Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Deadly Intent


I’ve been looking at the discussion on the related topics of why utilitarianism is detested and why Peter Singer is creepy.(timber 'Creepy’ good American word which I was surprised to find in a story of Edith Wharton’s from her collection Men and Ghosts. It has almost a prochronistic effect, but there it is, meaning in that case uncanny. In the Singer case it would refer to the shudder of distaste caused by rebarbative opinions unswervingly held with specious logic and requisite banality. His near perfect mastery of emotional cues is evinced by his serious discussion with a severely disabled person about the rational utility of her never having been born or if having somehow escaped screening should have as a neonate been put down.

His challenge to the logic of the intent of the dominant view of the Timberites is the kernal of the unease which they feel with him. Utilitarianism is after all about intent. As presented by Singer it would depreciate immediate intuitions of right and wrong. They are distractions from correct evaluation. Here is this compromised neonate which challenges your stated intent. Wouldn’t it be better for all concerned if they were painlessly killed? It’s all about intent and remote effects. Anything else is just culture.

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