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Zizek on Singer

YYW
Posts: 36,303
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12/10/2015 1:43:39 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
See Article: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...

This was pretty interesting, and Zizek I think is more forgiving of Peter Singer's incredible stupidity than most are (at least in private) or ought to be. His conclusion, though, is pretty funny, and pretty deep:

'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

(Disclaimer: I think I've railed on Singer on this site before though, I know I have IRL at just overwhelming length, and I have no respect or regard for what he says. I post this article only because I thought it was enjoyable, and because I like Zizek.)
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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12/10/2015 2:27:05 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 2:17:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whenever I see Zizek talk, I just think "Wow, that guy is a mess".

He's very smart, but he is, at the same time, kind of eccentric (but pretty much every real philosopher has been eccentric).
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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12/10/2015 2:29:16 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 2:27:05 PM, YYW wrote:
At 12/10/2015 2:17:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whenever I see Zizek talk, I just think "Wow, that guy is a mess".

He's very smart, but he is, at the same time, kind of eccentric (but pretty much every real philosopher has been eccentric).

He's a big fan of constantly touching his face. It becomes very annoying after a while. Also, the man can't dress for sh1t.
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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12/10/2015 7:08:41 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 1:43:39 PM, YYW wrote:
See Article: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...

This was pretty interesting, and Zizek I think is more forgiving of Peter Singer's incredible stupidity than most are (at least in private) or ought to be. His conclusion, though, is pretty funny, and pretty deep:

'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

(Disclaimer: I think I've railed on Singer on this site before though, I know I have IRL at just overwhelming length, and I have no respect or regard for what he says. I post this article only because I thought it was enjoyable, and because I like Zizek.)

So Zizek wants to retain some of the Christian worldview, so that we can keep our hierarchical priority over animals... because it's similar to how a rat acts when we scramble its brain? Zizek is a very entertaining speaker but in my opinion there are some genuinely troubling things in his worldview. He is essentially a Hegelian contra Nietzsche; his central commitment is negation over affirmation; to continue passing over the actual in favor of the specters of communism and christianity, to renounce fate in order to keep hold of a lie. At the center of his philosophy is a deep confrontation between orthodoxy and radicalism which he would rather ontologize than properly confront.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
BlueDreams
Posts: 199
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12/10/2015 7:46:16 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 2:29:16 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 12/10/2015 2:27:05 PM, YYW wrote:
At 12/10/2015 2:17:42 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
Whenever I see Zizek talk, I just think "Wow, that guy is a mess".

He's very smart, but he is, at the same time, kind of eccentric (but pretty much every real philosopher has been eccentric).

He's a big fan of constantly touching his face. It becomes very annoying after a while. Also, the man can't dress for sh1t.

Kinda reminds me of Mark Hamil if he got a PhD.
Romanii
Posts: 4,852
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12/10/2015 7:56:41 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 1:43:39 PM, YYW wrote:
See Article: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...

This was pretty interesting, and Zizek I think is more forgiving of Peter Singer's incredible stupidity than most are (at least in private) or ought to be. His conclusion, though, is pretty funny, and pretty deep:

'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

Singer is a utilitarian, right? What exactly is this supposed to mean lol. Idgi.


(Disclaimer: I think I've railed on Singer on this site before though, I know I have IRL at just overwhelming length, and I have no respect or regard for what he says. I post this article only because I thought it was enjoyable, and because I like Zizek.)
sdavio
Posts: 1,798
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12/10/2015 8:11:27 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 7:56:41 PM, Romanii wrote:
'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

Singer is a utilitarian, right? What exactly is this supposed to mean lol. Idgi.

It's basically Zizek jabbing at Singer for being a naturalist, making us all on a par with animals... He empathizes with cows, while ousting religion. Zizek prefers a kind of humanistic reconstruction of Christianity.
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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12/10/2015 9:06:51 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 1:43:39 PM, YYW wrote:
See Article: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...

