Thursday Highlights

So it goes.

  1. Once allies, no longer?
  2. For your inner cowboy. Or outer?
  3. Texas, apparently jealous of Boston has to do “it” bigger. Somebody should tell them Texans that when it comes to bad things, bigger is not actually better.
  4. Gun control and the reasonable middle.
  5. Zoom.
  6. Some bomb tech information.
  7. When the “sharks” are making a marginal profit … seems to me that they are not actually sharks.
  8. In which “can’t” means “won’t” … and 7 of the murder charges remember are for killing “accidentally not killed” late term abortions … an issue for which Obama voted to kill ‘em anyhow in Illinois.

Gee I thought I had more saved. ….

44 responses to “Thursday Highlights

  1. In which “can’t” means “won’t” … and 7 of the murder charges remember are for killing “accidentally not killed” late term abortions … an issue for which Obama voted to kill ‘em anyhow in Illinois.

    What are you talking about? Gosnell is being tried on the common law definition of murder, no special law advocated by pro-lifers is being used. Can you demonstrate that if he was operating in Illinois that the exact same trial wouldn’t be happening today because of Obama’s failure to support a proposed law?

  2. Boonton,
    7 infants were killed as part of “post birth” abortion. There may be another term, the a late term fetus was intended to be aborted but it delivered prior to being killed and was killed on the table. This Obama voted for in Illinois, but that does not mean it is legal in Philly. Since Mr Gosnell is being charged for those killings, apparently it is not legal. I don’t know if the law passed in Illinois, if it did (and Mr Obama did in fact vote for it) then Gosnell would be only charged with 1 murder, not 8.

  3. As I understand it, he is being charged with straight murder, not a special ‘post birth abortion ban’ passed at the behest of pro-life groups. If that is the case, then griping about Obama not supporting the law is irrelevant. If he had done this in Illinois the same result would have happened regardless of before or after the law Obama voted against (by the way, voting against a law is not quite the same as voting for the thing the law would ban). Very strange, you argued against even the most reasonable gun control laws on the grounds that things like background checks wouldn’t have stopped the Newtown shooter. What was it you wrote a few days ago? Ohhh yes…

    If your measures don’t affect events then they shouldn’t be correlated to the event. That’s my point.

    Since you’ve failed to correlate the law Obama voted against it would seem you’re hip deep in a pool of bearing false witness. Snap.

  4. Boonton,

    As I understand it, he is being charged with straight murder, not a special ‘post birth abortion ban’ passed at the behest of pro-life groups.

    There are 8 counts of murder. Yes “straight”. One against an adult and 7 for children delivered and killed because he intended to abort them and accidentally delivered them instead. Post birth killing where abortion was intended is (apparently) not legal in PA which makes it murder. If it was/is legal (as Obama had voted for) in Illinois then he wouldn’t be charged for murder here.

    I have correlated the law. If the law passed in Illinois it wouldn’t have been murder here, there would be one charge of murder not 8. I don’t see the point you are making.

  5. I have correlated the law. If the law passed in Illinois it wouldn’t have been murder here, there would be one charge of murder not 8.

    You did? Are you sure? Or did you just assert it? Consider how many basic facts you seem to be failing on this abortion discussion like accusing me of saying ‘one murder’.

  6. Boonton,

    No at most it becomes a judgement which the guy you owe money to can use to attach your pay or your bank account but ultimately you’re not going to jail because you owe someone money.

    I’m sorry. I’m not believing you yet. What your saying is that the courts can use force (with your bank or job) to get you to pay. And if you refuse to comply you will/can be jailed for contempt of court. Why did I have to look that up? I thought you were a lawyer … which means you knew that.

    You did? Are you sure?

    I’m confused. If it was legal to kill babies accidentally delivered he would not be charged with murdering them. I’m not sure what assertion you think I’m missing. I’ve admitted not checking whether the law Obama voted for (which would have made that legal) was passed in Illinois, but (a) he did vote for it and (b) whether or not it is legal in Illinois, Mr Gosnell was not practicing here.

    On the “one murder” … I have to admit to needing eat a little crow. (pause … narf narf pause spit) … I didn’t read your reply carefully enough and had missed that. Sorry.

    While the analogy has flaws (all do), it does seem to be correct in illustrating in order for the violinist to live, you either have to do something or at least permit your body to be used as a host of some sort.

    Yes. And I’ve pointed to two flaws, which I thought need addressing. First, you were not selected at random … you’ve (implicitly) contracted for this care. Second, the analogy makes the pregnancy/payment side of what is required of you far far more onerous. As you pointed out if, “give blood to save a life” was common, then refusing blood would be made illegal. It is not common so it is not presently illegal. See below on the Mr Obama as violinist.

    An infant is already born so you are not required to do anything to keep it alive.

    Actually that is incorrect. You have to do a whole stinking lot more than before it was born. Before it was born, you just have to be careful about what you eat and drink and eat a bit more (and not squeeze through narrow spaces). After that, you have 19 hours a day on call feeding the infant 8 times a day, wiping, washing, nurturing, cooing and playing with the child so it will flourish. That’s not nothing. Perhaps you were unaware unlike some animal species humans are not able to fend for themselves for more than a few hours after their birth.

    It may come down to a who thing. You claim if Mr Obama needed your (and only your) blood you could refuse it and not go to jail. I doubt it. I think there would be serious repercussions for your failure to comply. Mostly of course because he is famous and powerful and you are not. Mr Rawls claimed that ethics/laws should be tailored to protect the weakest (or something like that). Fetus’s seems to lie right in that category, yet liberal fail to see that. I don’t understand how that works.

    Since you are free to take yourself out of the picture how would it apply?

    I see, you are firmly against all late term abortions then?

    It seems to me that while gov’t is involved in many serious moral issues, you’re making an assumption that gov’t is *always* entwined in all *major* moral issues. That no moral issues can be entrusted only to the individual, unless they are relatively minor ones.

    So. Again, why do you find against infanticide but not abortion? Why is government entwined in that?

    But … is that your personal argument? That this is not a ethical issue which the government should be involved? Why not this one and instead the others? What breaks this one for you?

  7. I’m sorry. I’m not believing you yet. What your saying is that the courts can use force (with your bank or job) to get you to pay. And if you refuse to comply you will/can be jailed for contempt of court

    Two concepts here:

    1. Specific performance – The contract you supposedly signed isn’t about paying money, it’s about doing something. In the example you provided, it’s about providing a blood donation, or a kidney or whatnot. A more common example might be someone contracted to sing at an event, act in a movie or whatnot. Courts will generally not order specific performance. The judge isn’t going to make you act in the movie or sing on stage. At most those who sue you for breach have to find a way to convert their claims into monetary damages.

    2. Monetary damages – the US doesn’t have debtors prisons. Say I had a contract with you to give a speech to a large group I assembled by selling tickets. You get drunk and pass out leaving me with no act to put on stage. The best I can do is sue you for damages I lost having to refund all the tickets and possibly my lost profits. I get a judgement, that’s it. The judgement will hurt your credit score, if you go to buy and sell property I can put a lein on your house, I can show up with the sheriff at your bank and garnish your account but there’s no jail for contempt of court. If you have none of those things, you’re essentially judgement proof in the sense that any judgement someone gets on you is moot since it will never be collected.

    The break here is between the criminal and civil systems.

