Thursday, December 23, 2004

Have I addressed your objection? Or have I gotten lost? :) I shall end on another optimistic Brave New World note...

At both ends, technology can be expected to minimise the requirement to spend large sums in law enforcement. Once it is cheap and easy for grandfather to have a full and happy virtual reality life as a head in a tank, there will be less incentive to knock him over the head. Once it is cheap and easy to have your unborn child removed as soon as you find out about her, so the Mahdi can raise her in a tank and bring her up to be one of his Fedayeen, there will be no incentive to court death and prosecution by pursuing an illegal abortion.


Since you don't advocate even a different punishment, or the definition of a separate crime of (early/late term) abortion as separate from murder under the law, yet you do advocate a bias against policing these crimes, you deny today's reality, and assume a world where it is possible to be harsh yet fair, even if 90% get away with murder and the other 10% get jailed for life. Although it is true that prohibition in the US was very effective at cutting abortion rates, many people would still take the risk of being jailed for life, than the alternative "prison" of an inadequate family situation. Also, denied abortion denies the next sperm, egg or frozen embrio a chance of life in a much better starting situation. Although this is hard to weigh up against the taking of a life it still needs to be done. The only way that I think it can be fair, is if it is taken out of the state's hands, and allowed to be "enforced" through the moral institutions which care about it the most, and that believe that God is on their side.

4 comments:

Dr. Clam said...

So you are saying euthanasia should be legal? Come clean, now. Your argument applies eqally well to that side of the curve, that was my point...

(1) Decriminalisation leads to normalisation.

(2) I never said things should be fair. I only said they should be harsh. Life is intrinsically unfair.

(3) I don't want children to be left with parents who would have killed them! I want those children raised by the state, NGOs, or interested bystanders. And the parents should be sterilised.

Your conflation of sperm, egg, and frozen embryo is frightening. I can see I will have to explicitly state my probabilistic argument, complete with a graph.

Marco said...

I'm not saying I think euthanasia should be legalised, but that it is only the careless that don't get away with it now, out of the ones that do it anyway. The reference to sperm and egg is that the power to destroy is the power to create. The growth rate in the US is higher now than before Rowe vs Wade. I do understand why you are not living a contradiction. It's all about intent. You think that it is moral to play God to create life but not to play God and destroy life, regardless of probablistic "value". Your value judgement does not extend to the weighing the value of destroying a life, no matter where it is on the bathtub curve. Unless it is before conception I guess.

Dr. Clam said...

I acept that it would be logical to define a second lesser crime where the victim has a less than 2/3 chance of becoming conscious, to cover abortions in the first few months and knocking off old people in vegeatative states.

Marco said...

Well, we agree, logical and a plausible step in the direction of reducing their most egregious instances at both ends.