Prelude to nihilism

By Tom Quiner

You need to get to know Pete Singer. Fast.

Pete Singer, atheist

Mr. Singer is an Australian philosopher with associations with Princeton University in the U.S. and the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Mr. Singer is an atheist with a unique philosophy: human life is no more valuable than mosquitos, muskrats, or mackerel, or, for that matter, any other life form on Mother Earth.

There is nothing special about man. Since there is no God, in his view, man was certainly not made in the image of any  deity.

Here is why you need to keep Mr. Singer and his acolytes on your radar. He believes that …

“being a member of the human species does not confer a right to life.”

You only have moral worth in his eyes if you possess certain properties, such as self-awareness, an understanding of desires, the ability to envision the future, and the capacity to feel pain.

In the debate over abortion, the pro life side asks: what is the difference between a baby five minutes after she is born compared to five minutes before she was born? Pro abortion advocates hem and haw but still maintain she has no human rights until after she is born.

Not Pete Singer. He believes she has no human rights for the first several years of her life until she begins to develop the characteristics above. Until then, her parents should be allowed to kill her with impunity.

I’m serious.

Mr. Singer maintains that “being human in the biological sense is of no intrinsic human significance.” We are disposable at the whim of the powerful. Mr. Singer is clear in expressing his philosophy:

“Killing a newborn baby is never equivalent to killing a person, that is, a being who wants to go on living.”

Why waste time talking about Pete Singer? After all, most folks consider his view to be nutty. Right? Don’t be paranoid, let’s focus on the real issues of the day like jobs, healthcare, and reproductive rights.


Wrong. Nutty views today can become mainstream tomorrow. I proved that with yesterday’s post (“The evolution of principle.”)

In one short decade, the Democratic Party rejected their two hundred year history of looking out for the little guy and denied that human beings have a right to life. In the next short decade, they decided that choice wasn’t enough. They decided that women have a fundamental right to an abortion, and that taxpayers should pay for it.

Today’s kooky idea can become tomorrow’s mainstream idea in the hands of the powerful who can profit by rejecting their principles, as the Democratic Party has.

Today, Democrats believe human life is not only disposable, but should be treated as a disease and prevented, at taxpayer expense, no less. Freedom of religion be damned.

Can you imagine sitting across from Harry Truman back in 1948 and saying, “President Truman, I believe we should not only legalize abortion, we should make taxpayers pay for it. Even more, it is imperative that we impose it on religious organizations, especially Catholic ones.”

What would have been Mr. Truman’s reaction? He would have thrown you out of his office. He might have even had you committed, since you were certainly talking like a nutcase.

When a political party has no principles, anything is possible.

The Pete Singers of the world can have tremendous influence on people with no moral bearing. The Obama Mandate is the biggest issue of our time. If the president and his party pull this off, anything goes.

The Obama Mandate is simply a prelude to nihilism where life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.

Peter Singer needs to be stopped.

The Obama Mandate needs to be stopped.

Mr. President, life really does have meaning.


  1. juwannadoright on February 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. Pete Singer’s philosophy – if horrible – is at the least consistent. I tried to address the ultimate eventuality of his “belief system” in an earlier post.

    As a person with a faith-based philosophy there is an alternative to his position that no form of life has any more right to existence than any other. It is that no form of life has any less value and those of us who are in a position to be stewards of the world that God has given us have the responsibility to protect that gift.

    Having read a number of your posts I realize that you disagree with both Pete Singer’s view and mine. But if you think about it, if we had a respect for all life as I propose, there would be no need to have a debate about the issue of abortion. We would reject the concept as being contrary to our view of life and the world.

    • quinersdiner on February 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      Always a pleasure to hear from you. Thanks for the thoughtful response. I’m not sure where you think I disagree with you.

  2. Bob on February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Coercive utopians have never had any trouble redefining the word “person” to exclude whomever it is in their interest to discriminate against: Jews, American Indians, African slaves, unborn children, disabled people, elderly people… if you want to say they don’t have any rights that you are required to respect, you just redefine “human being” or “person” so as to exclude them. If you don’t believe people were created in the image of God, or you don’t believe God exists, what is there to stop you?

  3. juwannadoright on February 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Perhaps I mis-spoke and if so I apologize. My premise behind my statement is that most people whom I know who differentiate between “souled” humans and “non-souled” animals generally argue that the differentiation alllows us to dominate all others with whom we share the world.

    From there it is just a quick step to the position Singer advocates. A Downs Syndrome child; a terminally ill person; a retarded young adult have no worth because they can’t reason or be productive – or at least in the way that whoever holds political sway currently defines those activities.

    It is in many ways endemic to western Aristotilean philosophy defined by Descartes in his statement, “cogito ergo sum.” As you know, it is a philosophy which the Church has endorsed through the writings of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Acquinas.

    Until we can set aside our belief in our human superiority (however we choose to define that) and accept the goodness and self-worth of all of God’s creation, we leave the door open for the Singers of this world. That is not a risk I am willing to accept.

  4. renounceobama2012 on February 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Singer has climbed out so far on the limb in regards to his beliefs of equality for humans and animals that he can hardly come back in. He claims much of the controversy surrounding him has been taken out of context, through the use of excerpts from his books and other writings. Nonetheless, his elucidations certainly need to be clarified. Since his writing of “Animal Liberation” in 1975, the utilitarian philosophy that “the greatest good of the greatest number” is the only measure of good or ethical behavior’ is increasingly taking root in our society. Considering the flightiness of Hitler prior to and during WWII, someone needs to keep a tight reign on the likes of Singer and his followers for fear of their aspirations to imprint his philosophy on our entire society, in the same manner that Hitler overwhelmed all of Europe with his brand of megalomania.

  5. Embattled Farmers on February 27, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I don’t know anyone who is pro-choice who thinks that someone has no rights five minutes before she is born if she’s a full-term or premature viable fetus. That’s why Roe delineates tests for each trimester, with increasing rights for the fetus as a pregnancy progresses. Almost all abortions occur in the first trimester.
    Pete Singer is a scary extremist, but then again, so is Rick Santorum.

  6. Rhonda on February 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  7. […] with featured speakers who included late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart and philosopher Pete Singer who supports legalized […]

  8. […] is a scientific fact. Even proponents of human abortion, such as Pete Singer [“Prelude to Nihilism”] agree that human life begins at fertilization, because at conception, a person […]