Ken Connor’s “A Tale of Two Cities: Resisting the Atheist Attack” at Human Events is a shoddy attempt at the now-ubiquitous “when atheists attack” Christianist paranoid fantasies that are infecting our civic discourse. Connor slams Princeton philosopher Peter Singer for this recent op-ed in the New York Times, but even a cursory review of Peter Singer’s ethics (as in the FAQ on his website, or the article so deliberately misrepresented by Connor) shows that, when asked about assisted suicide, his explicitly believes in respecting the will of the individual while looking out for their best interests:
When a human being once had a sense of the future, but has now lost it, we should be guided by what he or she would have wanted to happen in these circumstances. So if someone would not have wanted to be kept alive after losing their awareness of their future, we may be justified in ending their life; but if they would not have wanted to be killed under these circumstances, that is an important reason why we should not do so.
Singer’s extreme utilitarianism and anti-speciesism may be inflammatory for much of Connor’s audience, but his thoughts are hardly representative of atheists as a whole. Focusing on Singer’s theories on personhood is a deliberate red herring, and nearly as inaccurate as the false dichotomy Connor poses between “moral truth” and “atheist rhetoric.” Mojoey at Deep Thoughts wonders:
Are we really proposing to throw out our current ethical standards and replace them with some degenerate hedonistic alternative? Is Ken Connor reading the same books I read? I don't think so.