A waiter in Houston, Michael Garcia, has come to know many of his customers as though they are family. Thus, when he saw some unfamiliar customers making rude comments about 5-year-old Milo Castillo, a child born with Down's syndrome, Michael felt the need to speak up. Apparently, one of the customers said, "special needs children need to be special somewhere else." And Michael responded by saying, "I'm not going to be able to serve you, sir."
According to reports, "The customer and his family left, but Milo's family had no idea of the incident until another server told them. Word of Garcia's "heroic" response got out after that, and before long his Facebook page was inundated with affirming comments—the media soon followed. The general sentiment is, "He stood up for Milo just because it was the right thing to do." This story highlights the fact that there is still a desire to affirm the value of human life, despite limitations. And, despite what secular professors teach about ethics today, our conscience is often the best guide with regard to respecting and valuing other people as human beings. Also, it's not enough to know what is right ethically, actions are also important.
Unfortunately, there is currently a trend towards dehumanization with regard to the teaching of ethics in universities in the US. For example, the "Distinguished Professor" Peter Singer at Princeton University offers at least three criteria by which he decides whether or not a human should be considered a person. One criterion focuses on the question of whether there is any interest in the person's life. A second criterion regards any evidence of a strong desire to live. And a third issue focuses on whether or not a being is able to project desires into the distant future. If a human being does not meet these minimal criteria, then it does not necessarily qualify as a person, at least as far as Peter Singer is concerned. Though highly lauded by secular academicians, the logic behind Singer's basic arguments on ethics is flawed.
The outpouring of public support for Michael Garcia and Milo Castillo suggests that many in the US public still by and large hold to the view than human life has great value, no matter what kind of limitations are experienced. Peter Singer promotes both infanticide and bestiality, and the views he holds are seen as quite cold and dehumanizing by people who believe that there is value in human life beyond mere utilitarian considerations. There is no reason to doubt that teaching dehumanizing views on the worth of human life will have the effect of creating a colder less-loving world. Sadly, we do see society becoming colder presently in this respect, as the Bible predicted would be the case:
"Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold."[Mat. 24.12 NIV]
This news story was first noted at BCN and the original report is linked here. Read original news post here.
Tags: ethics and human value, the conscience and ethics, dehumanization of society, Christian versus secular ethics. cold world ethics, Michael Garcia hero, Peter Singer dehumanizing ethics