Squaring the Culture




"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

02/14/2009 (2:42 pm)

An American Holocaust

bookofgloom1Here’s a cheerful little thought to brighten your weekend.

This week a German medical team reported on new, comprehensive research demonstrating clearly that abortions increase the risk of premature births in later, “wanted” pregnancies, and that the risk increases with the number of previous abortions. This is hardly surprising; the medical knowledge about the risk of abortions has been mounting steadily for decades. There have been 17 studies over the years concerning abortion and premature births, and every one of them has reported the same thing. It would not be difficult to build a case for banning abortion except for emergency circumstances simply on the basis of the medical risk.

Of course, reason has nothing to do with the abortion debate. From the beginning, the arguments raised for the defense of abortion have had the character of badly-formed rationalizations. The defenders of legal abortion stalwartly ignore the findings of medical science regarding their pet procedure; there could be 300 such findings, and they would not admit a problem.

Even the current refrain that “nobody likes abortions” is nothing but the defensive whining of adolescents — it’s offered as though the fact that the person committing the act feels regret actually has bearing on whether the act is moral or not. If feelings have any bearing at all, they serve to illustrate that we all understand innately that the act is immoral; feelings of regret never justify a moral choice.

In fact, “nobody likes abortions” is obfuscation, a pretense that the issue is really “choice.” This is not merely nonsense, it’s disingenuous nonsense. Indeed, Cal Thomas, an opponent of legal abortion, has offered in public debates to leave current abortion laws unchallenged if only the purveyors of abortion would agree to present complete medical warnings concerning the risk of the procedure to every one of their clients, giving women a truly informed choice — and women’s rights advocates would not agree to it. And now, thanks to President Obama’s promised Freedom of Choice Act, medical professionals may no longer have a choice whether to offer such services or not, the government overruling their consciences. Choice, indeed.

But that’s all beside the current point. Facing, as we are, economic hardship in the Age of Obama, the more convincing case against abortion is actually socio-economic. The practice of abortion is likely to initiate the next major holocaust, this one right here in America, and probably ensuing within about 20 years.

prolifesign18We Boomers, as a generation, by contriving to kill our children in order to empower our self-gratifying sexual misconduct, have accomplished three things: 1) we’ve weakened the ethic of life, so that killing is increasingly acceptable as a solution; 2) we’ve broken the nation’s ability to produce wealth, by borrowing to live beyond our means both personally and governmentally, and by behaving as though economic reality did not apply to us; and 3) we’ve created a huge demographic bubble that will soon reach retirement age.

This will bring about the last generation of the long-term Ponzi game we’ve played with retirement accounts (I’m referring to Social Security). A Ponzi game is an economic pyramid scheme in which each succeeding generation of recruits into the game finances the profit of the previous generations. Each generation profits until the next generation is not large enough to support the preceding ones, at which point the game ends and the last generation shoulders the cost of the entire game. The Baby Boom was always likely to produce a demographic problem at retirement, but the loss of 50 million potential wage earners to abortion, resulting in fewer than two workers per retiree, guarantees that the Boomer generation will be retiring as the Ponzi game collapses. Thus, even if the current worldwide economic collapse only lasts a decade or so, we’ve guaranteed severe economic hardship to our children and grandchildren — and there are reasons to believe that the current collapse will extend hardship well into the next several generations.

With the weakened life ethic, voluntary euthanasia will be legalized, I would guess within a decade from now. Then, as economics makes supporting retirees unmanageable, it will become less voluntary, as younger folks choose to avoid the economic hardship of supporting their elderly parents. Even today, in European countries where euthanasia is legal, it’s often questionable whether a euthanasia decision was voluntary; how much more, when the alternative seems like financial ruin?

Thus will we reap the whirlwind from the wind to which we have sown: we chose to kill our children to protect our prosperity and freedom, and our children will choose to kill us to protect theirs.

True to our character, we elderly Boomers will go to our deaths feebly protesting the denial of our rights. For once we’ll be correct, but who will be around to hear us that has not been poisoned by our irresponsibility?

