Have you ever had sex with a person considerably less intelligent than you? If the answer is yes, proceed to the next question.
Are you an atheist? If the answer is yes again, then I don’t see how you can argue against Peter Singer’s logic.
Singer, Princeton professor of bioethics (whatever that is), has just issued a report called Zoophilia Is Morally Permissible, which created a bit of a stir. I can’t understand why, considering that he has been beating that particular drum for a quarter of a century at least.
In the old days his advocacy of hanky-panky with animals came as a natural conclusion to his GAP (the Great Ape Project), a movement for granting some primates equal human rights. Again, I can’t see how an atheist can logically object to such generosity.
After all, chimpanzees and humans share over 99 per cent of their genetic material. That means chimps are biologically human, or as near as damn. Granted, they are not as bright as most humans: we’ve seen many studies of chimps written by primatologists, but not a single study of primotologists written by chimps.
But then we all also know people who aren’t as clever as we are or even as Prof. Singer is. That doesn’t make them any less human, does it? There isn’t a single constitution in the world saying those poor dears shouldn’t enjoy equal rights – including the right to consent to sex.
You might think that at the very least the fashionable issue of consent may arise to prove a stumbling block there. After all, before planting a kiss on a girl’s lips, men are these days almost expected to get a signed and properly notarised consent form. That may ruin the spontaneity of the occasion, but on the plus side no one ends up in pokey.
Since animals tend not to be fluent in human, one doesn’t see how they can express their consent to sex, but Prof. Singer doesn’t see that as a problem. Animals, he explains, can consent by giving non-verbal “indications”.
I’d rather not go deep into the details, but I do wonder how that logic would play out at your run-of-the-mill rape trial. “She gave me non-verbal indications, M’lord” doesn’t strike me as a line of defence promising a realistic chance of acquittal.
Prof. Singer may be accused of many sins, but inconsistency isn’t one of them. He has been attracting my attention for 20 years at least. For example, this is what I wrote way back then:
“Consider the track record of Peter Singer, the ‘mind’ behind GAP. In 2001 he allowed that humans and animals can have ‘mutually satisfying’ sexual relations because ‘we are animals, indeed more specifically, we are great apes.’ Therefore such sex ‘ceases to be an offence to our status and dignity as human beings.’ Good news for some shepherds, bad news for poor Mrs Singer.
“Singer also maintains that the right to life is grounded in the ability to plan one’s future. Since the unborn, infants and mentally disabled lack this ability, he justifies abortion, selective infanticide and euthanasia. However, even though apes are not known for prudent foresight, Singer does not advocate their cull. So his is a kind of affirmative action: he wants apes to have rights that are not just equal but superior to ours.”
As I said, everything Prof. Singer preaches is logical within his own atheist frame of reference. If the difference between man and ape is only that of degree and not of kind, why not grant primates full human rights?
And why not have sex with them or other animals? I mean, many men have had sex with Angela Rayner, yet no one says they are perverts just because she is intellectually challenged.
But seriously now, can you see the intellectual conundrum? A materialist view of life disarms arguments against what any half-decent person intuitively knows is a disgusting perversion.
A successful, irrefutable argument against zoophilia can only be launched from the premise of Genesis: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he him.”
(The last phrase also provides a launchpad for an argument against some other perversions, but watch your step: arguing along those lines may already be against the law proscribing hate speech.)
Much of our morality has spun out of that one verse. The sanctity of human life, for example, rings hollow if human life isn’t sanctified.
That verse reduces all biological similarities between man and beast to the level of petty atavisms. It also defangs every attempt to explain man in purely materialist, Darwinist terms. The reason no missing link between man and ape has been found is that none exists. Because the ape isn’t made in the image of God, it’s typologically closer to a plant than to a human.
It was St Augustine who first described the Devil as the ape of God. For all its genetic makeup, a chimpanzee isn’t a human being but a ghastly caricature of one. It’s a reminder of what will happen to man if he loses his link with God and hence his humanity. The ape isn’t our past. But it may well be our future.
Looking on from the side lines, I enjoy watching ‘thinkers’ like Singer develop asinine theories to their logical conclusion, all the way to the gutter. What also gives me that nice sense of schadenfreude is the sight of ‘progress’ reverting to the darkest forms of animal worship.
Prof. Singer has the power of his convictions: as a vegan, he believes it’s wrong to eat animals; and as a humanist, he believes it’s right to copulate with them. I’m sure he also advocates interspecies marriage; perhaps he’ll even practise it. Should it come to that, in our progressive times the goat he’ll marry won’t even have to be female.
P.S. On the subject of consistency, Peter Hitchens is still at it, repeating every line of Kremlin propaganda word for word and then moaning about being “called all the stupid names (‘Kremlin Shill’, ‘Putin Apologist’ etc).”
He then goes on to prove those names aren’t so much stupid as dead accurate: “The conflict in Ukraine was always unnecessary. It has done nothing but harm to Ukraine and Ukrainians. Ukraine has been used as a battering ram in someone else’s quarrel. The whole thing was cooked up in the same Washington DC kitchen where the even crazier invasion of Iraq was prepared.”
Get it? It was those ghastly Americans who invaded the Ukraine, or rather made her attack Russia (which is what being a battering ram implies). Putin, the leader of what Hitchens regards as “the most conservative and Christian country in Europe” isn’t to blame.
Those names aren’t so stupid after all, are they?