As a member of the diplomatic corps in Tokyo, I would like to share my thoughts on Peter Singer’s article. Singer obviously capitalizes on the recent catastrophes in Myanmar and China to deliver to the distraught public a classical piece of atheist propaganda. It always strikes me how reliable anti-religious PR-practitioners are when disaster strikes and people suffer. They gently slide onto the scene and whisper their special form of consolation into the ears of the mourners: “Hey stupid! Still think your dead baby will live on in the afterlife? Forget it! Relinquish all your hopes!”

That’s quite a consolation, indeed, and so thoughtful, too! As if those mourners never came across the tormenting questions themselves: Why me? Why my loved ones? Why is all this happening at all? But hey, if Singer is just breaking the news to them that’s fine. Just lay it on ’em. Never mind if it breaks hearts — just so long as it’s the truth. Or is it?

I wonder what kind of logic is contained in Singer’s argument: The god who created this world is not, because we really don’t like what we see. All the thinking and teaching of countless philosophers and theologians throughout history surely deserve a slightly more subtle response.

If Singer was a philosopher who just “knew” he was right, wouldn’t he rather be silent in cases of great suffering, instead of spitting in the faces of mourning people? Why this loquacity, this notion of making a point in public? Couldn’t it be that he’s just singing in the woods, silently hoping for someone to respond and possibly come up with a better answer? There are better answers out there, indeed, if he would just listen.

martin eberts