Archive for the ‘Eugenicists’ Category

Born Alive Infanticide

Posted: March 29, 2013 by ShortTimer in Eugenicists, Leftists, Philosophy
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Via HotAir and Weekly Standard:

Florida legislators considering a bill to require abortionists to provide medical care to an infant who survives an abortion were shocked during a committee hearing this week when a Planned Parenthood official endorsed a right to post-birth abortion.

Alisa LaPolt Snow, the lobbyist representing the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, testified that her organization believes the decision to kill an infant who survives a failed abortion should be left up to the woman seeking an abortion and her abortion doctor.

This isn’t really new.  It’s also nothing like what conventional pro-choice folks think they’re supporting… but they are.

Just a month or so ago, a Salon Leftist made the argument that “All life is not equal… a life are worth sacrificing.”  And last year, the Journal of Medical Ethics argued for post-birth abortion… that is, infanticide.

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

This isn’t a new idea.  The core of it is getting rid of unwanted humans, who are unwanted for whatever reasons.

300_skulls

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred.

Margaret Sanger would be proud.

The title and conclusion from this Salon piece, entitled “So what if abortion ends life?”:

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

The thing is, leftists are death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers.  They make judgements against those who truly bear no responsibility for their condition (grandma and babies), while defending those who are responsible for their own problems (terrorists and murderers).  The left wants their lives to be consequence-free.  That someone would argue an innocent life has no rights is a very telling position to take.

But we make choices about life all the time in our country. We make them about men and women in other nations. We make them about prisoners in our penal system. We make them about patients with terminal illnesses and accident victims. We still have passionate debates about the justifications of our actions as a society, but we don’t have to do it while being bullied around by the vague idea that if you say we’re talking about human life, then the jig is up, rights-wise.

The big difference is that these examples – drone strikes, the death penalty, terminal illness, and even sometimes accident victims, involve decisions made by those actors.  Those life and death choices are made as a result of their actions.

Drone strikes used against terrorists are supposed to be used in order to minimize casualties of good people and hold accountable only terrorists and their allies.  Terrorists chose to be terrorists.  The death penalty exists only because there are people who have chosen to commit atrocities against their fellow man and are being held accountable for it.  Murderers chose to be murderers.

Patients with terminal illnesses are fully developed people who are able to make decisions about their own lives.  The terminally ill can choose what they wish with their lives.  Accident victims depend person by person, depending on wishes they expressed to their families prior to their injuries; so even they sometimes have choices as to whether they wish to continue living or end it – even if incapacitated.

A human life that is not fully realized is no less human.  The Salon writer agrees, but simply does not care.  This is honest, but shows how cold and callous a philosophy this is.

When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.

The Salon writer agrees that both are human life.  This is again both honest and very telling.

Consider the sub-heading to her piece:

I believe that life starts at conception. And it’s never stopped me from being pro-choice

And she finishes with this:

…it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families. And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Some of this is similar to the “future like ours” argument.  If a prospective baby wouldn’t be loved or would maybe have poor opportunities in life, it’s not as valuable as other lives, and it can be/should be destroyed.  It’s a sketchy argument because it leads down a road that justifies killing children and adults as well if they don’t have “good” lives.  But in this case, it’s more an argument of “if it inconveniences the mother”.

See what this really sounds like now:

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

This is making fundamental judgements not about life choices by an individual who can make their own decisions and who will live with accountability with those decisions.  This is about one person making a decision to exterminate a human life based on the idea that “women’s choices and their possibilities” are more important than the human life they carry.  And this ignores entirely that the woman and man (or men, if that’s her thing) involved had the choice to avoid pregnancy entirely.  (There are plenty of ways.  The internet is full of suggestions.)

Let’s revisit this medical ethics paper from the Journal of Medical Ethics:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred.

As the Salon writer agrees that human life begins at conception, but that some lives are worth sacrificing… well, we’re back to the old eugenicist arguments again.

We’re back to a group of leftist-progressive planners who decide whose life is worth saving and whose is not – based on their own whims.  In this case, they do so on both a personal level and on a societal level by advocating for abortion.  (Which is what Margaret Sanger did.)

There have been no actions made by the life forfeited to deem it worthless.  The human life destroyable by the Salon writer so she isn’t “punished with a baby” has no influence on its death.  It did nothing wrong, and made no choice.  Again, the murderer and the terrorist who face death at someone else’s hands do so because of actions they chose.  The terminal patient or accident victim may choose to face death by their own hands or with the help of others as that is a choice they have made.  The evil parties made their decision to forfeit their lives, the good parties made their decisions to end theirs.  Those parties are responsible for their own ends, for good or evil.  The zygote, fetus, or infant destroyed so the mother (and perhaps father) can skip out on the physical, financial, and social burdens of parenthood is destroyed due to no fault or decision of its own.

The leftist decision here is that “yes, life begins at conception, but I can take a life because I want to”.  That’s basically it.

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

This is about abortion, but it’s actually bigger than that.  It’s about the value of life in competing value systems.

