15 thoughts on “Dogma”

  1. From the article: “But my views on infanticide are not complicated. It’s murder.”

    If you live in a society with limited resources which can only support a fixed number of people, when another person is born someone has to die. Historically this was done by going to war with the neighboring tribe, infanticide in such a situation might be the best of a bad set of options.


    1. We are talking about our own society here. You are proposing that our current extraordinary wealth and consumer-based economy are limited resources that can support a fixed number of people, so someone has to die?

      1. And we have technology to explore the space environment in order to determine how we can use resources in space.
        If we get to point of using lunar resources and making the Moon the gateway to solar system and harvesting energy in space, energy from Space will allow much higher and sustainable human population on Earth. Or more than 50 billion people living on Earth.

        And if you think India, has a future with it’s current population, then you have to accept that the US is currently under populated.

        Also it seems we can (and need) to improve better systems of urban living.
        Or obviously we already have done this to some amount as current cities are over populated compare to cities prior to 20th century. Or cities are evolving, but like politics in general, not much progress has been made.

    2. I vote to give Andrew the honor of leaving the island first. His sacrifice will be for the greater good. Besides, he has had his turn, and his defeatist attitude is too negative for the rest of us.

  2. It is a matter of degrees here. I also used to be against abortion period.
    The Catholic Church is against it. But they were also against surgery at one point because it was considered to be mutilation.

    I think abortion should be allowed up to a given gestation time. Or in cases where there is a choice between the life of the mother and the child. What it should not ever be is mandated by the state. It needs to be a decision of the parents.

    1. I don’t understand your last paragraph. If abortion is only allowed up to a given gestation time (say, during the 1st trimester), who enforces it? Usually that would be the state.

      1. Well, like any of these schemes. By relying on people to uphold the law. Nothing really prevents an abortion. If the woman wanted they could just throw themselves down a flight of stairs or take heavy anti-coagulation agents. What do you want to do? Restrain women if they become pregnant?

        1. There are a number of options. The first to my mind is stripping doctors of their license to practice medicine for violation of the Hippocratic oath. That wouldn’t necessarily need to be government action, as doctors have their own professional association.

        2. And many of us crazy right wingers say the same about gun control. More seriously, the question of whether difficulty with enforcement is a barrier to the law depends on whether the law falls under Malik prohibitum or Malik in se. We do not consider the difficulties in prosecuting murderers or rapists to arguments against having these laws in the first place. We ought to consider in law prohibiting possession of handguns or marijuana.

  3. People who are rightly dogmatic about murder sometimes find that their dogma isn’t a sufficient guide when it comes to euthanasia.

    First consider the elderly: People who would never ever condone euthanasia will accept the idea that an elderly actively dying person who is screaming in pain should be administered increasing doses morphine. Sometimes enough morphine is administered that death is hastened. A hospice worker might say, with sincerity and conviction, “No, no, we would never be a party to euthanasia, that is murder and it is completely evil and wrong”, and yet, in a humane attempt to end a dying person’s suffering, the hospice worker will do something tantamount to euthanasia. One way to tell: they’ll take risks in increasing the dosage that they would never take with a person who was not on the verge of death.

    You might worry about consent. The one time I witnessed this happening, the person had said clearly that they understood that they were at the end, and that they were ok with not being conscious anymore because the pain was unbearable. There was screaming. It was bad. Everyone present believed that death had been hastened but no one felt that a murder had occurred.

    Now consider “infanticide”. When considered as murder, of course people are against it. But “late term abortions” are performed when – among other reasons – there are severe fetal abnormalities (partially formed brain outside of skull, vital organs outside of body, etc) which would cause any baby who was born alive with them to live only a few days during which they would experience only unrelenting searing excruciating pain. Maybe someday such a chid could be saved, but death is inevitable given current medical abilities. A reasonable person who is dogmatically opposed to “infanticide” might still be willing to medicate the pain with much greater dosages – truly dangerous dosages – than would ever be even considered for a baby with a chance at living. I argue that such a person, whether they are willing to admit it to themselves or not, is willing to (effectively) euthanize such a baby, in the name of preventing needless and horrible suffering. Cases like this are where dogma fails.

    Are all “infanticide” cases like this? No, but Jonah Goldberg and others are dealing in absolutes – all cases – when they use words like “infanticide”. I think they should consider the more troubling problem of when treatment which is effectively euthanasia is administered to end needless but horrible suffering.

    1. Are all “infanticide” cases like this? No, but Jonah Goldberg and others are dealing in absolutes – all cases – when they use words like “infanticide”. —
      “Dogma derives in part from the Greek dokein, meaning that which seems good. “Seems” is an important word here, because sometimes what seems to be true isn’t. And therefore, responsible thinkers should question dogma from time to time. ”

      Goldberg is saying you have to have dogma.
      Though in some instances the dogma, could be wrong.

      You can have a dogma and/or law that some is wrong or illegal to do.

      And someone might have violate a dogma or a law.
      In US one has the right to violate laws, though there could be consequences (or should be consequences) and what these consequences are, could be judged.

      A common saying is that the cover up is what politicians get in trouble for. Likewise, it is the avoidance of judgement of doing something which appears wrong, that is a problem when you violate dogma or the law.

      That you might “need” to murder someone, does not mean it should be lawful/moral to murder anyone.

      That taxpayer money supports murdering children or require a doctor to murder children is plainly, evil.

  4. I don’t want to make decisions for other people. I’ve got enough on my plate. But, it seems like we could all agree that if a child is viable outside the womb, perhaps “without extensive effort” as a qualifier since science keeps pushing back the date of viability through artificial means, its life should not be terminated.

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