Another Abortion thread.
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12-01-2012, 08:50 PM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
Hey, guys.

Do not adjust your television. I control the vertical, I control the horizontal. I meant exactly what I said. I support infanticide.

I support the parent's right to end their child's life.

Take a moment to suckle from the teat of sweet irony. The revulsion you are feeling is the same revulsion someone who considers a foetus a person feels when you say you support abortion.

OK. Time to clarify.

Two tribal examples. I remember one South American tribe that killed any child past the second, because parents could only effectively traverse the jungle carrying one child. In the event of twins, the San of southern Africa buried one of them alive because twins were too difficult to manage.

Before someone starts off with, "yeah but they're just (insert pejorative here)," they are humans and have the same biological relationship to their children as you. The abortion debate is a cultural debate and a cultural debate only. There is no one right answer to the question.

What this illustrates is that to some cultures and moral/ethical codes, the point at which an organism reaches the point where they can't be killed is not at the stage of the embryo, or the foetus, or viability or at full-term, but is set well after birth.

Contemporary example. Robert Latimer had a severely mentally and physically retarded daughter named Tracy. She lived in constant pain. When she was 15, he put her in the truck, ran a line from the exhaust and killed her. This was in the 90s in Saskatchewan. The court battle took over a decade. He's up for parole soon. I support what he did. He searched for help, was denied it and he killed his daughter rather than see her live out her life in agony.

Parents are the ones who have to raise the child, not the state and not righteous indignation. I ain’t never eaten a bowl of piping hot morality with a side of unthinkable taboo and I never will. If the parent, situationally, culturally, thinks the best course of action is to commit infanticide, I support that.

And before people go off about crazy parents offing their children in an orgy of blood, I also support euthanasia. Who is the state to force someone to live their life? If you can't tell the difference between thoughtful infanticide and murder, perhaps the divide between euthanasia and murder is clearer and leads you to what I'm talking about.

Now we find ourselves face to face with hegemony. The debate is wider than ideology suggests.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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12-01-2012, 09:04 PM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
I actually share the opinion that infanticide is sometimes justifiable, but I don't think for the same reasons as Ghost. Put simple, just like a fetus doesn't have any (or substantive enough) interests for killing it in most cases to be wrong, same goes for very young infants. After all, nothing magical happens to their neurology the second they pass into the open air. Sure, in most circumstances, no one wants to kill the infant, and in some cases it may be unethical (it depends on the reasons for infanticide). However, I don't think we can, while preserving intellectual honesty, say we strongly favor abortion rights but that the second the fetus exits the womb, it's inviolable.
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12-01-2012, 09:12 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2012 09:30 PM by Jackrabbit.)
RE: Another Abortion thread.
(12-01-2012 03:48 PM)kim Wrote:  ***
Ghost - If you are referring to native peoples in isolated jungles, where parents can only safely care for two children at a time, I understand. But I am curious about your mention of infanticide -please elaborate if you are able. Shy
Valdyr Wrote:I actually share the opinion that infanticide is sometimes justifiable

Lol wut????
When is infanticide ever a good idea?
How is it anything other than murder? Who gets to decide? government? parents?
Explain yourselves...
By your logic Ghost, Its okay for parents to kill children when they become to cumbersome and hard to deal with?
If parents go broke then they're justified to kill their 1year old?
Killing a child so you dont carry him in a jungle?
Killing a child because they're sick?
Im in favor of euthinasia from a moral standpoint but shouldn't the child get to choose for himself?
There are conjoined twins and handicapped people living to this day that enjoy life.
What about other options like adoption and fostering?
And how is unavailability of medical care any reason to comit infanticide?

I do not see any reasonable justification for this and it is just cruel.

"Yeah, good idea. Make them buy your invisible apple. Insist that they do. Market it properly and don't stop until they pay for it." -Malleus
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12-01-2012, 09:46 PM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
I realize this standard is extremely difficult to define objectively, but in my opinion abortion should ideally be considered moral up until the child has consciousness.

Until science can give us more insight as to when this is, in practice it seems the best standard we can have is the development of the brain.
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12-01-2012, 10:59 PM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
Because of how much I struggle with this issue and how controversial it is, I've decided to bow out but watch the conversation.

"Either God can do nothing to stop catastrophes like this, or he doesn't care to, or he doesn't exist. God is either impotent, evil, or imaginary. Take your pick, and choose wisely." — Sam Harris

"There is no goddamn god, goddamn it."
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13-01-2012, 09:43 AM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
(12-01-2012 09:12 PM)Jackrabbit Wrote:  Lol wut????
When is infanticide ever a good idea?