The conservative/traditionalist value system looks at life and all its possibilities, whether intended or not, as a bounty and a treasure.  That same view sees that life is a gift that can be squandered or misused.  Those who abuse their life and the natural rights they enjoy simply by their existence (regardless of whether you see life and rights as preexisting by being God-given or nature-given) may have their lives ended.  In short, bad guys may forfeit their lives by their decisions.  Conservatives/traditionalists tend to argue against euthanasia and the ending of ones’ life out of respect for the gift of life – they may empathize with the pain, but often empathy for the desire to end suffering will not outweigh their love for life.  This often comes from a long view of history, which is full of people who overcome suffering – and thus it leads to a desire to help those who are suffering to go on living.

The leftist/progressive value system feels that life is only a treasure if you feel like it.  They view that it’s “unfair” to those who are fully developed that they should have to suffer consequences of their actions.  This applies to the hapless new mother and father who didn’t take enough precautions as much as it applies to the villain who didn’t care about someone else’s life.  They see the developed lives in front of them and fall to the Broken Window fallacy – they truly can only see what’s in front of them.  They can’t see the loss of the potential life destroyed.  They feel for the murderer and listen to his story of disadvantages and “social injustice”, but they don’t care about his victims.  The left never really cares about actual victims.   They feel that an unformed life is worth destroying, that a human life that isn’t fully developed isn’t of any worth at all – because it’s all up to them to arbitrarily assign value.

To quote Thomas Sowell:

“For the anointed, traditions are likely to be seen as the dead hand of the past, relics of a less enlightened age, and not as the distilled experience of millions who faced similar human vicissitudes before.”

The “new man” leftist/progressive has decided that their value system, arbitrary as it is, is better in all means.  In their hubris, they disregard history, and substitute their new amorphous morality.  This applies at all levels – it applies to the value of life – and it applies to human life that may be sacrificed for the greater good.

The “greater good” in this microcosm is the mother’s physical life (which very few object to), and then it progresses to the mother’s financial and social life (which more object to), and finally simply to the mother’s convenience and whim.

The “greater good” in the larger leftist view sees “the mother” become “the people”, and the individual human life that can be sacrificed becomes… the individual human life that can be sacrificed – all for the “greater good”.

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From a purely libertarian point of view, being able to live freely of coercion is the most important thing.  If the life of a mother is threatened because of a pregancy gone awry, the mother’s life is sacrosanct – she should not be forced to risk her life.  If a woman is raped and rendered pregnant from it, the woman was forced to become pregnant, but the life created did not choose its origins and is also guilty of nothing.  Whatever the mother chooses – to reject the force that made her pregnant and terminate the pregnancy, or to acknowledge the pregnancy as a human life and as a victim of things outside its control – either should be her choice.  If life itself isn’t formed at a certain level, if something is still a medical condition that may or may not be life, then that leaves some area for a mother’s choice (hopefully with the father’s input as well).  A lot of both acceptance and rejection of abortion stems from where people believe that level is.

But if both sides of the debate have decided that a life is a life, and one side claims that it can just be killed arbitrarily, that leads to a conclusion that coercion, domination and destruction of other lives is acceptable.

I believe that life starts at conception.  A life worth sacrificing.

The author asks “So what if abortion ends a life?”  The response to that “so what” is that by the same reasoning, all lives are worth sacrificing on a whim.

The Salon author’s argument that she should be able to kill kids based on feelings holds every bit as much weight as Adam Lanza’s.

Update: Moonbattery gets it, too.

Presumably the same thinking would apply to humans of all ages deemed to be inconvenient.

Liberalism is reducing us to a society of monsters.

As a follow-up to yesterday’s sciency science groupthink piece, HotAir has this today:

Climate Change Skeptics Should Be “Treated” Says Enviro-sociologist

This just smacks of the same mentality that inspired climate change activists to say global warming deniers should be purged from meteorology. Kari Mari Norgaard, a professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon, suggests that resistance to the threat of climate change at individual and societal levels must be “recognized and treated” before real action can be taken to effectively address the problem global warming poses.

Here we go again:

“Climate change poses a massive threat to our present social, economic and political order. From a sociological perspective, resistance to change is to be expected,” she said. “People are individually and collectively habituated to the ways we act and think. This habituation must be recognized and simultaneously addressed at the individual, cultural and societal level — how we think the world works and how we think it should work.” …

At the personal level, climate-change information raises fear about the future, a sense of helplessness and guilt. These emotions clash with individual — and often national — identity, sense of self-efficacy and the need for basic security and survival. In small groups, interactions often subvert political conversations and/or submerge the visibility of climate-change issues. At the macro level, or society at large, the co-authors point to an absence of serious discussion of climate change within U.S. Congressional hearings and in media coverage.

In many discussions in the last 30 years, climate change has been seen as either a hoax or fixable with minimal political or economic intervention, said Norgaard, author of the book “Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life” (2011, MIT Press). “This kind of cultural resistance to very significant social threat is something that we would expect in any society facing a massive threat,” she said. The discussion, she said, is comparable to what happened with challenges to racism or slavery in the U.S. South.

If you question the “researchers” who put ideology before data, you’re now a racist slaveowner, a mentally diseased, intellectually and emotionally deficient reactionary whose reasoning stops with the reptile brain.  Oh, and don’t forget you’re a racist slaveowner, too.

