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I follow and largely agree with what Singer is suggesting here about saving the lives of starving and sick children. What I do not understand is Singer's ethical position about the sanctity of human life. He has stated elsewhere (see Section III The Sanctity of Human Life) that (1) the criterion of a "person" is "a being who is capable of anticipating the future, of having wants and desires for the future," (2) because a fetus or even a newborn does not meet this criterion, "killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living," and therefore (3) "killing a defective infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person." I take issue with this logic for various reasons, including, but not limited to, Singer's premise #1. It is interesting and curious to note that Singer place the word person in quotation marks, perhaps to denote that he is using the word in an ambiguous way. How does Singer or anybody know what the experience of a fetus or a newborn is? Moreover, my ethics does not subscribe to a demand that a human being experience awareness over time. I strongly recommend that Singer rethink his position. I will reconsider mind, too.
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Jun 25, 2010