I've already explained the general theory, but let me provide a more specific example. Suppose a woman is impregnated by rape in a country where she doesn't have access to abortions. This is a war-torn third world country with little food or medical care and lots of disease. She carries the child to term. Is it more ethical to force the child to live (before it has developed neurologically enough to have substantive interests), sapping resources from the woman and probably her social group, which has a very real impact on their welfare given their poverty, even though the child will likely grow into a life of starvation and early, painful death? Personally, I think not. In cases where informed consent is present, that takes priority, but we do have hard choices to make in situations where a liberal ethic of contract isn't available to us.

Quote:How is it anything other than murder? Who gets to decide? government? parents?

The prudential issue of who would make ethics decisions is a secondary concern. The political question of what the law should be surrounding this may indeed lead us to conclude that making a legal regime for this is just too difficult and we need a so-called "Schelling point" at birth. However, the practical difficulties involved in making bioethics decisions doesn't impact the actual morality or immorality of something.

Quote:Its okay for parents to kill children when they become to cumbersome and hard to deal with?

Depends. "Children" are not newborn infants. Furthermore, we need to unpack what we mean by "cumbersome and hard to deal with." See my example.

Quote:If parents go broke then they're justified to kill their 1year old?

Maybe, it depends on the neurology of the 1 year old. Personally I doubt it, by 1 the child's interests probably outweigh the parents' in this case, but we'll see what the evidence says.

Quote:Killing a child so you dont carry him in a jungle?

Depends. Child =/= newborn infant.

Quote:Killing a child because they're sick?

Maybe. Depends on the case.

Quote:Im in favor of euthinasia from a moral standpoint but shouldn't the child get to choose for himself?

If we could get informed consent from a child or infant like we get from adults, then yes. Unfortunately they can't, at least not as unambiguously, we we need to make a tough choice. Also, there are cases where consent is not sufficient. Suppose we have someone dying of a heart problem. There is a treatment which costs $1 million which has a 30% probability of sustaining the patient for 1 more month. This $1 million could easily go to other causes (perhaps it belongs to an insurance company). Even if the person desires to have the treatment, would it be ethical to give it? I would say no.

Quote:There are conjoined twins and handicapped people living to this day that enjoy life.

That's wonderful. There are also ones that don't, or probably wouldn't. We don't have to implement a eugenics-like "ALWAYS terminate the disabled!" to make reasoned judgments. It isn't all-or-nothing.

Quote:What about other options like adoption and fostering?

For children where this seems a likely prospect, go for it! But there are also cases where this is not a likely prospect (such as many children born in harsh conditions) or where it's irrelevant (severe disability, terminal illness, etc.) Again, all that is being suggested is that infanticide is sometimes the ethical choice, not that we should be eugenicists and always kill them.

Quote:And how is unavailability of medical care any reason to comit infanticide?

Because they might just die anyway a short time after, sucking valuable limited resources in the mean time. They might have a high chance of dying a painful and early death from disease, starvation, or war once they are old enough to have more substantive suffering. The availability of medical care has a massive impact on the child's prospects for life.
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13-01-2012, 09:45 AM (This post was last modified: 13-01-2012 03:09 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Another Abortion thread.
(12-01-2012 08:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, guys.

Do not adjust your television. I control the vertical, I control the horizontal. I meant exactly what I said. I support infanticide.

I support the parent's right to end their child's life.

Take a moment to suckle from the teat of sweet irony. The revulsion you are feeling is the same revulsion someone who considers a foetus a person feels when you say you support abortion.

OK. Time to clarify.

Two tribal examples. I remember one South American tribe that killed any child past the second, because parents could only effectively traverse the jungle carrying one child. In the event of twins, the San of southern Africa buried one of them alive because twins were too difficult to manage.

Before someone starts off with, "yeah but they're just (insert pejorative here)," they are humans and have the same biological relationship to their children as you. The abortion debate is a cultural debate and a cultural debate only. There is no one right answer to the question.

What this illustrates is that to some cultures and moral/ethical codes, the point at which an organism reaches the point where they can't be killed is not at the stage of the embryo, or the foetus, or viability or at full-term, but is set well after birth.

