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Lexilogio

Euthanasia

I know this comes up a great deal - but it is worth mulling over. Its so important to many, that we should constantly evaluate our views.

So I was intrigued today to discover that Peter Singer was in favour of euthanasia. Peter Singer? The guy who passionately argues for animal rights?

His views are here

I should note - I don't endorse his views. But I do acknowledge that as we push the boundaries of Medical Science, you sometimes wonder why - whether the interventions are always worth it? Or sometimes, should we let nature take its course?
Paul

Scary, I say. An example of extreme rationalism.
Shaker

Re: Euthanasia

Lexilogio wrote:


So I was intrigued today to discover that Peter Singer was in favour of euthanasia. Peter Singer? The guy who passionately argues for animal rights?

The way you phrase this implies that you see these as opposed and that this is therefore a contradiction - I don't see why?

Quote:
I should note - I don't endorse his views. But I do acknowledge that as we push the boundaries of Medical Science, you sometimes wonder why - whether the interventions are always worth it?


In a great many cases they're not.

Quote:
Or sometimes, should we let nature take its course?

No. At least half the time nature is a total bastard and will try to kill us in a variety of ways as slowly and as painfully as possible. That's nature every bit as much as sunsets, butterflies, rainbows and kittens, and that's when we have to draw a line and say bollocks to nature - we don't have to allow this state of affairs to continue.
cyberman

Shaker - do you agree with Singer's view that disabled people have a lesser right to life than non-disabled people?
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Shaker - do you agree with Singer's view that disabled people have a lesser right to life than non-disabled people?

(a) No;

(b) Is that actually Prof. Singer's view?
cyberman

Yes it is

http://sydneyanglicans.net/news/p...witter&utm_source=twitterfeed
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Yes it is

http://sydneyanglicans.net/news/p...witter&utm_source=twitterfeed


The link (from a group called Sydney Anglicans so therefore, we can confidently assume in advance, not exactly a disinterested source) handily provided a full transcript of the discussion, and having read exactly what he has to say in his own words (and he's a notably clear writer and speaker), I can't find very much on which I can disagree with him.
cyberman

What I find problematic is this:

Quote:
TONY JONES: Does that indicate or, in your system of ethics, would that bestow lesser rights upon persons with very severe disability?

PETER SINGER: A lesser right to life, I would say


Now, I know I have truncated the quote - but only because he then discusses a different issue; that of the right to be free from suffering. As far as the right to life itself is concerned, he does believe that those with disabilities have less right to life than those without.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
What I find problematic is this:

Quote:
TONY JONES: Does that indicate or, in your system of ethics, would that bestow lesser rights upon persons with very severe disability?

PETER SINGER: A lesser right to life, I would say


Now, I know I have truncated the quote - but only because he then discusses a different issue; that of the right to be free from suffering. As far as the right to life itself is concerned, he does believe that those with disabilities have less right to life than those without.


Also the headline version talks about disabled persons, which most people without clarification will take to mean fully-grown, sentient, competent adults, but when you examine the transcript, he's referring to babies. If, as I read him, he's making a case that if there is a baby with persistent and irremediable pain that pain relief can't comprehensively tackle (unfortunately there are some cases of this - not many, but that's of little to no account if it's you or your baby) and that the merciful and compassionate act would in such a case be euthanasia, I agree with him. If on the other hand he's making a case that severe disability alone, in the absence of the kind of persistent and irremediable pain I just mentioned, qualifies for euthanasia, then I couldn't disagree more.

I've read more of Singer on animal rights (about which I agree with him almost completely) rather than his position(s) on, say, right-to-life, right to be free of suffering, disability, euthanasia and so forth, so I don't know in any detailed way what he says specifically on each issue, so need to check sources for myself to see what he's actually said in his own words rather than as filtered through somebody else. I do know enough already to be aware that it's a common tactic from certain quarters to spin, slant and misrepresent his views to an almost unbelievable degree. Nullius in verba applies especially here as it does everywhere and anywhere else.
Leonard James

Shaker wrote:
I do know enough already to be aware that it's a common tactic from certain quarters to spin, slant and misrepresent his views to an almost unbelievable degree. Nullius in verba applies especially here as it does everywhere and anywhere else.