Obviously our benevolent enviro-sociologist overlords should just destroy us Mathusian masses and replace us with better humans, right?  Or overhaul us like a – oh, wait…

“Just as we cannot overhaul a car fleet overnight, we cannot change our ideological superstructure overnight,” Norgaard said. “We must first be aware that this resistance is happening at all levels of our society,” she said. “If you have to push a heavy weight, it doesn’t mean it can’t be moved, but in order to push it you had better know that you have something heavy and figure out how to move it — where to put the lever to shift the weight.”

Most discussion on climate change has focused on natural science. It is time, she said, to broaden that approach. “Social scientific responses have been limited in their primary focus on individuals. These explanations are important but partial and thus inadequate as explanations or guides for future action. Our cross-dimensional model links individuals, culture and society. We have to take all dimensions into account simultaneously.”

“Confronting climate change is daunting but it is not an insurmountable obstacle if we collectively put our minds together,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, vice president for research and innovation at the University of Oregon. “Interdisciplinary collaboration among social scientists and those involved in technological advances can help to move us forward.”

I am reminded of this scene from Airplane!:

Oh Professor, I speak academic!

“Just like we can’t make people all drive electric cars, we can’t reprogram their little racist brains overnight.  They’re all stupid.  They’re so stupid you might not think we can program them, but we just have to figure out how to program them and put the lever to ‘nudge’ them into what we want.  … We keep trying ot figure out why they’re stupid alone, but we haven’t figured out how they’re stupid altogether, too.  We have to figure out how to make all of them do what we want, both the one and the masses. …  Pushing Manbearpig is tough because they’re so stupid, but if we all get in line and repeat the same thing over and over and over and run out any nonbelievers, we will soon have complete Manbearpig orthodoxy as the lie becomes truth and we will be able to control the masses into our perfect fantasy worldview.”

Looking up Norgaard’s background, this is a professional leftist academic we’re looking at:

Yes, she spelled it “climate chage” on her bio page.

She’s been referenced by the New York Times in an entire article of pots calling kettles black.

A new book by Kari Norgaard has done the best job yet of cutting to the core on our seeming inability to grasp and meaningfully respond to human-driven climate change. As the science of climate change has become stronger and more dire, media coverage, public opinion, and government actions regarding this issue has declined. At the same time, climate denial positions have become increasingly accepted, despite a lack of scientific evidence.

Except people who actually do science disagree with the Manbearpig disciples.  The gender and environmental sociology-justice people would-be-masters have one idea, folks who do science have another.

Update: Tina Korbe over at HotAir just posted another piece wherein there’s yet another call for purges of anti-Manbearpig heretics.  Well, quit Stalin’ and start purgin’!

As an aside, I subscribed to Science News for about a decade – I found it fascinating as a weekly newsmagazine of hard science.  For years and years, I found articles in various disciplines to be fun and informative, keeping me abreast of changes in different disciplines (even if some fields were either boring or required more subject matter familiarization to follow completely).  Then a few years back, Science News went from a weekly newsmagazine to a monthly, complete with a new layout.  And an editorial page.

The editorial page in one of the very first issues stated the need to push for global warming (this was a bit before the new name climate change had taken hold) data to be forced out there because of the “global threat”.  No longer was hard science a concern, but advocacy science that followed an agenda that was already set.  I called them up and cancelled my subscription and informed them that I would not subscribe to a magazine that was supposed to be about the scientific method – about data and observation – and that had become one of government policy advocacy and spreading only the data they already agreed with.

That’s not science.

No matter what the protestations the global warmers/global coolers/climate changers give, they can’t trump data and observation.  Every time they “hide the decline” and get caught in a lie, every time they make a bogus hockey stick that’s debunked, they grow stronger in their resolve to impose dictates on the people who do not subscribe to their orthodoxy.  If you disagree with them based on their flawed data and outright lies, their inconclusive arguments, their dogmatic adherence to something that isn’t proven, they expose their vehement hatred of people who question them to the point of likening skeptics to neo-Nazi holocaust deniers.  They use inflammatory rhetoric to make their points, and now they skulk in the halls of academia trying to figure out ways to brainwash those who demand actual science – data, observation, hypotheses and testing – into subjugation.

That’s not science.

HT HotAir, this piece via LiveScience:

Conservatives Losing Trust in Science, Study Finds

Politically conservative Americans have lost trust in science over the last 40 years while moderates and liberals have remained constant in the stock they put in the scientific community, a new study finds.

The most educated conservatives have slipped the most, according to the research set to appear in the April issue of the journal American Sociological Review. The change in conservative attitudes likely has to do both with changes in the conservative movement and with changes in science’s role in society, said study author Gordon Gaulet, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“There’s been this need to cultivate conservative ideas in reaction to what is perceived as mainstream culture, which a lot of conservatives would suggest is biased toward secular liberalism,” Gaulet told LiveScience. “Part of what being a conservative means is looking for alternatives for mainstream ideas and bases of knowledge, and science and the media are those.”