It has never really been necessary to raise religious issues to rebut abortion as a practice; abortion is a disaster on every possible measure of evaluation, especially those addressing the well-being of women. Unfortunately, like every selfish, evil act, it carries within itself the seeds of its own punishment. By choosing abortion, we’ve chosen our own end.

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17 Comments »

February 14, 2009 @ 5:43 pm #

“It has never really been necessary to raise religious issues to rebut abortion as a practice…”

Nor is it necessary to assume that a devoutly religious person would be opposed to legal abortion.

I don’t get a lot of sense from above that you are willing to have any open conversation about this, but Joe is having a great conversation about Christianity and choice: http://moreunsolicitedthoughts.blogspot.com/

Even if you disagree, I recommend it to the readers here to show them that there is a thoughtful group on the pro-choice side. Of course, there is NO EXCUSE for the pitiful obfuscating that you rightfully point out by many of the pro-choicers, but those are really no excuse either for writing off the movement as a whole.

February 14, 2009 @ 7:07 pm #

Nor is it necessary to assume that a devoutly religious person would be opposed to legal abortion.

The connection between a mother and her child is so foundational to the human experience that the reversal of it can only be the most dehumanizing act possible. I cannot imagine anybody with any sense of the human soul accepting abortion as anything but the destruction of humanity.

It’s like the reversal of the Talmudic dictum that gets articulated at the end of Schindler’s List, the one that says “He who saves a single life, saves the world entire.” He who can rip a child from the womb of his mother, destroys the whole world.

I also cannot imagine that anybody familiar with the character of God and of satan could recognize abortion as anything but the most direct achievement of satan’s purpose, and the most direct repudiation of God’s. I do not admit the possibility of a man who knows the God I know with any depth accepting abortion as a valid practice in any but the most extreme circumstances.

February 16, 2009 @ 1:19 am #

Phil,

You assume a key premise that is disputed by those who disagree with you; that fetal life at all stages constitutes a child.

This is what you need to prove to make you’re holocaust argument work. Simply calling fetal entities “children” over and over is not proof.

Joe H.

February 16, 2009 @ 4:14 am #

Joe,

I assume nothing of the kind in order to make the argument. No part of the argument either asserts, implies, or requires any particular definition of fetal development. Even the claim of “weakening the life ethic” assumes no particular definition is correct, it simply observes that the definition has shifted. You could call the change “strengthening the life ethic to encompass diverse perceptions of reality” if you like (not that that would be accurate); the social and economic effect is still the same.

The thing I’ve noticed, Joe, is that you “discover” logical errors where you need to see them in order to protect your own preconceived positions, only they’re never really there.

February 16, 2009 @ 3:11 pm #

Hi Phil,

As you know, the main dispute about abortion is the status of the fetus. People who think abortion is murder (including you – you called it the “American Holocaust”) necessarily think that fetal life is a “someone.” This is clear from the fact that a murder requires a victim, e.g. someone who loses their life.

People who deny that abortion is murder, or deny that it is murder at all stages of fetal development, deny that fetal life is a someone, or a someone at all stages of fetal life.

The disagreement, therefore, is about the status of fetal life. When you call fetal life a “child,” as you do repeatedly in your arguments, you’re asserting, without argument or evidence, that fetal life is a someone. But because that is the premise in dispute, you’re assuming what you need to prove.

Assuming what you’re supposed to prove is a well recognized logical error known as “begging the question.”

Let me also suggest, as gently as I can, that you seem a bit too willing to dismiss your critics, regardless of their credentials. I have two doctoral level degrees that are reasoning intensive (Philosophy and Law). I have taught advanced courses in logic and critical thinking, and argued extensively in both state and federal court. While my credentials and experience do not immunize me from error, they ought to give you pause before dismissing me. But, apparently, they do not.

