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This is a critical essay of Peter Singer written by Karen Davis:<br><br><a href="http://www.upc-online.org/thinking/peter_singer.html" target="_blank">http://www.upc-online.org/thinking/peter_singer.html</a>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Eugene</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2968254"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This is a critical essay of Peter Singer written by Karen Davis:<br><br><a href="http://www.upc-online.org/thinking/peter_singer.html" target="_blank">http://www.upc-online.org/thinking/peter_singer.html</a></div>
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Yet another "guru" with feet of clay.<br><br>
I'm surprised that Davis does not mention Singer's "heavy petting" article.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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I didn't read the article yet, but ...<br><br>
I was 'through with Singer' a couple years ago when he had a commentary in the NY Times about the Ashley X case and sided with the parents. (here is a statement about/summary of the issue: <a href="http://www.katrinadisability.info/wordpress//?page_id=44" target="_blank">http://www.katrinadisability.info/wo...s//?page_id=44</a>) I never really 'bought' some of what he said any way. After that I actually found him embarrassing. As a member of the disability community myself his essay almost felt like a personal attack.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Singer's "heavy petting" article</div>
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That the one about bestiality? He's just doing what he and many other folks have been telling us all for years: use reason and ignore emotion. The 'ick' feeling is an emotional response, not the end product of a line of argument.
 

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I sided with Ashley's parents. Maybe because I'm a nurse, but I totally understand their motivations. Adults are able to make body modifications all the time to improve the quality of their lives, to stop preganancy, to regulate hormones, reduce back pain and discomfort through breast reduction bla bla bla, so why shouldn't the parents responsible for her care on a daily basis be able to make the same modifications to improve the quality of her life. One of the hardest things to do in this world as a parent is to be a carer for a child with a severe disability.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\t
<blockquote><p>\t\t\t\t\t\t\tI sided with Ashley's parents. Maybe because I'm a nurse, but I totally understand their motivations. Adults are able to make body modifications all the time to improve the quality of their lives, to stop preganancy, to regulate hormones, reduce back pain and discomfort through breast reduction bla bla bla, so why shouldn't the parents responsible for her care on a daily basis be able to make the same modifications to improve the quality of her life. One of the hardest things to do in this world as a parent is to be a carer for a child with a severe disability.</p></blockquote>
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I didn't, obviously. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> I'm not saying as some have that the parents' decision was purely self-centered, but I still disagree with it. But if I start talking about it the only thing that will result is a HUGE off-topic digression, so I'll leave it at that <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br></p></blockquote>
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Dave in MPLS</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2969022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That the one about bestiality? He's just doing what he and many other folks have been telling us all for years: use reason and ignore emotion. The 'ick' feeling is an emotional response, not the end product of a line of argument.</div>
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Oh, b.s. He's just saying anything he can get away with, and he can get away with just about anything since he is the great guru, God, not-to-be-questioned Peter Singer. Non-human animals cannot "consent" to sex with humans, therefore it is rape. That is what Gary Francione says, and I agree with him.<br><br>
But hey, continue your worship of Peter Singer, because it is "politically correct."
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Dave in MPLS</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2969022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That the one about bestiality? He's just doing what he and many other folks have been telling us all for years: use reason and ignore emotion. The 'ick' feeling is an emotional response, not the end product of a line of argument.</div>
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I think reason vs. emotion is often a false distinction when it comes to morality. Giving a **** about the suffering of any other being in this universe is an "emotional response" too: you cannot "logically" establish moral norms out of nothingness -- they presuppose some compassion or commitment or caring at some point or another in the inferential chain.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2969692"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I think reason vs. emotion is often a false distinction when it comes to morality. Giving a **** about the suffering of any other being in this universe is an "emotional response" too: you cannot "logically" establish moral norms out of nothingness -- they presuppose some compassion or commitment or caring at some point or another in the inferential chain.</div>
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This.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">But hey, continue your worship of Peter Singer, because it is "politically correct."</div>
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Considering the majority of the post was about my not caring at all for Singer, that's kinda out of left field. And as far as what is "politically correct" in the AR community, at least on the web, I'd go with the almost worshipful attitude towards just about everything that has ever come out of Gary Francione's mouth. Actually, Francione is OK, it's more his disciples that irritate me. Quite abrasive, some of 'em.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">I think reason vs. emotion is often a false distinction when it comes to morality.</div>
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Most folks would agree I think, as do I. Which just makes the stubborn insistence on the primacy of the 'reason' bit all the more frustrating. 'Ignore' was not the right word - most folks that make the 'conclusions must be reached through reason' claim admit a role for emotion, but downplay it (Regan has some almost emotioncentric stuff in <i>Case ...</i>, Singer is dismissive bordering on denigrating the idea in <i>Animal Liberation</i>, yet another reason I'm not a huge fan of him) My own view is ... well, I haven't quite decided, but dual process theory seems to point in the direction I'm headed.<br><br>
The bestality-reason idea came to me when I was reading some stuff on observed brain function differences between folks solving moral problems using utilitarian thinking and folks using rights-based thought. Purely observational studies that make no judgement about the conclusions the folks reach. The utilitarian thinkers showed more activity in parts of the brain associated with reasoning. These and other studies show reasoning can override 'gut feelings'. I had just read the other post that mentioned Singer and bestiality, and the possibility of a connection between a utilitarian thinker reaching an icky conclusion and the study I was reading popped to mind. It was just a thought, not anything that means too much.<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">you cannot "logically" establish moral norms out of nothingness</div>
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Which is exactly why I no longer play on the deontological playground! Too much handwaving from secularists, too much baggage comes with reliigous/spiritual/whatever types. (Anyone concluding that must mean I end up some breed of consequentialist ... there are more than two paths on this road my friend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> ) But whatever works for someone is OK by me. I'm not much of a proselytizer. I can virtually guarantee that what works for me isn't always gonna do much for others.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Dave in MPLS</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2970155"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The bestality-reason idea came to me when I was reading some stuff on observed brain function differences between folks solving moral problems using utilitarian thinking and folks using rights-based thought. Purely observational studies that make no judgement about the conclusions the folks reach. The utilitarian thinkers showed more activity in parts of the brain associated with reasoning. These and other studies show reasoning can override 'gut feelings'. I had just read the other post that mentioned Singer and bestiality, and the possibility of a connection between a utilitarian thinker reaching an icky conclusion and the study I was reading popped to mind. It was just a thought, not anything that means too much.</div>
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Well utilitarianism is very flexible based on circumstances and involves a lot of calculating of variables (harms and benefits, and their likelihoods), whereas a different moral view might approach a situation already with pre-existing moral commitments. Maybe the reasoning part was activated due to that calculation?<br><br>
Whether that element of flexibility and calculation in a moral view is a good thing and desirable is another matter, something which can't be determined by an empirical study.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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Yeah, rights are either/or, whereas utilitarianism is like some freaky imaginary math. Good and bad parts to each approach. They are actually very similar 'under the hood' though, at least on paper.
 

