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Zoe’s law and abortion

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As long term readers should be aware I have argued many times that when it comes to the issue of abortion what we have is a matter of competing imperatives which change in their primacy over the duration the gestation. Further I argue that denying the humanity or the person-hood of the unborn is a shallow conceit that is created purely to sidestep the social strictures that we quite rightly have about killing other human beings. Simply put the denial of the humanity of the unborn makes it easier to kill them.

Personally I have always argued that there are times when abortion can be justified but you need ever more pressing reasons to kill the unborn the further that gestation progresses. Thus at the earliest stages of gestation abortion because of the lifestyle implications of a continuing pregnancy are both understandable and justifiable but once you get closer to term there just has to be a much more substantive reason to kill the unborn. That is the ethical territory that is in play here and Julie Hamblin is right to acknowledge that this law may  have implications beyond its intended remit. However is that really such a bad thing for our society?  It may make it tough for the “kill for convenience” pro-abortionists because they will have to honestly argue their case for once, that abortion is about killing real human beings rather than just “removing a bunch of cells” but if we as a society are not honest about this issue can we really claim to be a moral society?

Laters   Comrades

Abortion should be safe affordable, but most importantly rare

Abortion should be safe affordable, but most importantly rare

George Monbiot, millenarian prophecy and his desire to see western society back into an “energy dark age”

One of the reasons that I abandoned the left’s politics is its inability to see the obvious  and its wanton  ability to to be duped by its ideologues. One such issue has to be climate change and the extent to which humanity’s footsteps on the planet will impact on the environment.  One article that I read a few days ago in the Guardian has been republished in the Green Left Daily , sorry I meant the AGE,  and its a  call for the subversion of democracy to the to the needs of Gaia from that high  priest of the Green faith George Monbiot:


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Of course what all of these minions of the watermelon left ignore is the complete equation, namely the human impact on the environment is a function of not only the things that humans do, but also the number of us that do it. So while the likes of George may whine about the industrial economy they also bemoan the loss of life from pestilence, famine and war. But here in lays the real problem when it comes to human impact on the planet. As a species we have become very adept at circumventing all of the checks upon our population and we are now reaping what this compassion for all has sown. Add to this the persistence of the cultural imperatives to have many children (especially in the third world) and it becomes clear that George is letting his leftist politics and hatred of the “elite” cloud his reason.

There are two ways to control an ever expanding population, either  limit the number of children that are made  to  that which will replace numbers with out increasing our population or we stop making extraordinary efforts  to constrain the four horsemen of death that have for so long controlled human  numbers.  This is of course an anathema to the left who think that every death in a struggle for resources or territory is an unmitigated disaster and requires sackcloth, ashes and the blaming of western culture.  Dare I suggest its not the successful western  cultures that are the problem for the planet because almost all of those have well and truly taken to heart limiting the number of children we make to replacement levels, its the countries of the third world who have unsustainable birth rates which combined with the compassionate “aid”  from the industrialised first world have seen rapid declines in childhood  mortality and subsequent population increases.

If our George really believes his own  apocalyptic doom-saying then why does he not even consider  the issue of population?  It seems to me that he is so in love with his own millenarian prophecy and his desire to see western society  back into a new “energy dark age”  that he is not seeing the real big picture at all .

Cheers Comrades


Truth and consequences in abortion

We all generally agree that life is precious and that killing another human being is one of the most heinous crimes that we can imagine. and when it comes to killing we scale our disgust on a basis of how well that killing can be justified. Thus we  think that killing someone who is threatening our lives is both justifiable and entirely acceptable whereas killing for pleasure or expedience is most abhorrent and we, as a species usually have social mechanisms to excuse the former and punish the latter. I jurisdictions that execute killers it is considered most humane to use drugs to carry out a sentence of death. There is a part of me that is very old school when it comes to capital punishment. Old school insofar as I think that some crimes are so terrible that the guilty deserve a terrible end rather than something that is painless and entirely sanitised.   There is also a part of me which  thinks that a similar principle should apply to abortion, that we should never allow it to be too easy, too sanitised and too easy to deny the reality of what is being done, it is the killing of another human being. Like the killing that I began with it can be justified under certain circumstances but we are lessened as creatures of virtue if we allow the conceit that what is being done is anything less than killing another human being.

Which brings me to the announcement yesterday that chemical methods of procuring an abortion are to be come more available as a method of killing the unborn:

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I am reminded of one of the themes of Umberto Eco‘s book “The Name of the Rose” was essentially that just because we can do something should not mean that we should do so and when we make something like abortion too easy we make it too easy to pretend that the life of a person is being ended and by doing that we are all diminished. Make no mistake I am not one of those absolutists who thinks that all abortion is murder and that it should be prohibited by law. I am far too much of a realist to suggest that. But like the consideration of killing that I opened this piece with I do think that there is a variation in how we should consider the justifiability of abortion. That scale has at one end a procedure to save the life of a woman who would die if the pregnancy were to continue and at the other end an abortion that is done in response to a “failure” or a “failure to use” contraception. And in-between those situations there are lots of different scenarios where an abortion can be well justified. The thing is just like executions there are also good arguments for making the procedure as significant as the act of killing that it is even when it entirely justified by circumstances because at the very least then the woman who is ending that life will truly understand what it is that they are doing. Just being able to end a life by taking an a drug is just too easy and it make denying the humanity of the unborn far too easy as well.

With respect Comrades.

Opportunity vs outcomes? Hmm I back the former

A very interesting view of social justice and the eternal quest to make ours a far better and more equal society in Gary Johns’ opinion piece published in the Oz today i found myself nodding in agreement when I read it:

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Johns makes a very good point about competing advocacy and its influence on governemnt priorities but I particularity agree with what he says about successful people and the education outcomes of their children and the public heath matters hit the nail well and truly on the head.  I just can’t help wondering why the silvertail socialists, like our learned friend,  are so incapable of appreciating that some social problems might just be unsolvable and all of the hand wringing and the search for some evil successful people to blame for the woes of others is entirely futile. As a species human beings have a huge difference between individuals. Not just in our appearance but also in our abilities and ambitions. Not everyone wants to be a rocket scientist or an entrepreneur, a lawyer or a doctor. Some people are content to just live a very ordinary life free from anything even coming close to strong ambition. Without that can you imagine a world where everyone had to have  a degree for even the most mundane employment?

      Imagine having to have a PHD in Ditchology just to wield a shovel for the plumber, or that plumber needing to be a qualified hydraulic engineering graduate just to unblock a septic tank in-flow. Then there is the not insubstantial issue of payment for work done they tried the low pay for everyone under the now fallen  communist regimes of eastern Europe and look how that turned out. The result was a lack of any real incentive to do a good job or to make a decent product. No social equality is not about equal outcomes for every  individual its about each individual having and the opportunity (should they desire ) to become what they want and to live their lives as they please.   We are not perfect achieving this equality of opportunity but I reckon that we don’t do to badly.

Cheers Comrades

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