Dawkins and Singer Trying to Think

Watch this video of Peter Singer and Richard Dawkins discussing infanticide. Last week my homily was about the three ugly sisters of utilitarianism, individualism and sentimentalism.

Notice how, in this conversation between two noted ‘thinkers’ they actually have no thoughts at all of any substance. They throw opinions back and forth that are a mish mash of individualism, utilitarianism and sentimentalism.

In other words, they try to come up with a framework of morality which is based on ‘what works’ or ‘what is economical’ (utilitarianism) combined with sentimental feelings towards animals in pain versus a human unborn child and all fueled by the individualism which makes them think they are the only authority to make the choice in the first place.

The video is important because it shows the quicksand of modern ‘thought’. Without the magisterium of the Catholic Church and the Sacred Scriptures they have no fixed place on which to build an argument, support an idea or propose a solution. Instead there can only be an exchange of opinions, a vague proposal of a hypothesis, a suggestion of a way forward or a possible option.

This becomes the ‘dictatorship of relativism’ when it reacts against any form of dogma. As long as they are left to flounder about in their sea of uncertainty they can be left to their insipid impotency. However, no one likes to flounder about without a purpose–so they must go on the attack, and the ones they attack are not people who simply have opinions contrary to theirs.

They must attack people who say that their own beliefs are not simply opinions based on sentimentality and utilitarian principles, but they are beliefs based on objective fact, the natural law, historical data and (worst of all) divine revelation.

Counter their arguments with these hard truths and they will come at you snarling.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16430567545267057741 John

    One minute in and I couldn't take it any more. The sheer blithering stupidity of the two initial points brought me to a full stop.It's the lovely accents that make them so smart, yes?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09011063783466945979 Michael

    It must take a "thinker" to even understand their conversation. I've had more meaningful conversation stoned around a campfire than that. The world regards them as thinkers because they wrote a few books and studied at some university. Jeez, you could get better thinking from the Dos Equis man.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13070884396789350035 maria horvath

    And what about post-birth abortions (to use the new trendy phrase) of doddering old fools whose hubris and arrogance have clearly taken away their ability to think and discuss ethics in any cogent and sensible way. Should we approve of that slide down the slippery slope, Drs. Dawkins and Singer?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06223235205492924930 Anil Wang

    This discussion does highlight one essential problem…There was never a slippery slope to begin with. There was a fundamental change in assumptions the first moment each of these events happened:* contraception was accepted* marriage was assumed to be a contract rather than an eternal covenantOnce contraception was accepted, sex has been accepted as being for pleasure alone and it has been accepted that we can control who lives and ultimately dies. Anything based on those assumptions can follow including infanticide and euthanasia.Once marriage is assumed to be a contract not covenant, it is merely a legal arrangement enforced by the state. As such, anything that can be done with a contract, can be done in a marriage including desolution for any reason and multi party contracts with anyone capable of signing a contract and signing contracts on the behalf of people who are "incompetant". Since the marriage covenant is a reflection of Christ's relationship with his Church (see Ephesian 5 and the book of Hosia in the Bible), redefining marriage redefines Christ's relationship with his Church as contractual and consequently redefines our relationship with the Church as contractual. Church hopping is only one such consequence of this redefinition.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06405021835510775527 Mike Cliffson

    Im with John -one minute was breathtakingly enough(BTW I have that accent too, and NOONE fetes me!)But Dawkins IS running down – His talents DO run to being a SUPERB communicator – better say having been. If he has ever done a piece of original handson science for more than a few months, I have yet to hear of it.Would that such talents had been put to good use!, what a waste, waste waste! Ther devil can NOTHING create- but with us around, he feels not the lack.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10942346114754815803 Mr. Aitchison

    SO glad you posted this. I am now planning on using this in an 8th grade Religion lesson I'll be teaching. Keep up the great work, father!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07186450541592652214 Sheep 1

    Thanks for posting this. I had read about it and was appalled but this is quite telling, accents and all.What it really seems to show is that the boundary between humans and animals which "we've set up in our minds," is about to be blurred to the point of being indistinguishable. The line from "Lord of the Flies" comes to mind, "Some animals are more equal than others."When humans consider killing other humans for the sake of convenience or expedience, we have devolved to a truly depraved state.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14531024393615051496 veritas

    I will not watch one second of this video because I find both men disgusting.However, please do not forget that Peter Singer is not just pushing for abortion – he wants us to be able to kill children after birth.In an interview he was asked:“Would you kill a disabled baby?”He replied:“Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole. Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman’s right to have an abortion,” he said.He then said that one point on which he agrees with the pro-life movement is that, “from the point of view of ethics rather than the law, there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the newborn baby.”This vile and dangerous man is sprouting exactly the same Satanic philosophy on which Nazism was founded and which sent over 6,000,000 people to the gas chambers.These two intellectuals, with nice sounding "reasonable" voices, are nothing more than the same vile monsters who wore the black uniforms with the skull on the cap.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11934506306702772703 gedda fan

