Read about it here. Apparently some ethicists don’t always tell the truth.
Peter Singer is a writer I’ve had some interest in over the last few years as I’ve written on ethics. He’s a fairly notorious ethicist at Princeton University who advocates feticide for the purpose of organ harvesting or on the grounds of mental handicap or more minor problems, necrophilia, bestiality and a bunch of other peachy things like that. He’s a respected academic, mind you, who thrives on the controversy. It’s publicity you can’t buy.
Robert George is also a writer I’ve had some interest in over the last few years. He’s a philosopher who writes on ethics, especially on natural law and related issues. He also teaches at Princeton University, but he’s not nearly as notorious as Peter Singer.
A magazine called The Nation published a story recently suggesting that Robert George and others were on a mission to promote their philosophy as correct and influence Princeton and the world of academia in a conservative direction. How shocking. But Peter Singer came to the defence, explaining that he values the diversity on a campus like Princeton, and it’s a great place to debate issues like those on which he and Dr George differ. He’s been hoping for a debate with George, but alas, George always declines, and Singer always accepts.
Peter Singer obviously wasn’t counting on the mild mannered conservative Robert George to be so uppity as to actually complain about being impugned in this way.
As Robert George explains in First Things magazine, the impression given by Dr Singer is misleading in the extreme. In fact, in response to a request for a debate, George suggested to Singer that the best approach would be for the two of them to go toe to toe and teach graduate seminar together. They could present their views and respond to one another in an academic format for all to see. The course would run for twelve weeks, and all the contentious issues could be well and truly hashed out.
Dr Singer never replied to the proposal, and then implied, publicly, that Dr George was too afraid to face him.
Dr Singer fibbeth.
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