By Wesley J. Smith
Natonal Right to Life
To Singer, moral value primary comes from intellectual capacities, and that means that developmentally and cognitively disabled human beings (also, the unborn and infants) have less value than other human beings, and indeed, a lower worth than some animals.
Were society to ever adopt Singer’s bigoted anti-human exceptionalism views, it would mark the end of universal human rights, opening the door to tyrannical pogroms against the most weak and vulnerable–you know, the kind of people that the Singers of the world deem resource wasters.
It would also break the spine of unconditional love, as our children would have to earn their place by possessing requisite capacities.
Take the recent statements by Singer, published in the Journal of Practical Ethics in which he explains why he would adopt a child with Down syndrome out (my emphasis).
He then expresses a profound bigotry against people with cognitive and developmental disabilities (the following underlining are mine).
For me, the knowledge that my [hypothetical Down] child would not be likely to develop into a person whom I could treat as an equal, in every sense of the word, who would never be able to have children of his or her own, who I could not expect to grow up to be a fully independent adult, and with whom I could expect to have conversations about only a limited range of topics would greatly reduce my joy in raising my child and watching him or her develop.
“Disability” is a very broad term, and I would not say that, in general, “a life with disability” is of less value than one without disability. Much will depend on the nature of the disability.