Morning Highlights

Good Morning to you (Friday evening for me). Wazzup?

  • Vincent at the World Blog points to a column on abortion from a pro-life perspective. In the few abortion arguments discussions I’ve had with pro-abortion proponents, I’ve never had a good counter to the “my 9 year old daughter loves babies and certainly knows what pregnancy is all about. Explain abortion to her.” The pro-choice/pro-abortion position is not one that can be made simply but must, it seems, tread a fine rhetorical line to counter the basic truth of the sanctity of life, a fact grasped easily by children but forgotten when we become clever and less wise as we get older. Yes? Or have you ever heard a simply stated argument for the taking of pre-natal life?
  • If “he” were alive, he’d be a blogger (and I guess a top-dog in the ‘sphere) according to Mark Daniels. Who’s he? That’d be telling, check it out. 🙂
  • If you start forgetting the front rank in the fifth column in this country, Doug at Stones Cry Out reminds us all.
  • Bill Gates retiring … don’t let the door hit you on the way out dude. Varifrank says it better though. And no, I’m not a fan of Microsoft. As they say, “You can get better, but you can’t pay more.”
  • Marriage counseling from Light Along the Journey, on Love vs “In Love”.

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7 comments

  1. [My son, Philip, presents his reflections on our trip to Oyster Bay and on Theodore Roosevelt here.] [Thanks to Hugh Hewitt for linking to this post. And thanks to Mark Olson, who has linked to the post on two blogshere and here.]

  2. I’ve never had a good counter to the “my 9 year old daughter loves babies and certainly knows what pregnancy is all about. Explain abortion to her.

    “Well sweetie, first I need to explain how babies are made.” Explain about sex, sperm, and eggs. Wait a few weeks for that shock to sink in.

    “Now, remember how I told you that when a sperm and egg get together, they make something called a zygote, which (less than half the time) becomes a fetus, which can eventually grow into a baby? Well sometimes, if the mother can’t take care of a baby for some reason, or it wouldn’t be safe for her to stay pregant, she chooses to have something called an ‘abortion,’ which is a way for a doctor to take out the fetus before it has a chance to grow into a baby. This is a very sad thing, because everybody loves babies, but sometimes it’s just better than any of the other options.”

  3. Mark says:

    JewishAtheist,

    Well, we haven’t gone into detail about “how babies are made” yet, because she’s nine and we dont’ think that’s appropriate yet. I think she (and for that matter I) agree abortion would be necessary if the mother’s life is a risk … but do you know what percentage of abortions *that* represents, it’s vanishingly small I think. The point is how “mother can’t take care of baby” is a compelling reason, because she loves to take care of babies, loves babies, and all that.

    To be honest as far as both of my daughters go, only politically relevant issue is abortion. They both strenously object to the pro-choice/pro-abortion position. They are more adamant about that that I.

  4. I’m skeptical on face of any moral philosophy that is so simple it can be explained to a 9-year old. Not a slap against nine year olds, but an acknowledgment that we live in a complex moral world.

    Do you think she’s old enough to understand the Thompson’s Violinist thought experiment?

  5. Mark says:

    David,
    I take it then, you’re not a fan of Kass’ “repugnance” essay?

    I think she might understand the thought experiment, although I’d confess I think she might find babies a more precious thing than a “famous violinist”. And I take it, the argument “against the special obligation” is not so simple or airtight. Although personally, I’d argue it isn’t apt because you to get to that place where you’re making that argument, you’ve bypassed (my beliefs at least) regarding the moral/ethical import of sexual intercourse in the first place. From there it is hard to equate pregnancy with the ill violinist. I also wonder at the emphasis on the burden of pregnancy. Raising a child from after birth to majority is way way more work than the pregancy. Pregnancy is the easy part, but nobody (reasonable/rational) supports infanticide, especially of a healthy toddler. If burden was the harmful part, then why not kill kids freely until they reach an age of majority without censure.

    Perhaps you’d be so kind to tell me what’s wrong with my stance on that issue (safe, illegal, and rare). That is, abortion is a important (weighty?) moral choice, and to reflect that we ought to make it “illegal”, with a penalty/pennance keyed to insuring that this decision is not one made lightly. Other such moral choices which might be subject to similar penalty might be divorce, euthenasia, and perhaps even marriage.

  6. I think your stance is wrong on several levels. 1) I think pragmatically, “safe” and “illegal” are mutually exclusive. 2) I think that it’s a stretch of the purpose of law to make people think hard about tough moral decisions. Talk about something I’d rather see in the private sector! Even in terms of how it should be treated by the government, I think there are alternate and more dignified means than criminal penalties (e.g., mandatory availability of counseling on site) 3) I think it’s patronizing to women to say that they don’t take this decision seriously and that they need the extra push. We should assume people take their moral obligations seriously unless we’re given compelling evidence that they don’t 4) It discriminates against poor women, who may not be able to afford the extra fine or be able to just hire out a baby sitter while they sit in jail (or for that matter, convince their boss to not fire them while they sit in jail for a month–one day is hard enough, especially when your boss is not sympathetic to a pro-choic stance) 5) It effectively eliminates any recourse a women has who is fired because she has an abortion–making it illegal (even as a misdemeanor) would pretty much demolish any claims she’d have against her employer. So it increases the likelihood of sex discrimination in the workplace.

  7. […] Hewitt for linking to this post. And thanks to Mark Olson, who has linked to the post on two blogs here and […]