Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Future Caliphate

Dr. Clam said
Just one comment for now- you mentioned my hypothetical caliphate before (probably far from the most unlikely way for prohibiton to occur) and under such a regime unwanted children would be raised by the state to form a quasi-military caste, not left to fester with their unwanted parents.

The advantage I see with a caliphate system over a nation state system with full moral leeway for each state, is that people wouldn't be able to move from a strict nation to a more liberal one to avoid restrictions to their "choice". If a caliphate was broad enough , the rules would be consistent across national boundaries, and if the economy suffered as a "cost" of the moral rules, other countries couldn't take advantage of that (competitively). This was the main failing with communism in which there was the success of non-communist systems to compare with, so that communism was not so much a failing as an evolutionary dead-end. I don't believe that under even the most favourable conditions, children raised by the state could do any better than unwanting parents, even ignoring the fact that most unwanting parents will still want to do their best for "their" child, and would not give them up for adoption willingly, even if they had wished them dead at some stage.

Having read the preamble to Afghanistan's constitution back when we were talking about separation of church and state, it seems that newly democratising Islamic middle eastern countries would make their country's laws secondary to Islamic law - caliphate style. However with no central basis for Islamic churches, it is difficult to see how an Islamic caliphate woud be structured.

This, to me is all a little bit moot, because I believe a global caliphate highly unlikely to ever happen, barring a really huge Earth-changing "Act of God". As you, however, I believe structural change to be inevitable (in first world countries) but it will not involve womb replacing incubators, and demographic change will not be a big factor. I believe the change to be influenced by a convergence of many factors which make the life of the unborn more valuable to society. Better education (sex, child upbringing), better contraception technologies, better 4-dimensional ultrasound technology such that the life of the unborn is more visible, Stable popuation (more resources able to be allocated for the future generation), stricter regulation with the youth with a view to reducing date rape and other problematic situations. The future provision of "date licences" or "unprotected sex licenses", as well as parenting licenses also. The separation of sex and pregnancy seems to be a logical progression, and will reduce abortion rates.


Dr. Clam said...

The idea that children raised by parents who suck will do better than ones raised by a benevolent state or NGO is one that has too many historical counter-examples to bother refuting.

I find your 'licensing' system infinitely more terrifying than putting drugs in the water. Beyond the obvious axiom that legislative solutions are bad and fail, while technological solutions are good and succeed, it will have absoluely ruinous compliance costs except in the limit of the Global Village, where it will be superfluous. It is much more sane to consider human sexual behaviour as a mental illness, with a treatment that anyone can opt out of after they have been cured, than as a crime requiring people to opt in or face the wrath of the state.

Dr. Clam said...

More comments:

(1) I envision technology that would take the children away from unwanted parents at a very early age and raise them in tanks, so they would not be forced to bring them to term and would not be likely to form an emotional bond.

(2) The whole idea with restoring the Caliphate is that there once was a central basis for Islam, just as there is for Catholicism, but that since the end of the Ottoman Empire there has not been anyone recognised as a Caliph and this centre has been missing. There certainly are Islamic hierarchies every bit as organised as Christian ones- in Shia Iran/Iraq, for instace.