liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
Remember that post about Efficient charitable giving? We got into a bit of a discussion about Peter Singer in the comments. My brother Screwy, who is a professional philosopher, read the discussion and wrote some comments in response. He's given me permission to post his argument here. Much more informative than me flailing about trying to discuss utilitarianism and other bits of moral philosophy without really knowing what I'm talking about!

a real philosopher weighs in )

I somewhat disagree with Screwy's final paragraph; I'm reasonably happy that if someone advocates killing children then their moral position is pretty obviously worthless to me. I don't feel obliged to spend my life carefully picking over their arguments to find exactly which false premise or false inference led them to what is to me a completely abhorrent conclusion. Especially since Singer is pretty obviously going to beat me in any philosophical debate, as he's had a lot more training. I am prepared to stick my neck out and say he's just wrong in spite of this. I agree that it's not necessarily helpful to just call him a monster or a baby-murderer; from all I understand, he's a reasonably pleasant chap. But I think he's so much in love with his clever argument that he's unable to notice that it rests on massive, morally unacceptable prejudice against disabled people.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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