Thanks for getting in touch. Your comment was removed for misrepresenating our author's views, and also for making an ad hominem attack: "Peter Singer, who supports infanticide and euthanasia, is no person to lecture anyone about saving human lives". Both of these fall foul of our community standards, which can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/talkpolicy
Many thanks for your reply. Firstly, may I ask, in what way did my comment mispresent the author's views? Peter Singer's support for infanticide, euthanasia and eugenics is widely and authoritatively documented, and in my estimation they would, if fully implemented, lead to the deaths of many more human beings than those possibly attributable to Mr Mbeki.
Secondly, may I ask why you consider my comment to be an ad hominem attack? I did not attack Peter Singer as a person, I questioned his locus standi in a debate about saving human lives, because his views on infanticide, euthanasia and eugenics make his attack on Mbeki hypocritical. My comments re Singer are similar to those of Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal re Singer to the organisers of a Swedish book-fair in 1997: "A professor of morals ... who justifies the right to kill handicapped newborns ... is in my opinion unacceptable for representation at your level." http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/feder102898.asp
Thirdly, why did you deem my comments as mispresentations and ad hominem, but not those of "stevehill" on the Pope (or for that matter those of "nightships": "Mbeki most likely has AIDS himself and as usual the control freak, malignant narcissists, chronic scapegoater, uncorrectable grab bagger in denial, has sacrificed millions others with coercion, reckless abandon and impunity to promote his own out/hypocrite self image of good. Unfortunately the SOB is not alone. At this time and stage of world history there are one too many SOB like him. The top of the list starts with George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, mata hari Condi Rice, Tony Blair, Brown, Saddam. The Kenyan Presidents the current and Arap Moi, Robert Mughabee, Castro, A. Sharone, the Pakistani strong man Musarraf, to name a few.")
May I suggest that you have made an editorial misjudgement, reflecting the Guardian's support for its author Peter Singer and his views? As "Rapido" posted:
"Justification is that the comment criticised eugenics, infanticide and euthanasia and linked in Peter Singer's documented support of all three. Not allowed here. They only allow the Pope and Thabo to be called killers."
I look forward to hearing from you,
Thanks for your reply. While Peter Singer may indeed provide a philosophical justification for regarding the killing of newborns as less problematic than the killing of other human beings, this does not amount to advocating infanticide. As your comment conflated the two, it carried potential legal problems and, in such cases, we have to err on the side of caution.
Many thanks for your reply. Sorry, Todd, I didn't conflate the two: it is abundantly clear from Peter Singer's own words (see http://www.utilitarian.net/singer/by/1993----.htm and many other places online and in print) that he advocates legal permission for infanticide (as well as euthanasia, and eugenics generally), because he believes that killing certain newborns (and certain other human beings) is morally permissable, and at least as good as, and sometimes better, than not killing them. Your assertion that:
While Peter Singer may indeed provide a philosophical justification for regarding the killing of newborns as less problematic than the killing of other human beings, this does not amount to advocating infanticideis your rebuttable opinion, not fact. I don't see how publishing my comment could have caused legal problems for the Guardian - my interpretation of Singer's position is fair comment, and one which has been made online and in print all over the world for years. I await a reply to my second (re "ad hominem") and third (re the Pope and other figures) points.
The reason for your comments removal was the potential legal issue that arose. There is, indeed, a difference between advocating legal permission for infanticide (as you state below) and advocating infanticide (as your comment stated). The comment may have been an interpretation of Singer's position, but it was stated as fact, and out of context, which is where the legal problem arose.
Many thanks for your further reply. I really can't see how there could have been a potential legal issue. Countless times over recent decades, online and in print, all over the world, people have stated as fact Peter Singer's position in exactly the way that I did, and no legal issues have arisen. (In any case, Singer is clear in his work "Should the baby live?" (OUP, 1985) that new-borns in certain circumstances should be killed.) May I suggest that your assertion that
There is, indeed, a difference between advocating legal permission for infanticide (as you state below) and advocating infanticide (as your comment stated)and the deletion of my comments reflects the Guardian's own rebuttable opinion that pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion/infanticide? To advocate legal permission for infanticide is to advocate for and support infanticide. There is no effective or real difference between the two: it is a distinction without a difference. Your deletion of my comments denied Guardian readers the opportunity to challenge me on these points. My comments were not out of context: the context was an article in which Peter Singer expressed opinions about personal responsibility for lives which may be, or may have been, saved or lost as the consequence of an individual's ideas. My comments addressed the same subject and the credibility of Peter Singer's opinions on it. I still await a reply to my second (re "ad hominem") and third (re the Pope and other figures) points.