    I’ve admitted not checking whether the law Obama voted for (which would have made that legal) was passed in Illinois, but (a) he did vote for it and (b) whether or not it is legal in Illinois, Mr Gosnell was not practicing here.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_PLTA.pdf seems to indicate that late term abortions are illegal in Illinois except where the life of the mother is in danger and then a 2nd physician must attend to the case. If Gosnell did what he did in Illinois he would still be charged with murder. If he managed to abort the children before birth and avoid killing the mother, he would still be breaking the law (granted I’m sure the criminal penalities for illegal abortion are not equal to murder, but then they almost never were).

    As you pointed out if, “give blood to save a life” was common, then refusing blood would be made illegal.

    It would probably be very difficult to mandate giving blood and the connection is more common than you think. People die every day for lack of kidneys, yet most healthy people have two kidneys and can function just fine with one. Yet see what would happen if you proposed to draft people against their will to donate kidneys. The only difference between real life and your violinist analogy is that in theory it’s not quite like you are the only person who can save the violinist (although with bone marrow donations, it just might be the case).

    Actually that is incorrect. You have to do a whole stinking lot more than before it was born.

    No you don’t have to do anything, someone has to do a lot of stuff after an infant is born but there’s nothing special about you having to do it. If someone invents artificial wombs or a way to transplant fetuses to other wombs then I agree the argument for legal abortion becomes much weaker.

    I think there would be serious repercussions for your failure to comply. Mostly of course because he is famous and powerful and you are not.

    What law school did you go to? Demand a refund. No if you get a judgement you can’t put the profs in jail. In general you have every right to refuse to donate blood or organs. In fact if you belong to certain religions you’d believe refusing is your duty as God forbids such things.

    I see, you are firmly against all late term abortions then?

    Depends on the circumstances. In general I’m fine with states making them illegal except in cases of life and health. Not really sure why you think that’s an issue as it relates to Gosnell.

  8. Boonton,

    Specific performance – The contract you supposedly signed isn’t about paying money, it’s about doing something. In the example you provided, it’s about providing a blood donation, or a kidney or whatnot. A more common example might be someone contracted to sing at an event, act in a movie or whatnot. Courts will generally not order specific performance. The judge isn’t going to make you act in the movie or sing on stage. At most those who sue you for breach have to find a way to convert their claims into monetary damages.

    You’ve taken payment of a sort that is not returnable (a service has been rendered). Now you’ve refused to comply. If you’re talking blood donation, you are being sued because you’ve accepted the $100 for the donation then refused to pay. So you want to convert their claim to monetary damages … except the injured party is now dead (in the abortion case). In the other case, if you still do not pay the required sum you will be be jailed for contempt.

    the US doesn’t have debtors prisons

    Irrelevant. You can pay but refuse. Then contempt. Right? Or are you saying the civil courts have no teeth at all, payment/compliance is optional? I never knew that. Actually I suspect it isn’t true.

    If Gosnell did what he did in Illinois he would still be charged with murder

    OK. So the law for which Obama voted apparently did not pass (or maybe it did you’re cite is about a different statute, not what is done in a legal late term abortion in which the child is delivered alive and unharmed when the intention was to kill it.

    It would probably be very difficult to mandate giving blood and the connection is more common than you think.

    Nope. Change the premises and the conclusions change. Odd that. Look part of the misundertanding is my fault, I said “a life” when following Thomson I meant “a particular” life. The situation proposed is that giving blood requires a single unique donor (you?) and benefits (saves the life of) a single unique donor.

    What law school did you go to? Demand a refund. No if you get a judgement you can’t put the profs in jail. In general you have every right to refuse to donate blood or organs. In fact if you belong to certain religions you’d believe refusing is your duty as God forbids such things.

    I’m sorry. Move to the real world for a bit. The situation is that Mr Obama is ill and one 30 minute blood donation which can only be supplied by one individual (you) is required. I suggest you will not be able to refuse, legally. If you do refuse you will be in a world of hurt in this country. If you don’t believe it, consider how that would play out. The President’s life is endangered, he falls into a coma. Medical science energizes. They find a solution, it requires a donation of blood from a singular ordinary citizen, a pseudonymous Mr Boonton of New Jersey. He refuses. The President dies (or perhaps as is more likely the blood donation is taken against his will from him) … and now …. what do you think is the fate of Mr Boonton if the President dies on the face of his refusal? You still have your job? You are not in jail? Your life is not in jeopardy? The claim made by me if this was common, that it is common that a ordinary blood donation by a singular individual is required to save the life of another particular/unique individual was common then it would be illegal to refuse. Yes, certain religious groups refuse to donate blood, but you might be aware for every person needing donation millions of possible donors are available … so the moral claim against the particular individual is weak.

    . If someone invents artificial wombs or a way to transplant fetuses to other wombs then I agree the argument for legal abortion becomes much weaker.

    Which is why I’m reading your position on abortion is that after the infant is viable it shouldn’t be legal.

    Not really sure why you think that’s an issue as it relates to Gosnell.

    Because (probably again my fault) our discussion threads have crossed. I’m trying to understand what passes for arguments for abortions that are used in real life, as opposed to the poor arguments that I think are out there which are too flawed to stand on their own (such as the Thomson violinist argument).

  9. Boonton,

    It would probably be very difficult to mandate giving blood and the connection is more common than you think. People die every day for lack of kidneys, yet most healthy people have two kidneys and can function just fine with one. Yet see what would happen if you proposed to draft people against their will to donate kidneys.

    Donating a kidney is not the same as giving blood. A kidney is a major surgery, it means certain activities are no longer available, and that there are thousands of people who are viable alternatives. The mandate for you in particular to donate a kidney is weak. The abortion/Thomson question puts one person (you) as the only possible donor/participant. That changes the calculus somewhat it seems to me, but not apparently to you. Why does that not change the circumstances for you?

    Rawls writes suggests (from here) :

    Rawls thus depicts justice as an issue of fairness, focusing on the distribution of resources, and permitting an unequal distribution only to the extent that the weakest members of society benefit from that inequality. To Rawls, this justifies the coercive limitation of unjust resources and therefore redistribution where it would improve the situation of the disadvantaged

    I fail to see how the fetus in is the weakest in the mother/society/fetus triangle. Right? Rawls’ justice notions are favored on the left, but how do they decide the fetus doesn’t count as weak? I don’t get it. Or is that the person-hood denial thing (which Thomson rejects btw).

  10. You’ve taken payment of a sort that is not returnable (a service has been rendered). Now you’ve refused to comply. If you’re talking blood donation, you are being sued because you’ve accepted the $100 for the donation then refused to pay

    The way you constructed this hypothetical it would be quite easy to ‘return’ the $100. Suppose you gave the blood for $100 but the guys check bounced. A court may let you sue for your $100 but isn’t going to force him to give you a pint of his blood.

    So you want to convert their claim to monetary damages … except the injured party is now dead (in the abortion case). In the other case, if you still do not pay the required sum you will be be jailed for contempt.

    Wrongful death claims are monetary damages too. But again you don’t get jailed for contempt for not paying a judgement.

    Irrelevant. You can pay but refuse. Then contempt. Right? Or are you saying the civil courts have no teeth at all, payment/compliance is optional?

    Sure, you can be judgement proof. Just don’t have any on the books jobs, bank accounts or hold real estate in your name….even a car. Now do that for 20 years, then when that’s done do it for another 20 years because judgements can be renewed.

    OK. So the law for which Obama voted apparently did not pass

    Wait a second, I thought you were complaining Obama voted against a partial birth abortion bill? What law exactly are you complaining about Obama voting for or against?

