Your Weight Is Society’s Business

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“Many of us are rightly concerned about whether our planet can support a human population that has surpassed seven billion,” Singer concludes in the Project Syndicate piece. “But we should think of the size of the human population not just in terms of numbers, but also in terms of its mass. If we value both sustainable human well-being and our planet’s natural environment, my weight—and yours—is everyone’s business.”

If such a private matter as one’s weight is the public’s business, then the question arises as to what, precisely, remains one’s private business? One’s finances, one’s weight, one’s choice of doctor, one’s plasma-screen television, and even the meat on one’s plate all become the business of Big Brother in Singer’s expansive vision of the state. Singer’s is the logic of totalitarianism. Since any private action can be rationalized as having a public consequence, all becomes the interest of the government. Singer advocates copious limits on private behavior. Where are the checks on the state’s gargantuan appetite?

The enormous arrogance required to force people onto scales as a prerequisite to boarding a flight is a natural consequence of Singer’s philosophy. The Ivy League philosopher is an heir to the utilitarianism of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill, the idea that whatever maximizes the greatest pleasure for the greatest number is ethically correct. Who determines the greatest good? Why philosophers like Singer do. People aren’t free to choose. The ideology errs in making calculus of philosophy. The moral decisions individuals face become the moral decisions for their betters to make under utilitarianism. A philosophy empowering big brains to dictate the behavior of small people  engorges a narcissist’s ego. Why would it be palatable to anyone else? Transforming a moral question into a mathematical one always yields the wrong answer.

The founder of Singer’s school of thought infamously devised a one-size-fits-all constitution for countries he had never stepped foot in. Jeremy Bentham’s leading contemporary exponent faithfully follows the leader when he advocates reordering a massive half-trillion dollar industry in which he has never worked. Gluttony is a sin of bellies and brains.

Boeing executives don’t tell philosophy professors what readings to assign their students. Why is a Princeton philosopher telling airlines how to run their business?

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  • BS77

    I m surprised Singer hasn't jumped off a bridge or something to help relieve the population crisis. He is cool with other people destroying life….but just so it isn't HIS LIFE.

    • Carol Setliff

      And all the pro-abortionists are already born!

      • Todd Beaucoudray

        Really, Columbo?

    • HermitLion

      A progressive mind cannot jump off a bridge.
      Bridges are immoral, because they help people get from one place to another, and that endangers the sacred life of the exotic rooster cricket.

  • Roger

    Where are all the NOW women chanting 'my body, my choice'?

    They should be up in arms about this.

    • FigPucker

      When was the last time you saw a woman? The Sears catalog doesn't count.

      • davarino

        You obviously frefer figs, you pucker. Why dont you go in your own jackyard and backoff

        • Eyes_Open

          Now that's just funny, I don't care who you are, that there is funny……8))

      • mrbean

        With a namehandle like Figpucker you must prefer beastility to women I see. You are probably the son of the hillybilly in "Deliverance" that kept saying "Squeal like a pig"

        • Roger

          Better be careful, me may think you have a 'pretty mouth'.

  • davarino

    Please government, save us from ourselves, cause its worked so well in the past heheheheheh

    How does anyone check to see if they comply with regulations anymore? You either have to talk to the guy that knows (god help us if he dies) or just wing it and hope you covered your bases. I think you would have to devise some kind of search engine that rivals google. Something that searches with a pinch of intelligence, retardation, and whimsical fantasy.

    You want to make this nation great again, unwind the morass of stupid regulations. But then again, who is going to tell people not to jump off cliff, dont cut self with knife, look both ways before crossing?

  • The Infidel

    Sadly, the "ethics" comming out of our universities here in Australia are directly linked to the slime that currently "overlords" the country. They are determined to totaly distroy Australia and are being backed and abetted by the "academics". To call them "ethisists" should be classified as a crime against humanity. they are simply communist propagandists looking at ways to increase govt control of every aspect of our lives.

  • Nisht Muhamed

    Applying some of Singer's conceptual ideas for humanitarian purposes is a great idea. Specifically stopping the World Food Programme (WFP) so non-productive starving Africans and Muslims stop contributing to the destruction of the planet's natural resources, Also ending UNRWA welfare transfers to "Palestinian" refugees from 1948 would force them to either use their smuggling tunnels and ingenuity for transport of food, water, and other non military items or stop occupying the Land of Israel. As of now the WFP contributes massively to global overpopulation and UNRWA aid indirectly but very surely facilitates the missle, rocket and mortar weapon launches, false hopes, and other subsidies for a barbaric Islamic imperialist culture that wishes to actively terrorize and destroy civil society in Israel. Down with about 95% of what the UN does! Long live free markets!

