April 20, 2024

Peter Singer: latest sighting

Professor Peter Singer

The controversial utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer has given more ammunition to his critics by firmly endorsing infanticide in a UK newspaper. In an interview with a UK newspaper, The Independent, Singer, now a professor at Princeton University, explains why.

“All I say about severely disabled babies is that when a life is so miserable it is not worth living, then it is permissible to give it a lethal injection. These are decisions that should be taken by parents — never the state — in consultation with their doctors.”

In any case, he says, this is already happening. “What do people think amniocentesis and the selective abortion of Down’s Syndrome foetuses are? All I am saying is, why limit the killing to the womb?

Nothing magical happens at birth… Of course, infanticide needs to be strictly legally controlled and rare — but it should not be ruled out, any more than abortion.”

In the interview he also describes his philosophy of “preference utilitarianism” and touches upon why he allowed his mother to be nursed until she died a natural death — even though she was badly affected by Alzheimer’s disease.