Professor Peter Singer has never been popular among pro-lifers and advocates for the handicapped. He has, however, proved something of a hero to animal rights activists, whose movement he is often credited with founding. He's got a strangely mixed bag of fans and opponents. But then, that's the nature of Singer's ethical philosophy. It doesn't quite compute. From his central contention that a person is an autonomous "rational and self-conscious being," Singer draws some remarkable, and by now famous, conclusions. For example, because many so-called "nonhuman" animals are capable of reasoning and self-consciousness, they qualify as people. However, because fetuses, infants, and Alzheimer's patients, among other humans, aren't capable of reasoning and self-consciousness, they do not qualify as people. Thus infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia are permissible—sometimes even morally obligatory—in Singer's scheme, whereas the mere mistreatment of... More >>>