Killing and the Question, Part 2

(Editor’s Note: This article is not typical of the ones I usually post here, but it is extremely relevant to the abortion debate as it addresses the same issue–a callous disregard for human life.)

To add to the article I posted yesterday, if you are interested in researching the issue of mass shootings, why they happen, what we can learn from them, and what we can do in the future to prevent them, then check out the following links. Zero Hedge, Lew Rockwell, James Howard Kunstler, Michael Rozeff, Warren Farrel, WND.

Each one of these authors is level-headed and reasonable. You will not find any hysterics here nor any sense of trying to whip the public up into a froth emotionally. Some arguments I agree with wholeheartedly, about some I have my doubts, but I will consider all of them. As should you.

Feminists For Life have a saying that “Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women.” If this is true in the case of abortion on demand, then a paraphrased version of it would also be true. Mass shootings are a reflection that we have not met the needs of young men. As a society and a culture, we should consider that both these are linked in one inextricable way—both situations exhibit a callous disregard for innocent human life.

We have to figure out a way to meet the needs of both pregnant women and young men. Our world’s survival depends on it.

Child Abuse Starts in the Womb

The arrest of Jeffrey Epstein on charges of sexual abuse of young women and girls has been all over the news lately. If you are watching any media at all, you can’t miss it. This is big stuff.

Epstein, however, is not the only fish in the pond. Take a look at this article in Zero Hedge and you will see that there is a vast number of cases of child abuse around the world, some of which the legal authorities know about and are moving forward on. Unfortunately, the ones that are not known are probably orders of magnitude higher. What is certain is that the Roman Catholic Church and its priests are not the only known offenders anymore. They are legion.

I have these questions. When are we (collectively, as a society, culture, and world) going to come to the realization that abortion which kills unborn babies is the earliest form of child abuse? Why do we allow, tolerate, encourage, and subsidize one method of child abuse, but become outraged, horrified, and aghast at another? If it is perfectly fine to kill one’s child before she is born, then why isn’t it just as acceptable to kill her after she has reached the age of eleven years and you have just raped her? Why don’t we just look the other way and pretend that this sort of behavior isn’t really happening, or if it is, just make the excuse that it’s not really any of my business?

We have been taught for decades that the human species (mankind—and, no, I’m not afraid to say it) is just another variant of the animal kingdom. We have also been taught that there is no objective morality and that the ‘rightness’ of any situation is a subjective decision of the individual involved. Considering these two statements together, is it any wonder that grown men (and women) are acting like animals, brute beasts who are only concerned with what they desire and makes them feel good? This is the end result of a system which has lost its anchor in ethical and moral objectivity.

Human trafficking is evil. Sexual abuse of children is evil. The deliberate killing of children in the womb is evil. It is not hard to imagine that all of these are connected in at least one other evil way—the callous, selfish disregard and contempt for human dignity, value, and life. Nothing will change for the better until we regain that concept.

The Suicidal Nature of Abortion

Abortion, as it is practiced today, is a suicide machine.i No apologies to Bruce Springsteen. His politics speak for him.

We are told from the very beginning that humans are part of the animal kingdom, that there’s really no difference at all between humans and chimpanzees or cockroaches, for that matter. We are all a product of evolution, a result of nature constantly weeding out the weak, inefficient, and hapless. Oh, and there is one other matter which distinguishes us—humans know the difference between right and wrong, that is, we understand a moral code, while all the other animals operate from a position of instinct.

What’s really interesting about this is that other animals, operating instinctively, do not deliberately kill their unborn children. Women, on the other hand, who are supposed to have risen to the very top of the pyramid of knowledge and understanding, will and do. Animal mothers will do anything and everything they instinctively know how to do to perpetuate their lineage, yet human mothers will do anything and everything they can, legally or otherwise, to destroy their offspring.

If there is one difference between animals and humans, it is this. Animals struggle to continue their lineage, humans act to destroy theirs.

Evolution, it is said, is a process by which the best of the best pass on their genes and characteristics to ensuing generations, thereby ensuring that the strongest and the most fit of the species survives and prospers. The weaker, less fit ones die out. As a whole, the entire species becomes better and more adapted to its environment. Well, then, consider this.

If the above statement is true, then women who abort their unborn children are not passing on their characteristics to the future generations, instead they’re removing them from the gene pool. This is in contrast to those women who deliver children and raise them up to become productive members of the human race, including the reproduction of children of their own through untold generations.

From an evolutionary viewpoint, over the long run, it is evident that women who abort their children will eventually die out, while those who don’t will continue the species. This leads to the conclusion that women who abort are the weaker members of the species and, since we are only animals anyway, they should and will be weeded out. For the benefit of humanity as a whole, you understand. And you should also understand that this is a tongue-in-cheek comment and is not meant to degrade any woman at all.