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I dunno why the author of that piece expects Singer to be anything more than what he is because he's not an AR activist as such, he's a philosopher.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>offthahook</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2970616"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I dunno why the author of that piece expects Singer to be anything more than what he is because he's not an AR activist as such, he's a philosopher.</div>
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Maybe the author expected the author of <i>Animal Liberation</i> to support animal liberation?
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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I got distracted and forgot to mention: great article! Thanks for the link Eugene.<br><br>
I am a big Karen Davis fan. Our views have quite a bit in common, theory-wise. Unfortunately she tends to get overlooked sometimes.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2970793"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Maybe the author expected the author of <i>Animal Liberation</i> to support animal liberation?</div>
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That book was written 36 years ago.<br>
I've never known anyone's views to stay exactly the same throughout their whole life. Singer still supports AL, he's just not the abolitionist people want him to be.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>offthahook</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2972101"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
That book was written 36 years ago.<br>
I've never known anyone's views to stay exactly the same throughout their whole life. Singer still supports AL, he's just not the abolitionist people want him to be.</div>
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Well I wouldn't say that he supports animal liberation, I would say he just opposes exploiting animals "inhumanely".<br><br>
In any case, you don't have to be an "animal activist" in order to disagree with Singer's views.
 

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I don't dislike Singer as a person. I think he argues his views well, and is very consistent with his utilitarian outlook throughout, and doesn't shy away from controversy when that is where utilitarianism takes him. But I don't see him as an animal rights thinker, or as an animal liberation thinker. I see him as, let's say, a "radical reformist" when it comes to our use of animals: I think animals could still be bred and exploited for human purposes in a society conforming to his views, but that exploitation would be radically different from its current forms, in terms of how animals would be treated and in what conditions the exploitation would be acceptable.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">In any case, you don't have to be an "animal activist" in order to disagree with Singer's views.</div>
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Just examine his reputation among disability advocates. They're even less willing than AR folks to cut him some slack.<br><br>
I too appreciate his dedication to following through to the logical conclusion given his starting assumptions. Appreciate meaning recognize, not admire.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Dave in MPLS</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2969022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I was 'through with Singer' a couple years ago when he had a commentary in the NY Times about the Ashley X case and sided with the parents. I never really 'bought' some of what he said any way. After that I actually found him embarrassing. As a member of the disability community myself his essay almost felt like a personal attack.</div>
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I didn't disagree with a single thing he said in his nytimes article about the Ashley X case. His position is entirely reasonable and in no way extremist. In fact, I tend to agree with Singer on most issues except animal ethics and rights (his being not a rights based position). When you're advocating eating animals as long as they're treated well and "humanely slaughtered" you're out of the rights game.<br><br>
And I remember not to long ago he was running the media circuit talking about the value in living a frugal, almost spartan life and using excess wealth to do good in the world (ie through charity). I think that's a brilliant idea that most people overlook due to greed or cultural blindness.
 
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