Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Peter Singer: "Sure to Be a Festival Highlight"!

Peter Singer will be speaking tomorrow night in Chicago at Northwestern University's Law School as part of the 18th Annual Chicago Humanities Festival.

Yes, that Peter Singer — Peter "Killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Sometimes it is not wrong at all" Singer.

From the Festival's website:

306: Richard J. Franke Lecture: Peter Singer

One of the Festival’s most prominent lectureships this year will feature a talk by this brilliant and thought-provoking, if often controversial, Australian philosopher and ethicist, currently professor of bioethics at Princeton University. Singer, who has challenged conventional views on a host of ethical issues ranging from animal liberation to abortion to euthanasia to eating locally grown foods, now turns to the ethical dimensions of climate change. The fate of billions of people, for example, depends on whether the states that emit the most greenhouse gas emissions can agree on which nations should do the most to reduce them. In light of differences already expressed between the U.S. administration and the governments of China and India, this question is likely to be at the center of international diplomacy in coming years. Singer argues that, were climate change to be seen as an essentially ethical crisis, it would not be all that difficult to elaborate broad principles that could serve as a basis for reaching a fair outcome. But how do we get there? Singer’s talk is sure to be a Festival highlight.

In other words:

  • Emitting greenhouse gases: Bad. Horribly bad. Unmistakably bad. Absolutely, positively bad.

  • Killing handicapped babies: Not so bad. Maybe not even bad at all.



Here's an interesting take on Peter Singer by fellow Princeton professor Robert George, writing last year in First Things, titled "I Was Wrong about Peter Singer".

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