Coupled with this is the moral understanding that human beings should not kill each other, that there are negative consequences of these acts, and that humanity suffers when lethal violence is perpetrated against one member of society by another. Any society which practices or condones the widespread killing of its citizens, born or unborn, is participating in the demise of its future, dooming it to extinction.

It appears then, that abortion proponents and women who practice abortions are actually committing suicide, genetically speaking. As time goes on, the proportion of women who choose to give life to their unborn children will grow in relation to those who choose to kill theirs. Eventually, the numbers will become so lopsided that even the politicians will take note of it. Whether the suicidal members of society do or not is a different story. If they are consistent in their evolution and their beliefs, they will remain so to the very end, until they are all gone, when there are no more members of the human race who are willing to destroy their own children for their own selfish ends and survival of the fittest will be proven correct once again.

On this issue, evolution and morals appear to have collaborated. Abortion is not only morally wrong and detrimental to human relations, but also immensely destructive to the survival of the human species. Those who practice it will be eliminated—one way or another. As an evolutionary practice, abortion leads to death (extinction). As a moral practice, abortion leads to death (extinction). Abortion is not only morally wrong and detrimental to human relations, but also immensely destructive to the survival of the human species. Those who practice it will be eliminated—one way or another. As an evolutionary practice, abortion leads to death (extinction). As a moral practice, abortion leads to death (extinction). Abortion, quite simply, is suicidal. It is not beneficial nor wise.

“All those who hate me [wisdom], love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)

i A term used in Bruce Springsteen’s 1975 hit song, “Born to Run”.

Absolute Truth, Property Rights, and Abortion: A Collision

I need to give you some background for this article. Don’t worry if it looks like I’m wandering, I’m only setting the stage. I’ll be getting to the point in a minute or two.

I follow a blog—Bionic Mosquito. You can see it here. It’s a mix of hard-core philosophy, libertarianism, Christianity, and the never-ending quest for truth. Sometimes the author, Bionic Mosquito (or BM, as he is known), gets into subject matter which I am not interested in and I skim through it and move on. Other times, he presents a topic to which I go back, over and over, until I have it thoroughly understood. Occasionally I comment.

Recently, a post on ethical absolutism appeared which drew my attention. In this, Bionic Mosquito posted some comments by Murray Rothbard, the demi-god[i] of libertarianism. Rothbard was apparently in disagreement with Ludwig von Mises, who was instrumental in the creation of Austrian economics, about the question of ethics. Is ethics absolute or relative? Is there an objective truth or is all truth subjective?

Rothbard had this to say.

“The absolutist believes that man’s mind, employing reason (which according to some absolutists is divinely inspired, according to others is given by nature), is capable of discovering and knowing truth: including the truth about reality, and the truth about what is best for man and best for himself as an individual.”

I have included here a quote from Bionic Mosquito’s post. He makes an argument that I cannot improve on.

“I could probably stop here; from this statement, two points are clear: first, that there is an objective truth regarding humans and for humans, and second, that it is to be discovered by humans, not created by humans.  But I won’t stop here; his statements grow ever stronger and more relevant.”

Back to Rothbard.

“Philosophically, I believe that libertarianism — and the wider creed of sound individualism of which libertarianism is a part — must rest on absolutism and deny relativism.”

All right, then, so far, so good. Rothbard (and Bionic Mosquito) states that there is an objective truth that man can find if he searches for it. That truth is best for man as an individual and as a society. Furthermore, it does not come from man, but it is available to man. He (Rothbard) then states without any doubt or equivocation that libertarianism “must rest on absolutism and deny relativism.”

OK, let’s get to my argument.

If Rothbard could be so certain that there was absolute truth, an absolute ethic, an absolute moral code that he would bank his life’s work on it, then why in the world would he spend so much time and effort trying to justify abortion as a woman’s right? Why would he pursue the idea of ‘property rights’ so vigorously that he arrived at the conclusion that a woman’s subjective decision could override the objective truth about the unborn child in her womb?

“The proper groundwork for analysis of abortion is in every man’s absolute right of self-ownership. This implies immediately that every woman has the absolute right to her own body, that she has absolute dominion over her body and everything within it. This includes the fetus. Most fetuses are in the mother’s womb because the mother consents to this situation, but the fetus is there by the mother’s freely-granted consent. But should the mother decide that she does not want the fetus there any longer, then the fetus becomes a parasitic “invader” of her person, and the mother has the perfect right to expel this invader from her domain. Abortion should be looked upon, not as “murder” of a living person, but as the expulsion of an unwanted invader from the mother’s body.2 Any laws restricting or pro- hibiting abortion are therefore invasions of the rights of mothers.”[i]

Rothbard says that there is an absolute ethic, an objective moral code which all men and women would be better off following, but spends a large part of his life on the issue of property rights—compelling him to declare that women have absolute ownership of their bodies and the concomitant right to destroy their unborn children.

