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Peter Singer's Quotes

Peter Singer profile photo

Born: 1946-07-06
Profession: Philosopher
Nation: Australian
Biography of Peter Singer

See the gallery for quotes by Peter Singer. You can to use those 8 images of quotes as a desktop wallpapers.
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If we all think only of our own interests, we are headed for collective disaster - just look at what we are doing to our planet's climate.

Tags: Disaster, Interests, Planet

If we can put a man on the moon and sequence the human genome, we should be able to devise something close to a universal digital public library.

Tags: Able, Human, Put

In most of the world, it is accepted that if animals are to be killed for food, they should be killed without suffering.

Tags: Accepted, Food, Suffering

Knowledge is generally considered a good thing; so, presumably, knowing more about how the U.S. thinks and operates around the world is also good.

Tags: Good, Knowing, Knowledge

There is no humane slaughter requirement for wild fish caught and killed at sea, nor, in most places, for farmed fish.

Tags: Fish, Nor, Sea

Ancient recipients of instant news probably couldn't do very much about it, for instance. Xerxes would still need three months to get his army together, and he might not get home for years.

Tags: Home, Three, Together

I am not saying that factory farming is the same as the Holocaust or the slave trade, but it's clear that there is an immense amount of suffering in it, and just as we think that the Nazis were wrong to ignore the suffering of their victims, so we are wrong to ignore the sufferings of our victims.

Tags: Ignore, Saying, Suffering

I don't think there's much point in bemoaning the state of the world unless there's some way you can think of to improve it. Otherwise, don't bother writing a book; go and find a tropical island and lie in the sun.

Tags: Book, Lie, Writing

I would like us to think about it more explicitly, and not take our intuitions as the given of ethics, but rather to reflect on it, and be more open about the fact that something is an ethical issues and think what we ought to do about it.

Tags: Ethics, Fact, Rather

I'm not overly alarmist about it, but I do think there are some worrying signs, like the growing accumulation of wealth by a very small proportion of the population, plus elections in the US are much more dominated by money than anywhere else calling itself a democracy.

Tags: Democracy, Money, Small

If governments did not mislead their citizens so often, there would be less need for secrecy, and if leaders knew they could not rely on keeping the public in the dark about what they are doing, they would have a powerful incentive to behave better.

Tags: Dark, Often, Powerful

If you go back in time you'll find tribes that were essentially only concerned with their own tribal members. If you were a member of another tribe, you could be killed with impunity.

Tags: Another, Concerned, Time

If you're buying animal products and can go to the farm and actually see how the animals are looked after, yes, that's an important point. That's definitely the best way of assuring yourself that the animals are being well treated.

Tags: After, Best, Yourself

Interest in business ethics courses has surged, and student activities at leading business schools are more focused than ever before on making business serve long-term social values.

Tags: Business, Making, Social

My work is based on the assumption that clarity and consistency in our moral thinking is likely, in the long run, to lead us to hold better views on ethical issues.

Tags: Moral, Thinking, Work

What is faith? If you believe something because you have evidence for it, or rational argument, that is not faith. So faith seems to be believing something despite the absence of evidence or rational argument for it.

Tags: Believing, Faith, Seems

When fish experience something that would cause other animals physical pain, they behave in ways suggestive of pain, and the change in behaviour may last several hours.

Tags: Change, Experience, Pain

Animals, or at least those who are conscious and capable of suffering or enjoying their lives, are not things for us to use in whatever way we find convenient.

Tags: Lives, Suffering, Whatever

As we realize that more and more things have global impact, I think we're going to get people increasingly wanting to get away from a purely national interest.

Tags: Away, Interest, Realize

Bush is morally a universalist. For instance, he says the freedom is good, the same thing is good, all over the world. So in that sense he's a universalist.

Tags: Freedom, Good, Sense

Bush sees the evil as out there in the wider world, residing in people who 'hate freedom'. Look at his immediate response to the pictures of prisoner abuse; this is not what Americans do, these are not our values.

Tags: Evil, Freedom, Hate

Do business managers have a commitment to anything more than the success of their company and to making money? It would be hard to say that they do. Indeed, many business leaders deny that there is any conflict between self-interest and the interests of all.

