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Old 03-01-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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"Ethicists" at Oxford endorse "after birth abortion"

Placing bets now on how long it will take certain pro-choice elements of American politics to back this line of reasoning as an essential element of contraception constitutional rights women's health. You really can't make this stuff up.


The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”. The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.

The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said the article's authors had received death threats since publishing the article. He said those who made abusive and threatening posts about the study were “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.

The article, entitled “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by two of Prof Savulescu’s former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.

They argued: “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “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.”

As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.

The authors therefore concluded that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”.

They also argued that parents should be able to have the baby killed if it turned out to be disabled without their knowing before birth, for example citing that “only the 64 per cent of Down’s syndrome cases” in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing.

Once such children were born there was “no choice for the parents but to keep the child”, they wrote.

“To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

However, they did not argue that some baby killings were more justifiable than others – their fundamental point was that, morally, there was no difference to abortion as already practised.

They preferred to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus”.

Both Minerva and Giubilini know Prof Savulescu through Oxford. Minerva was a research associate at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics until last June, when she moved to the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Melbourne University.

Giubilini, a former visiting student at Cambridge University, gave a talk in January at the Oxford Martin School – where Prof Savulescu is also a director – titled 'What is the problem with euthanasia?'

He too has gone on to Melbourne, although to the city’s Monash University. Prof Savulescu worked at both univerisities before moving to Oxford in 2002.

Defending the decision to publish in a British Medical Journal blog, Prof Savulescu, said that arguments in favour of killing newborns were “largely not new”.

What Minerva and Giubilini did was apply these arguments “in consideration of maternal and family interests”.

While accepting that many people would disagree with their arguments, he wrote: “The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises.”

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” - a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.”

He said the journal would consider publishing an article positing that, if there was no moral difference between abortion and killing newborns, then abortion too should be illegal.

Dr Trevor Stammers, director of medical ethics at St Mary's University College, said: "If a mother does smother her child with a blanket, we say 'it's doesn't matter, she can get another one,' is that what we want to happen?

"What these young colleagues are spelling out is what we would be the inevitable end point of a road that ethical philosophers in the States and Australia have all been treading for a long time and there is certainly nothing new."

Referring to the term "after-birth abortion", Dr Stammers added: "This is just verbal manipulation that is not philosophy. I might refer to abortion henceforth as antenatal infanticide."
My personal favorite excerpts from the article:

1. Those opposed to "after birth abortion" were “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”. [Apparently, opposing the arbitrary killing of someone who is actually born makes one a fanatic and opposed to liberal values. - Coming soon to a Debbie Wasserman-Shultz talking point near you? A crazy base nation awaits with baited breath. -EG]

2. Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “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’.

3. Parents should be able to have the baby killed if it turned out to be disabled without their knowing before birth, for example citing that “only the 64 per cent of Down’s syndrome cases” in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing. Once such children were born there was “no choice for the parents but to keep the child”, they wrote. [I guess there's no adoption in Europe? -EG]

4. They preferred to use the phrase “after-birth abortion” rather than “infanticide” to “emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus”. [Really? They'd rather not call murder what it is? I wonder why that is? -EG]

It's a brave new world, ain't it? (At least in Europe anyway.)

I honestly wonder if this is even serious - or if it is a backhanded way by some pro-lifers to protest abortion. It's honestly too crazy to even take seriously; so crazy it must be a gag of some sort.
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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I see it more as used by the right wingnuts to claim this is Planned Parenthood's Ultimate Goal.
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
I see it more as used by the right wingnuts to claim this is Planned Parenthood's Ultimate Goal.
Yes well everything is a "right wingnuts" conspiracy to your crowd, so I'm sure no one is surprised by your viewpoint. (Shocking, I know.)
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:21 PM   #4
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Never said the 'C' word!

Once again you project.

Even a fanatic right winger has to admit every possible rock they can find gets thrown.

The 'social conservatives' on talk radio and political spin professionals need something to stoke up the rather indifferent masses.