If there is an absolute, objective moral code which declares that all human beings have value and that to kill one is to commit murder, then it is certain that killing an unborn child is murder, because it is without doubt a human being. If this is true, then Rothbard is wrong. It is my opinion that he became so caught up in the theory of property rights that it simply transcended his viewpoint about absolute ethics. In other words, he lost sight of the forest looking at the trees.

The question to ask then is this. Is there an absolute code which declares that unborn children are human beings, that they have value in the sight of that code, and that it is wrong to treat them as so many are today—torn apart and thrown away? I have no better answer than this quote from the Ultimate Definer of absolute morality, ethics, and truth.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; …”—Jeremiah 1:5

[i] Within the circles of libertarian thought, Rothbard is viewed with the same type of reverence and awe that Hercules was in ancient Greek Mythology.

[i] Murray Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty, New York University Press, 1998 [1982], pg. 98. See this review.

Immigrant Children or Aborted Children. Where is the Love?

It’s been all over the news the last few days. You probably know what I’m alluding to, but if you haven’t heard about the young immigrant children held in detention camps in Texas, without access to showers, soap, or toothbrushes and toothpaste, then I’ve linked to some sites to bring you up to date.

See here, here, and here.

Don’t worry. I’m not going political on you. Instead, I want to point out some hypocrisy and double standards between the way people think about this issue and that of abortion. I intend to zero in on two distinctly different camps. I will be fair and even-handed in my criticism.

There are those who express anger and outrage at the way the federal government has treated these immigrant children, bringing up all the arguments as to why the United States should welcome them in, if not with open arms then, at least, a food stamp voucher, a driver’s license, and voter registration, along with any other ‘freebies’ we can give them. After all, they are poor, destitute, and hungry. We should have compassion on them because we have so much to give and, oh, by the way, did you happen to see that picture of the man who drowned while trying to save his little daughter, who also drowned? Just tears my heart to pieces, it does!

These same people, however, will argue long and loudly about the ‘right’ of a woman to abort her unborn child, to literally rip it to shreds and throw it into a wastebasket or use it in some scientific experiment on rodents. They never stop to think about the hypocrisy they espouse—kindness, compassion, and pity for one group of youngsters, but cold-hearted, callous, cruelty towards another which is even more defenseless than the first.

Where is the love?

And, at the polar opposite are those who get all lathered up about ‘abortion on demand’ which destroys untold millions of innocent unborn humans before they get a chance to live, yet express hateful, hard-hearted, attitudes toward the unfortunate, poverty-ridden immigrant children who just happened to show up on our doorstep. Why did they come here anyway and why should we have to pay so that they can have a toothbrush and a hot shower? Don’t we have enough trouble of our own without inviting more from outside? The double-standard here, obviously, is to agitate for a society which forbids the killing of an unborn child, while holding a political position which demands that ‘our’ government turn ‘those others’ away at The Wall, er, I mean, the border.

Where is the love?

Both the immigrant children and the unborn children are equivalent however, they are all human beings who need assistance, sustenance, and security in order to survive and thrive. Both groups need to have love, compassion, and kindness shown to them, along with a safe place to sleep in and adequate nutrition and care. Both groups are completely unable to resist or overcome the ill treatment which they receive at the hands of more powerful people, who are only interested in their own self-interest.

This is a spiritual question, a human question. What are we supposed to do about others who are in a desperate situation, regardless of how they came to be there? It’s not political nor popular and will not receive widespread support, but it is the only answer I have.

“Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, who are my brothers and sisters, you have done it unto me.”—Jesus the Christ (Matthew 25:40)

Anarchy, Liberty, and Abortion: A Rejoinder

I like to read Butler Shaffer[i]. Whenever I see something he has written, I take a look at it. He is intelligent, well-educated, and thinks and writes in a style which most people can understand. His analyses are written calmly, rationally, and include a good measure of common sense. In 2012, he wrote an article which originally appeared on Lew Rockwell. Some of it did not set well with me. This is my response. The relevant parts are copied below with some minor editing.

 “…narrowing the inquiry to the issue of when a given life form becomes a “person,” I regard this as occurring upon conception. It is the point at which one acquires his/her unique DNA that the sense of “thingness” is transformed into a  “personhood” that is relatively free of arbitrary definition…”

I am in complete agreement with this. See my blog post.