No, not quite.  Science has gotten away from observation of natural phenomenon and looking for empirical data and turned into Climategate, medical ethicists that push for infanticide, and again constantly pushes for discredited global warming, and the push for any pseudoscience that further pushes a leftist agenda.  Watermelon environmentalism (green on the outside, red on the inside) keeps pushing for this same crap over and over – with the intent always being the same – control of the individual.

Of course, according to “Science”, non-leftists are dumb anyway.

Meanwhile, science has changed, too. Research used to be done under the auspices of NASA and the Department of Defense, Gaulet said. Both of these agencies seemed far-removed from daily life. However, over the decades, science has become more intertwined with everyday policy. The Environmental Protection Agency is a “poster child” for science informing real-world regulation that some conservatives oppose, Gaulet said.

“It’s almost a contradiction,” he said. “We use science because it has this objective point of view or credibility to figure out which policy to use … but by doing that it becomes politicized.”

Except that’s backwards.  The politicians figure out what they want based on their sociologial theories, then they use “science” to get it.  They use the delta smelt to kill California’s Central Valley, they use the California Condor to go after citizen’s gun rights, and they use fake climate studies to destroy US energy.

Manbearpig has been busted, yet they still push the same dogmatic faith as “science” when it isn’t.

And then there’s things like this, from the same source – LiveScience:

Engineering Humans: A New Solution to Climate Change?

So far, conventional solutions to global warming — new government policies and changes in individual behavior — haven’t delivered. And more radical options, such as pumping sulfur into the atmosphere to counteract warming, pose a great deal of risk.

There may be another route to avoid the potentially disastrous effects of climate change: We can deliberately alter ourselves, three researchers suggest.

Human engineering, as they call it, poses less danger than altering our planet through geoengineering, and it could augment changes to personal behavior or policies to mitigate climate change, they write in an article to be published in the journal Ethics, Policy and the Environment.

“We are serious philosophers, but we might not be entirely serious that people should be doing this,” said Anders Sandberg, one of the authors and an ethicist at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. “What we are arguing is we should be taking a look at this, at the very least.”

Here we go again.

Their suggestions

In their article, they put forward a series of suggestions, intended as examples of the sorts of human engineering measures that people could voluntarily adopt. These include:

-Induce intolerance to red meat (think lactose intolerance), since livestock farming accounts for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions.

-Make humans smaller to reduce the amount of energy we each need to consume. This could be done by selecting smaller embryos through preimplantation genetic diagnosis, a technique already in use to screen for genetic diseases. “Human engineering could therefore give people the choice between having a greater number of smaller children or a smaller number of larger children,” they write.

-Reduce birthrates by making people smarter, since higher cognitive ability appears linked to lower birthrates. This could be achieved through a variety of means, including better schooling, electrical stimulation of the brain and drugs designed to improve cognitive ability, they propose.

-Treat people with hormones, such as oxytocin, to make us more altruistic and empathetic. As a result, people would be more willing to act as a group and more sensitive to the suffering of animals and other people caused by climate change.

So, the focus of “science” is control of the population.  It’s force, it’s control, it’s eugenics, the same Malthusian crap that Obama’s Science Czar John Holdren has been spouting for decades.  Mainstream “science” is taking a decidedly leftist bent, intent on telling us how bad we as humans are, how we’re all guilty of original sin against Gaia, and how we need to make people “smarter” so there will be fewer of us, how we need to inflict suffering and sacrifice on the masses of people for the good of “all mankind”, making us more “empathetic” while simultaneously hurting us as a species, as a race, and as individuals.

If “science” weren’t proposing the same leftist Malthusian “New Man” progressive garbage that they’ve been recycling since Margaret Sanger started saying we need to kill black children for their own good and generations of failed eugenicists and mass murderers throughout history have spouted – maybe we wouldn’t be so skeptical of those calling themselves “scientists”.

They’re the damned eco-daleks blowing up kidsAgain and again.

From the Journal of Medical Ethics:

After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

Alberto Giubilini1,2,
Francesca Minerva3,4

+ Author Affiliations

1Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
2Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
3Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
4Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

Correspondence to Dr Francesca Minerva, CAPPE, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia; francesca.minerva AT unimelb.edu.au

Contributors AG and FM contributed equally to the manuscript.

Received 25 November 2011
Revised 26 January 2012
Accepted 27 January 2012
Published Online First 23 February 2012

Abstract

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

And then it gets worse from there:

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.

And the progressive eugenicist stupidity abounds:

The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.

Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life. Indeed, many humans are not considered subjects of a right to life: spare embryos where research on embryo stem cells is permitted, fetuses where abortion is permitted, criminals where capital punishment is legal.

Criminals have made concious decisions to forfeit their right to live by destroying others’ lives.   The argument that the state should not kill its own citizens is the best argument against capital punishment.  Neither is analagous to a newborn.  Fetuses where abortion is permitted are often also called into question, and for many, even embryonic stem cell research is considerd loathesome because it’s tampering with the beginnings of life.

Although fetuses and newborns are not persons, they are potential persons because they can develop, thanks to their own biological mechanisms, those properties which will make them ‘persons’ in the sense of ‘subjects of a moral right to life’: that is, the point at which they will be able to make aims and appreciate their own life.