This was pretty interesting, and Zizek I think is more forgiving of Peter Singer's incredible stupidity than most are (at least in private) or ought to be. His conclusion, though, is pretty funny, and pretty deep:

'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

(Disclaimer: I think I've railed on Singer on this site before though, I know I have IRL at just overwhelming length, and I have no respect or regard for what he says. I post this article only because I thought it was enjoyable, and because I like Zizek.)

Zizek misrepresents Singer's views on animals multiple times. I question whether he has even read any of his works. Let me quote just a few of the things he claimed about Singer in the article.

"With inexorable radicality, Singer levels the animal/human divide: better kill an old suffering woman than healthy animals... Look an orangutan straight in the eye and what do you see? A none-too-distant cousin"a creature worthy of all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy."

Singer would never claim that it is permissible to kill an old lady without her informed consent. This is consistent with an answer he gave to a question in his FAQ. See " The Sanctity of Human Life" third question down:
https://www.princeton.edu...

Singer doesn't at all claim that an Orangutan should have all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy. What a complete misrepresentation of his view. The rights he and the Great Ape Project want to give to Orangutans and other Great Apes are simply to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture. [1]
https://en.wikipedia.org...

"Ultimately, all things being equal, an animal has as much interest in living as a human."

Again, this is a complete misrepresentation of his views. Singer doesn't even claim that killing sentient animals is morally wrong. Skip to 3:39 in this video to see that:
https://www.youtube.com...

When Singer was asked if he would save a human being or a mouse from a fire, with no time to save them both, he answered:

"Yes, in almost all cases I would save the human being."

See "Animal Liberation" second question:
https://www.princeton.edu...

"Therefore, all things being equal, medical experimentation on animals is immoral"

False. In fact, the opposite is true. All things being equal, medical experimentation on animals might not only be permissible, but obligatory on his utilitarian view. If there was a disease that was killing millions of innocent persons, and a cure for it would be possible by experimenting on a few animals, then performing the experiments would be right according to Singer.

I'm honestly shocked that the person who wrote this critical article of Singer is even a philosopher. He doesn't even have a basic understanding of the work he disagrees with.
YYW
Posts: 36,303
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12/10/2015 9:10:48 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 9:06:51 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 12/10/2015 1:43:39 PM, YYW wrote:
See Article: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...

This was pretty interesting, and Zizek I think is more forgiving of Peter Singer's incredible stupidity than most are (at least in private) or ought to be. His conclusion, though, is pretty funny, and pretty deep:

'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

(Disclaimer: I think I've railed on Singer on this site before though, I know I have IRL at just overwhelming length, and I have no respect or regard for what he says. I post this article only because I thought it was enjoyable, and because I like Zizek.)

Zizek misrepresents Singer's views on animals multiple times. I question whether he has even read any of his works. Let me quote just a few of the things he claimed about Singer in the article.

"With inexorable radicality, Singer levels the animal/human divide: better kill an old suffering woman than healthy animals... Look an orangutan straight in the eye and what do you see? A none-too-distant cousin"a creature worthy of all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy."

Singer would never claim that it is permissible to kill an old lady without her informed consent. This is consistent with an answer he gave to a question in his FAQ. See " The Sanctity of Human Life" third question down:
https://www.princeton.edu...

Singer doesn't at all claim that an Orangutan should have all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy. What a complete misrepresentation of his view. The rights he and the Great Ape Project want to give to Orangutans and other Great Apes are simply to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture. [1]
https://en.wikipedia.org...

"Ultimately, all things being equal, an animal has as much interest in living as a human."

Again, this is a complete misrepresentation of his views. Singer doesn't even claim that killing sentient animals is morally wrong. Skip to 3:39 in this video to see that:
https://www.youtube.com...

When Singer was asked if he would save a human being or a mouse from a fire, with no time to save them both, he answered:

"Yes, in almost all cases I would save the human being."

See "Animal Liberation" second question:
https://www.princeton.edu...

"Therefore, all things being equal, medical experimentation on animals is immoral"

False. In fact, the opposite is true. All things being equal, medical experimentation on animals might not only be permissible, but obligatory on his utilitarian view. If there was a disease that was killing millions of innocent persons, and a cure for it would be possible by experimenting on a few animals, then performing the experiments would be right according to Singer.