Tags: Business, Money, Success

Every profession will have its rogues, of course, no matter what oaths are sworn, but many health care professionals have a real commitment to serving the best interests of their clients.

Tags: Best, Care, Health

For example, one way of giving yourself a strong incentive to reach your goal is to commit to pay money to someone if you fail. Better yet, you can specify that you will have to pay a certain sum to a cause that you detest.

Tags: Money, Strong, Yourself

Had Rumsfeld said at any time 'get me a report on what's going on', he could have had it. You're right, it depends on choices that we make, which parts of the world we want to be in immediate contact with.

Tags: Choices, Said, Time

I believe that nationalism is a very strong force, but there are other forces operating; there are tendencies pushing towards a larger picture, especially in Europe, I think; but I still think nationalism is real.

Tags: Picture, Real, Strong
Much more quotes by Peter Singer below the page.

I can tell you that too much money is corrupting American politics. Don't blame the American public. The U.S. Supreme Court has a lot to answer for, because it has made it impossible for Congress to reduce the corrupting influence of money on American political life.

Tags: Life, Money, Politics

I honestly don't know, but if America continues to refuse to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, I see a bleak future not only for American society, but for the world as a whole. This is a global problem that is not going away, and the United States is an obstacle to solving it.

Tags: America, Future, Society

I suppose what's happened recently has confirmed suspicions I voiced in the book, and I think made clearer some of those things that I point out. For instance I have a section of the book where I talk about the possibility of torture.

Tags: Book, Point, Talk

If we are concerned about the exploitation of human workers in countries with low standards of worker protection, we should also be concerned about the treatment of even more defenceless non-human animals.

Tags: Concerned, Countries, Human

In a democracy, citizens pass judgment on their government, and if they are kept in the dark about what their government is doing, they cannot be in a position to make well-grounded decisions.

Tags: Dark, Democracy, Government

In a situation where many national leaders do the same thing and look out for national interests, and with an issue like global warming, you're likely to get no solution, so I think you have to have some kind of ethical trump on some of those issues.

Tags: Leaders, National, Situation

In the sense that you're not at the centre of power, like a president or prime minister of a major power, everyone is marginalised; my position doesn't isn't unique in that respect. I think there are different sorts of relevance in different contexts.

Tags: Power, Respect, Sense

It means that, in fact, it's - whether fascist is the right word I don't know - more of a plutocracy than anything resembling a democracy; it has become a nation controlled by a very small, very wealthy elite.

Tags: Become, Democracy, Small

It's also much clearer how much damage the occupation of Iraq is doing to America's reputation and prestige around the world; and that's just starting now to hit home in the United States.

Tags: America, Home, Reputation

Of those who die from avoidable, poverty-related causes, nearly 10 million, according to UNICEF, are children under five. They die from diseases such as measles, diarrhoea, and malaria that are easy and inexpensive to treat or prevent.

Tags: Children, Die, Treat

Privacy about giving is counterproductive. There is solid scientific research showing that people are more likely to give if they can see that others are giving. The richest people, in particular, should be setting an example.

Tags: Give, Giving, Others

So I think ethics is the broader thing that's less focused on prohibitions and is more perhaps looking at principles and questions and ideas about how to live your life.

Tags: Less, Life, Looking

So, basically, my view is I don't want to support the exploitation of animals, and within reason, I will do what I can to avoid it, but it's not like it's a religion for me. It's not like I consider I'm polluted if somehow some bit of milk or cheese or something passes my lips.

Tags: Reason, Religion, Support

Sometimes we know the best thing to do, but fail to do it. New year's resolutions are often like that. We make resolutions because we know it would be better for us to lose weight, or get fit, or spend more time with our children. The problem is that a resolution is generally easier to break than it is to keep.

Tags: Best, Children, Time

The hope of Internet anarchists was that repressive governments would have only two options: accept the Internet with its limitless possibilities of spreading information, or restrict Internet access to the ruling elite and turn your back on the 21st century, as North Korea has done.

Tags: Accept, Done, Hope

The idea that we can actually have an impact on places more or less instantly, too, by responding in some way or not responding, I think, also makes it true.

Tags: Idea, Makes, True

The Pentagon said that these prisoners were kept in accordance with the Geneva Convention, and of course I was not reassured by that, but I couldn't prove that that was wrong; so we're clearer about that.

