Thursday, August 23, 2012

the "no-reasonable-person" argument

i often get the "no-reasonable-person" argument right after my "slippery-slope" argument... it goes like this:
ME: "If you allow A, then you will eventually have to allow B."
REASONABLE PERSON: "No reasonable person will ever allow B."
well, guess what?... there are those among us who are "reasonable" and are pushing arguments that the rest of us abhor... but we've already gone past the point of no return in many cases.

for instance... abortion... (oh lord, here he goes again)... well, we've already allowed the unborn to be aborted at will... maybe we condemn certain methods like partial-birth, but we turn a blind eye to other methods which achieve the same end result; the death of the unborn.

but No-Reasonable-Person would equate abortion and infanticide... right?... right?

In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be.
- Journal of Medical Ethics - 23 February 2012
step #1: redefine the terms of the argument... it isn't infanticide... it's after-birth-abortion... because you've already accepted the term abortion as morally neutral.

Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’. We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her. This means that many non-human animals and mentally retarded human individuals are persons, but that all the individuals who are not in the condition of attributing any value to their own existence are not persons. Merely being human is not in itself a reason for ascribing someone a right to life.
did they just make "non-human animals" equivalent to the mentally retarded?... i do believe they did!... and more so, they qualified their argument as "many non-human animals and mentally retarded" are persons; so, by definition, some are not persons.

let that sink in.

in case you missed it, adults who are mentally retarded are given a status below that of "many non-human animals"... they do not have a "moral right to life"... in other (more clear) words, you can kill them with impunity, with no regard to their rights (as they have none).

the "reasonable person" would argue that we would only allow aborting those which are unable to fulfill their potential as a person... "no reasonable person" would suggest aborting healthy children... right?

If the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds that she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing, then it should also be permissible to practise an after-birth abortion on a healthy newborn too, given that she has not formed any aim yet.
that's right... they want to abort healthy infants.

but we're not on a slippery slope... are we?

After-birth abortion: why should the baby live? -- Giubilini and Minerva -- Journal of Medical Ethics

No comments:

Post a Comment