John Stuart Mill famously argued that, while most people will acknowledge their own fallibility in theory, few ever take any practical steps to account for it. Let me recommend, as a friend and frequent admirer of you intellect and communication skills, that you give this point serious consideration.

Best wishes,

Joe H.

Best wishes,

Joe

February 16, 2009 @ 3:39 pm #

Joe,

“American holocaust” refers to the coming euthanasia of the elderly; consequently, the fetal life question is not relevant here. I would have thought that was obvious from the context. Apparently your erudition and education do not inoculate you against simple errors in reading comprehension. I understand; neither does mine.

I’m already somewhat aware of your credentials; they’re the reason I’m so completely outraged by the low quality of some of your arguments. You really should be capable of much better, as I had hoped that you would be.

I acknowledge the possibility that you’re arguing so far above my head that I’m not even capable of reaching there. That’s a problem I’ve faced in reverse my entire life. It’s a consequence of having four-sigma analytical reasoning skills; everybody thinks they’re bright, and if their mind can’t reach where your mind has gone, they think it’s because YOU are an imbecile, not because they are. (Amusingly enough, people with four-sigma music skills don’t have this problem; tone-deaf people know they’re tone-deaf). I get called names all the time by people whose errors are obvious to the casual observer.

So, it’s possible. However, in my experience it’s obvious when I’ve encountered somebody with that level of performance. I’ve met a handful of them, and worked for a couple of them. It’s very humbling, and also nice in a way, to have someone overseeing you who can spot your errors easily. I don’t get that feeling reading your arguments, though. While it’s obvious that you possess a great deal of knowledge about the history of philosophy and law (which I admire, and find useful and interesting,) I can usually see pretty clearly where your errors are. That doesn’t happen when I’m discussing things with people who are a great deal brighter than I.

And in any case, all I can do is say what I think is correct. In this case, Joe, you’ve simply misread, and as much as you’d like to focus on the fetal life question, it’s not relevant here. I can defend that question; I’ve simply chosen not to in this article.

Phil

February 16, 2009 @ 4:06 pm #

Phil, Phil, Phil!

You don’t deny calling fetal life a “child,” do you? Let me quote from your post:

“We Boomers, as a generation, by contriving to kill our children in order to empower our self-gratifying sexual misconduct . . .”

Let me just repeat myself one final time. When you say that we are “contriving to kill our children” you are assuming that fetal entities are children. Calling fetal entities “Children is an indirect way of assigning them the status of a “someone” without argument. But because the “someone” premise is the key premise in dispute, your use of the term “children” begs the question.

Let me know if you understand this argument. If you don’t, you never will, and there’s no point in continuing our dialogue.

Joe H.

February 16, 2009 @ 4:14 pm #

Joe,

I do understand the argument you’re raising, and I repeat that it’s not relevant to this particular article.

You’re failing to distinguish between my peripheral rhetoric and the argument I’m making. Yes, I use rhetorical flourishes that display my opinion about the subject you’re raising; but no, that particular opinion is not relevant to the argument I’m raising.

The argument goes thus: by allowing the removal of 50 million potentially wage-earning and tax-paying participants in the economy, we amplify an unsustainable demographic bubble that’s about to reach retirement age. This hardship — sustaining a huge retirement population — will hit at the exact moment that social security collapses and the economy is already severely crippled by other forces. Since the cultural defense of life at all costs (whether logically correct or not) has been weakened already, the response is likely to be forced euthanasia of the elderly as the young make the hard decision to protect their economic well-being.

I appreciate that you’ve been confused by my refusal to use neutral language in the run-up to the argument, and I apologize for the confusion. However, I am correct in saying that the argument I make in this article does not, in any way, rely on any particular claim about fetal life. The premises are 1) removal of potential wage-earners through abortion; 2) social security collapse; and 3) a life ethic that permits killing in some cases.

February 16, 2009 @ 4:31 pm #

Phil,

Okay, I see your point. But in fairness to me, you made more than one argument in your post. And because much of the initial discussion was about abortion, I thought abortion (“killing our children”)was at least part of the “American Holocaust.”