It might be claimed that someone is harmed because she is prevented from becoming a person capable of appreciating her own being alive. Thus, for example, one might say that we would have been harmed if our mothers had chosen to have an abortion while they were pregnant with us7 or if they had killed us as soon as we were born. However, whereas you can benefit someone by bringing her into existence (if her life is worth living), it makes no sense to say that someone is harmed by being prevented from becoming an actual person. The reason is that, by virtue of our definition of the concept of ‘harm’ in the previous section, in order for a harm to occur, it is necessary that someone is in the condition of experiencing that harm.

This is an ethicist arguing for the Broken Window Fallacy in human capital instead of financial capital.

If you smash the baker’s window, you haven’t harmed the tailor, since the suit the baker would have bought with money he now has to spend fixing the window simply never comes into being.  If you kill the non-person, who doesn’t become a person, then you haven’t done any harm… except for the potential person who never comes into being.  Therefore, you’ve done no harm.  And you’ve helped the glazier and Kermit Gosnell.

From the next paragraph:

If a potential person, like a fetus and a newborn, does not become an actual person, like you and us, then there is neither an actual nor a future person who can be harmed, which means that there is no harm at all. So, if you ask one of us if we would have been harmed, had our parents decided to kill us when we were fetuses or newborns, our answer is ‘no’, because they would have harmed someone who does not exist (the ‘us’ whom you are asking the question), which means no one. And if no one is harmed, then no harm occurred.

The Broken Window Fallacy, with human capital.

The Blaze and HotAir also have pieces on this.  HotAir notes that the editor of the Journal of Medical Ethics, Julian Savulescu, went on to write this piece, lamenting:

What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.

You’re debating how to morally justify infanticide.  From a dispassionate, logical standpoint, you are arguing for the Broken Window Fallacy with regards to human beings, Julian.  Your argument on how to justify infanticide is that people aren’t people, and therefore can be killed.

Now on to the moral side of this.  From the article:

This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons.   Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.

Animals have more rights than infants, because they are “in the condition of attributing value to their own existence”.  So what about people suffering depression?  They aren’t attributing value to their existence, so can you kill them?  You aren’t depriving them of anything they don’t want.  Justified, right?

Our point here is that, although it is hard to exactly determine when a subject starts or ceases to be a ‘person’,

No it isn’t.

a necessary condition for a subject to have a right to X is that she is harmed by a decision to deprive her of X.

No it isn’t.

such a condition depends on the level of her mental development,6 which in turn determines whether or not she is a ‘person’.

Notes Tina Korbe at HotAir:

Once upon a time, abortion advocates would accuse pro-lifers of “slippery slope logic” when those pro-lifers suggested it was only a matter of time before someone would use the abortion advocates’ arguments to defend infanticide. According to Savulescu, that began to happen a long time ago — and it continues to happen today. Turns out, it is a slippery slope, after all. If humans don’t have a right to life from the moment of conception, when does the right to life kick in?

That, of course, is the point.  It’s the cry of eugenicists worldwide, and has been since the days of Malthus.  There are certain people who are unfit to live and therefore must be destroyed.  Obama’s science czar John Holdren believes the same thing.

The dutch have famously gone over to infanticide. From the original article:

In The Netherlands, for instance, the Groningen Protocol (2002) allows to actively terminate the life of ‘infants with a hopeless prognosis who experience what parents and medical experts deem to be unbearable suffering’.4

But there’s also a little difference between the “ethicists” argument that a non-actualized life can be destroyed since it isn’t a life, and an infant with a hopeless prognosis and unbearable suffering could be snuffed out because his whole existence would be pain and suffering until he rapidly dies anyway.  Which, taken to gothy extremes, simply would mean that no life is ever valuable.

But back to the original article:

Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.

Where have I seen this before… oh yeah…

"This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime. Fellow German, that is your money, too."

Maybe we shouldn’t be paying for health care.  Then Giubilini and Minerva’s state won’t have a compelling reason to exterminate the Je- they mean “conduct after-birth abortions on newborns who are not people in the relevant sense”.  Death panels indeed.

Why is this so familiar?  And why does it seem like we know where this comes from already?

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.

Since, after all, babies aren’t people.  If you kill them before they’re people, they’re not really people, so it’s not really murder.

Clicky. Perhaps best watched in German.

A few weeks back, I pointed out that some Marine scout snipers stole an SS flag to use as their own, intentionally depriving it of its old context.  The ideas behind the symbol were offensive, to such a degree that the Marines’ diametric opposition to the symbol’s old users and the SS’s ideals wasn’t enough to divorce the symbol completely from what it once was – hence the offense (in varying levels depending on how well one understood the Marine’s opposition to the old SS).

This is the reverse.  Couched in pseudo-intellectual bullshit, these “doctors” are taking the exact same moral and ethical route as genocidal Mathusian eugenicist Nazis have in the past, under the guise of modern medicine.  One stole a symbol from villainous owners to use as their own in combat against allies of the old symbols’ mindset, while these “doctors” have thrown away the symbols, but reach back to the same villainous mindset while trying to hide under the guise of modern medicine and respectability.  They take away all the “the Jew is not human” language, and change it to something the modern leftist can agree with, and suddenly the exact same things that actual Nazis were saying and doing – dehumanizing and destroying life – can be supported, advocated, and defended in the name of “liberal values”.

