Two weeks ago, Nobel prize winner Tim Hunt made the news with this statement:
Let me tell you about my trouble with girls… three things happen when they are in the lab… You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them, they cry.
For the sake of the argument, let’s say this was a sexist remark, and Hunt lost it’s job for it. (Some may say he quit, but for anyone with a brain it’s quite obvious he resigned due to pressure.)
Go figure: he made a bad joke and he was out of a job when that joke/opinion doesn’t obstruct his ability to do said job. Why is the Royal Society policing their employees’ opinions? What do they care? Do they include litmus tests on their application forms?
While the fire was still smoking from the witch-Hunt, Peter Singer was disinvited from a philosophy gathering for his views for infanticide.
Then on, some started calling for his head at Princeton for holding these opinions.
You know what? I’m not a fan of Philosophy myself, and I don’t agree on much with Singer: I think his views on infanticide are awful and, worse, I can’t barely stand his promotion of vegetarianism, a deceptive ideology very close to misanthropy.
All in all, I think Singer holds anti-Humanistic views that I can’t endorse. Nevertheless, I’m not afraid of him having such opinions or making them known, because I’m not afraid of dissenting views because I happen to value my critical thinking abilities so I’m quite confident I can assess his thoughts on my own and make my own mind — and isn’t that what Philosophy faculties are for, anyway?
One of the things I dislike about Singer —and most of the veg activists, for that matter— is the morally superior narrative he uses for his agenda (and, actually, his lecture’s title on the philosophy panel was ‘Do vegans save the world?‘). So I find it ironically depressing that he could lose his job thanks to equally self-righteous people.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m not into people losing their jobs and having their livelihood threatened just because they hold opinions I strongly disagree with!