Infanticide: The New Liberal Frontier

Hi. I’m a shouty man, and I’m here to tell you about the latest in left wing health care. The philosophical left likes to be radical, but in case you haven’t noticed, when your radical views become mainstream, it gets harder every decade to find ways to be more radical. So, if you’re not getting your radical jollies off on gay marriage, portable euthanasia clinics, and partial-birth abortions, there is a whole new vista of radicalism opening up for you now. Infanticide! Yes, that’s right, killing little babies. You too can be among the intelligentsia, you too can join the ranks of chardonnay swilling intellectual elites, and you too can look down on superstitious and sentimental saps who refuse to kill their babies. Of course, we don’t call it “Infanticide,” that sounds nasty, we call it “Post-Birth Abortions.” It’s not even new. World renowned ethicist Peter Singer has been advocating this stuff for years, and he must be alright, because he helped write the manifesto for the Australian Greens and he’s a one time Green’s Senate Candidate. So if you’re tired of crying babies or babies with disabilities, we can eradicate them for you at the bargain basement price of $19.95 (govt. subsidies are available once Greens come to power, casket and cremation extra; warning, may constitute violation of human rights, and will definitely damn your soul for all eternity).

Okay, sarcasm aside, academics in Oz are really advocating this stuff. See articles about it here and here. What is most mind blowing of all, is that the main headline being reported is that these academics are receiving threats and abuse (as if that is the main thing we should worry about). They are supposedly the victims of a hate campaign by radical right wing bigots offended by their philosophical justification for infanticide. I should note, that this is not new. Peter Singer, controversial ethicist, has argued that infants and especially infants with disabilities are not really “persons,” and therefore can have their lives rightfully terminated pretty much at the whim of the mother.

Okay here’s my (unrestrained) response. First, I’m not surprised, as I think this is the logical consequent of the “anytime” abortion stance. After all, why does travelling six inches down a birth canal make a difference as to when and where a baby can be killed? Infanticide is logically consistent with the pro-abortion philosophy of the indiscriminate right to kill. Second, it goes to show that the depths and depravity of the human mind know no limits. The two academics arguing this position are not dummies. They are smart people. In fact, there are some forms of evil, that in order to justify them, you have to be absolutely brilliant. It takes a lot of philosophical word play and heaps of imaginative argumentation to over power your most basic moral senses to the effect that infants do not have the right to live. Goes to show that some of the cleverest people are, when you get down to basics, nothing more than brutal and bastardly barbarians with a Ph.D.

  • Gabriel

    It’s all about the strong deciding the fate of the weak…

    • http://profiles.google.com/esperandopara Nicholas Reed

      Yeah, like how the heterosexual majority gets to decide which of their rights the LGBT minority is allowed to share.

      • Stephen

        Like the right to life?

      • Ian

        Nicholas, minorities of every stripe in Australia do quite well when it comes to having a disproportionate influence in the shaping of public policy. Unfortunately, the interests of the radical fringe are often over represented, in large part due to the Gillard government requiring the support of the minority Greens to govern.

        Some quick on-line research indicates that the LGBT demographic accounts for about 1.3% of the Australian population. Legally this minority of minorities shares in common the same rights as every other slice of Australian society, so your complaint is moot. Now before you protest, understand that marriage is an ‘institution’ and not a right ;)

        Ian

  • BruceS

    A question, Michael? Is the original article actually arguing _against_ abortion?

  • William S.

    But where are these thinkers going wrong? Since these people have presented arguments, maybe you should address those arguments.

    • Ghiestand

      Perhaps a rebuttal is necessary. But that only shows how insane we’ve become. A society that needs an argument against killing infants is a society that is gnawing itself to death. God have mercy.

      • William S.

        Alright, but still let’s have the argument. J.S. Mill, the proponent of free expression, thought that it was good to let such arguments be expressed because they could then be publicly refuted, so that our basis for rejecting such reasoning would thereby be kept alive in the public conscious. But when instead of sound public refutations, all we see is such whining and emoting, it only makes the public re-think the traditional morality, and to wonder whether or not it’s just blind sentiment.

        So please: let’s have less indignant rant and more reasoned counterargument!

    • Jonathan Shumate

      The logic in the argument is not wrong–as Dr. Bird points out if you believe that it is right to kill a baby in utero then why not outside? The Journal which published the article said it is open to publishing another article which uses the same logic to argue against abortion. In other words, if it is unethical to kill a baby outside the womb then it is equally unethical to do so inside the womb. The article is right in pointing out the logical conclusions of abortion–if killing a baby at any point is acceptable then the point at which a society decides to draw the line between when it ias and is not ethically acceptable becomes arbitrary. Even the authors of the article admit as much (the punt that decision to medical ethicists and others).

  • John

    Speaking of infanticide you might like to Google the topic Depleted Uranium and the Children of Iraq.
    Remembering that the usual right-wing religionists were lodly supportive of the illegal invasion of Iraq and of the so called never-ending “war-on-terror”.

    Anyone for intended “collaterlal damage”?


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