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Showing 1-10 of 13 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 22 reviews
on August 8, 2016
Very challenging concepts with real cases of highly provocative situations questioning our ethics around life and death. I loved this book for its care in research, well-presented​ dilemmas, and how it questioned many of our taken-for-granted assumptions about the way the world is or should be.
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on December 2, 2016
Basic book to understand the philosophies underpinning modern concerptions of life and death, in particular in the medical field
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on August 15, 2005
I never would have thought that I would come across a work of non-fiction that I couldn't put down, but here it is!

Fascinating and thought provoking, in Rethinking Life and Death, Singer shows how and why the western world has already started moving away from the Judeo-Christian sanctity of human life ethic. He sites the emphasis on 'brain death' and the acceptance of Galileo's discovery that we (humans) are not the center of the universe as the beginnings of the break down of this ethical system.

Singer reports where many western nations currently fall both legally and in mainstream medical practice with regard to controversial topics including abortion, infanticide, stem cell research, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. Furthermore, Singer uses well-reasoned logical arguments to show why these current interpretations of the sanctity of human life ethic are unsustainable.

In the last section of this book, Singer presents a working model for a new quality of life ethic and effortlessly shows how they would apply to situations in which our traditional ethic yields unsatisfactory results. Additionally, Singer shows the practical and moral justification for his most controversial stance - acceptance of infanticide.

One thing I really thought was magnificent about this book is that, while Singer obviously supports a shift to whole-hearted acceptance of a quality of life ethic, he doesn't insist that as a reader you agree with him. Singer leaves perfectly open the door of maintaining a sanctity of (all) life ethic; he just makes sure the reader understands the consequences of such an ethic in its pure and unadulterated form.

Once again, I have to compliment Singer on his amazing writing style. This book really reads more like a novel than a work of non-fiction. At the end of each section I was left on the edge of my seat, wondering what Singer would bring up next! Needless to say, I was never disappointed. Singer has wonderful wit and is equally critical of all sides of the argument. He also includes many telling narratives that make Rethinking Life and Death both entertaining and truly enlightening.

It is in no way surprising that many religious types will condemn this book. After reading Rethinking Life and Death, there is only one reasonable conclusion that one can come to: the Judeo-Christian sanctity of human life ethic is logically and morally indefensible. As individuals we can certainly choose to put our heads in the sand and ignore the problem, but as Singer states, "The question is not whether [the Judeo-Christian sanctity of human life ethic] will be replaced, but what the shape of its successor will be."
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on September 21, 2016
Serves it's purpose for my ethics class. Reading was interesting
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on December 29, 2016
Love it.
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on October 27, 2011
Peter Singer is arguably the sharpest thinker about these issues. In this book he illustrates the irrationality and inconsistency of our current laws and most people's thinking about issues of life and death through varied medical examples across the world. Ethics of abortion, euthanasia, and treatment of people in comas all get a rigorous treatment within the book. The author argues that medical decisions and laws as well as the religious and political positions of the past have been incoherent - a hodgepodge of patches that more quickly demonstrate the crumbling of the framework still in use, rather than a nuanced view of life and death.

Through lucid arguments, the author shows a more coherent ethic that answers the pressing concerns of our ever-growing medical capabilities, responds in a humane way to the thousands of people who wish to end their life rather than suffer (and pull their families and doctors through suffering), and a multitude of other issues that affect millions of lives.

In the end he shares a coherent set of five mutually-compatible positions that are a worthy, and a much-needed replacement to what is currently in use.
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on June 16, 2015
Made me think about my on life and death!
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on August 29, 2015
book in good condition !
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on August 29, 2011
Dr. Singer's work is quite helpful in the statistics he cites, the anecdotal stories he tells, and his articulation of his views. The most startling aspect of this work is the fact that based on a few stories concerning individual situations, he draws conclusions and expects his readers to follow him in them which have sweeping implications for how society should view the sanctity of human life. When the reader comes to the conclusion of the book, she will find that the conclusion is far more implied than overtly stated. If this is how one prefers a philosophical book to end, then this will be delightful. The book is worth reading, but beware to two opposite schools of thought: To the physicalist, you will find an implied conclusion and a lack of syllogistic argumentation for your presuppositions. To the personalist, you will find that the conclusion can be quite slippery to refute, because of its implied nature as opposed to an outright assertion.
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on May 13, 2015
Peter Singer is God
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