Also, I don’t think your use of the term “children” is merely non-neutral. I think it embeds an assumption that is controversial. The assumption might be true or false, but either way it requires an argument. I offer an extensive argument on my blog that it is not true for all stages of fetal life. You’re welcome to comment.

Joe H.

February 16, 2009 @ 4:35 pm #

Fair enough, Joe. I figured you got sucked in by my rhetorical flourishes. And yes, I do make some preliminary arguments about things that have been said in the past regarding legalized abortions.

We can have the fetus argument some other day; maybe I’ll visit your blog and engage.

I regard “embeds an assumption that is controversial” as the definition of “non-neutral.” And yes, I make such statements. Cheerfully, in fact.

February 17, 2009 @ 12:46 am #

Phil,

I am not the thinker that either Joe or you are, but it really feels like I have been watching “The Illusionist” these last ten posts. The main thrust of your original post was very clearly abortion; you both started and ended with it as the crux of your argument.

But further, I specifically referred you and your readers to Joe’s blog about ABORTION, and whether it can be possible to think it immoral but not have it illegal. Both your comment to me above and to Joe were specifically about your shock that we could even have this conversation.

You posted at Joe’s site specifically about abortion; Joe continued the conversation here. It seems completely reasonable that he expected the conversation to be about just that.

February 17, 2009 @ 9:07 am #

darkhorse,

You need to read more carefully, especially if the take from your reading is going to be an accusation of dishonesty. I’m not amused, nor am I sanguine about this.

Your comment began with an observation about whether devoutly religious people could accept legal abortion or not. My reply to you was specifically about that, as clearly indicated by the block quote from your comment that appears at the beginning of mine.

Joe’s first comment (comment #3 in the discussion) was about my “holocaust argument.” In all the subsequent discussion, I assumed he was addressing that, and it eventually came out that he was thinking “holocaust” referred to abortion, whereas I meant it to apply to euthanasia of the elderly. He observed that confusion was possible based on my wording and on the various topics mentioned in the article, and I agreed.

I certainly meant to mislead nobody, and I don’t think anybody reading carefully will be mislead by the discussion. More to the point, it’s pretty rude for you to enter a dispute that’s been settled and attempt to unsettle it.

And for the record, I absolutely disagree, wholeheartedly, that it is ever reasonable to expect that conversation started on one blog will continue on another. That’s just nonsense.

You owe me an apology, Jim.

February 17, 2009 @ 9:32 am #

The odd thing is, by arguing about the semantics of Babies vs. “fetal entities” (a new euphemism I had not heard before) you kind of prove the point he is trying to make.

I run the risk of proving Godwin’s here, but you have already lost that game any time you talk about genocide. The point is this: The Final solution was, in many ways, merely an outgrowth (or an ultimate end) of eugenic thought that had been going on since the turn of the century. Social and anthropological scientists figured quite highly in the ranks of the Nazi government.

Many social and so called “real” scientists had been toying with the idea of helping Darwin along by identifying good traits and trying to either express them by selective breeding only for them, or simply by weeding out the bad traits that were seen as undesirable. This is where the idea of mandatory sterilization of the educationally and psychologically disabled. It was meant to be a culling of these traits so they would no longer be expressed in the general population.

So you cull out all of the bad traits, you are left with a better and healthier society. One less apt to have individuals suseptible to physical or mental illness.

The thing is with human generational genetics, you are not dealing with pea plants like Mendel. You are dealing with people. So terms start to become introduced like “meaningful life”. People with disablilities like Alzheimers or “fetal entities” are dismissed as either not “really” being alive or not having a “useful and productive” life. Patients on life support then have their wishes extrapolated as “who would want to live like that?”

Whether we are talking about Eugenics, Abortion, or Euthanasia it always comes back to the same thing: who is “Really” alive and who isn’t. If someone is not really alive then there is no harm in taking their miserable excuse for a life from them, is there?

