Friday, April 10, 2009

More on Peter Singer and People with Disabilities


The New York Times closed the comments on Nicholas Kristof's opinion piece about animal welfare and the philosopher Peter Singer's work in behalf of the cause rather suddenly yesterday, but Kristof kept them open on his blog. One of the more interesting comments came from a poster identified as Gypsy Boots.
The ultimate issue is not really animal “rights,” but power over human life. Embroiling people in debates about animal rights (no matter how they end up, knowing that most of us are unlikely to stop eating meat or fish) is good for this agenda, because it weakens the idea that human rights pre-exist social consensus or have any “sacred” character, and promotes the idea that human rights are the endowment of small groups of “expert” philosopher kings.

Read the entire response here.

For those interested in a comprehensive and intelligent discussion of how Singer's philosophy is seen by a person with a disability, the late Harriet McBryde Johnson's long essay in the New York Times from 2003 is the perfect place to begin.

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