Contemporary example. Robert Latimer had a severely mentally and physically retarded daughter named Tracy. She lived in constant pain. When she was 15, he put her in the truck, ran a line from the exhaust and killed her. This was in the 90s in Saskatchewan. The court battle took over a decade. He's up for parole soon. I support what he did. He searched for help, was denied it and he killed his daughter rather than see her live out her life in agony.

Parents are the ones who have to raise the child, not the state and not righteous indignation. I ain’t never eaten a bowl of piping hot morality with a side of unthinkable taboo and I never will. If the parent, situationally, culturally, thinks the best course of action is to commit infanticide, I support that.

And before people go off about crazy parents offing their children in an orgy of blood, I also support euthanasia. Who is the state to force someone to live their life? If you can't tell the difference between thoughtful infanticide and murder, perhaps the divide between euthanasia and murder is clearer and leads you to what I'm talking about.

Now we find ourselves face to face with hegemony. The debate is wider than ideology suggests.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I've been hanging back on the "infanticide" discussion here just to see where it went. I wonder how many people know what actually goes on in real hospitals today ? If you don't, Google : "Products of Conception". There are countless examples of very strange "births" which are routinely "allowed" to die, (and if there is any reason to think they are experiencing "pain" that is addressed). It's the same business as in Genetic Clinics. all over the country. If the public had ANY idea what really went on there, and what they see, they would forever give up the "black and white" notions of their fantasy world. Cool

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13-01-2012, 10:59 AM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
Hey, Valdyr.

I don't see our viewpoints as incompatible. I agree with everything you just said.

Hey, Jackrabbit.

I assume that you can make a distinction between euthanising a person at the end of life and murder. There is also a distinction between infanticide or neonaticide and murder.

As far as who gets to decide, it's a parental and a cultural concern, not a legislative one. But I can't think of a single Western legislature that would allow for infanticide. Many of them don't allow for euthanasia either. It makes sense, not because these things are self-evidently wrong, not because the common sense view tells us that they're wrong, but because there are other parts to our system that resist the articulation of such a thing. It's that same resistance that is making your brain explode.

I'll try to answer your questions directly.

Quote:By your logic Ghost, Its okay for parents to kill children when they become to cumbersome and hard to deal with?
That's possible, yes. It's important to note that I'm not suggesting wording for some sort of legislation. So I have no answer to any "how are we going to work out the permutations" questions. I'm suggesting something in a very general sense. I'm suggesting a return to discourse, a return that is currently blocked, not the adoption of a new ideology.

Quote:If parents go broke then they're justified to kill their 1year old?
Again, I suppose that's possible.

Quote:Killing a child so you dont carry him in a jungle?
That is the example, yes.

Quote:Killing a child because they're sick?
Again, possible. This is basically what happened in the Robert Latimer case. He, as a loving and caring father, decided that death was the best thing for his daughter. He's wrong legally because of the blanket cookie cutter law, but the prosecution took over a decade because a whole lot of people questioned the absolutism of the law and felt that there was room for latitude, latitude that ultimately the law could not allow, but it sparked discussion and pointed to the holes in the blanket.

Quote:Im in favor of euthinasia from a moral standpoint but shouldn't the child get to choose for himself?
Parents make decisions for their children. Sometimes circumstances demand it. When a female kangaroo realises that resources are too scarce to care for its joey, it simply abandons it to die. I'm not suggesting that kangaroos are humans, but that if a parent determines that the child will not survive and that the parent's life is at risk too, abandonment is the genetic imperative. This is simple selfish gene theory. If the parent dies, the child will not survive and the genes lose. If the child dies but the parent survives, the parent can have another child when conditions permit. We simply live in a cultural environment that assumes plenty. We take it for granted that there will always be enough. But the contradiction in that assumption is that poverty is not a problem of our system, one to be overcome, it is a feature. Our system produces poverty just as it produces surplus. You can't have one without the other. So as long as the illusion of plenty is upheld, naturally abandonment seems inhuman. But there are different realities at work and people have to respond to their reality, not to the hegemonic common sense view that sutures that contradiction by telling us, "Never doubt that there is always enough." Valdyr was right. No one WANTS to commit infanticide. Infanticide is a reaction to a situation. Just like abortion. The mother decides that she's too poor, not ready, doesn't want to have kids, doesn’t want a kid with the man she’s with, doesn't want to love the child of her rapist, etc... We judge her based on an ideal and ignore the fact that she lives in context, not in an ideal.

