Thursday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Myths of the Middle ages debunked.
  2. An interesting home project and its results.
  3. More blowback from the academic paper suggesting infanticide might be a good idea.
  4. Icon and smash.
  5. Is that because they envy the position and power that the entitled had during that age?
  6. Boom (still, it’s not a 50 pound sausage, but we’re getting there).
  7. A question for Mr Obama (from the left, I’m pretty sure).

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  1. Boonton says:

    3.More blowback from the academic paper suggesting infanticide might be a good idea.

    Just skimming it aren’t we again reminded of your assertion that personhood is created by relationships with others? If that does in fact define a person then a baby, born or unborn, who has little or no relationships yet isn’t a person. Infanticide would seem to follow from that logic as would abortion.

  2. Mark says:

    That presupposes relationships are purely social and talk oriented. Infants certainly have relationships with their parents before they are verbal … in fact before they are born. Just not verbal.

  3. Boonton says:

    That would still seem to argue for abortion, esp. early term abortion. Better abort before a relationship can form which then makes it a person. That also seems to imply a bit of a sliding scale. Relationships with just newlyborns are less solid than with 1 week olds, 1 month, or 1 yr olds. The paper seems to just take your idea to its logical conclusion, if the relationship creates a person and for whatever reason there’s good reason to think the responsibilities of having a relationship can’t be meet then better to prevent that relationship from happening in the first place, hence infanticide as opposed to a potentially abusive future relationship with a child, a late term abortion is better than infanticide, early term better than late term abortion and contraception trumps conception.

    I’m curious how much your view of ‘relationship = personhood’ is influenced by your early Taoism versus Orthodoxy.

  4. Mark says:

    I’ll think about the Tao/Orthodoxy connection … in the meantime a little vignette. Back in early 94 my wife and I were eating dinner at her mom’s house. She was “crazy” at dinner, she just couldn’t eat enough ham and just kept going back for more, enough that people commented. Lo and behold the next morning the “stick was blue” and that was the second indication she was pregnant, the first being the prior evenings dietary divergence. Her daughter was forming that relationship and persuading her to change her actions at a pre-verbal level quite early.

    See also Jeremiah 1:5.

    Orthodoxy, to my somewhat uniformed view, doesn’t take the legalistic and aggressive stance against contraception that Catholicism does. I’ve been reading Yannaros off and on which is an ethics essay based on person=relationship (and not attribute) as a basis. If/when he discusses early life issues I’ll bring that to the table.

  5. Boonton says:

    See also Jeremiah 1:5.

    Part of the problem with this is the passage begins with “Before I formed you in the womb I knew…” Let’s leave asie the question of whether the passage is talking about all people or rather just to Jeremiah who God was actually addressing and providing instructions too about being a prophet. Using that as an anti-abortion argument puts one in the odd position of having to defend personhood *before* conception, let along birth.

    It sounds like you’re trying to set your ‘relationship detector’ to such a sensitive setting that personhood exists just about everywhere. But that doesn’t really address your rather counter-intuitive notion that relationship drives personhood. If I momentarily suspend the laws of physics, beam you to the far side of the Andromeda galaxy, then reinstate them you will be forever cut off from all other humans for the rest of your life. Your assertion is that sitting alone on some empty planet you’d cease to be a person because there’s no one to relate to you. Yet you’d probably feel like a person, probably have the emotions of a person and so on.