Celebrated moral philosopher Peter Singer: It's okay to rape the mentally disabled

Do you know someone who’s mentally disabled?
If so, you should know that celebrated moral philosopher Peter Singer says it’s okay for them to be raped.

Peter Singer

Peter Singer, 70, is an Australian moral philosopher who is widely celebrated and recognized with:

  • The Order of Australia from the Australian government “for achievement or meritorious service”.
  • An endowed Ira W. DeCamp professorship at Princeton University.
  • A Laureate professorship at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne.

Singer specializes in applied ethics from a secular, utilitarian perspective. He calls his brand of ethics hedonistic utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the Bentham principle of “the greatest good of the greatest number”. Hedonistic utilitarianism is the belief that the best action is the one that maximizes utility, as defined in terms of the happiness and well-being of sentient entities, such as human beings and other animals. Hedonistic utilitarianism considers all interests — those of humans and nonhuman animals — equally.
Singer’s hedonistic utilitarianism led him to espouse:

  • Reduction of world poverty via citizens of rich nations giving some of their disposable income to charities that help the global poor.
  • Reduction of animal suffering via animal liberation and veganism.
  • Women’s absolute right to abort on the grounds that fetuses are not persons: they are neither rational nor self-aware, and can therefore hold no preferences.
  • Voluntary and some cases of involuntary (infanticide) euthanasia.
  • Bestiality that does not “harm” the animal and is “mutually satisfying”.
  • Infanticide of disabled newborn babies because “Human babies are not born self-aware, or capable of grasping that they exist over time. They are not persons.” Therefore, “the life of a newborn is of less value than the life of a pig, a dog, or a chimpanzee.” See DCG’s post here.

Singer’s latest contribution to ethics is in a New York Times op/ed he co-authored with Oxford moral philosopher Jeff McMahan, in defense of Anna Stubblefield, 45, a former professor of ethics at Rutgers University, recently convicted of sexually assaulting D.J., a 34-year-old black man with severe cerebral palsy who is non-verbal, wears a diaper, and requires assistance with common everyday tasks like bathing, eating and walking.

Although D.J. is incapable of communication, Stubblefield maintains that her use of a controversial method called “facilitated communication” enabled D.J. to express himself to her.

Note: “Facilitated communication” is a discredited technique whereby a facilitator helps a mentally disabled person to “communicate” by moving (or simply pulling) the disabled’s hand across a board showing the alphabet.

Stubblefield spent the next two years working with D.J. on his communication skills, during which time she claimed he was able to write essays and academic papers, including one which was presented at the 2010 Society for Disabilities Studies conference. She came to “love” D.J. and to believe that he loved her and wanted to have sex with her. (Daily Mail)
In May 2011, D.J. revealed his sexual relationship with Stubblefield to his brother and mother, who are his legal guardians. The family went to the police and sued Stubblefield.
In October 2015, a New Jersey jury convicted Anna Stubblefield on two counts of aggravated sexual assault on D.J., and sentenced her to 12 years in prison. The prosecution claimed that Stubblefield had exploited and raped D.J. because he is sufficiently intellectually disabled to be incapable of consenting to sex. The conviction is being appealed.
In their NYT op/ed, Singer and McMahan accuse the trial’s female judge of having prevented the defense from making a case that D.J. was a cognitively aware adult who is mentally and morally capable of consenting to sex. Singer and McMahan then argue that even if the prosecution is right and D.J. is mentally incapacitated, Stubblefield had done him no real harm in having sexual intercourse with him because D.J. is incapable of undertanding what she did. Furthermore, Stubblefield actually did D.J. “good” because he “experienced pleasure” from the sexual intercourse. The two ethicists write:

“If we assume that he is profoundly cognitively impaired … in that case, he is incapable of giving or withholding informed consent to sexual relations; indeed, he may lack the concept of consent altogether.
On the assumption that he is profoundly cognitively impaired, therefore, it seems that if Stubblefield wronged or harmed him, it must have been in a way that he is incapable of understanding and that affected his experience only pleasurably.”

As reported by Steve Weatherbe for LifeSiteNews, April 7, 2017, writing in Current Affairs, Nathan Robinson calls the ethicists’ argument one of Singer’s “most outrageous arguments yet” and that it’s Singer’s stance on the disabled that “has led some disabled people to get the not unreasonable impression that Peter Singer, perhaps the world’s most prominent ethicist, would prefer it if they died . . . . The 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.”
Robinson condemns utilitarianism in general for being “meticulous and Spock-like in their deductions from premises,” which leads them to “constantly end up endorsing the moral necessity of an endless number of inhumane acts. It’s a terrible philosophy that leads to brutal and perverse conclusions and, at its worst, it turns you into Peter Singer.”
The German Nazis, too, had their brand of hedonistic utilitarianism which justified their extermination of whole groups of people, including homosexuals, gypsies, the handicapped, and Jews — whom the Nazis called the bacillus race, responsible for humankind’s moral filth and degeneracy.
From “The Strange Case of Anna Stubblefield,” New York Times Magazine, October 20, 2015:

“Marjorie Anna Stubblefield goes by her middle name, pronounced with an aristocratic a, as in the word ‘‘nirvana.’’ Her last name is her former husband’s. Years ago, she was Margie McClennen, an honors student who grew up Jewish in the nearly all-white town of Plymouth, Mich.”