“I also believe that it is wrong to kill or use any form of violence against a person, which…makes the killing of an unborn child an act of murder…”

Assuming he means aggressive, initiatory killing or violence against another, I also agree with this. However, he goes on to say that,

“…I am unwilling to sanction the use of violence to either (a) physically prevent, or (b) punish a woman for having an abortion…”

This is where the disconnect begins. It appears to me that there is a contradiction here.

  1. Humanity and person-hood come into being at conception.
  2. It is wrong to kill another person, including those unborn.
  3. We should not use violence or force to:
    a. Prevent a woman from killing her unborn child, or,
    b. Punish her if she does.

[Side note: Although I may not agree with them, I can understand the reasons why we cannot (should not) stop any woman from pursuing an abortion, in the same way that we cannot stop any person from killing another by any other means. If a person is determined to kill someone else, there is literally no way to stop them unless they are completely and forcefully isolated from that person, which action, in itself, then becomes an infringement of civil liberties. A crime is not a crime until it has happened, at which time it is too late to prevent it. It may be foolish or dangerous to aim a rifle at someone 500 yards away, but there is no crime until the trigger is pulled and the bullet is sent on its way. It may be despicable and abominable for a woman to think about killing her child or even to go to the ‘clinic’ with the intention of doing so, but until the abortion happens, she cannot be found guilty of a crime.[ii]

This is a legal matter as opposed to a moral one. Whether we have a moral imperative to pass laws to stop someone from pulling the trigger on any forceful, violent, or deadly act is something else entirely, which is a discussion for another time.]

Assuming we do nothing to stop a pregnant woman from aborting her unborn child (an act of aggression, murder), what then do we do about the act? What do we do about the “doctor” who performed the deed? The clinical staff which facilitated it? The company which owned the clinic? The husband, boyfriend, or parent who encouraged it? The woman, herself? It is 100% certain that an innocent human being has been violently destroyed. What should be the response of society to this act?

As I see it, according to Shaffer’s line of argument, abortion (which results in the death of an unborn human being) is murder, but there should be no sanctions against it. If I am understanding him correctly, society and the law should do nothing. Nothing at all.

This has implications. If we do nothing about an abortion, an act of murder, which kills a human being before she is born, then why should we be concerned about an act of murder which kills her after she is born?

You get my drift. Everything is relative.

 “From a libertarian perspective, the question becomes (as it does in our daily lives): how do we exercise our freedom so as to minimize harm to others?”

This is good, but he didn’t go far enough. The question becomes—how do we exercise our freedom, not only to minimize harm to others, but also to punish the harm done to others? There are at least four possibilities here. There may be more.

  1. Abortions should be illegal, regardless of any woman’s wishes. They are not free to kill their unborn children. Period. It is the Law!
  2. Abortions should be legal. Any woman can have one if she wishes and no one else has anything to say about it. Period. It is the Law!
  3. I don’t approve of abortions, but it’s not my problem. I’m not going to get involved. A poor companion of this is, “I don’t have an opinion, one way or the other.”
  4. No one should be able to forcibly prevent a woman from aborting her unborn child, but she needs to understand that she may be prosecuted for murder if she does and is found out. This is my position.

It may sound strange, but everyone has the innate ‘freedom’ to kill someone else. It is no different than having the ‘freedom’ to drive a car at 50 mph in a school zone which has a posted 15 mph speed limit or to burn down your neighbor’s house because you got into a fight with him earlier in the day. We have the freedom to do all these things, and more, but that doesn’t mean we should or that our actions will go unpunished if we do.[iii] If we are not free to do wrong, then we are not free at all. In this sense, we are simply walking in God’s footsteps after Him. After all, God did not prevent Cain from killing his brother Abel, but called him to account for the deed after it was done.[iv] God simply does not engage in pre-crime.[v]  

“In my view of the world, a pregnant woman will make her own decision as to whether to abort. I may disapprove of the decision she makes, but I will not resort to — nor sanction — force against her to make her conform to my value. I ask only that she be willing to defend my freedom to make choices in the world.”

If you ask him (I did), Butler Shaffer will tell you that he holds his position on this matter because of his strong anarchist philosophy. I can agree with this in most things, but we are dealing here with the violent death of unborn human beings. If there were any single issue which would drive me to prefer minarchy (minimal government) over anarchy (no government), it would be this one. If we cannot defend the lives of unborn babies from the murderous depredations of their own mothers, then we can defend no one.

