We have had a number of emails regarding my comment on my blog earlier this week regarding the attitude of humanists towards infanticide.
Some have forwaded snapshot Tweets from people such as a lawyer announcing that he was proud to be a humanist and asking me to prove that humanists would advocate killing babies.
Well, here you go. Here is the proof in the words of the Australian humanist Peter Singer who was awarded 'humanist of the year' by the Australian humanist society in 2004.
This, in my opinion, evil humanist states that infanticide is ok and that the life of a baby is of less value than a pig.
In 1979 he wrote, “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons”; therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.”
In 1993 he stated that no newborn should be considered a person until 30 days after birth and that the attending physician should kill some disabled babies on the spot.
I think they call this 'Eugenics'.
Instead of upgrading the fetus to the status of a person, however, Peter Singer downgrades the newborn to the status of nonperson because newborns, like fetuses, are incapable “of seeing themselves as distinct entities, existing over time." They are not rational, self-conscious beings with a desire to live.
Since, in Singer’s criteria, personhood hinges on these factors killing a newborn (or fetus) is not the same as killing a person. In fact, some acts of infanticide are less problematic than killing a happy cat. If, for example, parents kill one disabled infant to make way for another baby that will be happier than the first, the total amount of happiness increases for all interested parties. Singer’s logic can be summed up this way: Until a baby is capable of self-awareness there is no controlling reason not to kill it to serve the preferences of the parents.
There is a lot more about him on this blog.
So, the Australian humanist society makes their man of the year one who advocates infanticide. Nice.
I feel slightly disgusted that such an extreme group of people even print my name in their glossy (we are ever so innocent really) magazine. Oh yes, and that reminds me, which former LibDem MP has a role to play in the British Humanist Society? Maybe that's why Evan Harris' nickname in Parliament is Dr Death...
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993),
Jeffrey Reiman, Critical Moral Liberalism (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997
Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 1st ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979)
Michael Tooley, “Abortion and Infanticide,” in Rights and Wrongs of Abortion, ed. Marshall Cohen, Thomas Nagel, and Thomas Scanlon (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974)