    • Roger

      Free markets had Zimbabwe producing food for export.
      Your view of free markets isn't' really free markets.

  • Viewpoint

    The social engineers determined that it would be highly beneficial to their objectives that the "sheeple" should be as fat, unhealthy, and wooly (unfocused) as possible… then they dare blame the "useless eaters" for falling into the crippling trap they so malevolently set for them. The food supply is saturated with so many toxins that it is rather hard to know where to begin… much less list them all. For example; soy was strategically promoted as a healthy alternative to meats, cheese, milk etc….not because it would make consumers healthier, but because it contains estrogen. Excessive estrogen feminizes males and hyper-feminizes females… it conveniently sterilizes both genders… it also causes weight gain, memory loss, headaches, mood swings, fatigue, depression, panic attacks, and other harmful consequences.

  • Viewpoint

    Soy is now in most packaged foods… including most organic packaged foods. All trusted products can no longer be trusted… as the recipes have been altered to contain soy. Because soy is in most foods, most consumers are unknowingly eating soy every day and every time they eat… this results in the desired, excessive level of sterilizing, feminizing estrogen the menacing social engineers eagerly planned. Please read your labels and avoid soy unless you are content to be a feminized male, or hyper-feminized female.

  • Ron Carnine

    Its not just the 230 lb. woman that Singer needs to worry about, its guys like me too. My artificial leg weighs more than my natural one. Since my amputation, I lost my ability to run so I've gained weight, 50lbs. worth. I'd like to see this ethical misfit try to throw me off an airplane.

    • Roger

      He's probably busy running the TSA deep tissue searches.

    • intrcptr2

      As societal deadweight, he'd likely argue that you not get an artifical leg. I somehow suspect he would prefer euthanasia (Oh, yeah; he's written about that too).

      • Todd Beaucoudray

        If someone wants to die, it should be his decision. We put down our beloved pets to spare them the agony of an horrific death, yet we don't show the same compassion to people. Most of a hospital's earnings are made in the last two weeks of a dying patient's life. Does that seem ethical to you? Also, consider that all that costs are actually being brought back to you if you have insurance. Prolonging the inevitable isn't moral, it's merely lucrative.

  • Saltire

    More and more intrusion into people's lives.

  • Eyes_Open

    And the next step to the government controlling every part of our lives. Will we stand up together yet to stop this? Just how far must this go before all the people stand together.

    • Roger

      This election will tell.
      Obama is clearly grabbing for power in ways our constitution denies him. He's a dictator consolidating power and the opposition party (i.e. Boehner) does nothing. We are being betrayed.

    • Rocky Mountain

      Remember at this point Singer is not the government, however, he may have the ear of some government agencies.

      • Eyes_Open

        No but Mooshell is, and she is doing the same thing. If anything Singer is following her example. In NC, when a turkey and cheese sandwich with a fruit and chips is taken from a kid and replaced with chicken nuggets, because our governments declares the home made mean unfit, It is time to put a stop to it. Thirty years ago the whole town would have risen up and the food nazi would have been looking for a hole to crawl in. What has happened to American Spirit?

  • tagalog

    First of all, I can't believe that Peter Singer has any remaining credibility. Second, “Is a person’s weight his or her own business?” Peter Singer asks in a Project Syndicate article. “Should we simply become more accepting of diverse body shapes? I don’t think so. Obesity is an ethical issue, because an increase in weight by some imposes costs on others.”

    Yes, peoples' weight is their own business, even from Peter Singer's point of view because the greatest good for the greatest number, the utilitarian standard that he cleaves to, says that if government or business can get involved in directly regulating what and how much people can eat, that will create far more bad effects than regulating weight will create good effects. So yes, by utilitarian standards, peoples' obesity is their business and solely their business. Airlines setting fares should be the airlines' own business too.

    We should keep in mind that anytime taxpayer money is used to provide something to the people, the government can justify interfering with the freedom of the people to make choices in that area ("From now on, Wednesdays will be Treadmill Day, when you MUST by law spend at least a half hour doing calisthenics – just think of it like PT day in the service – except you can't exercise with your rifles, due to the potential for generating the wrong ideas"). It's best to keep them out of our affairs by refusing to cooperate with the creation of government programs. The more programs the less freedom, and remember that government can take away those programs any time it wants, but they won't relinquish the regulating so easily.

    I wish Peter Singer good luck on the having-sex-with-pets and the killing-of-babies-during-the-first-year-of-life fronts, too. Give 'em hell, Pete!