    The situation proposed is that giving blood requires a single unique donor (you?) and benefits (saves the life of) a single unique donor.

    In the case of bone marrow matching is very difficult so it very well may come down to a single person needs what you, a single person, has. I wouldn’t be surprised if kidney donations would have higher success rates if there were more donars allowing them to be more closely matched genetically to those needing kidneys.

    Re Obama needing one person’s blood. Too speculative and hypothetical. You’re not only trying to guess how that would play out, you’re trying to guess what type of laws our society would have if such a case was common. Maybe your imagination is accurate, maybe it’s flawed. But let’s talk about the laws we do have which are you can deny Mr. Obama your donation.

    Which is why I’m reading your position on abortion is that after the infant is viable it shouldn’t be legal.

    3rd trimester abortions are in a time period where the average unborn child is viable, but the average is not the particular. Most actual cases of late term abortions are not on the average fetus.

    Re: Rawls

    permitting an unequal distribution only to the extent that the weakest members of society benefit from that inequality.

    I would guess that Rawls’ reasoning is applicable to the institutions we design, not nature itself. You have a point in that it may be ‘unfair’ that women have a disporportate share of power and burden when it comes to childbirth and the only way to get into this world (after we have our bargaining game behind the ‘veil of Rawlsian ignorance’) is through a woman, but that’s biology not design.

  11. Returning to the Gosnell debate, http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/04/kermit-gosnell-case-study-working-refs does some interesting work actually looking at how conservative newsoutlets covered it.

    IMO the best test of claims of media bias is to see what the people complaining do when they get control of one. William F Buckley’s Firing Line lends credibility to possible media bias in the 70’s and 80’s (although you get the odd fact that his show was part of the MSM, PBS in fact!). Fox News pretty much demonstrates CNN is not biased in any sign. way.

    So how did conservative outlets cover Gosnell? Basically they didn’t, one story at best and then a bunch of stories complaining about the lack of coverage. The New York Post ended up running an editorial about no coverage while ignoring the fact that the only thing the NYP said about Gosnell was the editorial. At this rate the NYT and CNN have probably done more actual reporting about Gosnell than many right wing outlets.

  12. Boonton,

    A court may let you sue for your $100 but isn’t going to force him to give you a pint of his blood.

    And if you refuse to pay when the court finds against you? Contempt right?

    Just don’t have any on the books jobs, bank accounts or hold real estate in your name….even a car. Now do that for 20 years, then when that’s done do it for another 20 years because judgements can be renewed.

    I own the bank and am self-employed. I own my house and refuse to leave or give up my car. What can the court do? How about if I’m a professional poker player, I work in cash and don’t have a bank account and live out of hotels.

    Wait a second, I thought you were complaining Obama voted against a partial birth abortion bill?

    When an Illinois Senator Mr Obama voted for a bill which would have legalized doing exactly what Gosnell did, which is kill infants accidentally delivered alive when the intent was to abort.

    You have a point in that it may be ‘unfair’ that women have a disporportate share of power and burden when it comes to childbirth and the only way to get into this world (after we have our bargaining game behind the ‘veil of Rawlsian ignorance’) is through a woman, but that’s biology not design.

    It seems to me the pro-abortion people are complaining about the unfairness … but in a way that is non-Rawlsian. Since Rawls reasoning and fairness as a principle specifically it seems to me this is only applied when convenient and not consistently.

    Wrongful death claims are monetary damages too. But again you don’t get jailed for contempt for not paying a judgement.

    So, you think girls getting abortions should pay were-guild?

  13. Boonton,
    In the book you reviewed FOX and WSJ are not conservative news outlets. I don’t recall any Philadelphia based conservative news outlets. You’d have to check Groseclose (the only known unbiased (inasmuch as algorithms might be unbiased) metric for measuring bias) for a Philly conservative paper or news outlet. For a conservative non-Philly news outlet to cover this it has to be noticed by a non-local conservative news outlet.

    You should inspect the NYTimes coverage a bit before you tout their coverage. I have no idea how CNN is covering it but I’m guessing you wouldn’t be wanting to tout that as a positive example.

    Seems like what you’re noticing is the problem that happens when 99% of the news outlets are biased in once direction, some stories get missed.

  14. Boonton

    Re Obama needing one person’s blood. Too speculative and hypothetical.

    This is a thought experiment. I suggested the situation. Mr Obama falls into a coma. He has a month to live. Medical science energizes a moon-shot and figures out a solution. The upshot is they’ve found one person who can save him with a single donation of a unit of blood. You. I suggest you cannot refuse … I don’t know the legal case or reasonings … but after spending a billion dollars finding you … do you really think you would have the legal standing to refuse? If not legally, do you think you could actually say no and (a) live or (b) continue to live in the US?

    But let’s talk about the laws we do have which are you can deny Mr. Obama your donation.

    Oh, all those laws are on the book. You can legally refuse. I don’t think you would be able to refuse. De juris you are right. In practice I suspect you wouldn’t be able to do it.

  15. You’re still not quite getting how judgements work. I sue you, I win, the court gives me a judgement for $1,000. The court doesn’t order you to pay me $1000.

    If I know where you bank, I can engage the sheriff to go to your bank account and dock it the $1000 (he will charge a fee for that). If you own a house and go to sell it, the person who buys it will demand a judgement search and insist on clearing the judgement. If you have a regular job, I can have the sheriff dock your pay too. The sheriff is kind of an odd position, he isn’t quite law enforcement although in many places he has law enforcement duties as well as the ability to help with collections.

    But this is not like a fine or contempt of court. The judge doesn’t order you to pay me and you’re not going to jail for refusing. Collecting from you is still my problem, not the courts. There are many people who are literally judgement proof either because they have nothing to take or because their assets are immune from collection (for example, OJ Simpson had lots of money but never had to pay the Goldmans anything since he had it all in retirement accounts that are not subject to judgements).

    When an Illinois Senator Mr Obama voted for a bill which would have legalized doing exactly what Gosnell did, which is kill infants accidentally delivered alive when the intent was to abort

    I don’t think so, please cite the bill you’re talking about.

    but in a way that is non-Rawlsian. Since Rawls reasoning and fairness as a principle specifically it seems to me this is only applied when convenient and not consistently

    If it’s unfairness, it’s unfairness embedded in the biological design of humanity, not its institutions. Rawls’ reasoning would only apply to that which we can change.

    In the book you reviewed FOX and WSJ are not conservative news outlets. I don’t recall any Philadelphia based conservative news outlets.

    I’m not getting any outlets that covered it more than CNN or the NYT. It wasn’t the WSJ or FOX being looked at in the Mother Jones article, it was the Washington Times. Even they only did a single story about the case before switching to endless stories about the coverage of the case. The bar here is at a silly low level, if the NYT ran but two stories about the case then it’s ahead of all conservative media. In reality that’s really the most one can run. All we have is the grand jury report and the trial itself is under a gag order.

    but after spending a billion dollars finding you … do you really think you would have the legal standing to refuse?

    It seems pretty clear that you do. Otherwise why are you trying to construct a hypothetical that combines all these extraordinary elements that would incline one towards saying you don’t have standing to refuse? This example is kind of like the law student hypothetical about whether a cop needs a warrant if he’s in hot persuit and sees the robber run into a house….or if he believes a murder is inside a house and about to kill a child in the next 30 secnds…does he have a right to enter without getting the warrant? The use of extraordinary hypotheticals to find cases where you don’t need a warrant goes to show that you normally do. If you’re sitting there telling me that it’s the President’s life, we spent billions of dollars finding the one person who can cure him, Russia’s about to launch nuclear weapons and only Mr. Obama can negotiate them down etc., all that extraordinariness goes to show that the normal default here is you have a right to refuse a donation even if someone’s life needs it and the burden to you is trivial.

