Monday, September 20, 2010

The Dumbest Thing I Ever Read

Kudos to Jeff McMahan, professor of philosophy at Rutgers University and a visiting research collaborator at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University, for writing the dumbest essay I ever read, and double-kudos to the New York Times for publishing it. I actually fell off my chair laughing. McMahan's contention is that we should engineer the selective extinction of all carnivores on Earth on the basis that they cause suffering to other animals. I don't know where to start with this, so I'm not even going to try, except to say that if you were ever looking for proof of why one should hesitate before going into press on a subject one knows nothing about, this is it. Meanwhile, I am sitting down to write an opinion piece on Schopenhauer, confident that the Times will publish it.

[PS, I wanted to comment on the piece, but I noted that after 270-odd comments along the lines of "what the f*@k?" the Times has disabled the comment function]

6 comments:

  1. I am speechless, but the cats are composing a response along just those lines...

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  2. Darren Naish covered a similar nutjob a while back at Tet Zoo.

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  3. Chris Brochu is suggesting that this may be a satire along the lines of Jonathan Swift's "Modest Proposal." I think he's being much too kind.

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  4. Will no one think of the plants?

    I love the way he dismisses Malthus (and modern ecology).

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  5. @Bob - you're absolutely right; I weep at the thought of all the grass that has been murdered by sheep

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  6. I am personally offended by that article. my babies!

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