    • Roger

      It's a great set up for people that want marching in the streets in tall leather boots to the goose step.

      • tagalog

        "Peace Through Leanness!"

  • BS77

    Singer just finished his big breakfast of Soylent Green…. MMMM MMMMM……now on to his next book, a cannibal cook book….then back to the laboratory to experiment on sterilization techniques for the obese….This guy belongs in a strait jacket.

    • Roger

      If they made a movie, a character like this wouldn't be the good guy. He'd clearly be the villain.

  • Jakareh

    If some thug came over to the wealthy enclave that is Princeton from Trenton or Camden and put a bullet in Peter Singer's diseased brain in order to get his pocket change, the thug would have done the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.

    • kentatwater

      Although the lives of our progeny would likely be made brighter by such an incident, we can't countenance murder. The end does not justify the means.

  • sedoanman

    Would it be utilitarian to abort people with ideas like this?

    If such a private matter as one’s weight is the public’s business, then the question arises, "Is there a victimless crime?"

  • mrbean

    Professor Peter Singer, a hard core unemployable intellectual incompetent at Princeton also advocates infanticide for childrenthat are disabled or mentally handicapped and uthenasia for the aged who are no longer capable of supporting themselves. He probably has a soylent green factory in mind as well. Singer is just another non-colleague taking up space on campus on a free ride for his meal ticket.

    • tagalog

      Don't forget that it's morally defensible from a utilitarian standpoint to have sex with animals according to Peter Singer.

  • MrZZ

    It's all to get control over us. Remember Orwell: ideology is only the tool to get another group of fools to support the power grubbers. Socialism, nazism, islam, global cooling and warming – not only to put more regulations and restrictions, but to put us against each other. Look, we have non-smokers against smokers, bicyclists against car drivers, atheists against faithful people, handguns owners against rifle owners (this one happen in Great Britain), etc. Now the slim people against the fat ones.
    And it works. Read (if you have a stomach for it) left wing sites, their authors and commentors. These are the fools, who are buying in it and have a contempt for everyone, who is not.

  • Hank Rearden

    I have never understood what a depraved mind like Singer's is doing at Princeton. Whenever I hear the word "ethics" coming from an academic perspective I know that rather than traditional ethics that we were taught as children, it will be some twisted thought process either advocating or permitting the opposite of ethical behavior. Singer is the type of person who would have been whispering in Hitler's ear telling him that what he wanted to do was not only ethical, but noble, not only permitting him his depravity, but egging him on – a Rosenberg, or a Goebbels, or a Franck, or even a Mengele. There WAS after all, a purpose to the death camps. Getting rid of the Jews was done to homogenize the volk and improve its ability as a fighting unit for the Darwinian struggle for survival among nations. From that it also followed that the lesser races such as the Slavs should be annihilated or enslaved. People like Singer think they are incredibly clever because they are willing to broach topics that repel normal people. The Singers mistake that repulsion for ignorance. The Founding Fathers were way ahead of this depravity. They meant to give it no scope by limiting the power of government and establishing that what power government did have flowed from the people. Princeton is disgracing itself and devaluing its degrees by supporting this perversion of civilized thought. Woe betide us if anybody should ever take it seriously and achieve a position of power. I cannot imagine what Singer's classes are like or who would take them.

  • political_vacuum

    re: "Your Weight Is Society’s Business"

    Michelle Obama's butt is the weight of Society’s Business……..

    ….BUTT, ……Can you can it????

    • Rocky Mountain

      I loathe Peter Singer but these kind of comments are the intellectual equivalent of a sixth-grade lunch room.

  • maturin20

    Singer is a moron in that he assumes you have to be fat in order to weigh 230 lbs. I weigh 240 lbs and could crack his head with my abs.

  • political_vacuum

    Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner is correct.

    Michelle Obama has a " BIG BUTT!!!"

    ……….at least Kim Kardasian is FREE to tax payers!

  • Ghostwriter

    How ironic. What I learned about Peter Singer is that his parents escaped from Austria to Australia to escape the same type of ideas he now parrots. Sadly,he and those like him DON'T get the irony.

  • Guest 3

    Oh yeah, sure, all the women passengers are gonna go for this! Weight & age are 2 things you never ask of them, or watch out.

  • Riot Points

    Definitely an interesting idea. But it's never going to be introduced. It's not really needed and of course then women would no longer want to fly!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    What can one say to such idiocy from a so called teacher, laughing at him would be a normal reaction
    but that he has credibility with anyone in academia places them all in looney land and for more reasons
    than just Singer. Depravity comes in many forms and Singer is a form that seems to keep on in society
    like herpes or some other nasty virus, if exposed to his nugatory piddle, take and asprin and forget it,
    until Obama offers him a cabinet position………………………………….William

  • gluten free foods

    Correct! you are absolutely correct. high weight is too harmful for the human body. so all of the human being should be careful about their weight. so i think all of us should be control our daily eating routine. am i right ? any way, one of the good news for you that if you need any kinds of little soy products so just check out our gluten free foods.

