Man rykker sig

Marxistiske Des-Information bringer en artikel af filosofi professor Peter Singer, hvor han stiller spørgsmålstegn ved Hussein Obamas politik med ikke at nævne terror og islam i samme sætning. Og det er glædeligt, at der er tegn på fornuften indfinder sig, omend det er langsomt. Peter Singer er nok mest kendt for, at mene dyr skal have rettigheder som mennesker. Først lidt fra wiki opslaget på ham:

Published in 1975, Animal Liberation[15] has been cited as a formative influence on leaders of the modern animal liberation movement.[16] The central argument of the book is an expansion of the utilitarian idea that “the greatest good of the greatest number” is the only measure of good or ethical behaviour.

In a 2001 review of Midas Dekkers’ Dearest Pet: On Bestiality, Singer argues that sexual activities between humans and animals that result in harm to the animal should remain illegal, but that “sex with animals does not always involve cruelty” and that “mutually satisfying activities” of a sexual nature may sometimes occur between humans and animals, and that writer Otto Soyka would condone such activities.[47] This position is countered by fellow philosopher Tom Regan, who writes that the same argument could be used to justify having sex with children. Regan writes that Singer’s position is a consequence of his adapting a utilitarian, or consequentialist, approach to animal rights, rather than a strictly rights-based one, and argues that the rights-based position distances itself from non-consensual sex.[48] The Humane Society of the United States takes the position that all sexual molestation of animals by humans is abusive, whether it involves physical injury or not.[49]

Singer’s positions have been criticised by groups, such as advocates for disabled people and right-to-life supporters, concerned with what they see as his attacks upon human dignity. Singer has replied that many people judge him based on secondhand summaries and short quotations taken out of context, not his books or articles.[59]

Some claim that Singer’s utilitarian ideas lead to eugenics.[60] American publisher Steve Forbes ceased his donations to Princeton University in 1999 because of Singer’s appointment to a prestigious professorship.[61] Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote to organisers of a Swedish book fair to which Singer was invited that “A professor of morals … who justifies the right to kill handicapped newborns … is in my opinion unacceptable for representation at your level.”[62] Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, criticised Singer’s appointment to the Princeton Faculty in a banquet speech at the organisation’s national convention in July 2001, claiming that Singer’s support for euthanizing disabled babies could lead to disabled older children and adults being valued less as well.[63] Conservative psychiatrist Theodore Dalrymple wrote in 2010 that Singerian moral universalism is “preposterous—psychologically, theoretically, and practically”.[64]

The aesthetics philosopher Roger Scruton wrote in 2000, “Singer’s works, remarkably for a philosophy professor, contain little or no philosophical argument. They derive their radical moral conclusions from a vacuous utilitarianism that counts the pain and pleasure of all living things as equally significant and that ignores just about everything that has been said in our philosophical tradition about the real distinction between persons and animals”.[67]

When Singer tried to speak during a lecture at Saarbrücken, he was interrupted by a group of protesters including advocates for the disabled. He offered the protesters the opportunity to explain why he should not be allowed to speak. The protesters indicated that they believed he was opposed to all rights for the disabled. They were unaware that, although Singer believes that some lives are so blighted from the beginning that their parents may decide their lives are not worth living, in other cases, once the decision is made to keep them alive, everything that can be done to improve the quality of their life should, to Singer’s mind, be done. The ensuing discussion revealed that there were many misconceptions about his positions, but the revelation did not end the controversy. One of the protesters expressed that entering serious discussions was a tactical error.[70]

Filosof kollega Thomas Nagel har fat i nakken på Singer i denne delvist åbne artikel. Det hedder bl.a.:

He has also had a larger practical impact on the world than any other philosopher of our time. His 1975 book, Animal Liberation, led to effective movements to reduce the suffering of animals in factory farming, scientific experiments, and the testing of commercial products such as cosmetics, and it has persuaded many people to become vegetarians to one degree or another.

Singer’s claims about what well-off people in affluent societies should do to help those living in poverty elsewhere in the world have had less effect so far, but he hopes to remedy that with his latest book, The Life You Can Save. “The ultimate purpose of this book,” he says, “is to reduce extreme poverty, not to make you feel guilty.” But making the reader feel guilty is one of his specialties, and a key to his effectiveness as a writer.

The Life You Can Save repeats and develops an argument he originally offered in 1972, in an article that has probably been read by more students of moral philosophy than any other text, ancient or modern. He begins with an example: You are walking past a shallow pond, and you notice that a small child has fallen into the water and is about to drown. Should you wade in and rescue the child, even though it will ruin your shoes and get your clothes muddy?

Og så til artiklen i Des-Information, hvor uddragene kommer fra den originale:

PRINCETON – Last month, US President Barack Obama hosted a three-day summit on “Countering Violent Extremism.” That term has already spawned a new abbreviation, “CVE,” used no fewer than 12 times in a Fact Sheet released by the Obama administration on February 18.

The Fact Sheet also uses the term “violent extremism” 21 times. How many times do terms like “Islam,” “Islamic,” or “Muslim” appear? Zero. There is not even a reference to the “Islamic State.” That entity is referred to only by the initials “ISIL.”

Another reason that has been offered for not referring to “Islamic radicalism” or the “Islamic State” is that to do so concedes the terrorists’ claims that they are acting in accordance with Islam’s teachings. That might draw others, who regard themselves as pious Muslims, to join them.

Finally, the repeated use of “Islamic” as part of the description of enemy groups may make it appear that the West is “at war with Islam.” That could lead more moderate Muslims to fight alongside the extremists, thus broadening the conflict and making it more difficult to end.

Why should Muslim leaders, in particular, make such statements, rather than Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, or Hindu leaders?

The answer, once again, is obvious. But it is obvious only because we already know that groups like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Taliban are not obeying the precepts of Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, or Hinduism.

At the Washington summit, Obama said that “all of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like ISIL somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorist narrative.” At least this statement, unlike the White House Fact Sheet, acknowledges that groups like the Islamic state claim to be Islamic. Otherwise, what would be the relevance of this statement to “countering violent extremism”?

Even for people who are learned in Islam, discharging the responsibility Obama has placed on them will not be easy, as a reading of Graeme Wood’s revealing recent account demonstrates. Wood presents a picture of people driven by a firm belief in Islam, and knowledgeable about its key texts. Anyone familiar with Christian fundamentalism in the United States should be able to discern a pattern in the attitudes taken by religious fundamentalists, independently of the religion to which they adhere.

The Islamic State’s spokesmen insist on following the original precepts laid down by the Prophet Mohammed and his earliest followers, understood literally and with no adjustment for different circumstances. Like Christian fundamentalists, they see themselves as preparing for – and helping to bring about – the apocalypse.


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