  16. Boonton,

    If it’s unfairness, it’s unfairness embedded in the biological design of humanity, not its institutions. Rawls’ reasoning would only apply to that which we can change.

    I’m confused. It is the unfairness of the female’s carrying children which is a primary reason for wanting to legalize abortions in the first place. Yet to have an abortion (esp. based on fairness) you have to deny the fetus any rights, which in turn is even more unfair.

    It seems pretty clear that you do … all that extraordinariness goes to show that the normal default here is you have a right to refuse a donation

    And I’m not disagreeing on that point, except that the reason you can refuse is that there are hundreds of million other viable donors. Not one and it’s not common.

    I hadn’t realized self-employed individuals can ignore civil courts. Interesting. (although I’m pretty sure I don’t believe you)

  17. Yet to have an abortion (esp. based on fairness) you have to deny the fetus any rights, which in turn is even more unfair.

    Not at all, you forget in your hypotheticals on either the violinist or Obama, my position is that you have a right to your own body even if my life depends upon a trivial imposition like one of your spare kidneys or even just a pint of blood. Biologically these cases have almost never come up (although with more knowledge of genetics they might start coming up more often) but in terms of rights fetuses aren’t at any disadvantage to non-fetuses.

    Put it another way, if it turned out the blood of middle to late aged bloggers happened to cure cancer then yes the lives of cancer victims would depend on bloggers. If we were talking about the national healthcare system, I think you have a perfect fairness complaint if someone said “let’s let bloggers decide who gets treated for cancer”. If it turned out that blogger blood has magical properties, though, register your complaints with the not exactly human designer.

    I hadn’t realized self-employed individuals can ignore civil courts.

    Judgement proof individuals, not self-employed. As I pointed out if I scored a judgement against you I can put leins on your property, attach bank accounts, put leins on assets you may own (like a business). Granted if your self-employment consisted of a cash only transactions and you were willing to avoid utilizing tools like credit or property ownership you’re free to ignore judgements.

    And I’m not disagreeing on that point, except that the reason you can refuse is that there are hundreds of million other viable donors. Not one and it’s not common.

    Are there? People die every year waiting for kidneys. I could see a ‘kidney draft’ program saving many lives. Everyone’s DNA would have to be registered and stored in a database. With such a huge pool of possible donars, we might be able to do ‘super matching’ so we get kidneys for people with much lower odds of rejection than today. Those who donate can be partially compensated with money and the promise of being put on the top of the list should they ever require a kidney. This would probably save many lives yet I think it would be problematic for the gov’t to force the unwilling into it.

  18. Since we are talking about Rawls, consider the problems that arise if you’re going to assert unfairness due to biological circumstances are unacceptable. In the example of the ‘kidney draft’, people do not benefit equally. Clearly those who need kidneys benefit, those who don’t incur the cost of mandatory donations. If we abolish the kidney draft (or simply don’t adopt it), those circumstances flip. Those prone to kidney problems are at a disadvantage from *not* having a kidney draft. Either way someone is going to be at a disadvantage which means some degree of unfairness is unavoidable.

  19. Boonton,

    Not at all, you forget in your hypotheticals on either the violinist or Obama, my position is that you have a right to your own body even if my life depends upon a trivial imposition like one of your spare kidneys or even just a pint of blood.

    Which makes sense … except that the fetus is only there on account of choices you freely made. Now you’re re-negging.

    Are there?

    Yes. There are. For every person needing a kidney (which he won’t die without btw … just make things a whole lot more convenient for him) … there are thousands who would match if we were all typed. People die in surgery. Giving a kidney (or liver lobe … for which life is actually threatened) is a risk.

    First off, is this discussion even worthwhile. My sense is that the Thompson argument is not your reason for supporting abortion. Is it? Or is it now. If it is not, then let’s talk about your actual reason for supporting it.

  20. Boonton,

    Since we are talking about Rawls, consider the problems that arise if you’re going to assert unfairness due to biological circumstances are unacceptable

    That’s not my assertion. My bringing in Rawl’s was that prejudicing judgement or laws to favor the weak was part of his fairness suggestions. The fetus is clearly the weakest of all in this discussion, … and that in the context of the common progressive/pro-abortion notion that the reason to support abortion was for fairness in the first place, missing the weakest seems an interesting blind spot.

  21. Boonton,

    my position is that you have a right to your own body even if my life depends upon a trivial imposition like one of your spare kidneys or even just a pint of blood.

    Yes. And I don’t believe you. If my or Obama’s life was at stake and a donation of a pint of your blood would save you, I don’t think you’d refuse. I don’t think you’d even kill/un-hook the violinist and watch him die. You may claim you have the right to do so, but so what? What does that right mean if you’d never avail yourself of it.

  22. Boonton,
    How would a kidney graft program save lives. You don’t die if you lose both kidneys, you need to do on dialysis thrice weekly, but you don’t die.

  23. I don’t think you’d refuse. I don’t think you’d even kill/un-hook the violinist and watch him die. You may claim you have the right to do so, but so what? What does that right mean if you’d never avail yourself of it.

    How is that different than your right to vote for Obama, even though you will probably never avail yourself to it? Please don’t tarnish my willingness to be very generous to you, which would normally be a virtue, with an obligation, which would diminish the virtue.

    How would a kidney graft program save lives. You don’t die if you lose both kidneys, you need to do on dialysis thrice weekly, but you don’t die

    Dialysis is very hard on the body. While many people are on it for decades it also wears down people’s bodies and kills them early.

  24. Boonton

    How is that different than your right to vote for Obama

    I voted, just not for him. So the parallel isn’t quite there. That being said, let me try again on an improvement to the violinist “thought” experiment.

    A well known President is ill. As a possible part of his treatment there is a study group paying $100 per night in a test to find a cure. You will be paid for each night of the study in which you participate. During the study you may be selected. If selected the study will collect serum from you nightly for a few months after which you will be required to wear a backpack for the another 6 months. If you are selected and remove the backpack, that act will kill the President. You have collected several thousand dollars, and now discover that you wake up with a backpack on your back. Should it be legal for you to remove the backpack? Is it moral for you to remove the backpack? Is it murder to remove the backpack?

    A related question. I am playing baseball with my brother in my yard. I hit the ball and break my neighbors window. Should I be legally responsible for paying for the window repair? Am I morally responsible?

    I’m not seeing the lack of a moral right which allows you to refuse “your bodily fluids” for a individual who is only borrowing those fluids as a result of voluntary activities on your part.

  25. Should it be legal for you to remove the backpack? Is it moral for you to remove the backpack? Is it murder to remove the backpack?

    Yes, no, no.

    A related question. I am playing baseball with my brother in my yard. I hit the ball and break my neighbors window. Should I be legally responsible for paying for the window repair? Am I morally responsible?

    Yes Yes

    I think you’re changing your terms a bit, a ‘moral right’ is not quite the same thing as a ‘right’.

