|the two views|
| Traditional America based its ethical teachings on the “sanctity of life” view, but our culture has moved toward the “quality of life” view. Peter Singer summarizes the two views in two sets of commandments. =
Old Ethical Commandments
(1) Treat all human life as of equal worth.
(2) Never intentionally take innocent human life.
(3) Never take your own life, and always try to
prevent others taking theirs.
(4) Be fruitful and multiply.
(5) Treat all human life as always more precious than
any nonhuman life.
(1) Recognise that the worth of human life varies.
(2) Take responsibility for the consequences of your
(3) Respect a person's desire to live or die.
(4) Bring children into the world only if they are wanted.
(5) Do not discriminate on the basis of species. *
It’s easy to see the two world-views that these sets of commandments represent. One represents God, and the other represents man and nature apart from God. It’s ironic that Singer would call the second set “commandments” as if they came forth from a higher authority. He still doesn’t understand that without God, you have no moral commandments.
Peter Singer is an atheist, and yet, he insists that there is some authoritative set of commandments which society ought to obey. Man comes from nowhere on his way to ultimate nothingness, and in between he has value and meaning and purpose and ethical standards. (This shows how people end up with existentialism.)
|more to come . . .|
|* Peter Singer, Rethinking Life and Death, pgs 190-206|