Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jun/09

24

Why Abortion?

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Mr. Hume:   The salience of abortion as a social-conservative issue has at least three components:

(1) As an aspect of the culture of permissiveness that persons of a conservative temperament deplore.  Abortion “travels” by association with promiscuity, homosexuality, pot smoking, and the rest.

(2) Roe v. Wade as a judicial-usurpation issue.

(3) RC metaphysics (with Evangelicals tagging along for the ride) based on the concept of ensoulment.  RC intellectuals throw up big clouds of squid ink here, but the underlying belief is plainly metaphysical.  “God ensouled this creature. Abortion thwarts God’s will.”

Number 2 obviously wasn’t in play until 1973.  Number 3 only really pushed to the front when RC intellectuals got to critical mass among conservative propagandists, which I think was ca. late 1980s. (I don’t have Damon Linker’s book to hand.) Prior to that, number 1 was pretty much it.

I don’t know how things were in the USA, but the abortion debate in Britain in the 1960s, which I followed closely, was all about class.  Middle- and upper-class women could get comfortable abortions with little trouble, everyone knew that.  Poor women couldn’t.  This was unfair.  The counter-view was Nixonian, based on antipathy to “permisiveness.”

The distaste for “permissiveness” in general was not dogmatic or ideological, and conservatives of Nixon’s generation were free to take any legislative position.  Margaret Thatcher, for example, voted pro-choice.

And setting aside racial issues, abortion probably does have a eugenic aspect.  If intelligence is considerably heritable — and the evidence seems to be that it is — and if it’s disproportionately the left-hand side of the bell curve that’s getting abortions — which seems likely — then abortion is eugenic.  That logic seems to account for at least some of the enthusiasm for abortion among the authorities in Communist China, where wellnigh everybody takes eugenic ideas for granted.

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71 comments

  • Gotchaye · June 28, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I completely agree that there’s a meaningful distinction between a fertilized egg and an unfertilized egg. But it’s not clear to me why this distinction is relevant to personhood. There’s also a clear distinction between a zygote and a third-trimester fetus. To say that something entirely ‘new’ has come into being, whereas something new presumably hasn’t come into being between a zygote and a late-term fetus, is question begging, I think. Lots of very important things happen over the course of prenatal development that might be chosen as a point at which the kind of thing the embryo is has changed. Many people are fond of a beating heart, brain activity, or the ability to live outside the womb. We only attach such importance to fertilization because it’s a part of development that often fails to occur. If every unfertilized egg developed into a fertilized egg, we’d view it as about the same as any other part of development.

    I quite agree that most pro-choice personhood arguments, if they catch all fetuses, will also capture some infants. I have no problem with this. If we’re not going to say that monkeys are persons, I have a hard time thinking that infants are persons. Although I’m fine viewing personhood as a matter of degree – so in my view, monkeys have some amount of personhood, but not as much as you or me.

    I still don’t understand where you’re coming from when you say that acquired personhood requires that people be of different values. Though I think it’s manifestly clear by now that we aren’t born equal blank slates.

    Regarding the coma patient, it seemed to me that you were specifically trying to talk about someone who wasn’t brain damaged (I must have misread you). In the case of someone horribly brain-damaged, I’ve no problem saying that the old person is dead and that the new thing isn’t a person.

    My point about fetuses splitting was directed at what I thought was your position that part of why fetuses matter is that they develop into particular individuals. Apparently this was mistaken.

    Of course environmental effects matter. Granted, you’ll likely reject this, but the vast majority of people think that a newborn is significantly more valuable than the result of taking a Plan B pill, and that’s entirely environmental. This is a strong pre-existing intuition and is hardly ad hoc, whatever else it may be. Yes, fertilization is necessary for an egg to develop into a baby. But so are a bunch of other things. What seems like special pleading to me is your picking out one of these as being of enormous importance while ignoring the contribution of the others to producing a functioning human. A fertilized egg no more ‘has it in itself’ to become a baby than a blueprint ‘has it in itself’ to become a building. It does a bit more of the actual work, but the womb does much more interpretation of the instructions. It’s useful conceptually to think of the baby as growing out of the egg, but that doesn’t mean that the egg is the baby.

