Sunday, February 25, 2007

Thoughts on Peter Singer's Book

“Writings on an Ethical Life” is an anthology of excerpts, essays, and articles by Peter Singer on a variety of ethical questions. I don’t recommend this book as I fundamentally disagree with many of the basic assumptions and conclusions of Dr. Singer. However, I must say that he clearly states his assumptions and then explores the implications of these with incredible intellectual integrity. My next few posts will be some truly half baked reflections on my reading of this book.

The first thing I want to say is very weak on my part because I remember reading this but I couldn’t actually find it anywhere in the highlights I made in the book when I read it. I don’t want to reread it. So, I’m going to have to depend on memory. Somewhere in there he discussed the impact of one’s belief in evolution verses creation. He indicated that one’s belief in either of these will likely significantly impact one’s ethical views. I think this is a really good point. However, he went on to say that as far as he knows all truly intellectual individuals that are affiliated with our academic institutions don’t believe in creation. They believe in evolution and because of this he did not feel the need to address the implications a creationist view has on ethics. This is the one area where I felt he lacked integrity. Basically he is saying that because the people in his club, the academic crowd, don’t believe in creation it is not a legitimate point of view with out taking the time to defend that position.

As someone who believes in creation, this, I feel, is one of the fundamental flaws in his system of ethics.


Jon said...

Wow. He admitted that he discounts the ethical thought of creationists simply because of their "creationism"?

Interesting. He must put a lot of stock on the link between "creationism" and "ethical world view", almost like cause-and-effect.

Whether you believe in creation or not, that's bad methodology.

John said...

Hi John. Sorry so slow to respond. I agree. I do think it is telling the big impact that ones belief on origins can have on their ethical view point.

John said...


John said...

Test 2