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DISABILITY-RESEARCH  October 1999

DISABILITY-RESEARCH October 1999

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Subject:

Re: Singer/Asch debate and more debates

From:

"Dr. Anita Ghai" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Mon, 18 Oct 1999 16:12:54 +0530

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (165 lines)

Is that the only reason why he think that female infanticide and sex
selection should be banned in India?
-----Original Message-----
From: Gregor Wolbring <[log in to unmask]>
To: Ron Amundson <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, October 18, 1999 11:24 AM
Subject: Re: Singer/Asch debate and more debates


>
>Singer actually does not believe in individualism. He believes in the good
>of society and the individualism stops where there is a perceived threat
>to the society. For example Singer supports the prohibition of female
>infanticide and sex selection in India because a sex unbalance is bad for
>a society. There he throws away the notion of indivifdual rights (of the
>parents). He of course and with him the majority of society does not
>perceive the lack of disabled people as a reat to society. Society
>believes that they are better of without them. So Singer uses therefore
>this sentiment knowing that as long as he uses a disability as an example
>that he would be on safe ground.
>I still wait for the gay gene because it would be interesting how the
>debate would go  if the gay community would be in the same situation than
>we are
>(which obviously won't happen and there are Bioethicists already out
>developing frameworks that gay deselecton would be evil but not disability
>deselection).
>Cheers
>Gregor
>
>
>
> On Sat, 16 Oct 1999, Ron Amundson wrote:
>
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: Lennard Davis <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Friday, October 15, 1999 8:57 AM
>> Subject: Re: Singer/Asch debate
>>
>>
>> > I'd love to debate with Singer.  I spent all day yesterday driving from
>> > Binghamton to NYC having my own private debate with Singer.  Judging
from
>> > the response in my car, I won.  But I WAS the only person in the car.
>>
>> Just for the record, I intend to go on tour with the Rolling Stones.
With
>> my voice, I can kick Mick's butt.  At least it sounds that way in my
shower.
>> ;-)
>>
>> > This discussion only reiterates what I've been saying that we need to
have
>> > a PR/speaker's bureau.  I can think of any number of people to add on
to
>> > Adrienne who would be able to argue Singer into a corner....
>>
>> But let's get back to the real world, ok?  First, I just don't believe
that
>> our heroes are going to win this series of boxing matches. The judges
will
>> be academics and the students of academics, the great majority of whom
are
>> steeped in the medical model and all of the premises that make Singer
>> mainstream.  We (you and I and other DS activists) will "see" Singer
argued
>> into a corner, but most the audience will "see" that corner as exactly
the
>> place any reasonable person would want to be.
>>
>> Your recent point was exactly right (Lennard) that bioethics assumes an
>> individualistic medical model, and that the deepest criticism of Singer
is
>> the criticism of that individualism.   But individualism is the core
>> ideology of the US (if not the UK), and its refutation will never be
>> achieved in the sound-bite atmosphere of a public debate.
>>
>> In the US there is an embarrassing history of evolutionary biologists who
>> eagerly agreed to public debates with fundamentalist creationists. By and
>> large, the creationists kicked the biologists' butts (in the opinion of
the
>> audiences) even though the biologists usually wandered off thinking that
>> they'd won the debate because they knew the truth. The creationists were
>> skilled and experienced in public debates, they knew the audience's
>> prejudices, and they knew how to ask the biologists questions that
couldn't
>> be answered in sound-bites. As much as I respect the gladiators you
>> nominate, I do not believe that they can out-sound-bite Singer to an
>> audience of college students and faculty.
>>
>> This is a complicated issue.  One the one hand, scholarly decisions are
not
>> made on the basis of public jousting matches, but on published
scholarship.
>> (As we have certainly learned from the creationist debates.)  On the
other
>> hand, we as activists want to influence public opinion, and not only
>> scholarly opinion.
>>
>> I do not believe that the solution is a traveling road show of Singer
versus
>> the Disabilty Scholars. One reason is that we are NOT Mick Jagger; we
would
>> not be victorious in the eyes of the audience as the audience is
presently
>> composed. A second is that a debate with Singer sets the stage with
>> assumptions that we ought not to accept -- the individualism that you so
>> rightly criticize. A third is that many members of our community consider
>> Singer's views so morally repugnant that they ought not to be honored
with
>> our presence. I don't personally feel this way, but I respect those who
do.
>> I certainly don't feel that we should try to book Singer's public
>> appearances for him.
>>
>> The increased participation of DS scholars in biomedical ethics
conferences
>> is probably a step in the right direction. Booking Singer into DS venues
>> seems perverse to me.  Like inviting a creationist to a conference on
>> evolutionary biology. The creationist takes credit for talking with the
>> scientists -- credit that he does not deserve because he has said nothing
>> meaningful to them. Singer at the SDS, for example, would be in the same
>> situation.
>>
>> Personally, I'd love to argue with Singer. I think I could kick his ass.
But
>> then I think I sing better than Jagger.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Ron
>>
>> --
>> Ron Amundson
>> University of Hawaii at Hilo
>> Hilo, HI  96720
>> [log in to unmask]
>>
>>
>>
>
>Dr. Gregor Wolbring
>Research Scientist at the
>Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
>Faculty of Medicine
>and Adjunct Assistant Professor
>at the Dept. of Community Rehabilitation and Disability Studies
>Faculty of Education
>both University of Calgary
>Phone 1-403-220-5448
>Fax   1-403-283-4740
>eFax  1-603-761-3704
>e-mail [log in to unmask]
>webpage: http://www.thalidomide.ca/gwolbring
>
>
>



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