  • Florida resident · June 29, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Dear Gotchaye !
    Thank you for using this terminology,
    “that we aren’t born equal blank slates.”
    Your truly, F.r.

  • Martin · June 29, 2009 at 3:52 am

    You fail to distinguish between natural processes and artifactual ones. Only artifacts, such as clocks and spaceships, come into existence part by part. Living beings come into existence all at once and then gradually unfold to themselves and to the world what they already, but only incipiently, . . are. Because one can only develop certain functions by nature (i.e. as a result of basic, intrinsic capacities) because of the sort of being one . . . is, a human being, at every stage of her development is never a potential person; she is always a person with potential even if that potential is never actualized due to premature death or the result of the absence or deformity of a physical state necessary to actualize that potential. For example, a human being without vocal cords in a society in which there are no artificial or transplant vocal cords never loses the potential to speak, but she will in fact never speak because she lacks a physical state necessary to actualize that potential.

    You cannot grow a human brain or heart unless you are first human.

    The person who suffers amnesia and loses certain personality traits is still a person even if she has to develop her capacities again. You say she is a non-person.

    As for you understanding of personhood: Which features count as proof of personhood? Why? How do we decide? Who decides? What gives them that right? And how much of each feature is necessary for personhood? And who decides that, and why? Also, all the performance-qualifications adduced for personhood are difficult to measure objectively and with certainty. To use the unclear, not-universally-accepted, hard-to-measure functionalist concept of personhood to decide the sharply controversial issue of who is a person and who may be killed, is to try to clarify the obscure by the more obscure, obscuram per obscurius.

    http://www.peterkreeft.com/topics-more/personhood.htm

    I really urge you to read that article. Permitting the killing of unwanted babies ought to viscerally repulsive to you. You must understand there can never be civil peace in the US if baby killing became legal, citizens will never reject the Declaration of Independence for a Spartan or Stoic ethic.

    I didn’t say the pre-born wasn’t dependent on the mother (up to around 20 weeks or so) but dependency doesn’t permit murder. Any assertion of a right to abortion undermines all rights talk because it at the same time denies the foundational right to the child in the womb.

  • Gotchaye · June 29, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    That seems question begging. I don’t buy that there’s a neat line between artifacts and living things. I’m not entirely convinced that there’s nothing to the rest of your first paragraph, but, as it is, it looks mostly like flowery words with little justification to me. You seem to be imputing teleological purpose to developing organisms. Why? And it looks like you’re treating development as a process directed by something like a Platonic form – you seem to be assigning this form real explanatory power. Your example mystifies me – it seems obvious to me that a person without vocal chords no more has the potential to speak than a computer without a speaker has the potential to play music. Is this the sense you’re going for? If so, doesn’t everything have the potential to do just about anything?

    Someone else is better qualified to comment, but can’t we grow human organs in other animals? I thought we could grow ears on mice, or something like that. You need to seed it with human material, but it’s never a human. And it’s obviously in principle possible to manufacture a human heart from raw materials without using material from existing humans.

    Specify what level of brain damage we’re talking about here. Someone with amnesia is still a person, although I might argue that the person she was is dead and that she is a new person. Someone with such horrific brain damage that they’re reduced to the mental capacity of, say, a goldfish would not be a person any longer, in my view.

    To get into my personal view, I’m not entirely sure. I suppose I apply something like an “I know it when I see it” criterion. My most important yardstick is probably the ability to understand the world morally. Adult humans have an enormous capacity to understand the world as ordered rightly or wrongly. Young children have some ability to do this, as do some (mostly social) animals. Another way of looking at personhood is as an assignment of rights, which (arguendo) necessarily come with duties. So to have rights, something must be able to have duties. Clearly fetuses can’t be said to have a duty to do anything. Some dogs, however, can – a dog could fail to do something such that we would think it vicious and bad. Adult humans have the most duties of anything we’ve yet encountered. This again comes back to capacity for moral reasoning, since the reason that ants don’t have duties is that we can’t expect them to understand the concept of duty. I think there’s an important sense in which a psychopath might be deemed not a person, at least insofar as he can’t be expected to understand things like rights and duties and so ought not to be punished for his behavior so much as merely prevented from harming others.