Editor Julian Savulescu’s moral he took from this:

What the response to this article reveals, through the microscope of the web, is the deep disorder of the modern world. Not that people would give arguments in favour of infanticide, but the deep opposition that exists now to liberal values and fanatical opposition to any kind of reasoned engagement.

Giving arguments in favor of infanticide is okay.  Arguments in favor of infanticide are “reasoned”.  Arguments in favor of infanticide are “liberal values”.  Yeah…

From a simple moral argument, these “doctors” are DEHUMANIZING infants so they can be killed.  They’ve used clever wordplay to justify their actions.  Dressing up any knee-jerk attacks by people who believe in life on people advocating actual baby-killing (remember when that used to be an epithet used against the right?) as “fanatical opposition” is absurd, and demonstrative of diseased, insular groupthink.

Going back to the “ethicists” argument:

Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.

Who ascribes that right to life?  Here the ethicist does.  Why?  Because there is no law but that which the ethicist has created in his own little twisted worldview.  I’ll take this worldview instead:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Self-evident.

Not to an ethicist, apparently, but to any other human being on the planet.  Do you have a right to exist?  Yes.  Why?  Because you exist.  Why do you exist?  Because you were created – whether by God, nature, or nature’s god, you are.  He is Who is, and created you, and now you are.  Or you were randomly created by the primordial ooze and you’re a random assembly of chemical reactions, either way, you still exist – and to say you have no right to exist, when the universe’s machinations clearly created you – and your very quest to understand your nature validates your existence – cogito ergo sum, etc.  To hold the “ethicists” statements true, no one ever understands the universe, and not understanding, then no one ever really has life, and therefore no one has a right to exist.  Welcome to nihilism, Donny.

Merely being human is itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.  The “ethicists” are fundamentally flawed in a myriad of ways, whether from the standpoint of human capital, morality, or even basic humanity.

>http://www.city-journal.org/2010/20_3_american-liberalism.html

Progressives Against Progress
The rise of environmentalism poisoned liberals’ historical optimism.
by Fred Siegel

For the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, American liberals distinguished themselves from conservatives by what Lionel Trilling called “a spiritual orthodoxy of belief in progress.” Liberalism placed its hopes in human perfectibility. Regarding human nature as essentially both beneficent and malleable, liberals, like their socialist cousins, argued that with the aid of science and given the proper social and economic conditions, humanity could free itself from its cramped carapace of greed and distrust and enter a realm of true freedom and happiness. Conservatives, by contrast, clung to a tragic sense of man’s inherent limitations. While acknowledging the benefits of science, they argued that it could never fundamentally reform, let alone transcend, the human condition. Most problems don’t have a solution, the conservatives maintained; rather than attempting Promethean feats, man would do best to find a balanced place in the world.

American liberalism has remarkably come to resemble nineteenth-century British Tory Radicalism, an aristocratic sensibility that combined strong support for centralized monarchical power with a paternalistic concern for the poor. Its enemies were the middle classes and the aesthetic ugliness it associated with an industrial economy powered by bourgeois energies.

Like the Tory Radicals, today’s liberal gentry see the untamed middle classes as the true enemy. “Environmentalism offered the extraordinary opportunity to combine the qualities of virtue and selfishness,” wrote William Tucker in a groundbreaking 1977 Harper’s article on the opposition to construction of the Storm King power plant along New York’s Hudson River. Tucker described the extraordinary sight of a fleet of yachts—including one piloted by the old Stalinist singer Pete Seeger—sailing up and down the Hudson in protest. What Tucker tellingly described as the environmentalists’ “aristocratic” vision called for a stratified, terraced society in which the knowing ones would order society for the rest of us. Touring American campuses in the mid-1970s, Norman Macrae of The Economist was shocked “to hear so many supposedly left-wing young Americans who still thought they were expressing an entirely new and progressive philosophy as they mouthed the same prejudices as Trollope’s 19th century Tory squires: attacking any further expansion of industry and commerce as impossibly vulgar, because ecologically unfair to their pheasants and wild ducks.”

Neither the failure of the environmental apocalypse to arrive nor the steady improvement in environmental conditions over the last 40 years has dampened the ardor of those eager to make hair shirts for others to wear. The call for political coercion as a path back to Ruskin’s and Mishan’s small-is-beautiful world is still with us. Radical environmentalists’ Tory disdain for democracy and for the habits of their inferiors remains undiminished. True to its late-1960s origins, political environmentalism in America gravitates toward both bureaucrats and hippies: toward a global, big-brother government that will keep the middle classes in line and toward a back-to-the-earth, peasantlike localism, imposed on others but presenting no threat to the elites’ comfortable lives. How ironic that these gentry liberals—progressives against progress—turn out to resemble nothing so much as nineteenth-century conservatives.

More at City Journal.

This article interested me since it points out the leftist ruling class’ environmental statist ideology. Written by a leaning-lefty, he seems somewhat dismayed by the constant push for statist rule by “liberals”. This ideology quickly summed up:
1. Nature is god (whether the left believes it or it’s just to get to #4 is up to the individual lefty)
2. The masses ruin nature
3. Therefore masses must be controlled (or exterminated)
4. The leaders know best and are exempt from rules for the masses

Fred Siegel’s politics seem to lean left (without doing too much research into the guy), and this is shown in his ending statement.

