Friday, April 28, 2006

Abortion and overpopulation--and back again

There might be some errors in the following, becuase I typed it out pretty quickly. In it, I'm responding to another post on a message board for a class. The parts in quotes aren't my view.

"who are you to control a women's body, moreover who is the state to do such?"

By saying that a women can't have an abortion, no one is "controlling their body." Certain drugs are illegal--is that controlling someone's body? Murder is illegal--is that controlling someone's body?

As to the question "who are you..." I'd say the answer is: a member of a representative democracy in which the state is granted a monopoly of the use of force in order to carry out laws created with the consent of the governed. Or some such. Point being: we live in a society where laws can be created to restrict certain actions. This is not peculiar to the abortion issue.

"If it is because it is killing then you have given that argument away and moreover there are thousands killed everyday in this world from hunger and poverty why would bringing a child into this world be good especially when they are not guaranteed a family and state care is less than desirable."

Personally, I consider it a net-positive that I was brought into this world, despite the fact that I lack cradle to grave government teat to latch on to.

The world is not overpopulated--not by a long shot. Hunger and povery are a problem, sure. But my being born did not exacerbate this problem. If you find it comforting, neither did your birth. Breathe easier.

Or, since I am well fed, are you just saying that it would be better if people in third world countries had never been born? Save them the suffering?

But, the fact that they are born is not the problem. Corrupt political regimes, anti-free market sentiments, dysfunctional institutions which debase property rights and so inhibit the manifestation of human creativity--these are to blame for hunger and poverty.

Abortion isn't a palliative on world hunger. Getting rid of people in order to solve world hunger is solving the wrong problem.

In fact, humans are not a drag on Earth's resources. Humans ARE a resource, the most valuable of all resources--and not in a metaphorical sense, either. We are actually resources. Human ingenuity, human creativity, human will--these have created civilization. The more humans there are to add their minds to this amazing noosphere we've created--and are continually renewing and recreating--the better. Humanity is not a parasitic tapeworm, enervating mother earth, stretching through her bowels, wallowing in filth; humanity is that by which Mother Earth claims her maternal status. Humanity is not a tragedy.

There are many reasons to illegalize abortion. But, as I take it, that wasn't the central thrust of Chris's post. His point was that attacking the motives of pro-life activists is a bad way to argue.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Feminists, at least from the arguments presented here, seem to avoid actually answering arguments, and instead try to discredit the bearer of that view. That this is a logical fallacy does not need to be pointed out. That it's effect on contemporary discourse is poisonous, sadly, does.

As I said, there are many reasons to illegalize abortion. I'll give here, only one. Feminists argue that the patriarchal family sends a message of subjugation to women. They say that when women make less money a message of inferiority is sent. They say that when women act as housewives a message of submission is sent. Women, it seems, have an amazing capacity to absorb these messages and be formed in very real ways by them.

And yet, when the most helpless elements of our human society are twisted and torn apart by steel forceps and drained from the body like so much organic waste, no message is sent. None. It is but a silent scream.

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