  26. Boonton,
    I don’t think you are consistent. Your first “yes” an your first “yes” in the second question should not be the same … for they are the same situation. You created the situation you are in, you are responsible now for fixing it. And if the President has a right to life I don’t understand how removing it is now not murder … the only reason it is on your back is because you consented, and now that a life depends on your consent withdrawing it is certainly murder.

    If I tell you I’ll hold a rope while you descend a cliff and when you have started let go and walk away, that’s murder. It is exactly the same as what you are doing.

  27. I don’t think you are consistent. Your first “yes” an your first “yes” in the second question should not be the same … for they are the same situation.

    Then shouldn’t they carry the same answer? Yes it’s immoral to remove the backpack. Yes you are legally responsible for fixing the window that was broken from the ball game you and your brother were playing.

    And if the President has a right to life I don’t understand how removing it is now not murder

    Did I create the situation or did nature?

  28. Again working with your hypothetical, suppose you never entered this ‘lottery’. The President would still be in danger and would still die because no one would know that you were the only human who had just the right type of blood that could save him. Clearly in that case you couldn’t call it murder because you didn’t cause the President to be in such a bad boat. Likewise while you can say consensual sex may cause the fetus to exist in the first place, it’s actualy dependence upon the womb is nature, not design.

    Look at it another way. Suppose the President had been injected by a poison of some sort and your blood was the only ancedote. Clearly if you injected him, you would be guilty and if he died because you denied him the ancedote I think few would have a problem calling that murder. Now consider a doctor who injects a woman with various designed compounds to cause her pregnancy to be 18 months instead of just 9 months. Assume he has no valid medical reason to do this, he’s just ‘curious’ about it and indifferent to the fate of both the mother and child. He is creating additional dependence of the child upon the mother’s body beyond 9 months, is he not? Suppose the mother in month 13 just breaks down, unable to take the prolonged pregnancy anymore and self-induces abortion. I could see holding the doctor accountable for murder because the child’s dependence at 13 months was artifically created by him for no valid reason.

  29. Boonton,

    Again working with your hypothetical, suppose you never entered this ‘lottery’ …

    But you did enter the lottery, you had sex, willingly. Probably many times. This is the problem with the violin experiment. You aren’t randomly selected. You are there because of choices you made, you broke the window. The violinist is depended because of actions you voluntarily made.

    Another hypothetical … the President needs surgery … blood (not necessarily yours) is required during surgery. You assent to give blood. He is prepped and surgery is begun. You have the IV inserted. As the surgery is proceeding you decide you wish to exercise your right to control your bodily fluids and remove the IV and leave, a substitute is not found in time, and the President dies because he lacks that blood which was not provided.

    Regarding removing the backpack …

    Did I create the situation or did nature?

    Is that the key? You don’t see a pregnancy as caused by your actions but by a random act of nature? I think that notion is denying reality.

    That is one of the key flaws of the violin scenario. The fetus is only there because of your actions.

  30. But you did enter the lottery, you had sex, willingly.

    Let’s remember what this lottery is in your hypothetical. It’s a kind of ‘reverse lottery’. The price of a ticket is negative $100. In other words, each ticket gets pays you $100, only if you ‘win’ are you obligated to provide a kidney, or blood, or whatnot.

    So we’re spinning around on the morality of taking the ticket but welshing on coming through if our number is drawn. But you’re going a step beyond, asking is welshing murder? I’m pointing out it can’t be because if we never joined this lottery, the patient would still die. You can only get to murder if you somehow caused the patient to have this illness that could only be cured by your blood/kidney/whatnot.

    Is that the key? You don’t see a pregnancy as caused by your actions but by a random act of nature? I think that notion is denying reality.

    Sex causes the existence of the fetus but nature causes it to depend upon a womb for a period of about 9 months. Suppose the President’s mother, before she conceived, knew she carried a gene that would cause her child to depend upon a blood transfusion from the Olsen family in 40 years or so. Suppose she also knew the Olsen family was highly opposed to all blood transfusions and would never consent to it. Don’t game the hypothetical. Only the Olsen family carries this gene, she knows with 100% certainity he will need the transfusion at 40 and she knows equally well he won’t get it from them. Would that then put her at fault for setting up a ‘time bomb’ that would cause her son to die at age 40?

    I would say no because although her actions brought about his existence it’s still nature that brought about his dependence. Even if she’s aware of it ahead of time she’s not creating the dependence.

  31. So thinking more about your lottery hypothetical and how it relates to ‘consenting’ to not having an abortion.

    Let’s say what was being asked is more akin to donating a kidney. A relatively safe procedure for a healthy person, but not without short term and long term medical risks that are serious.

    Let’s say that you discover your 13 yr old daughter has ‘won’ this lottery. Say it turns out several months ago someone was offering these ‘free $100 lottery tickets’ and she got a handful of them so she could buy a new ipad and go out with her friends. I suspect your reaction would be that this contract should not be enforceable. It was unfair of the lottery organizers to be offering such an incentive to young kids, esp. considering that they probably couldn’t correctly process the long term ‘cost’ of what seemed like an easy and free $100 in the moment.

    Returning to the real world, this would seem to imply that you would favor making abortion easy for those who are very young or who have some mental disability that would have made fully informed consent problematic. In fact, abortion might also be available for the very poorly educated and ignorant but not the mature and well informed. And, needless to say, non-consent in the form of rape would also mean access to abortion.

    Do you agree the lottery analogy leads you there? If not why?

    If you agree it leads you there, do you go there yourself? If not what makes you reject your own analogy’s application to the real world?

  32. Boonton,

    So we’re spinning around on the morality of taking the ticket but welshing on coming through if our number is drawn. But you’re going a step beyond, asking is welshing murder? I’m pointing out it can’t be because if we never joined this lottery, the patient would still die.

    Which is why I last suggested the modification of transfusion interupted during surgery. Look. the situation we are analogizing is abortion. The fetus is only dependent because of the reverse lottery. It’s life wouldn’t be (or be dependent) if the lottery was not taken. The fetus doesn’t die if you don’t have sex. It doesn’t exist.

    Say it turns out several months ago someone was offering these ‘free $100 lottery tickets’ and she got a handful of them so she could buy a new ipad and go out with her friends. I suspect your reaction would be that this contract should not be enforceable. It was unfair of the lottery organizers to be offering such an incentive to young kids, esp. considering that they probably couldn’t correctly process the long term ‘cost’ of what seemed like an easy and free $100 in the moment.

    I’m unclear on where “killing someone” as a result of immature decision making becomes the allowed response. When I was growing up, breaking a neighbors window didn’t just mean dad replaced it and that ended it. In the prior generation it also included work on the part of the kid to mow lawns, or do other work to earn the money to pay for his mistake himself. Part of growing up, and being a responsible adult which is kinda the point of the teenage years, is not having your mistakes washed away without cost. You recall to me the line in the beginning of (the excellent book btw) Here Be Dragons, in which the young Prince Llewelyn tells his step father he’s leaving for Wales to fight for his kingdom. His step father tells he can’t, because he’s only 14 and a minor. Llewelyn retorts that he is Welsh and a Welshman attains majority at 14 and he leaves. Our modern age has extended immaturity. This is not a thing to encourage. In a past generation if a 14 y/old got pregnant, she missed a half year of school and went “away” to a relative and returned somewhat later (and likely wiser) after offering it up for adoption. Why is this unacceptable?

    So you find out your 16 y/old daughter has collected $10k from this lottery, but now has drawn a winner. Seems to me the right thing for a parent to do is to cough up and return the $10k or give up her (or your own) kidney.

