Tony Little, headmaster of Eton, has imparted his wisdom to the non-Etonians in the form of a list of books “every bright 16-year-old should read.” So far so predictable. However, I fell off my chair when I read that under ethics Rethinking Life and Death by Princeton Professor Peter Singer was recommended.
Peter Singer believes we should be able to kill newborn babies. No, that is not an exaggeration. Peter Singer is known as Professor Death in some quarters and is a leading architect of the culture of death.
Singer writes, in Rethinking Life and Death:
“Human babies are not born self-aware or capable of grasping their lives over time. They are not persons. Hence their lives would seem to be no more worthy of protection than the life of a fetus.”
He also believes that “the notion that human life is sacred just because it’s human is medieval.” He thinks we should all move on from the fundamental Judaeo-Christian value that all human life is sacred.
Instead the key questions are, is this being/entity self-aware and conscious of suffering? If so they have rights – so animals such as gorillas are in, but babies with Down’s syndrome are most certainly out.
Most of this killing of newborns and the disabled is for their own good, of course, and in the name of compassion. Hence why Singer is a major advocate for euthanasia. In light of the recent push for legalised doctor-assisted suicide perhaps we should not be surprised at the inclusion of this book in a list to be read by the brightest and best – the future legislators of Britain.
If this is what these future leaders are being exposed to then it is absolutely no surprise that we end up with the culture we have.
I, for one, am shocked that this book is there, unless it is to imbue our youth with fortitude and awareness of what they are up against. This is the challenge, young soldiers; you better saddle up to protect 2000 years of Christianity as the sanctity of life is under constant attack. But I doubt that is its purpose.
While I am at it, I would like to propose my own list of books that every bright 16-year-old conservative lady should read. Here goes:
All of Jane Austen but if pressed:
Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
Dark Places, Kate Grenville
Sacred Hunger, Barry Unsworth
Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
1984, George Orwell
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
How to be a Conservative, Roger Scruton
On Liberty, John Stewart Mill
Fundamentals of Ethics, John Finnis
Natural Law and Natural Rights, John Finnis
How to Cook, 1, 2, & 3, Delia Smith
Taking Control of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler
The Rules, Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider
The Marriage Files, Patricia Morgan
A Return to Modesty, Wendy Shalit
You will thank me when you are done!