    I’ll try to get around to that article later this evening. Very quickly skimming it, it seems to me that the author mistakenly thinks of himself as arguing for a maximally broad understanding of personhood – he sees himself as safely situated at one end of a scale, at the other end of which is situated a complete disregard for human life. Searching for ‘animal’, I don’t find any discussion of animal personhood. I’d suggest that even the extreme pro-life position is still very much in the middle of the spectrum of possible positions on personhood. I fail to be convinced by arguments that we must think of fetuses as persons in much the same way that I fail to be convinced by arguments that we must think of beetles as persons. Why is one dangerous and not the other? Why does asserting a right to kill one so destructive of morality but asserting a right to kill the other is entirely unproblematic?

  • Gotchaye · June 29, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Read it. First, his “Functionalism” is a straw man to the extent that he doesn’t consider the possibility of historically contingent functionalist definitions of personhood, as I outlined earlier. He also seems to strictly limit pro-choice definitions of personhood to behaviors, but one could as easily choose something like “has a developed brain” or even “has been named”. My belief is that his objection is to definitions of personhood that relate to observable properties, and I’ll respond accordingly. If he doesn’t mean this, then the article is largely garbage. He also bizarrely claims that pro-choicers can’t sensibly talk about categories of things, like ‘rivers’. He has no argument for this that I can see, and certainly no one says that “rivers” don’t exist because all rivers are different. He comes out and says at the top of the paragraph that man-made categories are available to the functionalist, anyway. Sure, the functionalist denies that there is a Form of River, but the rest of the paragraph is nonsense.

    Second, he doesn’t have anything better to offer. His alternative to what he calls functionalism is a lot of hand waving and then the declaration that fetuses are persons. He mentions souls at one point, but we can’t see or hear souls. We need a criterion for determining whether or not something has a soul, and this criterion is going to be functionalist. Maybe persons are those things with souls, but we identify those things with souls by looking at physical behaviors or properties. Adding an extra layer of complexity isn’t helpful, and his notions of essences and souls don’t seem to be doing any useful work, except as cover for a different functionalist definition of personhood than the one he’s criticizing (he presumably wants something like “an organism with a complete set of human DNA”).

    What he’s attacking is the pro-choicer’s tendency to focus on phenomena as necessary for understanding personhood instead of noumena. Kant pretty much demolished any attempt to speak sensibly about noumena over two centuries ago. Perhaps there’s a philosophical distinction between an X being anything with Y properties and the observation of Y properties being necessary and sufficient for perfectly judging a thing to be an X, but it’s not clear that there is and those are our only two choices. We focus on phenomena because they’re all we have access to, and it’s simply not helpful for him to pretend to focus on noumena (the soul) when his real definition of personhood is in practice functionalist.

  • Martin · June 30, 2009 at 3:33 am

    -Using Platonic Forms and teleology as kinds of watchwords is not a rebuttal to classical metaphysics, it just reveals your commitment to materialism. This is not the place to go into that, but suffice it to say it is manifestly obvious that an embryo is – directed – towards growth and development into maturity just as a sapling is. Name dropping Kant also does not equal a rebuttal, Kant himself believed it was in the – essence – or nature of reason to ground morality – “reason alone” tells us to be moral. This would mean too that reason has a telos – the true and the good.

    Natural selection is said to be ‘selfish’ and evolution has ‘goals’ and kidneys have ‘functions’. Now materialists muddle themselves and say it is only an appearance but they are charlatans. A good corrective for you would be Ed Feser’s recent ‘The Last Superstition’.

    -Humans have the potential to speak, even if they lack the ability – they don’t have the potential to grow palm fronds. It is in our nature to speak.

    -You have to first be a human to grow a human brain and heart, and you first have to be human to grow a human organ in another species.

