Man-Made Morality

One man's dangerous views on life.

Comments (12)

(12) WA Ford, March 28, 2011 4:12 PM


It seems so called serverely disabled children are more happier than non disabled people as I have seem. If they believe that disabled people are not productive then help make them productive by giving them a job or a small business which is a superior form of charity.

(11) Olina, March 31, 2009 7:42 PM

G-d and Morality

ilan, Man is made in G-d's image. Because of this we have his emotions and a conscience. King Soloman said Hashem placed eternity in our hearts. In this way, G-d and morality are inextricably connected. As far as the Euthyphro dilemma, what that really boils down to is whether or not G-d is good. There are many questions our human minds will never answer, but this ought not be one of them, especially for His chosen people. It would be easier for the universe to perish than for one of His words to fail. Of all things in this world, the one I am most sure of is that He is good and he is holy. The problem with not including God in morality is that it leaves morality up to personal opinion, like rabbi Saloman said. You must remember the point of leading a moral life is to honor and worship G-d, not to ease suffering. When honoring him, we will be better neighbors and carry other’s burdens, but we are not made judges to say "this is suffering" and "this is not" and then choose what we will and will not do based on this. Just something to think about.

(10) ilan, March 22, 2009 2:51 PM

misrepresentations, ignorance

i want to make clear that though the following is a defense of singer and a criticism of rabbi salomon, that i do not in general agree with singer's view, and in fact do believe his ideas may be dangerous. however: rabbi salomon, and many of the responders, rather than showing the importance of religious values, actually exemplify the dangers. they show an ignorance of the relevant issues, an arrogance in the face of that ignorance, and a willingness to distort an opposing viewpoint to make it more congenial to easy criticism. first, a clarification: singer does not believe morality is just a matter of preference. he searches earnestly for an objective criterion for morality. the criterion he settles on is not rooted in religion. furthermore, he earnestly tries to apply this criterion to specific problems, regardless of what prior emotional attachment he might have had to a position. turning to the larger picture: at root, his philosophy is one that aims to minimize suffering. if you don't agree with him either in general philosophy or on specific applications, do so on the merits of the argument - don't misrepresent his views or react witih blind emotion. secondly: rabbi salomon and some of the responders, notably lisa from (9), are ignorant of the issues concerning the roots of morality. GOD, AND RELIGION IN GENERAL, HAVE NO SIGNIFICANCE FOR OUR MORAL LIVES. for an explanation, please look up "THE EUTHYPHRO DILEMMA."

(9) lisa, March 19, 2009 8:57 AM


Your premise that morality which is based merely on what each individual chooses is actually the main reason that I decided to become frum 25 years ago. This is a very clear and easy "proof" for the existence of G-d and Torah. Any morality which is based only on what a person thinks is true is ultimately not a morality, it is merely what that person thinks. Therefore a morality has to come from an absolute authority. I have used this proof when trying to makarov people, and some people are 'modeh al ha emes', while others hem and haw. As you say, ultimately an individual's morality can lead to infanticide or even "disposing of" elderly people. This argument for absolute morality should be used more often to demonstrate the divinity of the Torah.

(8) Lea, March 18, 2009 7:18 AM

Special/handicapped Kids are for US

Yes, that's one of the reasons why special children are brought into this world. It gives us a chance to give and love without expecting anything in return. We don't have too much of that concept in today's "I Generation." i.e: a teen aged girl in a wheel chair was being led to her classroom by one of the students. The student asked her, "why do you think G-d put you here, in a wheel chair?" She answered her: "Perhaps to see if YOU would push it..." Also, who can draw the line of who is worthy of surviving or not. That's G-d's job, not ours. By the way, I have a strong feeling that some of these kids don't suffer as much as WE think. There are many that are actually very happy b/c they don't know better. The parents are the ones that have it challenging. Believe me... I know.

(7) Ronni, March 18, 2009 12:55 AM


I don't know who Peter Singer is nor do I care but I have often wondered about how people justify to themselves their extravagant lifestyles like spending tens of thousands of dollars for one week of Pesach in a hotel. Recently the people of West Palm Beach where many of Bernie Madoff's victims live were interviewed and some expressed some very anti-semitic views about how the Jews are getting what they deserve. I beleive the Rambam warned us against living an opulent lifestyle so as not to arouse the envy of those around us. Yet we don't seem to feel guilty because we tell ourselves that we give so much to charity. Therefore we don't have to think about how our neigbor doesn't have a job or how our children's teachers are struggling to put food on the table. It just seems wrong. Of course luxuries have their time and place but we have to remember that as Jews we are not supposed to live materialistic lifestyles.

(6) Michael Dar, March 17, 2009 11:26 PM

Procreate may be a commandement but..

On the other hand the question we have the right to breng a handicaped child into this world knowing by doing so that he will not get a fair chance in life from the very begining and will unnecessary suffer from his handicap his whole life..this is not only about the costs..but a legitimate prevention mesure..there is no absolute spotless, clean morality in that matter!

(5) Angela Miller, March 17, 2009 8:57 PM

I totally agree Salomon, it's when people go their own way instead of God's that they get led astray. And like you say, this Peter Singer's certainly got nothing to think about!

(4) Jack Millman, March 17, 2009 7:24 PM

Killing Babies

Is it possible that Singer's comments about babies is meant in the same sense of Jonathon Swift's writing about solving the overpopulation of the Irish by eating their babies (satire to make a point)?

(3) Adam, March 17, 2009 10:28 AM

A Professor of Bioethics?

If Peter Singer is a Professor of Bioethics, I wonder what Princeton would consider to be unethical.

(2) Moshe Rosen, March 15, 2009 8:58 AM

apples and oranges

Singer must be attempting to equate apples to oranges in his book on morality. Nonetheless, he has his free will and opinion that we don't need to follow necessarily...Considering infanticide to/and what we buy in a store sounds like comparing apples and oranges, which don't really add up...All in all nobody really likes to be lectured and judged, particularly if you are judged upon what you buy and consume, because nobody likes hearing statements such as, "do you know how much energy and sacrifices were made to make the product you buy?" - A real turn-off statement, even if it is true in the least. Why such guilt over the necessities, among others, we can afford?

(1) Anonymous, March 15, 2009 7:35 AM

He is saying to kill disabled babies because they often cost tax-payers a lot of money through government programs (at least in the US it is that way). Even middle class families get some help. So he is keeping in line with his values, though clearly not Ava's values.


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