    Returning to the real world, this would seem to imply that you would favor making abortion easy for those who are very young or who have some mental disability that would have made fully informed consent problematic. In fact, abortion might also be available for the very poorly educated and ignorant but not the mature and well informed. And, needless to say, non-consent in the form of rape would also mean access to abortion.

    Not exactly. It might however lead (as you see it has) people pushing (against liberal/progressive notions) that sex is morally fraught and should not be taken into lightly. Abstinence for 13 y/olds would be the recommendation and taught. Progressives have taken the stance that sex is about orgasms and pleasure … and that failure of birth control is something to be repaired (and thatn even further the fetus has no right to life).

    Some pro-life people offer the notion, indeed, that the abortions should be allowed often for minors and those who are raped, where consent was not or could not be given.

    I actually suspect those objecting on religious grounds to transfusions are rarer than you think … and that those with little or no religious beliefs at all are the ones who want to propose that they have a religious objection to bearing this child. That objection in the absence of religious belief seems specious to me.

  33. Which is why I last suggested the modification of transfusion interupted during surgery. Look. the situation we are analogizing is abortion. The fetus is only dependent because of the reverse lottery. It’s life wouldn’t be (or be dependent) if the lottery was not taken. The fetus doesn’t die if you don’t have sex. It doesn’t exist.

    Kind of raises an interesting question…if I invented a time machine and went back to stop your parents from having sex and making you would that be murder?

    What if your mother choose to have sex and get pregnant with you knowing she carried a gene that would cause you certain death at 65? 55? 45? or 5?

    But regardless even stoping the transfusion right before or during surgery would not be murder. Remember the condition is that you are the only person who can donate to the person, he ‘depends’ on you but you did not create that dependence.

    I am willing to offer you this, at a certain point it becomes ‘cheaper’ to finish the process than not. I’m willing to say at 8 months, say, abortion should be ruled out unless there are exceptional circumstances. Likewise if you’re both on the operating table and the transfusion is halfway done trying to ‘stop’ at that point may simply not be practical.

    I’m unclear on where “killing someone” as a result of immature decision making becomes the allowed response. When I was growing up, breaking a neighbors window didn’t just mean dad replaced it and that ended it.

    Notice with this I made the example ‘donating her kidney’. A procedure that is pretty safe for the person making the donation (probably about as safe as childbirth in a modern healthcare setting) but with real risks and complications for her in the present and future. Does saying she should not donate her kidney at 13 amount to ‘killing someone’? If so why aren’t you, your wife and your whole family offering your kidney’s for donation now?

    Or are you saying welshing on the ‘reverse lottery’ killing someone? But in this example you have immature decision making being a real problem. Clearly by hanging around the school offering those ‘free $100 tickets’ the lottery organizers were taking advantage of asymetrical information and maturity. It’s very problematic to hold that it’s a binding contract she should be held too.

    So you find out your 16 y/old daughter has collected $10k from this lottery, but now has drawn a winner. Seems to me the right thing for a parent to do is to cough up and return the $10k or give up her (or your own) kidney.

    Granted you could argue that the money should be returned, but that’s not what the people running the lottery want. They want her kidney, not $100 or even $10,000. Perhaps giving your own kidney in her place is an option in the hypothetical but not pregnancy barring the ‘artifical womb’ or ‘fetus transplants’ which I already told you would end the argument for abortion.

    Not exactly. It might however lead (as you see it has) people pushing (against liberal/progressive notions) that sex is morally fraught and should not be taken into lightly.

    Ohhh so your plan is to change human nature. Good luck with that. Seriously that’s all well and good but that doesn’t change the fact that like someone offering a $100 in the playground to kids who don’t realize what it means to give up a kidney, human nature is such that sexual maturity doesn’t wait for intellectual maturity. Simply saying you’re going to do such a great job teaching people to act responsibly is a great aspiration but it would be very irresponsible to just assume you’ll achieve that. And since we discussed rape briefly is it also your plan to teach rapists not to rape? Sure do your best with that but it would be foolish to assume success wouldn’t it?

    I actually suspect those objecting on religious grounds to transfusions are rarer than you think

    J.W.’s I believe object to blood and organ transfusions and donations on the grounds that their reading of the Bible judges those things to be a type of cannibalism. Before transplants became routine, there was a lot of anxiety about them with the general public. You may recall an All in the Family episode where Archie was shocked to learn he had received a blood donation from a black man or another one where he argued heart transplants were bad. Now that they are commonplace it’s easy to forget that they were once viewed with skepticism

  34. Some pro-life people offer the notion, indeed, that the abortions should be allowed often for minors and those who are raped, where consent was not or could not be given.

    This returns us to the problem I raised. Who exactly are these ‘pro-life people’ to be offering this? Who put them in charge of abortion policy and in a position to ‘offer’ the ability to delegate some of that decision making power?

    Nature’s answer is quite simple, the woman is in charge based on the fact that it’s her body. That simply addresses the maturity issue, if a woman is too imature to handle the responsibility, if she’s ‘in over her head’ she’ll back out. Otherwise she won’t. Does that mean all decisions made by all women regarding abortion are morally praiseworthy? Of course not. But who do you find more trustworthy if you had to be a fetus for 9 months again, your mother or politicians and judges?

    What is the alternative? Having a judge decide if a woman was raped, or too immature to fully consent to sex thereby voiding the ‘lottery ticket’ she purchased? How will you judge the judges then? I notice throughout this discourse there’s a hidden assumption that authority is either a given or a moot point. All authority seems to be assumed to belong to gov’t by default unless a right can be coherently and logically carved away from gov’t. Hence these endless questions about the legal status of welshing on the ‘lottery ticket/kidney or blood donation’ bet. A much cleaner principle would simply be that here is an area where gov’t’s authority is highly limited and the individual woman’s is much more expansive.

  35. Boonton

    But in this example you have immature decision making being a real problem. Clearly by hanging around the school offering those ‘free $100 tickets’ the lottery organizers were taking advantage of asymetrical information and maturity. It’s very problematic to hold that it’s a binding contract she should be held too.

    I see. You blame nature. Sorry not allowed.

    But in this example you have immature decision making being a real problem.

    This is where your economics notions bites you in the arse. You solution to making immature decisions rarer is by making them low cost.

    They want her kidney, not $100 or even $10,000. Perhaps giving your own kidney in her place is an option in the hypothetical but not pregnancy barring the ‘artifical womb’ or ‘fetus transplants’ which I already told you would end the argument for abortion.

    Who is “they”? Mother nature?

    Ohhh so your plan is to change human nature.

    No. The plan is to have people stop thinking that killing is the answer.

    J.W.’s I believe object to blood and organ transfusions and donations on the grounds that their reading of the Bible judges those things to be a type of cannibalism.

    Right. Lots of them. They are after all one of the most common demoninations. Like I said, fairly rare.

    What if your mother choose to have sex and get pregnant with you knowing she carried a gene that would cause you certain death at 65? 55? 45? or 5?

    I’m unclear on how giving a person some life = killing them.

    Who exactly are these ‘pro-life people’ to be offering this? Who put them in charge of abortion policy and in a position to ‘offer’ the ability to delegate some of that decision making power?

    Uhm. Hello. We are in a representative Democracy. Some of the pro-life representatives think that is a good alternative. Some do not.

    Nature’s answer is quite simple, the woman is in charge based on the fact that it’s her body.