    – A blueprint requires whole humans to – implement – them, their ‘goal’ being to build. It requires humans who have made it out of the womb alive, who have had the benefit of a human rights tradition protecting them from a group of powerful men deeming them life unworthy of life and putting them to death. The blueprint will not take in matter from its surroundings, and using its own internal machinery use this material to construct the artifact. It cannot defend itself against a host of dangerous impediments to itself or the artifact it is constructing in and around itself. In other words, it is not capable of organic growth, the uniqueness of which you have not yet understood. You have a mechanistic habit of mind that I’m sad to say is probably the result of years of indoctrination at university, it is sadly part of the debased world we live in, a culture that has been able to produce in you morally repugnant views like:

    “Why does asserting a right to kill [a child in the womb] so destructive of morality but asserting a right to kill [a beetle] entirely unproblematic?”

    and a human child has a right not to be killed only until she has an:

    “ability to understand the world morally”

    The difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Gotchaye is oceans of blood.

    You have at least been honest enough to follow your premises to their logical conclusions, but they are conclusions that if held by many would completely vandalize the USA – and I would argue the barbarians have done a good job so far.

  • Gotchaye · June 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I wasn’t really commenting on the metaphysics of Forms and essences – my concern was with their (lack of) obvious effects. My post is, as far as I can tell, agnostic as to whether or not Forms are ‘real’ in whatever sense you like. My attacks on your use of the notions (and of the article writer’s soul criterion) were epistemic. When I say that your Forms seem to have no real explanatory power, I don’t mean that they’re only your imagination. I mean that they don’t aid in understanding the processes at work. Is it the action of a Form that directly causes the changes in a zygote from time t to t+dt, or is it chemistry? How would our observations differ if you were wrong and there were in fact no Forms? The only way that Forms can ’cause’ anything is in a teleological sense, in which case any explanation involving them tends to be circular – a Form-based explanation of development is just saying that zygotes develop into babies because babies are the sorts of things that zygotes develop into. There’s this extra baggage about the zygotes referring to some magic blueprint, but that’s not explaining anything so much as piling on levels of complexity. You just don’t get anything out of the metaphysical truth of Forms and essences above and beyond their cognitive usefulness – the article writer eventually just has to come back to a ‘functionalist’ account of which things have souls in order to figure out which things are persons.

    Yes, Kant had beliefs about the noumenal (we all do), but he granted that it was pretty useless to discuss these beliefs (see what he had to say on free will, for example). And I wasn’t name-dropping Kant so much as pointing out how long it’s been since reference to the noumenal as an explanation of physical observations has been credible – I wasn’t endorsing everything that Kant wrote.

    You go on to just repeat many of your assertions that I’ve previously questioned. I don’t buy that a vocal chord-less human has the potential to speak any more than she has the potential to grow palm fronds. I’ll grant that she has a greater resemblance to other things that speak than she does to other things that grow palm fronds, but I wouldn’t therefore conclude that she has more potential to speak. I also believe that intelligent aliens could in principle manufacture a human heart. At the least, human scientists could in principle manufacture a cow heart.

    Of course, if I’m wrong, then I’m sanctioning the killing of lots of innocent persons. But then, we could both be wrong, and we could both be complicit in creating “oceans of blood” every time we have a hamburger. It’s important to understand that you’re not advocating a maximally broad definition of personhood (this being the chief problem with that article – almost all of its arguments apply almost exactly as well to the killing of animals). Why can’t I claim that your refusal to recognize the personhood of even the least of creatures is morally repugnant? You can assert a metaphysical order that makes all and only humans persons, and you can assert that this is obvious and that anyone who doesn’t see it is horribly misguided and debased, but what you can’t produce is an argument, and so I don’t think you’ll be surprised to hear that I’m not very convinced. This isn’t really a subject on which discussion tends to be productive.

    I don’t think it’d be terribly productive, and it would eat up a lot of space, to get into whether or not evolution has a purpose.

  • Kevembuangga · June 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Kudos for your patience and well articulated discourse Gotchaye but you’ve reached the dead end of all religionists “thought”:
    … any explanation involving them tends to be circular …
    ALL religionists “arguments” are circular!