Tags: Prove, Said, Wrong

Then I think the sense of it being one community breaks down; but if you know instantly and respond within twenty-four hours, it's a very different sort of situation.

Tags: Sense, Situation, Within

There is no doubt that there is a huge difference between human and nonhuman animals. But what we are overlooking is the fact that nonhuman animals are conscious beings, that they can suffer.

Tags: Between, Doubt, Human

They tend to be pretty abstract ones then, like doing what will have the best consequences; obviously you wouldn't specify what consequences are best, they may be different in some circumstances, so at a lower, more specific level, you may well get differences.

Tags: Best, May, Pretty

To be a utilitarian means that you judge actions as right or wrong in accordance with whether they have good consequences. So you try to do what will have the best consequences for all of those affected.

Tags: Best, Good, Judge

Today, if you have an Internet connection, you have at your fingertips an amount of information previously available only to those with access to the world's greatest libraries - indeed, in most respects what is available through the Internet dwarfs those libraries, and it is incomparably easier to find what you need.

Tags: Greatest, Internet, Today

We may feel the pain of falling back from a level of affluence to which we have grown accustomed, but most people in developed countries are still, by historical standards, extraordinarily well off.

Tags: May, Off, Pain

We need to learn how to capture and kill wild fish humanely - or, if that is not possible, to find less cruel and more sustainable alternatives to eating them.

Tags: Fish, Learn, Less

We need to recognise that what really matters isn't buying more and more consumer goods, but family, friends, and knowing that we are doing something worthwhile with our lives. Helping to reduce the appalling consequences of world poverty should be part of that reassessment.

Tags: Family, Friends, Poverty

We recognize the chicken as another conscious being. It's different from us, but it has a life, and if something is really important for that chicken, if it would work hard to try to get it, and if we can give it without sacrificing something that's really important to us, then we should.

Tags: Hard, Life, Work

We see things like reciprocity which are fairly central to our view of ethics. But if you're talking about a set of worked-out rules on what we are supposed to do then, yes, it is a human product.

Tags: Human, Rules, Talking

Well the real concept of basic needs if you cut it right down are simply the physical needs that are unavoidable for all of us. So to have enough calories to keep our bodies going. Have shelter from extreme elements. To have water that is safe to drink, So I think that's the core of it.

Tags: Enough, Keep, Real

What you could say, and what I do argue in the book, is that he doesn't have as much concern for the lives of Iraqis as he does for the lives of Americans, or even frozen American embryos.

Tags: American, Book, Lives

Without in any way minimising the economic and psychological blow that people experience when they lose their jobs, the unemployed in affluent countries still have a safety net, in the form of social security payments, and usually free healthcare and free education for their children. They also have sanitation and safe drinking water.

Tags: Children, Education, Experience

You might hold an ethical position that it's wrong to lie, but if you have plans for a war in Iraq, and you want to keep them secret for practical reasons - to reduce casualties, perhaps - and someone asks you about those plans, you may need to lie for a 'good' outcome.

Tags: Good, Someone, War

Human decision-making is complex. On our own, our tendency to yield to short-term temptations, and even to addictions, may be too strong for our rational, long-term planning.

Tags: Human, May, Strong

The new freedom of expression brought by the Internet goes far beyond politics. People relate to each other in new ways, posing questions about how we should respond to people when all that we know about them is what we have learned through a medium that permits all kinds of anonymity and deception.

Tags: Freedom, Learned, Politics

All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals.

Tags: Cannot, Hard, Suffering

That's a central part of philosophy, of ethics. What do I owe to strangers? What do I owe to my family? What is it to live a good life? Those are questions which we face as individuals.

Tags: Family, Good, Life

The belief that the animals exist because God created them - and that he created them so we can better meet our needs - is contrary to our scientific understanding of evolution and, of course, to the fossil record, which shows the existence of non-human primates and other animals millions of years before there were any human beings at all.

Tags: Belief, God, Human

More often there's a compromise between ethics and expediency.

Tags: Between, Compromise, Often

But I think the majority of cows, and even more so chickens and pigs, are leading pretty miserable lives.

Tags: Lives, Miserable, Pretty

The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval.