Funny you post this wondering how long it will take to be fuel for the pro-choice crowd but can't quite see it as baiting the far right into 'action' to 'defend' the babies...
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
Never said the 'C' word! Once again you project.
You do know the meaning of the word "implied," right? (For example, in asking that question, I am implying that you're less educated and have weaker reasoning skills than people who do know what the word "implied" means.)

Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
Even a fanatic right winger has to admit every possible rock they can find gets thrown.
Wtf are you even talking about here?

Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
The 'social conservatives' on talk radio and political spin professionals need something to stoke up the rather indifferent masses.
This really has nothing to do with anything, but if you're really looking at criticism of the good professors' idea as stoking the indifferent masses, you're just as morally lost as the professors.

Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
Funny you post this wondering how long it will take to be fuel for the pro-choice crowd but can't quite see it as baiting the far right into 'action' to 'defend' the babies...
Oh yes of course you are right, I didn't contemplate that at all, which is why I totally didn't say this in my OP:

Originally Posted by The Esteemed Gentleman View Post
I honestly wonder if this is even serious - or if it is a backhanded way by some pro-lifers to protest abortion. It's honestly too crazy to even take seriously; so crazy it must be a gag of some sort.
Honestly, do you even or ever think about or read other posts carefully before you spew your bile nonsense onto this forum? You are quite possibly the worst poster here in a long time (even worse than MajesticToaster, Gipper or Sky Writer). What is your issue? Seriously, are you mentally deficient?
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:26 PM   #6
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Oh I know the word imply, also know arrogance, you fit them both quite well. i have no doubt you have sat in more classrooms than I have.

Thinking if you don't know what a fanatic right winger is you might be one.

Now my turn to ask WTF, you must be going to school under a rock. From Fox Noise to Rush the right wing hate mongers are digging for every social issue they can and now abortion is being tied to birth control to ramp up an indifferent base. The turnout for the Republican primary is pathetic. A ethics paper of this sort is just the kind of thing Rick or Newt could have used a month ago. Holding a sheath of papers overhead while vomiting!

What you did say as followup was the 'C' word, that was my rebuttal and some facts so you don't get too lost trying to follow me.

But no matter
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
Oh I know the word arrogance, you fit ... quite well.
Oh, I'll admit to being arrogant, but hey, showing an offensive attitude of superiority sometimes needs to happen when battling such profound dimwittedness.

Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
Thinking if you don't know what a fanatic right winger is you might be one.
Not to ruin your Jeff Foxworthy ripoff, but probably not. I have plenty of non-fanatic right wing positions. On this forum, I have criticized conservatives for replacing pro-gay judges in Iowa with anti-gay judges; criticized the Supreme Court for not allowing a tort actions against the Westboro Baptist Church to stand; stood up for environmentalism and climate change; stood against the Unitary Executive and have adopted the positions of various liberal scholars (including candidate Obama) regarding the use of American military force; and I expressed support for Vermont in adopting a single-payer system to pay for health care (hardly a right-wing position). As you can see, there is plenty of anti-fanatic conservative in me; the problem here is that you are so god damn crazy that moderation looks like "far right wingnut" to you. You might want to check your own values and positions; the only "wingnut" in this conversation is you, dude.

Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
Now my turn to ask WTF, you must be going to school under a rock. From Fox Noise to Rush the right wing hate mongers are digging for every social issue they can and now abortion is being tied to birth control to ramp up an indifferent base. The turnout for the Republican primary is pathetic. A ethics paper of this sort is just the kind of thing Rick or Newt could have used a month ago. Holding a sheath of papers overhead while vomiting!
You sound like just as much of a hate-monger as Rush & Co., just from the other side. But to the point: the paper, if real, came from philosophers at Oxford (you know, in England). You have to be quite the conspiracy theorist (bringing us back to an earlier point) if you believe this paper was designed to help bolster Republicans in the primary. I'm pretty sure the Brits at Oxford have better things to do than worry about ramping up the GOP base.
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:22 PM   #8
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I personally like this exerpt:

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “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’.


You certainly can't make up logic like that.
 
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Salty Dog View Post
I personally like this exerpt:

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “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’.