    Líbera nos, quæsumus Dómine, ab ómnibus malis prætéritis, præséntibus, et futúris why did somone waste energy to video this dribble…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14220816236848071291 FrDarryl

    Here's an attenuated sub-audible audio track I hacked from that YouTube clip:http://tinyurl.com/MoeDawkins-and-CurlySinger-wav

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09011063783466945979 Michael

    FrDarryl you are my new best friend. That's comedy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02487748842744745860 StevieD

    I really believe that pigs are more sensitive to pain than old philosophers, at least they protect their young. It is painful to suggest such a step, but I really believe that they would be happier if they did not have to torture themselves about who and what is deserving of death and so propose that we consider putting them out of their considerable misery (and before they hurt someone). It's the kindest thing – really.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02813419176690225426 Michael

    It is beyond belief that anyone can take Singer or Dawkins seriously. Call my biased but neither of them has two synapses to rub together. They both have kangaroos in the top paddock. I was initially extremely glad when Singer left Australia and took his looney ideas with him. Now I'm not so sure. Since he is in the USA he influences even more people than he did here. And his influence is malevolent.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08630265823555325662 Sand Mama

    Ugh! the 'artificial barriers' between humans and other animals was where I quit.How is it that these two clowns do not recognize that if they are against killing animals then they have to be against killing people too?Vegetarianism, environmentalism and being pro-life go hand in hand. How can they not?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05118747216132040457 Ismael

    Interesting point is that the Catholic reasons against abortion have NOTHING to do with 'pain', as abortion is intrinsically morally wrong even if the embryo does NOT feel any pain.Basically Singer and Dawkins are just bashing at their own relativism, which puts arbitary barriers between what a human being is and is not.If one accepts moral relativism then Peter Singer point is correct, mind you… and that indedd SHOWS how moral relativism is a wrong and inconsistent moral system.On the other hand the Church (but also some non-Catholics) refute moral relativism, so this discussion between Petey and Dicky is irrelevant.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06400691261382506978 Jenny

    WOW! Thanks, Father.You know what I love about this blogspot?:1. The things you post 2. The comments section always adds to a positive mix. You are a wonderful blog manager–over the years you have always deleted comments that are mean-spirited and attack other commentors. Having commented on another "blogspot" (also run by a RC priest) and been personally attacked without so much as a fair-thee-well from the blog manager, I just wanted to encourage you to keep on keepin' on!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01701790992756242324 Alice Seidel

    Only problem is, infanticide should have started with them.And who are they again, to be playing God?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16322295942728603068 Myles Keogh

    Two very sick, scary and twisted individuals.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09263674397850747507 Anon

    "Pigs are more sensitive to pain than old philosophers." If that's not on a bumper sticker, it should be!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00707611566091137431 shadowlands

    Romans 1:21-2321 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16142951164344615782 Paul

    WOW! I had no idea how stupid Dawkins really is. I mean, I know he is an idiot, but this is an eye-opener. Comparing and justifying the murder of human beings because they are too young to feel as much pain as a pig during slaughter! I happen to know a good deal about slaughtering animals and I can tell you this, they don't feel a thing when the process is performed according to law. Babies know pain as they are being torn to pieces! Then Dawkins admits to being open to killing children with 'incurable' disease! These guys aren't even human, they are worse than Hitler! Hitler didn’t think he was God, Dawkins thinks he’s ‘god’. And he will force you to worship him if he gets the chance. But this is what you get when you believe that man is only another animal species among the rest; logic that qualifies and identifies and therefore rationalizes to generate diabolical ‘morals’.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16142951164344615782 Paul

    I wonder how Steven Hawking would feel about his buddy Dawkins after hearing this little display of evil. According to Dawkins, Hawking should have been 'popped' as an infant. I'm no fan of Hawking either, but really, is there anything these idiots are not fonder of eating than their own feet? I suppose it should be expected as these lines of ‘ration’ all terminate in cannibalism sooner or later. History proves that. I suppose that’s the reason for it, as they became so accustomed to having their foot in their mouths that they acquire a taste for human flesh!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16828626285395161596 Elsasser SC

    Unbelievable! Creepy bastards! They should be locked up for enticing murder!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09326138054845359204 Al Bergstrazer

    This reminds me of a comment one of my theology profs made many years ago. He said he'd rather have his daughter marry a drug dealer than an ethicist, she'd be around a better class of people who might actually feel remourse for the harm they've done.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03150283449632665364 Lori

    It never ceases to amaze me how blinded these people are. Their thinking is even lower than animals and lack of compassion makes me wonder how they enjoy life at all. How could you not help but feel awful for people like this? To not value human life and dignity is an awful reflection of how they view and feel about themselves. It's a scary thing to be enslaved to your own so called thinking. Whatever we exalt, we become. This video is so disturbing.

  • Harlekin

    I find it quite weird that I seem to be the only one thinking that Dawkins and Singer are right with everything they say in this video…

    Try to focus on what they are saying. and dont stop listening to them because you are biased.