing to legitimate his views. Her account of their meetings, “Unspeakable Conversations”, is one of the most fascinating things I’ve read on the Web this year.

(via Flutterby)

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