19th Century British “conservatives” are not the same as US conservatives. Look at the top of the blog here. See where it says ” helping to conserve American libertarian values”? That’s US conservatism.

Conservatism within the US is often viewed as traditionalism – which is associated with religious and family groups, and while often laudible in their non-governmental efforts, conservatism is adherence to the Constitution and adherence to those principles of the Constitution. It’s a document of classic liberalism – as in liberty for all, tolerance for all, and the ability for each man (and woman) to live his live how he chooses free of all but the fewest govt. restrictions.

The US is a nation of free men who came together to establish a nation of free men. They took pride in their traditions, but did not want to impose on one another. The most unifying tradition is that of a reverence for freedom.

Conservatism – as in conservation of one’s original values – in other nations is a different animal. Conservatism in England may represent groups like the British National Party, which has a very pro-Anglo/pro-white/anti-everybody-who’s-not-a-white-Brit bias to them. They are conserving old values of the UK, just values that are rooted in nationalism and white British ethnic supremacy.

Until a 2009 court order, they restricted their membership to “indigenous caucasian”. Presumably to keep any smart-ass Chechens from joining just to fuck with them.

Conservatism in Japan may represent hard nationalist policies that are very pro-Japanese and frequently anti-Korean, anti-Chinese. Conservatism in France or Iran may represent laws that preserve the language against any change or modification, or variations against traditional morality of those nations.

Pictured: elastic loaves.

The United States, unlike most nations in the world, is a collection of different ethnic groups. The US is not represented by one cardinal national group. There is no “American” ethnicity. There is a group of people who are irish, a group who are german, a group who are russian, congolese, brazilian, mexican, japanese, chinese, etc. There is no ethnicity nor ethnic culture to match the United States.

Thus Siegel makes a big mistake in assuming that this leftist enviro-statism has anything to do with actual conservatism. The difference between British monarchists in the 19th century and American conservatives is vast. The left, which are emphatically illiberal and intolerant, despite their nom de jour “liberal”, are far from American conservatism. That they may want to conserve monarchical dictatorial rule is not a surprise to those who’ve seen the effects of disagreeing with a “liberal.” (Liberal-on-liberal violence, especially.)

That some use environmentalism and some use ethnic supremacy are simply different means to the same end: power. Some are naked in their power grab based on what they perceive as an ethnic right, some grab for power by determining that they alone can save the world from an environmental apocalypse – and that all others be damned. Neither is remotely like American conservatism. Both are statism, autocracy, and dictatorship.

American conservatism is entrenched in these words:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.— That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…

>Well-known blogger Zombie has done a better review of this man than anyone around, and first I must give acknowledgment to that blogger (who is deep behind radical lines in San Fran):

http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/

Direct quote from John Holdren’s book “Ecoscience” pg 837:

To date, there has been no serious attempt in Western countries to use laws to control excessive population growth, although there exists ample authority under which population growth could be regulated. For example, under the United States Constitution, effective population-control programs could be enacted under the clauses that empower Congress to appropriate funds to provide for the general welfare and to regulate commerce, or under the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Such laws constitutionally could be very broad. Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society. Few today consider the situation in the United States serious enough to justify compulsion, however.

Note also that the “usual suspects” are utilized by leftists here. The general welfare and interstate commerce clauses are cited, as well as the 14th Amendment. They’re often used as end-runs around the Constitution.

The general welfare clause is limited by the enumerated powers that follow – otherwise the Constitution would just say “govt. can do whatever means well”.

The interstate commerce clause, was intended to allow the federal govt. to prevent individual states from interfering with commerce. For example, if a good was being sold and shipped from Georgia to North Carolina and South Carolina chose to tax it along the way, the federal govt. could step in to ensure that commerce was protected.

I fail to see how “equal protection” includes forced abortions and sterilization, but I’m not a liberal advocating what amounts to genocide to “save the planet”.

From page 838:
Individual rights. Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction. Some people—respected legislators, judges, and lawyers included—have viewed the right to have children as a fundamental and inalienable right. Yet neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce. Nor does the UN Charter describe such a right, although a resolution of the United Nations affirms the “right responsibly to choose” the number and spacing of children (our emphasis).

“Our emphasis” is Holdren & Ehrlich’s.

Consider that first sentence: “Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction.” Really?

The argument for abortion is that it’s a woman’s right to her own body. The argument against is that the fetus is a human life, and therefore deserving of equal protection under the law.

The argument here is that the woman has no right to her own body against the govt’s power to murder its citizens, and the fetus has no right to exist against the power of the govt.

For once, pro-choicers and pro-lifers should have something to fundamentally agree on.

More from 838:

It is often argued that the right to have children is so personal that the government should not regulate it. In an ideal society, no doubt the state should leave family size and composition solely to the desires of the parents. In today’s world, however, the number of children in a family is a matter of profound public concern. The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?

