Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Sorry, But I'm not quite finished

Just a final note on the bathtub curve: Dr. Clam is saying that if 1/3 of fetuses die naturally, that makes 1st trimester abortions 2/3 of a murder. However, since only 1/3000 (in very rough figures) 2 year olds die naturally, one should feel 1/1000 as sad for a miscarriage as for a death of a 2 year old child. Also presumably, health funds should be weighed 1000 times more for young children as for early pregnancies (seems about what is happening). Also, expenditure on policing in a world of illegal abortions would be weighed 1000 to 1 between infanticide and abortion (fairly realistic). My idea on what the general population feel is "fair" is that 1st trimester abortion should be considered 1/1000 of the crime of murder as well. Of course, in reality the health system is actually paying for abortions out of state coffers. It seems the 89% of Australians that are reasonably content with the status quo probably also feel that abortions are a net positive for some reason. Unfortunately, since there is no "market value" for human life (even suggesting the possibility is abhorrent to most people) there is no way to do any meaningful cost/benefit analysis for changing the laws.

Real Life situations

I am not sure if Dr. Clam knows any acquaintances with direct experiences with abortions - but the ones I know of, if there was no choice to terminate, they would not have considered giving for adoption, but would have made a hash of their (and their child/ren's)lives to some extent - and following children they did end up having in much better situations would not exist. Being that there is very little health expenditure on first trimester fetuses, it is hard for me to see that artificial wombs would ever be considered cost effective replacements for the real thing, nor marketable products to research and develop.

If it was just about reducing the incidence of abortions - Dr. Clam is absolutely right, before Rowe vs Wade in the US, official abortion rates were dramatically lower - even if you add in plausible unofficial ones, the rate was very low. However, one would expect that the number of babies up for adoption would be proportionally greater - but they are not. One would also assume that the birth rate would be higher - it only dropped marginally and only for a short time afterwards. The birth rate is higher now - the pregnancy rate must be considerably higher. Obviously, plenty of people are now confident enough to live life on the edge of chaos, knowing they are cheating with a safety rope if they fall off.


Dr. Clam said...

You are making the wrong comparison. 2/3 of people at age 3 months make it to a stage where they can say: 'hey, don't kill me'. Assuming they can't do so already, 99% of 2 year olds will make it. If you don't agree with my understanding of 'thou shalt not kill', please provide your own definition!

I am afraid I have completely lost track of what you are trying to say. You don't seem to be trying to pull me up in a contradiction any more. Are you trying to convince me that the status quo is desirable? Because that will never work. Or are you trying to demonstrate that our society is incurably evil and must be destroyed? Because you should be careful, that might work. Then you will feel guilty when my Fedayeen turn the cities of the infidel dogs into lakes of fire...

Dr. Clam said...

I forgot to put in the analogy I was going to use to illustrate my point that it is the cumulative probability of surviving, not the incremental probability of not-surviving, that is the meaningful number.

I definitely would have a 1000 times greater chance of dying trying to cross the street in Milan than I would sitting at home in front of the computer; but I wouldn't like to contemplate reduced penalties for murdering tourist pedestrians!