    Actually that’s not true. She is not “in charge”. She needs a doctor to perform an abortion. That’s not “in chargeness” it’s dependency on technological fixes to counter what would happen naturally. If you wanted to “let Nature” take its course, she’d deliver a baby.

    Of course not. But who do you find more trustworthy if you had to be a fetus for 9 months again, your mother or politicians and judges?

    Who is more trustworthy to settle differences of opinion between man and wife? The couple or the police and judge who frown on wife-beating and murder?

    What is the alternative?

    Uhm, well an alternative in the “rape/immature” exception would be to require a judicial review before allowing a doctor to perform an abortion. Duh. You knew that. “How do you judge the judges?” We have traditions for how to select judges and so on. Surely you know that.

    What I’m getting out of this is that progressive arguments for abortion depend on rejecting the “is” of nature for an “ought” notion of what would be fair. Is that a fair encapsulation?

  36. Boonton,
    Amusingly I might note that while the J.W. are a small US denomination, I think they outnumber the US Orthodox Christians … just a side note.

  37. Boonton,

    Does saying she should not donate her kidney at 13 amount to ‘killing someone’? If so why aren’t you, your wife and your whole family offering your kidney’s for donation now?

    Because people don’t die without kidneys, they do die when aborted.

  38. Boonton,
    Another, perhaps more relevant donation, might be bone marrow. Bone marrow extraction is safe, but very painful. When a neighboring “sister” parish had a member needing bone marrow they asked for tissue typing tests from their (and our) congregation. I offered (no payment). If I’d been contacted, I’d have donated. If I was matched, but I refused, having merely offered my sample for testing and the cost of said test, I would find it immoral to offer tissue for typing and the costs they’d ensue for that and then to refuse down the line. How about you?

  39. Who is “they”? Mother nature?

    In your hypothetical you imagine a ‘reverse lottery’, each ticket costs negative $100. But if your DNA or blood type or whatever happens to match, you have to give up your kidney. In that example I would assume the ‘they’ would be whoever is looking for a matching kidney to save someone whose sick.

    No. The plan is to have people stop thinking that killing is the answer.

    That’s fine. Roe.v.Wade can stand but if you convince all women to not have abortions you can have a pro-choice country that is nonetheless more pro-life than it would be if every major national pro-life group was granted their wish list of policies.

    I’m unclear on how giving a person some life = killing them

    I agree, but you’re trying to make a case that a woman withdrawing her womb is killing because she’s responsible for the fetus needing her womb to begin with. You feel free to deny me access to one of your daughter’s kidneys. This would not be murder because it’s not your fault I need a kidney (or need your daughter’s due to some rare genetic match). So whose fault is it? It’s nature obviously. Sorry but nature is simply not fair. If it was we wouldn’t spend so much time and effort trying to thwart disease, old age, disability etc. I would reject your premise, the fetus’s dependence is not the fault of the mother, though she is responsible (partly) for giving it life, it’s the nature of things. If tomorrow fetus transplants were viable we’d say a woman is free to give up her unborn fetus but once she has it removed from her body she’d loose say about its fate.

    BTW
    Because people don’t die without kidneys

    Errr yes they do. Dialysis is not a substitute for kidneys. It destroys the body and shortens your life. People are indeed dying because donar kidneys are not available to them as a replacement to dialysis.

    Uhm. Hello. We are in a representative Democracy. Some of the pro-life representatives think that is a good alternative. Some do not.

    That doesn’t answer the question, we are a representative democracy for things where the gov’t has legitimate authority. How about who you will sleep with tonight? Can we put that up for a vote? Clearly if 60% of the voters think it would be fun to see you get it on with some celebrity that hardly means the gov’t has the authority to pass a law forcing you to do it.

    Actually that’s not true. She is not “in charge”. She needs a doctor to perform an abortion.

    Abortions’ older than the medical industry, it can even be self-induced. Now granted ancient abortion methods had their risk factors, but so did ancient childbirth. Strictly speaking, a woman doesn’t ‘need’ a doctor for an abortion the way we would need a doctor for a kidney transplant.

    Who is more trustworthy to settle differences of opinion between man and wife? The couple or the police and judge who frown on wife-beating and murder?

    Last time I checked the police don’t force a man and woman who don’t want to be next to each other to stay in the same room no matter what the circumstances. If they did, we might think twice about such murder convictions.

    If I’d been contacted, I’d have donated. If I was matched, but I refused, having merely offered my sample for testing and the cost of said test, I would find it immoral to offer tissue for typing and the costs they’d ensue for that and then to refuse down the line. How about you?

    But would it be killing? Suppose you never volunteered for this but you or your child had blood work for something unrelated at the lab that was doing the testing and thru an error accidently put you into the pool of samples to be tested for a match. Would it be immoral to say no? Say the answer is yes, would it be equal to actually killing?

  40. Boonton,

    In your hypothetical you imagine a ‘reverse lottery’, each ticket costs negative $100. But if your DNA or blood type or whatever happens to match, you have to give up your kidney. In that example I would assume the ‘they’ would be whoever is looking for a matching kidney to save someone whose sick.

    Yes. And you put the blame on entrapment or whatever for minors and those who cannot choose on those who are setting up lottery the lottery. Passing back to the abortion situation from which this is abstracted the lottery “management” is nature. Hence my question, and suggested answer.

    Roe.v.Wade can stand but if you convince all women to not have abortions you can have a pro-choice country that is nonetheless more pro-life than it would be if every major national pro-life group was granted their wish list of policies.

    I’m not sure what you’re saying here.

    I agree, but you’re trying to make a case that a woman withdrawing her womb is killing because she’s responsible for the fetus needing her womb to begin with.

    Look. The objection to the Javis violinist thing is that in her hypothetical some nefaroius organization ties you to the violinist secretly and against your will. This ignores the actual situation in which you willingly engaged in the act that got yourself hooked to the violinist, his dependence is only there because of your free choices and his life would not depend on yours at all if you had not made that choice. This is why I mentioned the breaking of windows. He’s there because you broke the window. Not fixing it or detaching kills him … a result of your choice.

    I would reject your premise, the fetus’s dependence is not the fault of the mother

    Yes, in the progressive imagination sex between parents is not the cause of pregnancy. Reality based party indeed.

    Errr yes they do. (die from dialysis)

    No. They do not die with immediacy nor require your particular kidney, unlike the fetus which does require a particular attachment.

    Last time I checked the police don’t force a man and woman who don’t want to be next to each other to stay in the same room no matter what the circumstances

    Well, that’s the first time I’d heard anyone in favor of spousal abuse and/or murder.

    Suppose you never volunteered for this but you or your child had blood work for something unrelated at the lab that was doing the testing and thru an error accidently put you into the pool of samples to be tested for a match. Would it be immoral to say no?

    A lab mistake finds you for a match? That’s malpractice. And yes, I think it would be immoral to say no. Don’t you?

    Where’s what, you make a stab at improving the violinist analogy. Put in a situation which places the violinist in jeopardy as a direct consequence of your actions. He depends on you and only you because of actions you consciously made. With that sort of hypothetical I don’t see the moral argument for you walking away and pretending it isn’t murder.

  41. This ignores the actual situation in which you willingly engaged in the act that got yourself hooked to the violinist, his dependence is only there because of your free choices and his life would not depend on yours at all if you had not made that choice.

    Except this isn’t really true. Remember you said:

    The objection to the Javis violinist thing is that in her hypothetical some nefaroius organization ties you to the violinist secretly and against your will.