I want other people to not interfere with my day-to-day life. In return, I try to do the same for them. I’ll leave you alone. You leave me alone. Which is all perfectly acceptable until something bad happens to someone who doesn’t deserve what they got at the hands of someone I left alone.

What are my responsibilities then?

[i] Butler Shaffer is Professor Emeritus at Southwestern University School of Law. I usually find his articles on Lew Rockwell and always find them interesting.

[ii] In a similar vein, according to the teaching of Jesus, “…if you look at a woman with lust, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart.” God doesn’t stop men from looking at women lustfully, but He does hold them accountable if they do.

[iii] The State of Florida, in which I lived for almost ten years, takes a very dim view of motorists driving faster than the posted speed limit in a school zone. You can do it, but you’d better not.

[iv]Genesis 4:1-18. See this version of the story here.

[v] I find it ironic that the State tries to eliminate death and injury in certain cases, i.e., mandatory vaccinations and required seat belt use while driving, but it abets and facilitates them in others, i.e., wars and abortions. Do as I say, not as I do. Talk about contradictions. God, at least, is consistent.

Drowning Swimmers or Deliberate Murder

In their article, “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy”[i],  Walter Block[ii] and Roy Whitehead[iii] make the following argument.

“However, just because aborting the fetus is abominable, it does not follow that it should be prohibited by law. Under a just e.g., libertarian law code,
136 there are numerous despicable acts, which are not legally pro­scribed, since they do not constitute “invasions” or “border crossings.” Abortion falls into this category. It is a failure to come to the aid of or an unwillingness to become a “good Samaritan.” The woman who refuses to carry her fetus to term is in exactly the same position as a person who refuses to rescue a drowning swimmer. Abortion is not, in and of itself, an act invasive of other people or their property rights, even when fetuses are considered persons.”

My paraphrased version of this: Just because abortion is abominable, we should not prohibit it. After all, there are other despicable [abominable] acts which would not be proscribed under libertarian law.

I agree completely with this statement, as it is written. We should not prohibit abortion because it is abominable. Instead, we should prohibit it because it is the deliberate killing of an unborn human being, who has done nothing wrong, nothing deserving the punishment of execution. It is the murder of an unborn, personal, human being; therefore, it should be prohibited. It is a sad commentary on our modern way of life that it is not.

The numerous despicable acts (unnamed in the quote) are not legally proscribed because they do not constitute “invasions” or “border crossings.” Ah, yes, trespass again. In all the imagined acts, however, there is a common thread–all the parties involved MUST be willing participants. If there is even one unwilling participant in any one of these “despicable” acts, then someone’s borders have been crossed. Ask an unborn fetus if she is willing to have her space (the placental sac) invaded. I daresay that, from her point of view, abortion does not, absolutely does not fall into the “despicable action” category which will be allowed under Block and Whitehead’s “just” libertarian code of law.

The woman who refuses to carry her baby to term is NOT the same as someone who refuses to rescue a drowning swimmer. Refusal to act in order to save a person’s life is not equivalent to deliberate action in order to take a person’s life. Not at all, not even close. There may not be any criminal intent in refusing to save a drowning swimmer, e.g., overloaded lifeboats at the sinking of the Titanic, where taking on one more drowning swimmer would have sunk the lifeboat, killing them all. An action such as this could be considered self-defense. Emotionally excruciating, perhaps, but not criminal. Aborting a fetus, though, is not just morally repugnant, but a deliberate act of homicide.

A more appropriate analogy would have been to compare the woman who aborts her unborn fetus with someone who holds a swimmer’s head under water, refusing to allow him to breathe, thus drowning him. Comparing the fetus with a drowning swimmer is ludicrous. A drowning swimmer is in mortal danger, while there is nothing more alive than a healthy and growing fetus. Really now, if you wanted to see it like this, the fetus is swimming laps (no pun intended), preparing herself to become an Olympic champion and is in no danger at all except from the person who “owns the pool.”

Abortion IS, in and of itself, invasive of other people and their property rights, especially and particularly unborn children who are (or ought to be) considered persons with their own set of rights. It is plain to be seen that, in order to maintain the cohesiveness and integrity of the theory of property rights, “rights” MUST be more important than what IS right.

[i] Block, Walter E. and Roy Whitehead. 2005. “Compromising the Uncompromisable: A Private Property Rights Approach to Resolving the Abortion Controversy,” Appalachian Law Review, 4 (2) 1-45

[ii] Walter Block, an Austrian school economist and anarcho-libertarian philosopher, is Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics and Professor of Economics at Loyola University New Orleans and Senior Fellow with the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

[iii] Roy Whitehead, JD, LLM, Associate Professor of Business Law, University of Central Arkansas.