Letters to the editor — Monday (1-5-2015)

Published 12:15 am Monday, January 5, 2015

Build on Salisbury/Rowan vision for future

Despite a few setbacks, Salisbury/Rowan County has visionaries willing to make changes in this area for the better. We all stumble a little at times. The important point is to pick ourselves up and move forward.

The expansion of jobs by Gildan Yarns indicates textiles can come back to North Carolina. The solar panels in Cleveland show we can use advanced energy technologies. The manufacturing of natural gas fuel systems by Agility FS shows the concern for cleaner air and the Integro Technology building in downtown, along with other downtown growth, shows the value of preserving the beauty of our downtown.

I especially enjoy the vitality of our downtown. Having the main library, dining, entertainment and shopping all within walking distance of each other is a great service. When I was looking to relocate several years ago I wanted an active downtown and public transportation in a community with a strong artistic pride. I’m happy to say I found that in Salisbury.

— Berdie Tompkins


Ethics and the right to life

Betsey Stephens died Dec. 23. Medical exams reveal she died of starvation. She was 22 days old. Ruby and Roy Stephens are charged with first-degree murder. 

Humanity universally condemns gratuitous killing of children. A handful of philosophers and bioethicists, though, think infants younger than 28 days should have no legal claim to the right to life. Chief among this elite intellectual group is Princeton philosopher Peter Singer. Singer is recognized as an expert of sorts in the academic world. His area of expertise … ethics. Betsey’s murder presents the philosopher an opportunity to make his case to the ethics-impoverished masses that insist life must be cherished simply because it’s human. According to the eminent bioethicist’s criteria, Betsey had not attained full personhood, thus was entitled to no rights and her parents should have the legal option to terminate her life. 

If Singer were just another quirky, arrogant philosopher relegated to academic obscurity, his ideas would matter less than the future collision of Andromeda with the Milky Way. Media coverage and public interest in Singer should be intense, as the president appointed the philosopher a consultant to the committee that wrote the Affordable Health Care Act. What equitable or sensible solutions can we expect from a philosopher who uses intellectual tools to negate the newborns’ right to life? 

Free speech is meaningless if the press fails to inform the public on crucial social and political issues. It’s time for the American public to acquaint itself with Peter Singer. And politicians with ethical standards so turbulent they consult Singer on ethics-related issues. 

The American public is not so clumsy at sorting out matters of right and wrong that it must rely on ethicists that can find no valid objection to the casual killing of newborns.

— Tony Castelvecchi