You certainly can't make up logic like that.
It really is astonishing, isn't it? I just can't wrap my head around it. It seems like they are saying that because a child cannot contemplate its own existence, it is therefor unworthy of having an existence. (“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.” )

It's like we're regressing back to Progressive Era eugenics.
 
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Esteemed Gentleman View Post
It really is astonishing, isn't it? I just can't wrap my head around it. It seems like they are saying that because a child cannot contemplate its own existence, it is therefor unworthy of having an existence. (“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.” )

It's like we're regressing back to Progressive Era eugenics.
I don't believe a human being has the ability of reason to contemplate their existance until they're well into early grade school. Does that mean offing a 5yo is an abortion?
 
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #11
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It's a messed up concept... but not one which doesn't exist in nature. Nature is cruel, yes. Nevertheless it's the norm, not the exception, for mothers to reject and kill babies that are malformed or otherwise defective. It is human behavior which is the exception. Just food for thought.

I totally don't agree with these people for the record. I think it's an offensive opinion to have.
 
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
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It's one extreme opinion just as the other side has their extreme opinions.
 
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Donkey® View Post
It's one extreme opinion just as the other side has their extreme opinions.
What is the "extreme" position opposite? That human life begins at conception? If so, that's hardly as cold, cruel, or extreme as what these guys are purportedly proposing. I mean good god.
 
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WickedLou9 View Post
It's a messed up concept... but not one which doesn't exist in nature. Nature is cruel, yes. Nevertheless it's the norm, not the exception, for mothers to reject and kill babies that are malformed or otherwise defective. It is human behavior which is the exception. Just food for thought.
There are many conditions which exist in nature which humans have rejected. Besides, humans have the ability to think through and overcome such conditions, making the rejection of impure offspring for survival purposes unnecessary. I understand your factual point about the state of nature and other species, but I think it's a crude and unpersuasive pillar from which to anchor the professors' argument (if, indeed, used as such an anchor). And based on what you ended your post with, I think you agree with me.

Originally Posted by WickedLou9 View Post
I totally don't agree with these people for the record. I think it's an offensive opinion to have.
I think it's an insane opinion to have.
 
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Esteemed Gentleman View Post
Oh, I'll admit to being arrogant, but hey, showing an offensive attitude of superiority sometimes needs to happen when battling such profound dimwittedness.
I posted this to facebook. Perfectly said
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #16
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Wilmington resolution urges 'equal rights' for sperm - Philly.com

The resolution, worthy of a Monty Python skit, says each "egg person" and each "sperm person" should be deemed equal in the eyes of government and given the same rights "as any other dependent minor."
No more masturbation. Each load must produce millions of babies.
 
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dumpy Dooby View Post
These guys are basically taking the pro-choice view to its logical conclusion....

They clearly have some problems with their argument (like the nonsense about it being okay because infants are a burden to the state )...
Speaking of bringing an argument to its logical conclusion, if it is permissible to terminate the life of a living human because that human is a burden to the state and is young, then how long until it is okay to terminate the life of older persons who are burdens of the state, such a students on student loans, or the unemployed, or urban minorities on food stamps, and the elderly on Medicare and Medicaid, or the disabled on SSI or numerous other programs? Or are we merely making distinctions between those who can "contemplate" their existence and those who cannot for some reason?
 
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:39 PM   #18
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EG-
I have read what you post for sometime now. Your arrogance isn't based on superior intelligence and one doesn't need to show such when battling dimwittedness.

Lots of people manage to refrain when talking to you...
 
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:13 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by notquiteright View Post
EG-
I have read what you post for sometime now. Your arrogance isn't based on superior intelligence and one doesn't need to show such when battling dimwittedness.

Lots of people manage to refrain when talking to you...
 
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #20
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Ahhh another member of the peanut gallery who calls others trolls but most likely is just looking in a mirror.

I find it interesting those who believe themselves superior in education or class resort so quickly to petty personal attacks. And like a third grader, lipstick libertarian, right wingnut, or abusive husband use the 'you made me do it' as an excuse.

Personal attacks with made-up 'facts', you sure you aren't BushII, Santorum or maybe Newt?
 
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