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Today In Materialism – Prelude To Cattle Car Edition

I hit Snopes on the authors name. I googled it. I kind of thought maybe it was joke like the Larry Doyle “satire”. (It ain’t satire if you believe it Larry.) I am holding out hope this is some kind of joke or satire on medical ethics or something like that, but I am afraid it is not. No one would be more pleased than I if this was all a terrible mistake. I’d love to be the fool in this case.

This little gem from The Telegraph is arguing that killing babies is no different than abortion. Even adoption could pose a risk on the mother’s mental well being and hence it is morally permissible to kill a healthy newborn in such cases. The Telegraph article was kind enough to link to the actual Journal of Medical Ethics article in PDF form. I actually downloaded it and read the whole thing. It is all in there, they are asserting that it is morally permissible to kill your newborn. HHS now this. WWAD? (What Would Alphonse Do?)

Here is the abstract from the Journal of Medical Ethics article:

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.

It goes on to give their justifications for this abomination. You all should read it. It is not that long. They sound a lot like these guys.

I love this line the most from the Telegraph article in defense of the “medical ethicists”.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” – a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.”

They justify murder and are surprised when people get all bent out of shape.

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.


  1. Matthew Lickona says:

    Cubeland, thank you for finding this. It begins.

  2. Cubeland Mystic says:

    You’re welcome Matthew. If you read the journal article note the use economic language.

    “The alleged right of individuals (such as fetuses and newborns) to develop their potentiality, which someone defends,8 is over-ridden by the interests of actual people (parents, family, society) to pursue their own well-being because, as we have just argued, merely potential people cannot be harmed by not being brought into existence. Actual people’s well-being could be threatened by the new (even if healthy)
    child requiring energy, money and care which the family might happen to be in short supply of. Sometimes this situation can be prevented through an abortion, but in some other cases this is not possible. In these cases, since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions. We might still have moral duties towards future generations in spite of these future people not existing yet.”

    When I read this I am still asking myself if this is a hoax. The language seems a bit contrived. How can someone argue that a newborn is a “non-person”. The use of the term “after-birth abortion” is puzzling. They even refer to it as an “oxymoron.” However the economic language is complete agreement with the modern ethics that I read in college. The moral duties to future generations is a shout-out to the environment crowd. If this is true it is a good example of materialist inbreeding and only justifies my point that their civilization is in decline.

    I read a combox commenter who kept insisting it was anti-abortion misinformation put out by our team with the intent being that people would be so horrified that there would be a backlash against abortion. The only problem I have with that position is that this like HHS are just skirmishes. They probe our strength, and it causes debate and a theater in which these ideas can be voiced. People get use to the idea, they hear all the arguments, they smoke out the whakos, reasonable heads prevail, and then ten years later poof ACME Newborn Body Parts springs to life with an IPO on NASDAQ. Whited sepulchres!

    I think I will start a blog called Whited Sepulchres just to point out the evil that is coming from pretty people who live in shiny buildings.

  3. Do the authors ever address the tension of killing one “non-person” who exists (the baby) for the sake of other non-persons (future generations) who do not exist? How can we have moral duties toward those who do not exist but no moral duty toward one who does exist?

    • Matthew Lickona says:

      Well, those particular non-persons aren’t posing any actual problems yet. Unlike those whining, crying, hungry non-persons who do exist.

    • Cubeland Mystic says:

      From the article (The word “situation” is referring to lack of resources, economic and otherwise.)

      “Sometimes this situation can be prevented through an abortion, but in some other cases this is not possible. In these cases, since non-persons have no moral rights to life, there are no reasons for banning after-birth abortions. We might still have moral duties towards future generations in spite of these future people not existing yet. But because we take it for granted that such people will exist (whoever they will be), we must treat them as actual persons of the future. This argument, however, does not apply to this particular newborn or infant, because we are not justified in taking it for granted that she will exist as a person in the future. Whether she will exist is exactly what our choice is about.”

      Mrs Darwin

      Here is how they deal with your question in the article. They have to treat non living future people as actual persons, while killing the little person in front of you as a non-person.

  4. I saw this the other day. Seriously bad stuff (and those aren’t the words I want to use).

    1. When the %^&( does “potential personhood” end? At least pro-choicers had the faulty but the-brain-cells-are-still-working logic of personhood begins with a live birth.
    2. The “new” part of this (because Peter Singer has argued this from his ivory tower chair at Princeton for years): the phrase “post-birth abortion”.

    Apparently abortion is no problem anymore, we’re just pushing the boundaries from those ridiculous conservative Christians.

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