The Corner

Nicholas Kristof Shouldn’t Follow Peter Singer

This weekend has been laud Peter Singer time in the media. Apparently the utilitarian Princeton bioethicist has a book coming telling people how to donate to charity–and the liberals are swooning.

Now, NYT’s pundit, Nicholas Kristof, turns to Singer as a legitimate judge of moral choices in his current column. From, “The Trader Who Donates Half His Pay:”

[Matt] Wage is an exemplar of a new movement called “effective altruism,” aimed at taking a rigorous, nonsentimental approach to making the maximum difference in the world. Singer has been a leader in this movement, and in a book scheduled to be released in the coming week he explores what it means to live ethically.

The book, “The Most Good You Can Do,” takes a dim view of conventional charitable donations, such as supporting art museums or universities, churches or dog shelters. Singer asks: Is supporting an art museum really as socially useful as, say, helping people avoid blindness?

People who want to lead an ethical life should no more follow Singer than they would a KKK grand dragon who also believes in supporting cancer research.

As I point out over at Human Exceptionalism, Singer:

  • Supports the moral propriety of infanticide;
  • Believes the severely disabled people should be experimented on in place of animals that have greater cognitive capacities;
  • Doesn’t think there is anything particularly wrong with bestiality;
  • Would create a sub-class of human beings, so-called “non-persons” that would be exploitable as natural resources–as he would raise some animals to the status of equal “persons.”

Granted, Kristof is not most people’s idea of a deep thinker. But he isn’t a discerning one either when he looks to Peter Singer as a proper arbiter of what is right and what is wrong.

Most Popular

Elections

The First Debate Showed Why Biden Will Win

Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and that will be enough to win him the election this November. This much has been clear since Super Tuesday this year during the Democratic primaries. In 2016, Hillary split several very important states with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, and those she won, she won without ... Read More
Elections

The First Debate Showed Why Biden Will Win

Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton, and that will be enough to win him the election this November. This much has been clear since Super Tuesday this year during the Democratic primaries. In 2016, Hillary split several very important states with Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday, and those she won, she won without ... Read More
Elections

The Jerry Springer Debate

It’s a shame that Joe Biden couldn’t attend Tuesday night's debate. Okay, Biden was in attendance, but during the 90 minutes, it felt like he barely ever finished a complete sentence. It’s not clear that President Trump necessarily won the night, in the sense that people who were leaning against ... Read More
Elections

The Jerry Springer Debate

It’s a shame that Joe Biden couldn’t attend Tuesday night's debate. Okay, Biden was in attendance, but during the 90 minutes, it felt like he barely ever finished a complete sentence. It’s not clear that President Trump necessarily won the night, in the sense that people who were leaning against ... Read More
Elections

Everybody Loses, Which Helps Biden

Reactions to tonight's debate will likely be deeply polarized, as everything else is. There are a few things that are clear. One, this was probably the worst presidential debate in American history. There was a ton of cross-talk and shouting down, there were many bald-faced lies and obvious evasions, a former ... Read More
Elections

Everybody Loses, Which Helps Biden

Reactions to tonight's debate will likely be deeply polarized, as everything else is. There are a few things that are clear. One, this was probably the worst presidential debate in American history. There was a ton of cross-talk and shouting down, there were many bald-faced lies and obvious evasions, a former ... Read More

Ben Sasse: Everybody Loves Amy

After Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in 2018, Ben Sasse had three words on his mind: Amy Coney Barrett. They’d been on his mind for a while. The Nebraska senator had first started hearing about Barrett from faculty at Notre Dame Law School, where Barrett was a professor, shortly after Trump ... Read More

Ben Sasse: Everybody Loves Amy

After Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in 2018, Ben Sasse had three words on his mind: Amy Coney Barrett. They’d been on his mind for a while. The Nebraska senator had first started hearing about Barrett from faculty at Notre Dame Law School, where Barrett was a professor, shortly after Trump ... Read More