A controversial college professor who thinks parents should be able to kill disabled children says though President Bush makes himself out to be a good Christian leader, he has the moral development of a 13-year-old boy.
Princeton’s Peter Singer (Photo: The Age)
Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, said in an interview with an Australian newspaper Bush sees the world “very simply, in black and white, as good versus evil, and he thinks that America is the good guy, and therefore whatever America does is right.”
“That’s incredibly dangerous when you are the leader of the most powerful nation on earth,” he told the Melbourne newspaper The Age. “But that belief is what enabled him to justify starting a war with Iraq that would cost thousands of innocent people their lives.”
The Age noted Singer’s book, “The President of Good and Evil: the Ethics of George W. Bush,” does not conclude Bush himself is evil, “because that’s not a word I throw around too much.”
Singer also doesn’t say the president is stupid, “which a lot of other people might say. But I do think he’s a moral failure, in his own terms, and in any terms.”
The professor, who advocates killing the disabled up to 28 days after birth, was the subject of protests when he was hired in 1999 by Princeton, a school founded by the Presbyterian denomination. A group calling itself Princeton Students Against Infanticide issued a petition charging the Australian professor “denies the intrinsic moral worth of an entire class of human beings – newborn children.”
“His assertion of the appropriateness of killing some humans based on others’ decision concerning the ‘quality’ of their lives should strike fear into everyone who cherishes equality and honors human life,” the petition said.
The group called the hiring a “blatant violation of Princeton University’s policy of respect for people with disabilities.”
Singer also is known for launching the modern animal rights movement with his 1975 book “Animal Liberation,” which argues against “speciesism.”
He insists animals should be accorded the same value as humans and should not be discriminated against because they belong to a non-human species.
Last year, he was given the World Technology Award for Ethics by the World Technology Network.
In the interview with The Age, Singer acknowledged he differs with Bush in his view of the “sanctity of life.”
“But Bush claims to believe that human life is sacred,” Singer said. “So my book asks whether his statements about human life, and his willingness to go to war in Iraq are actually consistent, or is it evidence of muddled thinking?”
Singer asserted Bush was wrong to go to war in Afghanistan.
A truly Christian leader, he said, would have “turned the other cheek” when the United States was attacked by terrorists Sept. 11, 2001, because the response led to the loss of innocent life.
The war in Iraq also was wrong, Singer said, because Saddam Hussein was no threat to the U.S.
Singer said while all presidents have moral failings, Bush’s are more serious because of his power.