I have been thinking about Singer's assumption that People With Disabilities will be unhappier that others.
I think this largely comes from the fact that Singer (and others) are looking in the wrong direction for the reason that PWD would not be happy. When Singer says this, it has occurred to me that he believes physically limitations are what cause this unhappiness. This is not true (at least for me). I can't ride a two-wheel bike. My balance is off. I am sometimes hard to understand. I get tired. But, the lack an ability to be a waitress is not the thing that makes me depressed - it's prejudice. By this line of reasoning parents should also have the opportunity to kill any baby who is a not a white, hetro, Christian male in the hopes of getting a baby who will be happier. Because anyone who is not of this "catagory" is going to suffer at some point too.
I find it hugely upsetting that Singer was voted one of Time Magazine 100 most influencial people and was able to land a job at Princeton. I think he has made strides to made society better through his activism regarding animal rights and distribution of wealth, However, think about this: Would someone racist be able to gain such power in America? I also find it troubling that animal activists are unable to see Singer in a mixed light. To many, he is a hero plain and simple. People who admire his animal rights stance are willing to look away from or deny his views on PWD.
But, perhaps I am taking it all to harsh. I am sure that Singer would not consider himself prejudice. In fact, I think he probably thinks that he is trying to be "good." If you don't know it, his idea is that infancide for severely disabled babies should be legal. He is a Utlitarian. He seems to believe that this is a form of compassion. That killing severely disabled babies will save everyone a lot of pain and hassle (the parents, child, and society).
From a reader Q &A in the Independent Singer writes:
Would you kill a disabled baby? KAREN MEADE, Dublin
Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole. Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman's right to have an abortion. One point on which I agree with opponents of abortion is that, from the point of view of ethics rather than the law, there is no sharp distinction between the foetus and the newborn baby.
It makes me think of the obvious....How do we know how that child's life will unfold? The doctor's told my mom that I'd never walk...and low and behold I do! But, Singer's smarter than me...of course he's thought of this:
In the Journal of Disabilities Policies he writes, "we have make decisions based on probabilites, not certainties."