Everything old is new again

The Captain says that the earth itself just reminded us of yet another horrible Nazi practice:  euthanizing those Aryans whom the Nazis deemed physically or mentally unfit to live.  In a Western Germany town, relying on sixty years of rumors, authorities dug up a mass grave that included skeletons of children as young as one.  As the Captain points out, the Nazis murdered over 70,000 “defective” Aryans (amongst whom was my gentile great uncle, a manic depressive).  This was, of course, in addition to the better known racial purges of Jews (including most of my paternal relatives) and gypsies.

Before we start congratulating ourselves about how superior we are, though, we’d better look at our own house.  I’m thinking, of course, of famed ethicist Peter Singer, who holds an endowed chair at Princeton.  In addition to a 2004 book about politics, The President of Good and Evil: The Ethics of George W. Bush, Peter Singer has written a fair number of other books. These include a book called “Animal Liberation,” a book called “In Defense of Animals, and a book called “Should the Baby Live?: The Problem of Handicapped Infants (Studies in Bioethics).” The latter pretty much sums up the man’s philosophy:  he advocates euthanizing handicapped infants.  He is, of course, reviled by the handicapped community (and rightly so).

The moral abyss Singer creates with his euthanasia musings is highlighted by the fact that his animal liberation writings make him a founding father of the animal rights movement — a movement that’s come to full flower in PETA insanity (which analogizes the death of chickens to the death of Jews in Hitler’s gas chambers). In other words, Singer believes that a healthy animal has greater rights than a sick person.  Singer has also made clear that he has no moral problem with bestiality, provided that the animal consents. Amusingly, this last viewpoint has put Singer at odds with the same animal rights movement he was so instrumental in creating.

Singer, of course, is one man, but our ivory towers have given him a position of prominence and respect.  That being the case, we should take special note of this story about the unearthed past, since there is at least one person with a pulpit who would have this be our future.