Re-watch some movies and you'll find a repeating theme. A group of people face a difficult and out of the ordinary situation. They manage to find a solution that works for everyone. Then an outside authority arrives and tells them that this solution cannot be because it conflicts with the ideal upheld by the state. The group then has to convince the state of the merits of their solution. That's a film that has been made hundreds of times because it's a theme that resonates with everyone because it’s a situation we've all been in. The system tells us to react to a given situation in a given way but we find that we cannot. What do we do?

Quote:There are conjoined twins and handicapped people living to this day that enjoy life.
That's true. But just because some of them can and do enjoy life doesn't mean that they all will. That's a fantasy. I'm not setting myself up to be the grand judge of every imaginable case. All I am saying is that good people make difficult decisions all the time. I won't condemn them because the common sense view says that I must.

Quote:What about other options like adoption and fostering?
Sometimes they are options. Saying I support infanticide doesn't mean that I think these things should be dismantled. It means that the solutions that are in place don't always cut it. Life is simply more complex.

There was once a family in Kelowna, BC. The mother had crippling arthritis and the father injured himself on the job and could no longer work. They had a severely retarded son that required constant care. They asked for help and were offered a pittance. The only solution offered to them was to make the child a ward of the state. Unwilling to give up their child to the state and simply unable to care for him, they parents loaded their son and themselves into their motor home and ran a line from the exhaust. Some people think they should be condemned for their actions. I say we should be condemned because we didn't listen to what they needed; we told them what they need. I feel strongly that we all lose when law and ideology become more important than people.

Quote:And how is unavailability of medical care any reason to comit infanticide?
Again, it's a possible reason.

The abortion debate is this. One side thinks that it is acceptable to do something to solve a situation and another side thinks the solution is perverse. It's the same with infanticide. I happen to think that there are situations where infanticide is the best option. That's not just an invention of mine, many cultures around the world not only think that, but infanticide is enshrined in their culture. Other people think it's simply perverse. At the end of the day, we're not dealing with absolutes. We're dealing with cultural beliefs. As long as people think that we're dealing in absolutes, the fight will continue because, like the Highlander, there can be only one. The battle is zero sum. But if we admit that it is a cultural issue we create a space for a plurality of solutions.

We're entering a new era. A global era. The state is fast losing its title of dominant social institution. The corporation is wresting the title from it. Borders mean less and less and nationalism means less and less. People are migrating around the world and we are faced with a degree of multiculturalism the world has never seen. We're more used to it in North America because we are a land of immigrants, moreso in multicultural Canada than melting pot US, but there is a crisis in the former nation states like France, England, Denmark, Germany and the like as immigrants arrive and bring their cultures with them. If we truly believe in freedom, then the consequence of that is diversity and in this climate, that means multiculturalism. If we believe in homogeneity and universal truths, then the consequence of that is tyranny and in this climate, that means repression. We need to learn and we need to learn fast, what it is to live alongside other cultures that have world views that are anathema to our own. I support abortion, I support cultures that disapprove of abortions, I approve of infanticide because I approve of diversity and that is diversity made manifest. My personal belief is that I hate the act of abortion and I hate the act of infanticide but I would never stop anyone from doing either and if I were to be involved in either, it would be a burden I don't know I would be able to bare.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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13-01-2012, 11:08 AM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
Here's my thinking on this. Society has been debating this for a long time with no consensus or movement toward one. I think the only sensible public policy therefore is that the decision is up to the woman who is pregnant. However there is clearly (to me) some point where an unborn baby should have the rights of other human beings. I hope we'd all be in agreement that an abortion at 8.5 months would be murder, just as after delivery. So to me the argument should be where to draw the line along the gestation period for what is a legal abortion vs murder. From what I've read the first trimester seems safe, and is also a reasonable period of time to detect the pregnancy. I'd be open to adjusting that a bit, based on data about ease of positive detection and maturity of the fetus.

I don't agree that this debate should only be open to women.
(12-01-2012 08:50 PM)Ghost Wrote:  If the parent, situationally, culturally, thinks the best course of action is to commit infanticide, I support that.

Matt, this is an interesting point of view. Would you explain why you support this? Also, is there an age limit on the child? For example, do you support the right of an age 70 parent to kill their age 50 child? If you don't, please explain the difference.
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13-01-2012, 11:32 AM
RE: Another Abortion thread.
Hey, Jeff.

Like I said, I'm not proposing legislation. I can say, "It's possible to go to the moon," without providing schematics for the rocket. I support diverse solutions to situations. I support diversity. If a thoughtful decision was made, who am I to judge?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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