That last option—the greatest good for the greatest number—is the basic premise behind an ethical theory called “utilitarianism,” whose main champion today is Princeton Professor Peter Singer. In his book, “Practical Ethics,” he presses this logic to chilling, yet consistent, conclusions, arguing, for example, that killing babies who are born disabled is not only acceptable, but may be morally necessary.
Why? Singer believes the happiness of able-bodied persons trumps the rights of those with disabilities. Such beliefs are horrifying enough in the classroom, but they rarely stay there.
Enter Rutgers ethicist Anna Stubblefield, who, in 2015, was convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Her victim, a thirty-year-old man with cerebral palsy, identified as “D.J.,” has never spoken a word in his life, and is dependent on caregivers for his basic needs.
Using a controversial technique known as “facilitated communication,” Stubblefield claims she helped D.J. break his lifelong silence by supporting his hands as he typed on a keyboard. Eventually, D.J.’s family came to believe he had the mental capacity of an adult, and even enrolled him in college courses.
Then Stubblefield made an announcement to D.J.’s family that changed everything: “We’re in love.” Believing she had received D.J.’s consent via facilitated communication, the married Stubblefield consummated a romantic relationship with this disabled man. A New Jersey jury decided that the act constituted sexual assault.
In response, in a recent op-ed at the New York Times, Peter Singer and Jeff McMahan argue that Stubblefield’s 12-year sentence is too harsh and that D.J. was capable of more communication than the judge or jury give him credit for. But their next argument is truly horrifying.
“If we assume,” they write, “that he is profoundly cognitively impaired, we should concede that he cannot understand the normal significance of sexual relations between persons or the meaning and significance of sexual violation. In that case, he is incapable of giving or withholding informed consent…”
They go on to claim that D.J. probably enjoyed the experience, so it wasn’t that monstrous of a crime. In other words, because those with profound disabilities can’t fully comprehend what’s happening, assaulting them isn’t the same as assaulting a person in possession of full mental faculties.
It is not surprising. If a rabbit in nature can walk around a dead body of a fellow rabbit without feeling bad, is it any surprise that they could imagine sexually assaulting a mentally retarded rabbit and not feel anything? Leftists are rabbits in thought, and literally not human. As singer shows, they are not even aware that their urges are repugnant.
Plus, from a strictly reproductive standpoint, if you impregnated a mentally retarded mate and that produced a child, that is one more child. If that child can survive and reproduce in an r-selected environment of free resources, that will carry your genes forward, and since fitness is not as important as fecundity in the r-environment, there is no detriment. Indeed, r-selected females in r-selection would evolve to want that kind of “moral” reasoning in their mates, because it is what r-selection favors.
r-selection is about quantity over quality. When your species is K-selected, and has spent eons painstakingly evolving massive levels of quality, you can see how the shift to quantity inevitably produces degradation, and does it surprisingly quickly.