The argument that Phil is making is that we have decided to deal with the question of life in terms not of right and wrong, but in terms of what is expedient for us. He makes the point that this will inevitably lead to us killing off the baby boom generation when they become too much of a burden on society without giving enough back to make them worth it.

I would have to say he has a point. All we have to go on is one example of a society that took such concepts and took them to a coldly logical end. This does not mean to say that it would always turn out this way, but there is a precedent for it.

I think when we start to make arguments about terms we are simply trying to make justifications for what we have already decided in our own heads.

Now I abhor abortion or euthenasia or eugenics in any form. I think any of these practicies (and a lot more besides) ultimately dehumanize us to such a great extent that we both personally and as a society can no longer tell Right from Wrong, up from down, left from right.

For example: If I did think or prefer that abortion be kept legal for other reasons (reasons of expediancy, emotion, or experience) I might well justify it to myself by saying essentially this: I am a good person. What I believe cannot be evil. Therefore, what I believe is not evil because what I am talking about is not what you mean when you are talking about the same thing. The fault is in you, not in me. You are in error about the facts in the case, wheras I am enlightened.

Of course, opponents of this view can/will simply flip the exact same psychological argument back onto me. That is one of the more frustrating things about human existence: People are People. They are both very different and exactly the same.

To add to an already bulky and overwrought comment, I also think this is what happens when you reject Objective Truth. When everything is Subjective, nothing is ultimately outside the realm of possibility in thought or action.

For what it’s worth.

February 17, 2009 @ 11:15 am #

It was a perfectly cogent comment, Horatius, and thanks for the support.

I’m actually arguing something similar over on Joe Huster’s blog, regarding the attempt to distinguish between “meaningful” and “non-meaningful” life. I think the only logical place (not to mention the only safe place) to make a distinction in the nonstop progression of change we call life is at the beginning. The quantities “life” and “human” are relatively easy to define in pure analytical terms; any other point requires something arbitrary, and opens the discussion to measures of worth that enable one group to exercise power over another.

I’m fond of quoting CS Lewis’ observation that “the power of Man to make of Himself what He pleases, is inevitably the power of some men to make of other men what they please.” Human liberty is only safe where dignity is granted solely because the person is both human and alive.

February 17, 2009 @ 9:09 pm #

Phil, you asked for an apology and you shall have it!

I was not trying to unsettle a settled argument; I was only giving my impression of what appeared to be an odd shift by you.

I understand that I may have misunderstood you; I also spoke too harshly. Had I not been in the middle of my self-employment work in Arizona, I wouldn’t have been too lazy to tell you that your argument from abortion to euthanasia appears very reasonable, whether or not early abortion remains legal (while intruding on the sacred).

I am sorry, and thank you for bearing with me.

(Author sez: Thanks, and now all is well.)

March 31, 2009 @ 12:03 pm #

[...] I’ve actually made the prediction myself that Obama policy intentions could lead to holocausts. I don’t expect such a thing to occur during a four-year Obama administration, or even really during an eight-year Obama administration. I do expect that if America adopts neo-Marxist ethical conventions, within about 20 years we’ll be endorsing euthanasia among America’s elderly, and that given the demographics of the Boomer generation, that will lead to a huge wave of voluntary suicide that is neither truly voluntary or truly suicide. Jonah Goldberg thinks American fascism will never mimic Soviet or German fascism in its murderousness, because the American character is so basically friendly; but Americans have terminated more pregnancies than any nation in history — some 50 million or more — and thus seem susceptible to rationalizing “mercy” killings where they would not condone political ones. [...]

July 25, 2009 @ 3:00 pm #

[...] I argued back in February that the weakened life ethic produced by abortion and by the selfishness of the Boomer generation, a decade of economic hardship, and the coming collapse of Social Security, will combine to produce mass killing of the elderly, first as “voluntary” euthanasia and later (but not much later) becoming a lot less voluntary. Several events in the advocacy of President Obama’s national health care scheme are vindicating my prediction. [...]

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