Peter Singer, too, is Jewish. His parents were Austrian Jews who immigrated from Vienna to Australia, where he was born. Singer’s grandparents were less fortunate: his paternal grandparents were taken by the German Nazis to Łódź, and were never heard from again; his maternal grandfather died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
But the irony of what Stubblefield did to D.J. and the similarities of Singer’s brand of ethics with Nazism evidently is lost on the esteemed ethicist.

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Amazing, so awful that anyone listens to him.


One day, these heartless monsters will face the lake of fire that they are so richly deserving of.


His philosophy matches that of Hitler and Mengele regarding attitudes towards the “inferior” in society. Are there some who may attain authority who would ever place “useless eaters” among the disposable any way you want to dispose of them category?


Previous to this notoriety I’d only heard of Singer’s work in the field of animal rights, and that was more than two decades ago. https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/animalrights.htm is a website that is as rational and anger-free as I can find that has him as a major moral supporter. As a Christian anarchist I’m interested in current anarchist thinking on a wide range of subjects. This site, https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/subversive-energy-beyond-animal-liberation, has an excellent survey contra to Singer’s strict vegan approaches, which are often loaded w/multiple moral & ethical issues. I find people in support of veganism frequently use emotionally loaded stances to ‘convince’ non-vegans of… Read more »


Then they should start with the democrat party members!


This guy might have a bunch of degrees, but he has no morals and he also has S–T for brains. Bestiality that does not “harm” the animal and is “mutually satisfying”??? Is he going to teach us how to talk to animals so the animal can say it was Mutually Satisfied??? What if the animal says NO? You going to lie, rape it and say it agreed to sex?


A prime example that “morals” are absolutes and “ethics” are whatever community standards people can be persuaded to accept for the “greater good” or so.


Nut jobs. Time for a cleansing “purge” of these USERS off the face of the Earth. No one will miss them….least of all their victims or intended victims.

True George

These people with the fancy degrees think they are so smart when in fact they are stupid

Steven Broiles

If I ruled the world with an iron hand, lowlife scum like Singer and Stubblefield would be hanged immediately upon conviction and without appeal. Singer is scum, and so is Stubblefield. And I am glad you mentioned Jeremy Bentham, whose utilitarianism is one of the founding planks of the eugenic ideology with its extinction protocols. I absolutely disagree with the Vatican II teaching of John Paul II of abolishing capital punishment: It is evil. I agree with St. Thomas Aquinas on the death penalty completely. God Sees the truth, but Waits. But His Holy Wrath is coming. Soon—as in our… Read more »


It doesn’t matter, he didn’t know, mutually satisfying with an animal, how would you know? Can you get much sicker?
It is hard to believe he is walking around with a license.
What she did was abuse, what he thinks is okay is demented. And to hide behind their so called education in what they think and do should be a crime.
I find them both utterly disgusting.


So where is Stubblefield’s research data? Where is the video proof showing DJ. is “choosing” the letters on the alphabet board to form words and sentences? I do have a problem with his “profound” diagnosis. If he was able to communicate to his mother and brother of his sexual relationship with Stubblefield, then his diagnosis is incorrect. There’s not a single person I’ve worked with over the years who was diagnosed as “profoundly” cognitively disabled who could verbally communicate a meaningful sentence. Some use individual words that represent basic needs at best. As far as sex goes, I’m sure it… Read more »


When I was at school all the “cool” kids were reading Singer’s animal liberation book. Even though I was a dumb, young and full of leftist ideologies the book never sat right with me. I could never accept one of the central premises in the book; that a baby was of less or equal value to a cow or pig. Alarm bells were ringing loudly. The person who could write this pompous, wordy, over interlectualized garbage was capable of a far worse atrocity than eating a couple of steaks. I could never admit that publicly back then though….!


So that’s what a creepy pedophile who also is into raping disabled people and farm animals looks like.
I stepped in something that looks like him the other day and had to take a stick and pick it out of the treads of my shoe.
This is so sick. Is he also a member of NAMBLA too? I bet he knows all about pizzagate as well. He’s one sick bastard. Figures he’s got all these high-falutin’ accolades from the most corrupt universities.


Dr E, can you tell me why I keep getting a stupid ‘security alert’ when I go on your website? It keeps coming up and then it’ll disappear saying something about the website certificate or some nonsense. It keeps happening to me, only on your site. Sometimes it keeps coming up and won’t go away and then I have to click off your pages.


Too bad he wasn’t aborted.


I did not read everything I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that what and how can any human being do what he did


[…] See also “Celebrated moral philosopher Peter Singer: It’s okay to rape the mentally disabled”. […]


Where to begin? I’ll give him the “hedonistic” component. I suppose his belief system has no room for “the least among us”. How does His Nibs know that animals find him “satisfying”? “The greatest good for the greatest number”. Sounds a bit like Satanism. “Do as thy wilt shall be the whole of the law”. I have mentioned that I have an autistic daughter. We were approached with this “facilitated communication” once. It is total hogwash. The communicator ALWAYS says what the facilitator wants to hear. There never seems to be a limit on self-serving schemes. Going to an “ethics… Read more »