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Singer, Peter (1946- ), Australian philosopher and bioethicist. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Singer studied at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Oxford, in England. He began his career lecturing ethics at Oxford from 1971 to 1973. He subsequently worked at various universities in North America and Australia. In 1977 he became a professor of philosophy at Monash University, in Melbourne. Singer also became closely associated with the university's Centre for Human Bioethics, which is dedicated to the study of the moral implications of biomedical discoveries. He served as its director from 1987 to 1991 and as its deputy director from 1992. In 1999 he became a professor at Princeton University's Center for Human Values.
Singer is regarded as a rationalist. He supports a philosophical system based on reason rather than on sentiment, self-interest, or social conditioning. He has taken a preference utilitarian approach to the ethical issues involved in embryo experimentation, genetic engineering, surrogate motherhood, abortion, and euthanasia. This approach regards an action as ethically correct if it satisfies the preference of those affected and has the best consequences for the greatest number of people. Singer also rejects the idea that killing is wrong regardless of the circumstances.
Singer has published several books. In Animal Liberation (1975) he proposes that humanity's domination of animals is morally indefensible. His opposition to the mistreatment of animals has been influential in stopping some inhumane testing of animals by large corporations. His other books include Practical Ethics (1979) and How are we to Live? (1993). Singer has donated the royalties from his books to international aid causes and the animal liberation movement. He has given between 10 and 20 percent of his income to the poor, believing that the rich have an ethical duty to help the undeprivileged.
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Religion In Public Life
Prayer in school has been the topic of the century, Is it right to pray in school, stated a Texas teacher. The society as a whole believes it is wrong, but there is some people that thinks it would be a good addition to our school. Maybe it will lower school violence. Yeah, right, whatever! Come on people, be a little intelligent. Our country has had violence before we created prayer in school. Religion will probably make it worse. Sociologists has taken a look at this issue. They perceived it preposterous. Sociologist think if we had prayer in school, might as well force us to read a bible and say amen every time a teacher finishes a sentence. Prayer in school is ridiculous and absurd. Sociologists opposes school prayer for a number of reasons. To begin, it is unconstitutional and a clear violation of our First Amendment. Remember, that amendment contains the Establishment Clause which prohibits the government fromestablishing religion. Simply put, secular institutions like the public schools should NOT be a forum for religious ritual or indoctrination.
And do a majority of people support school prayer? Often, those results depend on exactly how the question happens to be asked. Surveys suggest that most people reject the notion of mandatory prayer. But even if the overwhelming majority thought that prayer was, somehow, a good idea, that does not make the practice ethically just or constitutional.
Sociologists also points out, in opposing school prayer, that prayer is not efficacious. School prayer is obviously a form of religious indoctrination; it teaches children that there are invisible, supernatural entities which can be implored and appeased through mumbling prayers or reading from holy books. Many people believe that just because there is a bible, does it mean we have to take it seriously. If we wrote a book and put it in a time capsule and send it back 4000 years ago it will become a religion.
What about school initiated prayer?
Before getting excited about student initiated prayer, ask yourself: which students are doing the initiating? Student populations often reflect the diversity of the culture. Some students may wish to pray in class or at official school ceremonies like graduation exercises or sporting events, but are they being fair to other students who may not wish to pray? Lately, there have been court cases involving this very question. It is clear that even in areas such as Utah where a school may have a high percentage of students from the same religious background, not all students feel comfortable with this bogus student led religious ritual. If you see a huge group of people praying will you join them? The survey says 1 out of 4 students say yes. The reason is, they want to keep their friends. Sociologists believe teen peer pressure is why this is the way it is.
What about a moment of silence?
What for? Why do we need a moment of silence? School prayer boosters have sometimes proposed this as a way of establishing a legal precedent which, they hope, will eventually lead toward explicit and vocal school prayer. Over a decade ago, the Supreme Court struck down this type of proposal; legislation of this type often calls for the moment of silence to be used for meditation or prayer. Besides, consider the declining number of hours that students are in school each year. Every moment should be used for useful and educational instruction, not meditating!
The whole idea of this is if we create some way to do this, without violating any rights, it wont effect any one. But yes it does, even a moment of silence is basically saying you must do this or else... Our government has always stood by the First Amendment, For one reason. The First Amendment creates an issue with how to stop certain things from happening. There is a lot of power in the First Amendment. But, our government exercises this right narrowly. We are always battling with the First Amendment.
There is a lot of culture in this issue. One main reason we live in America is because we wanted the right to believe in a god, many gods, or no god(s) ... more
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W: capital punishment
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O: Peter Singer
Peter Singer Singer, Peter (1946- ), Australian philosopher and bioethicist. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Singer studied at the University of Melbourne and at the University of Oxford, in England. He began his career lecturing ethics at Oxford from 1971 to 1973. He subsequently worked at various universities in North America and Australia. In 1977 he became a professor of philosophy at Monash University, in Melbourne. Singer also became closely associated with the university's Centre for Human ...
R: Religion In Public Life
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Capital Punishment The use of capital punishment has been a permanent fixture in society since the earliest civilizations and continues to be used as a form of punishment in countries today. It has been used for various crimes ranging from the desertion of soldiers during wartime to the more heinous crimes of serial killers. However, the mere fact that this brutal form of punishment and revenge has been the policy of many nations in the past does not subsequently warrant its implementation in to...