Why Peter Singer is wrong

"What is inherently impossible is not morally binding. This means that when scarce goods are involved, loving your neighbor as yourself cannot always mean loving your neighbor equally with yourself. 'Since you cannot do good to all,' wrote Augustine, 'you are to pay special regard to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you.'" -- John D. Mueller, Redeeming Economics, p. 37

And note the interesting similarity of Augustine's phrasing with Hayek's!


  1. Thank you for this post, Gene. It still causes me to scratch my head when I hear about people gush about Singer. Gene, you were gentle in your treatment to this fellow; you could just talked about how Singer endorses bestiality (so long as the animal finds it somewhat pleasurable, of course), infanticide (because newborn babies are just as valuable as, say, a cow), etc. Singer is a great example of a "New Rothbard"; someone who abstracts from our experience of morality and then relentlessly applies it everywhere. Rothbard did it with political theory and arrived at absurd conclusions - Singer is just doing it with ethics. Rationalism is alive and well, it seems =\

    1. Singer is popular because if you (pretend to) agree with him you get to call everyone else a moral failure. That's the same heady wine most ideologues pour out, Rothbard no exception.

  2. So does this ean libertarian arguments against positive rights are valid?