Famous Thinkers Paper
Peter Singer was born on July 6th 1946 in Australia. His family escaped Austria during the World War II from Nazis. Most of his relatives died in Nazi camps because they were Jews. Singer is considered to be one of the most influencing living thinkers however he was also called as the best-known vegetarian, and the most dangerous man in the World. He received death threats because of his beliefs and opinions. As he said in an interview for Policy Innovation, his main aim is to reduce unnecessary suffering in the World (Ethics Matter: A Conversation with Peter Singer, 2011). As Peter Singer stated himself “why I have focused on those issues, because I ...view middle of the document...
Most of the death threats Singer received were caused by his opinion on Infanticide. Singer argues that infants who are not self-aware, and may suffer form untreatable disease that will prevent fulfillment of their lives, parents together with doctors do have right to decide to end humanly (painlessly) their lives. In the case of infanticide we can detect refinement of his solution, when he published the book “How are we to live?: Ethics in an age of self-interest” (1995) Singer stated that the cut off when infant becomes self-aware is 28 days since the delivery. This has been based in Ancient Greek practice. Nowadays Singer states that there is not rigid cut of ("Peter Singer '07: Animal Rights", 2011).
This is also linked to his idea about euthanasia, he was criticized that he did not apply his arguments to his personal life when his mother had Alzheimer disease, and was not self-aware of her anymore. Singer admits that he is also “only” human as, he did not make the decision on her behalf, to end her life ("Peter Singer '07: Animal Rights", 2011).
Regarding implementation of his ideas, we can use his solution on World poverty. Singer believes that it is immoral to live in comfort, and surround ourselves by luxury with other part of world dying because of poverty. He even used the term of murder from neglect ("Peter Singer '07: Animal Rights", 2011). His solution is to contribute part of our income to those who needs it. He argues that the amount should be approximately 10% however this depends on the amount of income. He himself contributes to different non-governmental organization about third of his income. This idea became very well accepted and organization inspired by his views is called “Giving what we can”. On his website http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org we can also find what should be the percentage we should contribute based on our income. However even Peter Singer admits he is human as he is not doing as much as he should.
As already mentioned, Peter Singer faces many critiques and threats however he is following the logic of his argument even though he does not know where it will lead him. His response to critics: “The response is just that I don't (respond)” (Ethics Matter: A Conversation with Peter Singer, 2011).
Charles P. Webel
Reason for choosing Charles Webel as one of the famous thinkers is my personal experience with Professor Webel. I was lucky to attend several classes at the University of New York in Prague were Professor Webel was instructor. Among others I attended “Reason and Argument”, “Terror and Terrorism”, and “Peace and Conflict”. I consider Professor Webel to be one of the most inspiring people I have ever met.
Charles P. Webel is three times Fulbright Scholar and graduated the Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California; he has pursued post-doctoral studies at Harvard University, the Max Planck Institute, and the Universities of Paris, Frankfurt, and Heidelberg. He earned his Ph.D. at the...