Monday, June 11, 2012

Peter Singer receives top Australian honour

Today, June 11, Australia has been celebrating the birthday of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth. It's a tradition dating from the first British settlement in Australia, back in 1788. Quaintly, we don't actually celebrate Her Majesty's actually birthday, which is 21 April, but instead celebrate an "official birthday" in June.

To mark the occasion, the Queen's representative in Australia (the Governor-General) announces various honours that have been awarded to leading citizens. Honours typically go to retired policians, judges, generals, and worthy scholars who have received the Nobel Prize or have otherwise distinguished themselves.

Except that this year, the highest honour, Companion of the Order of Australia has gone to Peter Singer, an professor who has instead distinguished himself by his attacks on traditional human values. While promoting animal rights, he sees nothing wrong with killing human babies after birth.

As an Australian Government's website says, "Honours help define, encourage and reinforce national aspirations, ideals and standards by identifying role models".

So presumably Peter Singer is now to be regarded as embodying Australian ideals and standards. The Australian community has moved yet further from the idea that there's anything specical or "sacred" about human life.

And, yes, one step closer to the extermination of anyone who doesn't fit the national aspirations. Look out if you're disabled, too old, or can't pass as a bronzed Aussie sportsperson!

To put it another way, the mainstream has again shown its contempt for traditional ideas and human values.

As an aside, people will criticise the Australian Government about this, so let's look at the actual process. The political head, the Prime Minister, effectively appoints members of the "Council for the Order of Australia". (Actually, the Prime Minister asks the Governor-General to appoint them, and this request is always accepted.)

The Council is an independent body and prepares the nominations for awards direct to the Governor-General. So the Australian Government is not responsible for the award to Peter Singer. Merely for creating the body that made the decision.

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