A professor at Princeton University argues that the rape of a man with cerebral palsy is perfectly fine and should be legal – especially when the intellectually disabled person does not understand sexual “consent.”
Peter Singer – a bioethicist who champions infanticide and bestiality at the acclaimed Ivy League school – insists that because a mentally challenged individual cannot comprehend the concept of consent to have sex, raping that individual should not be considered harmful.
The tenured professor shared his take on the topic while writing a New York Times op-ed in defense of former Rutgers University ethics professor, Anna Stubblefield, who was imprisoned for aggravated sexual assault of a man diagnosed with cerebral palsy. In October 2015, she was convicted of the crime.
“Stubblefield was sentenced to 12 years in prison because she committed illicit sex acts with a 29-year-old man named D.J. who has cerebral palsy,” The Christian Post (CP) recounted. “The sexual relationship took place over a two-year period and Stubblefield reportedly believed that D.J. communicated to her that he loved and wished to have sex with her through the use of a discredited pseudoscientific technique she employed called ‘facilitated communication’ or ‘supported typing.’”
According to Singer, the judge and jury got it all wrong.
“[Stubblefield] is a victim of grievous and unjust harms, [and her sentence was] disproportionate to the nature of the crime [and] outrageous,” the Ivy Leaguer said, contending that any harm to the man caused by Stubblefield was not proven by the prosecutor in the court case.
He went on to concede that even though Stubblefield could have possibly wronged the man in some way, he is uncertain as to what wrong she actually committed.
“It seems reasonable to assume that the [sexual] experience was pleasurable to him; for even if he is cognitively impaired, he was capable of struggling to resist,” rationalized Singer, who co-authored the op-ed with Jeff McMahan – a former philosophy professor at Rutgers University where Stubblefield taught who currently teaches moral philosophy at Oxford University.
The two professors believe that the convicted rapist, Stubblefield, was the one who suffered the most from the matter.
“For someone to spend 12 years in prison for a sexual act that took place in the context of a long-term, caring relationship that was motivated by love – at least on Stubblefield’s part – and about which there is no evidence that it caused any harm is, in our view, outrageous,” Singer and McMahan asserted.
They also view the damages awarded to the family of the man with cerebral palsy to be absurd.
“In October 2016, it was announced that D.J.’s family – which had filed a civil suit against Stubblefield – had been awarded $4 million by another New Jersey court – $2 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages,” the scholars pointed out in their opinion piece. “The press report quotes the family’s attorney as saying that ‘my clients are victims of a horrible predator,’ to which he added the gloating comment that ‘she’s got 12 years to think about it.’”
The Princeton and Oxford professors argue that Stubblefield – and not the mentally impaired man – is the true victim.
“But just as there is little reason to suppose that Stubblefield harmed D.J., so it is difficult to see what harm she inflicted on his family members,” Singer and McMahan concluded. “If anything, she tried to help them by working to communicate with D.J. for two years without asking for or receiving any fee. She has now endured a harrowing trial, is separated from her teenage daughter and is facing 12 years in prison. Despite the complexities of the incident and the trial, we believe that Stubblefield herself is a victim of grievous and unjust harms.”
Lapse of morality …
Emphasizing the amoral nature of Singer – who has publicly supported killing children and newborns who are developmentally disabled – First Things Assistant Editor Alexi Sargeant contends that his rationalization of the rape would fall on disbelieving or deaf ears if he did not have an audience as a professor from a respected university – with intellectuals who overthink issues.
“The things Singer advocates for are often the types of wrongs that no one would even think of if they weren’t a specialist,” Sargeant told CP Wednesday. “He commits errors that only people who are in the weeds of philosophy who would even think of committing because common sense and regular decency cry out against them.”
The editor from the journal of Christian thought believes that Singer gives ethics a bad name, insisting that it is “scandalous” for anyone to consider him an authority on moral thought – especially given his track record of advocating virtually all things that have been deemed as evil in society for millennia.
“I think other ethicists should really condemn his statements and dissociate from him,” Sargeant continued. “He really leaves the impression that justifying the unjustifiable is what ethics is for.”
The pro-family advocate was amazed at Singer’s audacity to justify sexually assaulting someone because the victim is mentally disabled.
“[Singer has likely] become interested in taking controversial stances for the sake of the controversy [and is] doing this out a spirit of cranky contrarianism,” Sargeant impressed. “On the other hand, not implausible that he is simply following through with the uncomfortable implications of his broader philosophy.”
Current Affairs Editor Nathan Robinson agreed with Sargeant’s assessment of Singer, saying that it is “jaw-droppingly repulsive” to defend a colleague’s rape of a person afflicted with cerebral palsy.
“Let’s be clear on what they are saying – if someone is intellectually disabled enough, then it might be okay to rape them, so long as they don’t resist, since a lack of physical struggle justifies an assumption that someone is enjoying being raped,” Robison emphasized. “Note that his reasoning would also justify sexually molesting infants, who are likewise incapable of understanding the notion of consent.”
Justifying sexual assault is a utilitarian philosophy that should be eradicated from modern teachings, says the editor.
“Utilitarians are meticulous and Spock-like in their deductions from premises, but their impeccable logic inevitably leads toward utterly horrifying or bizarre conclusions that totally conflict with people’s most basic shared moral values,” Robinson maintained. “[T]he continued presence of Peter Singer in national dialogue about disability shows just how far we have to go before people like D.J. will actually be granted their full humanity – by prosecutors and philosophers alike.”
Defending the unthinkable
Singer’s disturbingly controversial stances on issues were also highlighted a decade ago, when he was asked, ‘Would you kill a disabled baby?’” Unapologetically, he responded affirmatively, ultimately attempting to justify abortion and euthanasia.
“Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole,” Singer rationalized back in 2006 in an interview with the United Kingdom’s Independent News. “Many people find this shocking, yet they support a woman’s right to have an abortion. One point on which I agree with opponents of abortion is that – from the point of view of ethics rather than the law – there is no sharp distinction between the fetus and the newborn baby.”
Rejecting the sanctity of human life, the inherent dignity of man and the biblical concept that man was created in the image and likeness of God, Singer surprisingly told the interviewer that he would rather kill 10 cows than a human – but his reasoning was based in his godless rationale.
“I’ve written that it is much worse to kill a being who is aware of having a past and a future, and who plans for the future,” Singer answered. “Normal humans have such plans, but I don’t think cows do. And normal humans have family and friends who will grieve their death in ways more vivid and longer-lasting than the way cows may care about other cows. (Although a cow certainly misses her calf for a long time, if the calf is taken from her. That’s why there is a major ethical problem with dairy products.) If I really had to make such a decision, I’d kill the cows.”
Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Executive Director Alex Schaadenberg insists that Singer’s value on human life comes straight out of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
“Once again, Singer is making distinctions between human beings he would consider normal and those he would consider not normal – thus he is deciding who is a person and who is not,” Schaadenberg told LifeSiteNews in September 2006, shortly after Singer’s interview was published. “Non-persons are allowed to be killed. Even though Singer does not like to be compared to the Nazi’s – especially since his parents died in the Holocaust – his philosophical position is identical to what the Nazi’s proposed. The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is primarily concerned for the lives of people with disabilities and other vulnerable persons.”
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