Protesters shut down UVic Effective Altruism club screening of a TED Talk by Peter Singer, the utilitarian philosopher and animal rights activist who has argued that carnivorous animals should be holocausted for the greater good*.
However, it wasn’t Singer’s opposition to Predator Lives Matter that raised SJW ire:
The event, which featured a screening of a TED Talk on effective altruism by Princeton professor and ethicist Peter Singer followed by a Skype Q&A, was met with protest on the grounds of Singer’s past defense of the right of parents to euthanize severely disabled infants.
Protesters argued that giving Singer a platform was implicitly supporting the murder of disabled people, and that his views supported eugenics. Those in support of the event, meanwhile, argued protesters were infringing on people’s right to free speech. …
McOuat said the event was intended to discuss “practical ways we can end global poverty, promote animal welfare, and reduce existential risks like climate change.”
“For me, it just goes back to the fact that we’re not promoting his views on [euthanasia] at all,” McOuat said. “It’s just all about solving climate change and all the stuff that we can all agree on.” …
All the while, Singer’s TED Talk and Q&A continued, and the room grew cacophonous. Shouts of support for Singer’s free speech were met with chants of “eugenics is hate” and “disabled lives matter,” and neither side showed any signs of backing down.
Here’s the thing. As a subset of Silicon Valley’s rationality/transhumanism-sphere, the EA movement is highly intelligent, highly Jewish, highly autistic – and, of course, overwhelmingly liberal (this is meant to swiftly characterize, not to imply that any of these is a bad thing).
I was at EA Global 2016 and my impression was that a good 90% of them supported Clinton over Trump; most of the rest were libertarians, neoreactionaries, Thiel’s boys, or some conjunction thereof. I made a temporary alliance with a libertarian proponent of seasteading to defend Trump at Alexander Kustov’s stand devoted to immigration, where we gathered a small throng at the same time curious and bewildered by our political unorthodoxy. The ensuing debate, however, was very civil and pleasant.
This, perhaps, hints at the root of the problem. Whereas EA supports many “social justice” ideals, perhaps naively – as I pointed out, they tend to be avid pronents of open borders, even though its very doubtful that #WelcomeRefugees is ideal even from a strictly utilitarian, anti-national position – at heart they are high IQ liberals who tend to understand nuance and respect freedom of speech, whereas SJWs are average IQ authoritarian leftists who have no time for “freeze peach” or the smallest acts of deviationism.
As such, further collisions – or coalescence – are inevitable.
* EDIT: Was jst pointed out to me that the argument against the existence of predatory animals has been associated with some of Singer’s more radical fans, and not so much Singer himself: “Philosopher Peter Singer has argued that intervention in nature would be justified if one could be reasonably confident that this would greatly reduce wild animal suffering and death in the long run. In practice, however, Singer cautions against interfering with ecosystems because he fears that doing so would cause more harm than good.“