    The nefarious organization tricked you into being hooked up but it didn’t cause the violinist to need to be hooked up to you. Whether your hooked up because they kidnapped you or you’re hooked up because you said ‘ok’ to it but now realize it’s more than you can deal with doesn’t really matter. The violinist’s situation is not due to you or the organization.

    No. They do not die with immediacy nor require your particular kidney, unlike the fetus which does require a particular attachment.

    So it’s ok to kill someone very slowly over time but not ok to kill them suddenly? Someone who gives his rich wife a poisen that takes a year to be fatal isn’t killing her wheras someone who shoots her in the head is?

    Well, that’s the first time I’d heard anyone in favor of spousal abuse and/or murder.

    I think you weren’t paying attention to what was written here?

    Where’s what, you make a stab at improving the violinist analogy. Put in a situation which places the violinist in jeopardy as a direct consequence of your actions.

    Which is where it breaks down. Sex creates babies but it doesn’t create the dependence, the dependence is in the nature of of babies. Consider this, suppose the violinist’s mother knows she carries a rare gene which means if she has a child, it will at some point have to depend upon Mark and only Mark. She nonetheless has the child. Is the mother responsible for this dependence now? What if the mother in 2050 went to a nanoite genetic engineering center and had the DNA of her child altered so that the future dependence on Mark would happen? Your reasoning seems to imply both cases are the same whereas most people would consider the first to just be unfortunate but the second to be deeply wrong.

  42. Boonton

    The nefarious organization tricked you into being hooked up but it didn’t cause the violinist to need to be hooked up to you. Whether your hooked up because they kidnapped you or you’re hooked up because you said ‘ok’ to it but now realize it’s more than you can deal with doesn’t really matter. The violinist’s situation is not due to you or the organization.

    The violinists situation is entirely because of your choice. That’s the problem with the Jarvis test.

    I think you weren’t paying attention to what was written here?

    I couldn’t have said it better. I had written “Who is more trustworthy to settle differences of opinion between man and wife? The couple or the police and judge who frown on wife-beating and murder?” which was pointing to “difference of opinion” which result in beatings or murder. You answered, “Last time I checked the police don’t force a man and woman who don’t want to be next to each other to stay in the same room no matter what the circumstance” which means, what exactly? The problem was intrusion and the mythical “privacy” RvW notion. Matters between husband and wife aren’t for the police. If a spouse is killed that becomes a police matter. If a fetus is killed however, that is different. How?

    Sex creates babies but it doesn’t create the dependence, the dependence is in the nature of of babies.

    Not working for me. Try again. “Jumping off bridges doesn’t kill people” it’s the nature of gravitational attraction that kills people. Uhm, yah right. Yes the dependence is in the nature of babies therefore (like bridge hopping) it is also in the nature of sex. That is the thing progressives reject (and which is wrong). Babies are dependent and “in the nature of sex” … so as I say, you’ve put the violinist in jeopardy and now want to walk away from the window you broke. Sounds like that should be illegal, eh?

    it will at some point have to depend upon Mark and only Mark.

    I’m not seeing the point of this digression. You’ve rejected a lot of my speculative hypotheticals that were just like this … yet now you propose the same thing. What would be the point of that engineering?

    So it’s ok to kill someone very slowly over time but not ok to kill them suddenly.

    Note “nor require your particular kidney”. There are 100s of thousands of likely donors. That makes it kinda hard to blame one in particular.

  43. The violinists situation is entirely because of your choice. That’s the problem with the Jarvis test.

    How? The core problem the violinist has is that he has some medical condition that can only be solved by something from your body (let’s say a kidney or bone marrow). Granted offering him hope then yanking it away may be immoral but it’s not the same as purposefully creating the problem in the violinist.

    I couldn’t have said it better. I had written “Who is more trustworthy to settle differences of opinion between man and wife? The couple or the police and judge who frown on wife-beating and murder?”

    The difference is that the man has no excuse for beating the wife. No matter how angry he may be, no one is forcing him to be in the same room with the wife. Suppose you have a case where a man is in a hot argument with a woman, he tries to leave but others force him to remain in a small room with her. While violence may never be entirely legal, it would probably cause charges to be diminished.

    Not working for me. Try again. “Jumping off bridges doesn’t kill people” it’s the nature of gravitational attraction that kills people. Uhm, yah right. Yes the dependence is in the nature of babies therefore (like bridge hopping) it is also in the nature of sex.

    Let’s look at that. Suppose you’re crowding my space so I push you off a bridge. Am I excused? No doubt a judge or jury would ask why I just didn’t turn around and walk the other way. Suppose you highly suicidal and will jump off a bridge if I leave you. I’m sick of you and leave anyway and you jump off a bridge. Whats the difference in the two cases?

    I think the key difference in the 2nd case is that while I have a right to be alone and away from you, your death is caused by your nature. You, emotionally at least, can’t live without me so you kill yourself. That’s sad and it may not be your fault (you may be mentally ill, for example) but ultimately it’s very different than me pushing you directly.

    Consider if fetus transplants become possible. In that case it would be very easy to see the difference between a woman who has an abortion and a woman who simply transfers her fetus to a donar womb.

    I’m not seeing the point of this digression. You’ve rejected a lot of my speculative hypotheticals that were just like this

    Except it’s not, you put forth the hypothetical violinist who needs my kidney or whatnot. Clearly if this violinist has this problem due to a genetic illness then in theory his mother (and father) had sex and gave him this genetic illness. There’s no law of physics or chemistry that says it would be impossible for this information to be known ahead of time to them. If it was then would they be responsible or not? Keep in mind we are already at the point where genetists can tell some couples what their risks would be for having children with genetic illnesses.

  44. I think at this point we are exhausting our ability to analyze the morality of abortion itself. The problem with reasoning by analogy is that it only works if the analogy is like the problem in the relevant areas and where the analogy is unlike the problem it doesn’t matter to the result. Analogies may also help for illustrating a point, which is not quite the same as an argument in itself.

    Anyway I think a problem we are running into is that pregnancy is unlike anything else in human experience so the analogies we come up with can, with a dose of sci-fi-ism, mirror some aspects of pregnancy but we can’t be sure if we are building a correct argument by analogy or an incorrect one.

    Consider what would happen if a 13 yr old was found with beer, or driving a car. In both cases the cop would confiscate the beer and stop her from driving and there would be no disagreement. If abortion was clear cut, we could say the same thing for pregnancy. We could cite studies showing 13 yr olds don’t typically make good mothers and order her to have an abortion (against her will if needed). Imagine what would happen if we found a 13 yr old had been taken by ‘organ thieves’ and was about to have her kidney removed so it could be sold. Even if she had agreed to this we would insist it be stopped.

    But I’m not going to say we should agree to disagree, I going to say we should agree our arguments are insufficient for establishing our case for or against abortion. In that case we should discuss again the issue of ‘who decides’ and there I would again go back to the woman who has the most at stake and the most interest in the decision (you may try to say the fetus does but it’s still an open question whether or not the fetus is a person, if it is when it becomes one, and it’s clear the fetus not only lacks the ability to speak for itself but lacks the ability to have an opinion on the matter). We also have general conservatism on our side here, for thousands of generations nature essentially put the responsibility in the hands of women (and many times girls) and NOT in the hands of the well educated, holy men or clergy, the very mature, the politically powerful. There is even biological evidence that the body of a woman itself exercises some type of veto over pregnancy, inducing miscarriage under certain circumstances.

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