  • Roger

    Why, my books are filled with hate?

    What is it like working for a government agency and being paid to sit and spew anti-Christian propaganda all day long?

  • WeeToddEdwards

    I don't know. How does it feel to be an out of work failed author? <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

  • Roger

    I'm not out of work and I'm not failed.

    Every time you attack my book and post that link I have more sales just because people don't seem to accept your spew. I'm busier now than ever and frankly I'd be on chapter 3 of my sequel if you weren't such a prolific loud mouth here.

  • mrbean

    Oh my, you are rather retarded to say the least!

  • WeeToddEdwards

    What a bunch of lies. You are a failure. Look at the reviews <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

  • Roger

    Ricky said he didn't make them up, and I'll take his word for it. So, you must have been busy making them up. There is only one review there by someone that actually read the book, and while it wasn't glowing it was at least fair. And it didn't call the book a failure.

    You just showed that trolling isn't something you just post here, it's something you do as a person as well.

  • kentatwater

    His argument is very conservative…where it's not about ethics or health but about the very real cost of moving mass from one place to another.

    Quite the contrary. His argument is very left wing. From his viewpoint, human beings are just mass. He appoints himself as arbiter of what they need, how they reproduce, and how they die. The conservative respect for the individual is completely absent, which is to be expected from a philosophy which views humans as mere meat robots.

    FPM would write an article exactly like Singer's and say only a marxist would expect someone else to pay for their fatness.

    People and businesses do pay for cargo based upon volume and/or weight. People are not cargo. Hollow people like Singer and yourself, miss that.

    [Y]ou should have in your mind that liberals all want to control you and take away your cheesy fries.

    You quail at the characterizations of leftists such as yourself, by conservatives, yet you close with an insult predicated upon is silly stereotype. Judging from your recent posts, you appear to comfort yourself with the belief that all conservatives are fat old white men who aren't getting any…who like cheesy fries.

    What a sad little world you must live in.

  • tagalog

    I read the article you gave the link for. Peter Singer's analysis is not a true utilitarian analysis; it is more of a cost-benefit analysis, with hints of deontological argument. Therefore, I respectfully submit that Peter Singer is at least arguably not qualified to make an authoritative argument on this issue according to the standard that he is applying, since he is a utilitarian.

    By the way, Singer quotes some airline authority as follows: "the average weight of adult passengers on its planes has increased by two kilos. For a large, modern aircraft like the Airbus A380, that means that an extra $472 of fuel has to be burned on a flight from Sydney to London." It costs $472.00 to fly 4.4 pounds from Australia to England? Wow. Someone needs to re-think the economic practicality of airline travel.

    And yes, liberals want to take away our cheesy fries. They also have demonstrated a willingness to take away the nourishing turkey, cheese and lettuce sandwiches we provide to our children to take to school, and replace them with chicken nuggets in the name of good nutrition. A person who desires that level of control, at that level of quality of insight and leadership, must be resisted at all costs.

  • kentatwater

    So suddenly, footnotes are not so important.

  • tagalog

    Link (there are quite a number of others):

    Please be sure to click on the additional information link given at the end of the story, if you decide to read it.

    Footnotes, wow; we're getting a bit scholarly around here, aren't we? Please be sure to footnote all your comments, too, please.

  • WeeToddEdwards

    I showed nothing faliure man. Since I have no clue how it feels I will ask you. How does it feel to know everything in life you do is a faliure? <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV style=”FONT-FAMILY: times new roman, new york, times, serif; FONT-SIZE: 12pt”> <DIV dir=ltr> <DIV style=”BORDER-BOTTOM: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-LEFT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; LINE-HEIGHT: 0; MARGIN: 5px 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; HEIGHT: 0px; FONT-SIZE: 0px; BORDER-TOP: #ccc 1px solid; BORDER-RIGHT: #ccc 1px solid; PADDING-TOP: 0px”></DIV>

  • Roger

    Because I haven't met your standard of success? Sitting at a government desk and being paid to use a work terminal to spew propaganda all day long?

  • WeeToddEdwards

    You will never get there either.

  • Roger

    I hope not. I have some self respect.

  • Roger

    No I warn him you might.

    How are those two muslim guys in Iowa you mentioned before?