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So, kill the baby

In a recent post on Facebook, a friend of mine linked to an article in “The Telegraph” a British paper (I think) in which some medical ethicists from Oxford have argued that it is ok to kill a newborn because they are morally irrelevant. This moral irrelevance seems to be something which the child itself needs to have to avoid being put to death.

It seems that “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.” How’s that again? The “Moral status”? So an newborn and a ‘yet to be born’ lack properties which would allow us to attribute the right to life to them. They have no right to life. None. Zilch!  So how long, or how old might you need to be until this ‘right to life’ can be attributed to you. The article didn’t say but did offer a couple of fascinating (in a sick kinda way) clues.

Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. So if you reach your potential (that of being a person)then you have moral relevance

Ok…so there is a potential there. I seem to remember a story about a guy thrown into jail because he destroyed the potentiality of sea turtles by taking the buried eggs. Apparently the unborn sea turtle has to right to try and reach potential but the fetus and newborn does not. If you want to defend one, you have to defend the other.

But when do you get to that potential? “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.” I see, it is when someone can conclude that their existence is of some value to themselves. In other words, if you take my life, it will be a loss to me. I should think so!!

But, by that same reckoning, until my sister can grasp that the gummy bear I gave her in exchange for the $5 bill is a loss to her, she has no business having any money. (I don’t know why my mother was so upset!)

Now this next  makes sense:

” 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.”

This statement actually makes sense. I mean really, what is the difference between killing an unborn and a newborn child? Here they have spoken truthfully and for those who support abortion, you need to wrestle with this one. A mother’s life is just as interrupted (and perhaps more) by a newborn child as it is by being pregnant. So, just kill the baby and eliminate the inconvenience?

It is the same on the argument of those who argue for same sex marriage. Why not argue for polygamous marriages and marriages to animals and on and on.

I do not know where the ethics come into these ethicists viewpoint. If they are just trying to show the inconsistency of the abortion argument, they succeeded. But, if they are, as I suppose that they are, trying to promote that killing a newborn baby is an ok thing to do, then where do you stop?

What happens if this child never develops the potential that they have? Oh this should send a lot of teens and early twenty somethings into terrified convulsions. I mean what’s good for the newborn is good for the newborn plus 18 years, isn’t it? At what point do we decide that there is ‘only potential’ and that it will never be reached?

And would they argue for or against the death penalty? Notice that the person (child) has to grasp that depriving them of life is a loss to that themselves, not to others. But if the child grows up to be a menace and uses their intelligence to harm others, they could arguably be said to not have lived up to their potential. Just abort them 18 or 25 years after the birth. No potential, no right to life.

(They miss the point that the death penalty is a judicial tool for justice.)

In promoting arguments on Euthanasia and abortion, the destination of that journey has not yet been reached. However, every so often we see roadsigns that tell us how much closer we are.

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