Special to WorldTribune.com, December 1, 2021
Commentary by Joe Schaeffer
In September, pro-infanticide enthusiast Peter Singer was awarded the 2021 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture. The news seemed to slip under the radar at the time. For whatever reason, it has gotten renewed attention over the past few days.
Singer and his sickening philosophy is not as noteworthy as the fact that an extremely credentialed elitist network is platforming it – heck, flat-out celebrating and rewarding it.
The New York Times in September reported that the Berggruen Institute specifically honored Singer for his devotion to a utilitarian belief in human life:
In its announcement, the Berggruen Prize committee lauded Singer, a professor at Princeton, for reinvigorating the philosophical tradition of utilitarianism — which holds that creating the greatest happiness for the greatest number, rather than absolute principles of the good, should be the guiding principle for action — both within academic philosophy and as a force in the world.
Here is an example of Singer’s allegedly “brilliant” mind at work. He’s for killing disabled babies but that is not infanticide:
My view then was that parents of children born with serious disabilities ought to have the option of ending the life of their child, immediately after birth or as soon as the diagnosis has been properly established. It’s not true to say that I support euthanasia for disabled infants. It’s not true that I think that disabled infants ought to be killed. I think the parents ought to have that option.
Singer gave an interview to taxpayer-funded National Public Radio in late September. Note how blithely NPR describes his murderous beliefs. Because killing innocent human life isn’t inherently wrong – it’s merely “controversial,” something up for debate:
Singer is much admired — and sometimes reviled. He’s known for his writings on animal rights and the global eradication of poverty — and his controversial views on the sanctity of life.
What Singer is really doing is laying the groundwork for the notion that certain people should be granted the power to decide which innocent humans are to be allowed to live and which are to die:
If a newborn infant is likely to have a really bad life, then I think we shouldn’t say this life must be preserved no matter what. Now, I’m not in a position to judge which infants are going to have good lives or bad lives. The parents of those children are in the best position to judge, provided they get accurate information on the prospects of their child and the impact the child will have on them and their family as well. This decision ought to be up to parents on the basis of consultation with their doctors, of course, but also preferably in consultation with other people who are familiar with that condition. Maybe people who have the condition that their newborn infant has or maybe people who are the parents of a child with that condition.
Have I changed my views on this? Not in the fundamentals. I used to say parents should consult with their doctors. I’ve been made more aware that some doctors may not be well-informed about the life prospects of children with disabilities. That’s why I now add that parents should try to get information from organizations of people who either have or are the parents of people with specific disabilities before making these choices.
A question and answer denying Nazi eugenics is added. It is meaningless for the simple fact that Singer is opening the door for others to decide when innocent human life is to be extinguished. It does not matter whether they are statists, parents or janitors… he is attempting to set an enormous precedent. One that goes against all ideas of human decency in our once-Christian (but no longer) society:
But they were applying racist and eugenicist principles to this — and many of the people that they killed were not suffering and were enjoying their lives, in fact. So I think that’s the major difference. The other difference is that I don’t want the state to make these decisions. I want parents to make these decisions.
But it is the powerful network of elites that make up the Berggruen Institute that is the real story here. The same ruling establishment that has a stranglehold on most of the West today on one hand tells the helots being squeezed under its thumb that they must submit to a highly dangerous experimental gene therapy falsely labeled a “vaccine” in the name of the common good, and on the other hand is going out of its way to endorse supporters of out-and-out murder in the name of that supposed common good.
The Board of Directors for Berggruen includes:
- Amy Gutmann – President, University of Pennsylvania
- Reid Hoffmann – Co-founder of LinkedIN
- Arianna Huffington
- Eric Schmidt – Google co-founder
The “Berggruen Network” includes:
- Carl Bildt – Co-Chair, European Council on Foreign Relations
- Ex-UK Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
- Hollywood Director James Cameron
- Former California Gov. Gray Davis
- Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey
- Pascal Lamy – President of the Paris Peace Forum
- Elon Musk
- Condoleezza Rice
- Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy
- Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder
- Former Treasury Secretary and Harvard PresidentEmeritus Lawrence Summers
- CNN’s Fareed Zakaria
- Several Chinese university professors and businessmen
Ask yourself: In the Age of Coronavirus, why are our ruling elites suddenly feeling perfectly comfortable with publicly expressing their belief in a brutally callous utilitarian view of humanity in which the value of individual life is to be determined by others whose only consideration is what they get to define is in service to “the common good?”
Joe Schaeffer is the former Managing Editor of The Washington Times National Weekly Edition. His columns appear at WorldTribune.com and FreePressInternational.org.