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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization
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on May 31, 2013
As a student currently in undergrad for theology at a Catholic college with an interest in ethics, I found this book to be both approachable and a good read. I love the basic setup of showing both Singer's and the Churches Views, followed by a breakdown of what is compatible along with the differences. I am glad Dr. Camosy did not shy away from being clear where the views did not align, and found the dialogue suggested for moving forward to be wonderfully articulated.

Overall I would suggest this book to anyone who is interested in Christian Ethics, and or Peter Singer's works. This thought provoking book is miles ahead of many Christians who don't want anything to do with Singer let alone compare his thoughts to Christianity. This work is a step in the right direction of dialogue between persons of faith and those of non-faith.

A great book that in my humble opinion asks you to set aside opinions of Singer and really get to know many of his beliefs in a way that makes you critically think about your personal ethics.

A wonderful read that I suggest to all!
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on March 9, 2016
This is a much ned christian understanding and interpretation of some of Peter Singer's philosophy. For someone like myself who is not well versed in philosophical arguements it can be at times a bit out of my depth and sorely trying my patience,but I like the logic and the reason.
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on August 29, 2016
Excellent. Worthwhile for all - especially those nonreligious - as this book explains fundamental Catholic ethics with clarity and finds commonalities with the atheist Singer. A valuable resource for any ethicist or ethics enthusiast. Debunks misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Camosy's book on abortion may be even better though.
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on October 24, 2013
If you are looking for a good example of an author framing his arguments to support his preconceptions, this is it. In almost every chapter the author has to stretch the limits of credulity to make the gap between Peter Singer's ethics and Christian ethics appear to be "quite narrow." For example, he argues that the Roman Catholic Church and therefore Christians in general hold that the embryo or fetus is a "potential person." While there may be some who agree to this, the overwhelming position of pro-life Christians is that the unborn child, in every stage, is a developing human person. That is, the unborn are already persons, not potential persons.
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on May 26, 2012
Unsurprisingly, Peter Singer attracts much rhetoric in response to his often controversial views. This masterly critique of his writings is to be commended therefore for its temperate tone, as well as its cogent counter-arguments to many of Singer's conclusions.

However the uniqueness of this book is its remarkable and, to this reader at least, very enlightening emphasis on the areas of philosphical reasoning where Singer and Christianity (and especially Catholicism) agree and the book clearly demonstrates that there are lots of them.

Little wonder then that Camosy has won the rare accolade of a cover commendation by the very philosopher under scrutiny. Even Singer himself is won over, as evidenced by his ringing endorsement of the book "as a valuable contribution to philosophy in general, and to applied ethics in particular". It certainly is and anyone interested in Singer - as a fan or foe, is bound to benefit from reading it.
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on April 16, 2016
I believe that this thoughtful book is of great importance to the transpartisan movement to which I have devoted my avocational life for almost 20 years, and to which I am now vocationally aligned.

Charles Camosy is not overtly a part of the transpartisan movement, but his focus on finding common ground between seemingly antithetical world views is more in keeping with the transpartisan vision, than many who ARE overtly in the movement. His incorporation of the full gamut of Christian thinkers (Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholid), instead of "merely" tackling Peter Singer in relation to his own Catholicism, is what makes this work so relevant to healing the body politic in the U.S., and bridging the partisan divide that threatens to tear us apart.

70% of Americans claim to be followers of Christ. In all four gospels, Jesus asserts that loving God and neighbor is the supreme commandment. And yet some 16,000 children under the age of 5 will die today, because collectively, we did not care enough about our global neighbors to make it otherwise. Yet, far too many Christians would rather engage in theological debates about the eternal fate of those 16,000 children, than to engage in compassionate dialogue with those who differ from us in myriad ways (but who also have compassion), to address this moral obscenity.

This refrain is ubiquitously repeated, by progressives from Jim Wallis to Marianne Williamson, but it is repeated primarily to the progressive choir, which tends overwhelmingly to demonize conservative evangelicals, who happen to believe that life begins at conception; or that marriage is between one man and one woman. We stand in intolerant judgment of them, in the name of toleration. And in so doing, we foreclose the chance to affirm our own claimed values -- of affirming the universal human dignity of every person.

I will continue to cite 3 additional books, as manifestos for the transpartisan movement -- the political movement to empower the collective wisdom and compassion of ALL American citizens, and to disrupt the two party plutocracy that keeps us so divided:

1. Voice of the People (by Jim Turner and Lawry Chickering, 2008)
2. Empowering Public Wisdom (by Tom Atlee, 2012)
3. The Reuninted States of American (by Mark Gerzon, 2016)

As well an important precursor to the movement, The Deliberative Democracy Handbook (edited by John Gastil and Peter Levine, 2005).

But none of those takes a Christian stance, and in their neutrality, are unable to fully affirm the possibility of ALL Christians joining the transpartisan movement, with all of the diversity (within and outside the faith) serving to increase the collective wisdom that is possible when we focus on what unites us, in a spirit of respectful dialogue, grounded in compassion.

I will leave it to others to split hairs (and many have), in criticizing Charles Camosy's valiant effort. For my part, I take far more inspiration from it than from the most brilliant hair splitters, who would rather win a debate, than dialogue about how we can co-create a just and sustainable world that works for all.

Norlyn Dimmitt, FSA
Co-founder, CompassionateCitizens.US
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on November 19, 2012
To understand what Christianity is; first read the Christian Bible, second, join a christian church and learn from other Christians, third, become a Christian and be baptized.
If someone wants to understand Christianity without becoming a Christian; Read the Catholic Church catechism and the scripture associated with each paragraph. Watch EWTN television.
Then you will be able to judge if Christianity is close to anything Peter Singer teaches.
The answer is Christians do not have to agree with Peter Singer about abortion to be able to help the poor people of this earth. In fact Peter Singer would like to do away with many of the poor people on this earth to make room for animals. Christians want to feed and love the poor not abort them away.
If you want to read Peter Singer; read his books about his ideas; no reason to connect him to Christianity.
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