To quote-mine and misrepresent is a shameful tactic used by a great many people if something doesn't agree with their particular holy book. They try desperately to fool us with their nonsense, but fortunately most of us are well aware of it. They're a sad lot, clinging to a sinking ship.
Lexilogio

Leonard James wrote:
Shaker wrote:
I do know enough already to be aware that it's a common tactic from certain quarters to spin, slant and misrepresent his views to an almost unbelievable degree. Nullius in verba applies especially here as it does everywhere and anywhere else.


To quote-mine and misrepresent is a shameful tactic used by a great many people if something doesn't agree with their particular holy book. They try desperately to fool us with their nonsense, but fortunately most of us are well aware of it. They're a sad lot, clinging to a sinking ship.


Quote mining is a popular tactic by many with strong views. You get scientists who quote mine. They just happen to be better at it than most people. Managers are experts. I go to meetings where people have done it all the time. Then its just like playing poker.
The Boyg

Lexilogio wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Shaker wrote:
I do know enough already to be aware that it's a common tactic from certain quarters to spin, slant and misrepresent his views to an almost unbelievable degree. Nullius in verba applies especially here as it does everywhere and anywhere else.


To quote-mine and misrepresent is a shameful tactic used by a great many people if something doesn't agree with their particular holy book. They try desperately to fool us with their nonsense, but fortunately most of us are well aware of it. They're a sad lot, clinging to a sinking ship.


Quote mining is a popular tactic by many with strong views. You get scientists who quote mine. They just happen to be better at it than most people. Managers are experts. I go to meetings where people have done it all the time. Then its just like playing poker.


I am sure that Leonard's far too honest to have ever taken a quote out of it's original context in order to make it appear to be saying something that the author didn't intend.  
cyberman

Leonard James wrote:

To quote-mine and misrepresent is a shameful tactic used by a great many people if something doesn't agree with their particular holy book. They try desperately to fool us with their nonsense, but fortunately most of us are well aware of it. They're a sad lot, clinging to a sinking ship.


I do hope that no-one is suggesting that I am quote-mining here. I have acknowledged that the quote is truncated, and given an honest and legitimate reason why.

Are people simply generating the suspicion of quote-mining in order to avoid facing an unpleasantness which they wish was not the case?
The Boyg

cyberman wrote:
Are people simply generating the suspicion of quote-mining in order to avoid facing an unpleasantness which they wish was not the case?


Probably.
Leonard James

cyberman wrote:

Are people simply generating the suspicion of quote-mining in order to avoid facing an unpleasantness which they wish was not the case?


Accepting the unpleasant things in life is a sign of strength and maturity ... as is recognising that religion has invented quite a few fictitious ones, in addition to the pleasant ones they invent.
cyberman

Leonard James wrote:
cyberman wrote:

Are people simply generating the suspicion of quote-mining in order to avoid facing an unpleasantness which they wish was not the case?


Accepting the unpleasant things in life is a sign of strength and maturity ... as is recognising that religion has invented quite a few fictitious ones, in addition to the pleasant ones they invent.


Why are you so desperate to turn this into a conversation about religion? Are you so scared of discussing Peter Singer's views?
Leonard James

cyberman wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
cyberman wrote:

Are people simply generating the suspicion of quote-mining in order to avoid facing an unpleasantness which they wish was not the case?


Accepting the unpleasant things in life is a sign of strength and maturity ... as is recognising that religion has invented quite a few fictitious ones, in addition to the pleasant ones they invent.


Why are you so desperate to turn this into a conversation about religion?


My apologies, not my intention .. just the way things went.
Quote:
Are you so scared of discussing Peter Singer's views?

No, of course not! I just couldn't be bothered to wade through the tome quoted, so I shouldn't really have commented at all.

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