  • Martin · July 1, 2009 at 3:09 am

    Gotchaye: To remove the teleological element in the description of DNA, genes and cellular machinery strips them of everything that makes them explanatorily useful in biology. Philosophers of mind, Fodor, Searle and Mathematical Physicist Paul Davies agree:

    Concepts like information do not come from the natural sciences at all . . it involves qualifiers like context and mode of description – notions alien to the physicist’s description of the world. Yet most scientists accept that informational concepts do legitimately apply to biological systems, and they cheerfully treat semantic information as if it were a natural quantity like energy. Unfortunately “meaning” sounds perilously close to purpose, an utterly taboo subject in biology. So we are left with the contradiction that we need to apply concepts derived from purposeful human activities (communication, meaning, context, semantics) to biological processes that certainly appear purposeful, but are in fact not (or are not supposed to be) . . . At the end of the day human beings are products of nature, and if humans have purposes, then at some level purposefulness must arise from nature and therefore be inherent in nature . . Might purpose be a genuine property of nature right down to the cellular or even subcellular level?

    Anyway it is all in Aristotle and The Last Superstition is a good popular intro.

    As for protection of animals, it is human exceptionalism that best guarantees their humane treatment. For if we are merely more developed animals and not different in kind, what stops us from treating them like animals red in tooth and claw would treat them. Rather it is because we are moral rational animals that we have duties towards them, and must not exploit them or needlessly cause them to suffer.

    The woman without vocal cords has the potential to speak that can be actualized with artificial vocal cords. Palm fronds not so much :)

    If I killed you in the womb even though you were not aware of the deprivation you are still harmed. You claim intrinsic rights may be granted at some particular stage of development ‘an ability to understand the world morally’ for example but that precludes vast numbers of individuals, from those in the womb, to the newborn and to older children whose development is slow or has been retarded by environment. It precludes those who understanding has waxed for biological, sociological or intellectual reasons. It opens up the possibility for powerful conditioners to arbitrarily determine whose understanding of the world is immoral or amoral.

    I’m delighted you grant that much blood is at stake. Given the uncertainty you have about the status of the unborn, infants and other ‘deficient’ humans surely then the benefit of the doubt must go to the protection of these human lives. If your back was turned and your daughter asked “Daddy can I kill it?” . . .

    You simply must be sure what it is.

  • Martin · July 1, 2009 at 3:28 am

    Kevembuangga. A quote from Fancis Beckwith – go read him.

    “History teaches us that judging human worth based on subjective criteria — race, sex, sexual orientation, tribe, religion, nationality or personhood — invariably results in the oppression, exploitation or even killing of those deemed by the powerful to be less worthy of respect. And considering that many of the people denigrated by bioethics as nonpersons, not coincidentally, also happen to be the most expensive to care for in the age of the HMO when cost- cutting is king, [and those who advocate for abortion also by amazing coincidence the same who are greatly invested in the culture's prevailing notions about sexual freedom] bioethics presents an acute danger to the lives, health and well-being of millions of people who are elderly, disabled, newborn and cognitively or developmentally impaired. Since in the end this could include any one of us, we ignore the threat of bioethics at our own peril.”

    If you would like to argue for your position feel free. First you should do some reading. Here are some articles: http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/academic.html it would be manly of you to read and try and rebut them.

    Otherwise I will just have to take your comments at face value which to me read like someone who merely wants their own way and is prepared to verbally abuse to get it. It is the kind of disposition that will kill first and rationalize later when confronted with the consequences of sexual irresponsibility.

    If you want an idea of what real sex is (not the debased kind you get shoveled by pop culture) read this http://johncwright.livejournal.com/241236.html Feminine Magic and the Liberated Woman.

    And here is how you might have got to be the person you are http://www.firstthings.com/article/2007/12/christ-and-nothing-28

  • Gotchaye · July 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Just a brief note – it doesn’t make much sense to ascribe hedonistic nihilism to people on this site, or to self-identifying atheists in general. Self-identified atheists tend to have very strong opinions about what people (even other people) ought to do, and virtually none believe that people should just do whatever leads to a feeling of personal fulfillment. In fact, many tend to think that traditional Christians are a paradigm case of a group which chooses bizarre beliefs and morals not because they have any reason to think them correct but just because they find them comfortable. You’ve brought up straw men before, but this one is particularly egregious.