There’s quite a bit more at Zombie’s blog. I direct you readers to read it there – as s/he went to the trouble of scanning pages of the book to show you exactly what was written. You can look at it in context, and read full quotes.

The man spent a lot of time seriously deliberating how to get around the Constitution to start sterilizing you and me. We’re an overpopulated animal on the planet to him.

Is this the kind of man you want as the advisor and regulator on science policy? Because he’s the Science Czar you have.

Much like Levar Burton on Reading Rainbow would say: “Don’t take my word for it.”

Another collection of info on John Holdren can be found here, including a video of Holdren at an event advocating zero-growth:

http://www.lonelyconservative.com/2009/09/08/dont-forget-about-radical-science-czar-john-holdren/


Now, why is all of this terrifying? Well, according to the leftist propaganda site Media Matters, which is funded and supported by major leftist groups, this is all smear and taken out of context.

Except you can go and read it in context. All of it.

The man’s written a blueprint of how he thinks – everything from advocating forced sterilization of women to releasing sterilizing chemicals in the water supply to a global regime to mandate the population.

May as well just get these ready:


If any one of us – you, me, JBH, any member of your family, your friends, your boss or your teacher – were to write a 900-page scholarly treatise on how a certain race needed to be exterminated, we’d probably have difficulty getting a government job. If your name were attached to “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment and Eskimos”, we’d be done for. You couldn’t advocate extermination of a race. Sure, Obama’s pastor Jeremiah Wright, who married he and his wife, can say vile things about “the JOOOOOS”, and that’s okay. But were he to actually write a 900 page book on how the Danes must be sterilized by poisoning their drinking water, he probably would’ve encountered some difficulty.

John Holdren escapes this by being in academia. Academia is notable for being insulated from the real world, as academics are funded by grants and free money, where all they have to do is talk to earn a living. Their ideas are tossed around, and are mostly meaningless, and they’re insulated from the effects of their nonsensical ideas due to being subsidized by alumni and those seeking tax breaks on their grants; and of course by govt. grants that never have any strings attached. Also of note, when discussing something in great detail that doesn’t matter one whit, folks will use the phrase “It’s all academic anyway” – saying that it’s a meaningless discussion with zero effect on reality or decisionmaking.

But when these eerily progressive ideas get out, they rapidly metastasize into something far worse. The “academic” ideas of phrenology and eugenics back in the 1800s and 1900s led to the conclusion that there were “superior races” and led to continued injustice against blacks in the US, who were considered subhuman by “scientists” like John Holdren. These crackpot theories dreamed up by men of letters led to entire schools of racial purity in Europe, and beyond the murder of 6-12 million and a war that killed millions more, there were also the forced abortions and sterilizations of “undesirables.”

John Holdren, like many leftist tyrants, believes in equality. All races are equally worthless to him – and he believes in egalitarian misery.

His statements of a shrinking world and Malthusian overpopulation are from the world of a zero-sum mindset. There are only so many resources and they must be divided equally, so says he – to the point that growth cannot be sustained and populations must be culled to manage resources.

Mankind are not deer on a hunting ranch or cows on a feed lot. This ignores the free market, where the individual has limitless capacity to produce and benefit everyone else in the system as well. The only limits on resources available for production (or consumption) are those placed by government.

Forced abortions. Mass sterilization. A “Planetary Regime” with the power of life and death over American citizens. The tyrannical fantasies of a madman? Or merely the opinions of the person now in control of science policy in the United States? Or both?

Go and read it all.
http://zombietime.com/john_holdren/

A while back I got into a discussion with someone over government health care. I was in the midst of reading a lot about government control of people’s lives, and rather than bring up how rationing of resources results in poorer care, I mentioned the power aspect of it. You can have “know what’s best for you” monsters in charge with government-run health care, and that of itself is terrifying.

We now have one such monster as science czar.

The main problem is one that is endemic on the left – it’s a worldview that sees life as a zero-sum game. It sees overpopulation as a problem and children as a punishment -

- and the world as “lifeboat” with fixed resources.

This cynical, cold worldview is one that allows leftist/statist/collectivists to believe that they are best to be in charge because they should distribute the resources. The cynic among them is watching out for himself and putting himself in a position of power, and the do-gooder believes himself above the masses and in need of the indulgences he takes by being in power as necessary for the “greater good”. Both of them concur that they are more important than “the masses” and thus they should dictate how the world will run.

But murdering millions is of course, for the greater good – according to such masters of men.


Reality check, folks: this shit is real. We have a man who’s entirely similar to the mass-murdering supervillains in both Tom Clancy’s novel “Rainbow Six”, who seek to obliterate humanity (except for themselves) for the good of the planet, and the water-poisoning semi-spoof supervillains of “The Tuxedo”.

The difference is that John Holdren is a real person in a real position of power to really impact your life (or the termination thereof) through his mandates. He’s already looked for end runs around the rule of law to get away with it so that he can’t be punished.

Everyone everywhere who’s ever been the victim of this kind of madman has said “it can’t happen here”. Then when it happens, “there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Spread the word. Raise your voice. Get this man and all his enablers, supporters, and his appointers removed from any office of power.

I don’t want to be saying “I told you so” and wandering the wasteland looking for gasoline for my Pursuit Special.