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Singer, Peter

Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and the author of Practical Ethics

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4 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Público - Portugal | 15/02/2012

Peter Singer on strategies against Internet piracy

The protests against the Acta anti-counterfeiting agreement have triggered a global debate about Internet piracy. In the daily newspaper Público, Princeton professor of bioethics Peter Singer suggests the piracy problem could be solved by charging low fees for downloads: "One marvel of the Internet is that some of my older works, long out of print, are now far more widely available than they ever were before - in pirated versions. Of course, I am more fortunate than many authors or creative artists, because my academic salary means that I am not forced to rely on royalties to feed my family. Nevertheless, it isn't hard to find better purposes for my royalty earnings than Kim Dotcom's environmentally damaging lifestyle. We need to find a way to maximize the truly amazing potential of the Internet, while properly rewarding creators. ... A user fee could pay for it, and, if the fee were low enough, the incentive to use pirated copies would diminish. Couple that with law enforcement against the mega-abusing Web sites, and the problem might be soluble. Otherwise, most creative people will need to earn a living doing something else, and we will all be the losers."

Público - Portugal | 19/12/2011

Peter Singer on voluntary death as a civil right

Voluntary euthanasia is forbidden in most countries. But in a state that protects individual rights the freedom to decide how to die should be one of those rights, professor of bioethics Peter Singer comments in the daily Público: "Dudley Clendinen, a writer and journalist, has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a terminal degenerative illness. In The New York Times earlier this year, he wrote movingly both of his current enjoyment of his life, and of his plan to end it when, as he put it, 'the music stops'. ... If you tell your doctor that you have had enough, and that you would like his or her assistance in dying, you are asking your doctor to commit a crime. ... I suspect that, above all, mainstream politicians fear religious institutions that oppose voluntary euthanasia, even though individual believers often do not follow their religious leaders' views. Polls in various countries have shown that a majority of Roman Catholics, for example, support legalisation of voluntary euthanasia. Even in strongly Catholic Poland, more people now support legalization than oppose it. In any case, the religious beliefs of a minority should not deny individuals like Dudley Clendinen the right to end their lives in the manner of their own choosing."

Cyprus Mail - Cyprus | 29/04/2008

Peter Singer looks for moral progress

In a column for Project Syndicate, Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, ponders whether humanity can be said to be making moral progress in the light of the succession of atrocities perpetrated in recent decades. "There is more to the question than extreme cases of moral breakdown. ... In response to the crimes committed during World War II, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights sought to establish the principle that everyone is entitled to the same basic rights, irrespective of race, color, sex, language, religion, or other status. So, perhaps we can judge moral progress by asking how well we have done in combating racism and sexism. ... Recent polls by shed some indirect light on this question. ... Overall, it seems likely that these opinions reflect real changes, and thus are signs of moral progress toward a world in which people are not denied rights on the basis of race, ethnicity, or sex."

The Guardian - United Kingdom | 31/08/2007

The idolisation of Princess Diana

Peter Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, comments on the tenth anniversary of Princess Diana's death. "The media is filled with tributes and retrospectives, and all over the world the public seems to be avidly soaking it up. Has Diana become a new kind of saint ... ? ... From a rational perspective, this idolisation of Diana is as absurd as any cult. Granted, she used her prominence to promote worthwhile causes. She championed the sick and marginalised, and her work for a ban on landmines, while sometimes ridiculed as politically naive, drew worldwide attention to the issue. ... After her death, tens of millions grieved and many sent money to her memorial fund, which has a website called But if the work does continue, it is on a more modest scale that has settled into the background of public charitable work. ... perhaps those who identified so strongly with Diana imagined that they shared in her good deeds, and that they need not do anything more."

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