I'm honestly shocked that the person who wrote this critical article of Singer is even a philosopher. He doesn't even have a basic understanding of the work he disagrees with.

Having read Singer (and understood what Singer says), I just don't think you get the big picture of what Singers ideas are, and, frankly, I don't even think you've read singer, based on what you're saying here. Maybe you read some secondary source or whatever, but I don't think you've actually read Singer.

I could be wrong though... maybe you have and you just didn't understand it. That's certainly possible... but Zizek is pretty much right on point in every respect, when you're considering the breadth of the stuff (and the implications) that Singer has written.
Tsar of DDO
Dookieman
Posts: 130
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12/10/2015 9:27:40 PM
Posted: 12 months ago
At 12/10/2015 9:10:48 PM, YYW wrote:
At 12/10/2015 9:06:51 PM, Dookieman wrote:
At 12/10/2015 1:43:39 PM, YYW wrote:
See Article: http://www.cabinetmagazine.org...

This was pretty interesting, and Zizek I think is more forgiving of Peter Singer's incredible stupidity than most are (at least in private) or ought to be. His conclusion, though, is pretty funny, and pretty deep:

'In Singer's ethics there is a place for a mad cow, but no place for an Indian sacred cow.'

(Disclaimer: I think I've railed on Singer on this site before though, I know I have IRL at just overwhelming length, and I have no respect or regard for what he says. I post this article only because I thought it was enjoyable, and because I like Zizek.)

Zizek misrepresents Singer's views on animals multiple times. I question whether he has even read any of his works. Let me quote just a few of the things he claimed about Singer in the article.

"With inexorable radicality, Singer levels the animal/human divide: better kill an old suffering woman than healthy animals... Look an orangutan straight in the eye and what do you see? A none-too-distant cousin"a creature worthy of all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy."

Singer would never claim that it is permissible to kill an old lady without her informed consent. This is consistent with an answer he gave to a question in his FAQ. See " The Sanctity of Human Life" third question down:
https://www.princeton.edu...

Singer doesn't at all claim that an Orangutan should have all the legal rights and privileges that humans enjoy. What a complete misrepresentation of his view. The rights he and the Great Ape Project want to give to Orangutans and other Great Apes are simply to life, the protection of individual liberty, and the prohibition of torture. [1]
https://en.wikipedia.org...

"Ultimately, all things being equal, an animal has as much interest in living as a human."

Again, this is a complete misrepresentation of his views. Singer doesn't even claim that killing sentient animals is morally wrong. Skip to 3:39 in this video to see that:
https://www.youtube.com...

When Singer was asked if he would save a human being or a mouse from a fire, with no time to save them both, he answered:

"Yes, in almost all cases I would save the human being."

See "Animal Liberation" second question:
https://www.princeton.edu...

"Therefore, all things being equal, medical experimentation on animals is immoral"

False. In fact, the opposite is true. All things being equal, medical experimentation on animals might not only be permissible, but obligatory on his utilitarian view. If there was a disease that was killing millions of innocent persons, and a cure for it would be possible by experimenting on a few animals, then performing the experiments would be right according to Singer.

I'm honestly shocked that the person who wrote this critical article of Singer is even a philosopher. He doesn't even have a basic understanding of the work he disagrees with.

Having read Singer (and understood what Singer says), I just don't think you get the big picture of what Singers ideas are, and, frankly, I don't even think you've read singer, based on what you're saying here. Maybe you read some secondary source or whatever, but I don't think you've actually read Singer.

I've read Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, and The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter. I've also watched most of his interviews, debates and lecturers. I actually consider myself a fan of Singer, because he's one of the people who convinced me that the way we treat nonhuman animals on factory farms is wrong.

I could be wrong though... maybe you have and you just didn't understand it. That's certainly possible... but Zizek is pretty much right on point in every respect, when you're considering the breadth of the stuff (and the implications) that Singer has written.

Actually, I think I have a thorough understanding of Singer's ethical views. Frankly, how on earth could you claim that Zizek is right on every point in that article? I literally just showed how that's not true.