  • Martin · July 1, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Voluntarism doesn’t necessarily entail hedonism.

    Prof Hart grants the strong opinions of atheists but he asks along with Nietzsche “Your ‘ought’. . . whence comes it?”. Does it come from an objective order? Is it our purpose to follow the ‘ought’. Do we then have a rational nature that is thwarted if our actions are not in line with it?

    Personal fulfillment? Why not? Whose purposes are we made for then?

    Of course I know what you really mean, satisfaction of every pleasurable desire – I wouldn’t want to willfully miscontrue the meaning of your post.

    I’ll leave it to others do determine if you have done that to Prof. Hart.

  • Martin · July 1, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Comfort? Jesus did not give Christians that example, Christians understand the world to be fallen, it is not our home and it is a very dangerous thing to let the world find a home in . . us.

    Comfort? After all our betrayals, infidelities and various willful crimes we will have nothing to answer for? If that isn’t comfortable I don’t understand its meaning.

  • Martin · July 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Important note: Christianity teaches Creation is good don’t get me wrong, but it has gone bad. It teaches the world is being remade from within (Jesus’ central teaching about ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’ explains this) as we speak, and will be completed at the Resurrection. But in its – present – unfinished state, the world is not our home.

    The Gospel addressed to you in the vernacular might read something like – “there is only one party in town, accept the invitation. I love – you – Gotchaye come and follow me. I can’t show you from where you are you will have to trust me and walk with me. Check if I am trustworthy, trust on a reasonable probability as you would with a friend, then put your faith in me. I am your God.”

    Anyway it would be unseemly to reject Him, given his demonstrations of love.

  • Kevembuangga · July 2, 2009 at 6:37 am

    @Martin

    Do you REALLY know where you are posting this delirium?
    Been smoking or drinking something weird recently?

  • Florida resident · July 2, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Repeated offense (post):Dear Martin !
    I respect wholeheartedly your beliefs and feelings. My only question is what goal are you pursuing by posting on a “secular” website ? Is this a goal of proselytizing ? I am OK with you having this goal; I mostly want you to give the account of it to yourself (not to me, I am OK with it).
    Respectfully, Florida resident.

  • Gotchaye · July 2, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Martine – but isn’t he then writing nonsense? Nihilism isn’t “believes in something without ontological grounding” but “believes in nothing” (for a particular value of ‘nothing’). You can say that atheists can’t give a satisfactory account of where their ‘oughts’ come from, but then the atheist can say the same of the theist. The fact of the matter is that atheists don’t believe that people should just seek personal fulfillment (and I don’t mean satisfaction of desire), even if you don’t understand how they can sensibly do otherwise. Many “New Atheists” are supremely untroubled by this – psychologically, they’re value-creating in Nietzsche’s sense of the term. And it should be noted that Nietzsche’s concern with the foundation of ‘oughts’ was mostly psychological – he didn’t think that Christians were behaving reasonably in trying to ground morality in God, just that it gave them peace of mind to think that they were able to do it. The problems with atheism that many older philosophers brought up were pretty much all like this, and modern atheists seem to have largely addressed them – atheism doesn’t lead to a depressive nihilism anymore.

    Also, do you not see something slightly odd in the schizophrenia of your post claiming that Christianity isn’t comfortable with your immediately following post offering ultimate love and belonging in exchange for faith?

  • Gotchaye · July 2, 2009 at 9:52 am

    sorry – Martin, not Martine.

  • John · July 2, 2009 at 10:44 am

    When a religious person claims that an atheist has no basis for having moral beliefs, he is begging the question. The theist cannot prove that his moral beliefs come from God. He merely believes it to be so.

  • Martin · July 2, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Gotchaye read Hart’s article again – he wrote “the nothing”.

    John so you say.

    Florida I notice not a whisper when Gotchaye advocated baby killing, but Jesus’ public proclamation? A proclamation that we ought to be positively disposed toward not positively set against, – this is offensive?

    “If the world hates you, it hated me first”.

