Sin: Making Smart People Stupid Since the Garden of Eden

First academia denies that the most vunerable among us as persons, now it want’s to instead give the title to animals.

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  • K. J.

    Sadly, this isn’t new. Princeton philosopher Peter Singer has been saying this for years. He even wrote an essay, titled “Heavy Petting,” defending bestiality. That’s the school that US News has tied for the #1 ranking. Can’t we do any better than that?

  • James

    It isn’t stupid. In fact, it’s a good deal less stupid (or at least more consistent) than the usual pro-choice view that it is absolutely wrong to kill a two-month-old (that is, post-birth) baby but not at all wrong to kill it five months before its birth and not very wrong to kill an adult nonhuman cetacean or great ape that is probably rather more self-aware than most newborn humans. If you want to define personhood in terms of ‘consciousness’, ‘self-awareness’, ‘intelligence’ or whatever, and you have a shred of intellectual honesty, then eventually you’re going to have to address this problem and decide either that it’s immoral to kill the higher animals or that it’s moral to kill newborn babies. Or both, like Peter Singer. This is not stupid: the reasoning is flawless. It’s just that the premises are wrong, both in the sense of ‘factually incorrect’ and also in the sense of ‘immoral’.