Tags: Human, Life, Sacred

An animal experiment cannot be justifiable unless the experiment is so important that the use of a brain-damaged human would be justifiable.

Tags: Cannot, Human, Unless

Business ethics has always had problems that are distinct from those of other professions, such as medicine, law, engineering, dentistry, or nursing.

Tags: Business, Law, Problems

Knowing that we can control our own behaviour makes it more likely that we will.

Tags: Control, Knowing, Makes

Scholars have long dreamed of a universal library containing everything that has ever been written.

Tags: Library, Universal, Written

The Internet, like the steam engine, is a technological breakthrough that changed the world.

Tags: Changed, Engine, Internet

We should aim for our children to be good people, and to live ethical lives that manifest concern for others as well as for themselves.

Tags: Children, Good, Others

At the descriptive level, certainly, you would expect different cultures to develop different sorts of ethics and obviously they have; that doesn't mean that you can't think of overarching ethical principles you would want people to follow in all kinds of places.

Tags: Ethics, Expect, Mean

Can we really believe that we are living a good life, an ethically decent life if we don't do anything serious to help reduce poverty around the world and help save the lives of children or adults who are likely to die if we don't increase the amount of aid we are giving.

Tags: Children, Good, Life

We have a new generation of very rich people who want to do more with their money than buy a lot of expensive toys. They want to live meaningful lives.

Tags: Lives, Money, Rich

Bush doesn't present himself as a realpolitik politician.

Tags: Himself, Politician, Present

Dolphins are social mammals, capable of enjoying their lives. They form close bonds with other members of their group.

Tags: Group, Lives, Social

Grain that is used to feed animals that end up on our tables as turkeys and hams could have gone to feed starving people.

Tags: End, Gone, Used

I don't think nationalism is alone holding the field; it's in contention with a lot of different things.

Tags: Alone, Contention, Holding

I don't think there's anything in the compromise that means that there's a clash of ethics.

Tags: Compromise, Ethics, Means

I don't understand the notion that modern farming is anything do to with nature. It's a pretty gross interference with nature.

Tags: Nature, Pretty, Understand

I think ethics is always there; it's not always a very thoughtful or reflective ethics.

Tags: Ethics, Reflective, Thoughtful

I'm a Utilitarian, so I don't see the rule against lying as absolute; it's always subject to some overriding utility which may prevent its exercise.

Tags: Against, Exercise, May

Real estate is one sector that India is not very proud of.

Tags: India, Proud, Real

As reforms have come into India, as India has started opening up, prosperity is increasing, as is demand for urban housing.

Tags: India, Prosperity, Started

I am a little extrovert.

Tags: Extrovert

I learned a lot from Jack Welch about how to run a business.

Tags: Business, Learned, Run

If it was not for Rajiv Gandhi, urbanization in India would have been history.

Tags: Gandhi, History, India

In urbanization, you think big because you are thinking decades ahead.

Tags: Big, Thinking

Land is an emotional subject with a farmer in India because it is his only means of income.

Tags: Emotional, Land, Means

Urban development in India... will be the biggest sunrise industry that any country has seen in any part of the world.

Tags: Country, Seen, Sunrise

Without land, how can you have development of roads, highways, townships, etc?

Tags: Etc, Land, Roads

When a person is dispossessed of his land, there is a reaction and you have to deal with the reaction properly. You just can't deal with the reaction by giving him money.

Tags: Giving, Him, Money

My father has been my role model. And I always looked up to him - be it his management philosophy or his approach towards life.

Tags: Father, Him, Life

There is a lot of opportunity sitting in global healthcare business. I think there is a strong opportunity to build upon for further growth.

Tags: Business, Growth, Strong

We are confident that shared values of Wockhardt Hospitals and Fortis Healthcare will form the basis for our continued success in the future.

Tags: Future, Success, Values

Healthcare is a very complicated business and you need a very different business model to be successful in India; yet at a global level, there are a lot of challenges and opportunities.

Tags: Business, Level, Successful

Quality Healthcare is a premier healthcare brand in Hong Kong and is the leading private healthcare provider there. We are believers in long-term growth prospects of the Asian healthcare space and the benefits of a world-class pan-Asian integrated healthcare delivery system.

Tags: Growth, Quality, Space