    Christians believe the truth is a person, on what basis do you wish me to enter into conversation? Accepting all your pre-suppositions? Christians believe Jesus is the logos – the reason and meaning of existence, and have very good reasons to think so. What offends you about this? Should I remain silent? Do you think Christians should be prohibited from being public about their truth claims? Do you believe secular humanism is some kind of default and neutral world view, and that the objective truth claims of Christianity are really just matters of mere private taste?

    Gotchaye serenely argues for the social and economic prudence of killing millions of deficient humans and Kevem is wide eyed about the Christian narrative? A tradition with overwhelming historical support, philosophical warrant that has been public for thousands of years and nowhere proven false, made the foundation of the very freedoms and moral centre of gravity of our civilization; but about Gotchaye’s brave new world of judicial executions? Silence.

    Now this has all happened before. At the turn of the century eugenics was polite dinner table conversation, the US government itself was implicated in sterilizations and euthanasias. US public figures pushed it heavily as policy and even feted the Nazi’s for their ‘bold progressivism’. The sociobiological case for the superiority of particular races was taken for granted among elite opinion – ideas that strip mined the collective conscience of the West, paved the way for something more monstrous.

    Culpably blind to the events of the twentieth century, Gotchaye’s ‘moral understanding of the world’, he believes, should be our working criteria by which we confer human rights. Forget the Declaration of Independence forget the moral ground of all the world’s constitutions. And this is what passes for conservative thought? The utter division of the Union among baby killers and among advocates of intrinsic human rights?

    Lets apply this brave new principle: Kevem surely believes I lack a “moral understanding of the world” and is full of hatred. Gotchaye, ready with an intellectual defence of the tragic necessity to ‘medically and psychiatrically intervene’ on personhood grounds in the case of my Christian psychopathy. Florida resident offended at the outrageous publicity of the Christians, wrings his hands about the unfortunate ‘business’ but has his work to do and can’t get involved. A bit absurd but do we really want to forget recent history? Ideas have consequences.

    It is indisputable that 30 yrs ago if Gotchaye tried this stuff on he would be made to feel utterly ashamed of himself, he would not have been taken in the least seriously, and no forum in the country would have given him air. Yet not a whisper from anyone here about what he proposes. Whats wrong here? Is this conservative thought? This is actually evidence of profound moral degeneracy, I initially thought I was talking with a young man who was thinking out loud but no – I am to prepare myself for a regime of infanticide.

    What will it be like in 30 yrs if this idea has its way? If it is not stamped out as the obscenity it is? If we can kill inoffensive little babies in the womb or out, what about positively menacing (insert group deemed injurious to social cohesion)?

    This conversation has been salutary, I’m recording it as evidence.

    Best wishes.

  • Kevembuangga · July 3, 2009 at 2:39 am

    @Martin

    Kevem is wide eyed about the Christian narrative?

    Trying to give you some perspective on how insane you appear to those who do not share your delusions, just substitute ‘God’ with ‘Cthulhu’ in your own text and alter other words as appropriate:

    Important note: Cthulu Cult teaches Creation is evil don’t get me wrong, but it has gone bland. It teaches the world is being remade from within (Abdul Alhazred’ central teaching about ‘Yog-Sothoth’ explains this) as we speak, and will be completed at the Aeon of Cthulhu Rising. But in its – present – unfinished state, the world is not our home.

    The Book Of The Key addressed to you in the vernacular might read something like – “there is only one party in R’lyeh, accept the invitation. I’ll eat – you – Gotchaye come and follow me. I can’t show you from where you are you will have to trust me and walk with me. Check if I am trustworthy, trust on a reasonable probability as you would with a friend, then put your faith in me. I am your Elder God.”

    Anyway it would be unseemly to reject Azathoth, given his demonstrations of blindness.

    Also:

    A tradition with overwhelming historical support, philosophical warrant that has been public for thousands of years and nowhere proven false,

    The Cthulhu Mythos has been nowhere proven false either and it is only thanks to the larger popularity of Christianity that you can escape committal to a psychiatric ward when uttering such confabulations, same for Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism or whatever else, nothing special to Christianity here.

    made the foundation of the very freedoms and moral centre of gravity of our civilization

    Granted! (surprise, surprise…)
    Yet, and fortunately (unfortunately for you) this is self defeating!

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