Tag Archives: Slavery

Awakening the “moral sense” of the public in the abortion debate

 

Young pro-life women protest Planned Parenthood
Young pro-life women protest Planned Parenthood

Scott Klusendorf linked to this article from the Public Discourse. The article talks about the need to augment logical arguments in other ways in order to awaken the moral sense of the public so that they will support the pro-life cause and vote to repeal pro-abortion laws.

Excerpt:

In a manner similar to the case of slavery as outlined by Douglass, there are two simple points that, once admitted, join to condemn clearly the practice of abortion: (1) the embryo is a human being from the moment of conception, and (2) all human beings have a natural right to life.

The second point, as in the case of the natural right to liberty, doesn’t require serious argument on the level of ordinary judgment, even though many pro-choice philosophers have tried to argue that only persons have a right to life, and the unborn, in their view, aren’t persons. To make such arguments, however, requires choosing an arbitrary cut-off point for personhood, as pro-life philosophers such as George, Tollefsen, and Lee have shown.

The first point is more often chosen as promising ground for challenges, but it too is plainly obvious to the unbiased mind.

Once conception occurs, the embryo is something other than the woman who carries it. The fact that the embryo requires the mother’s body to live is no argument against this—dependence does not exclude otherness, otherwise none of us would be distinguishable from everyone and everything else in the world upon which we depend in innumerable ways. The embryo is obviously something other than a part of the mother, but what is it?

This is where it gets easy, despite the messy, abstract philosophical arguments. The more appropriate version of the question is the following: What else could it be besides a human being? Is there a single example in natural history of sexual intercourse between two individuals of the same species resulting in something other than another individual of that species? Is it plausible to guess that sexual intercourse between two human beings might result in a fish, at least initially? Or maybe a frog? Such speculation is entirely fanciful and runs directly contrary to our experience of the world since the beginning of recorded history.

It should be obvious to anyone that the two points hold, and that the embryo is a human being possessing a natural right to life from the moment of its conception. The problem is that the younger and less developed the embryo is, the less it excites what some have called our “moral sense,” our sympathy with it as another human being like us. And as Hume correctly notes, human beings tend to be moved more by their passions and feelings, including the so-called “moral sense,” than by their intellectual understanding of the world when determining their actions. Even if our reason and common sense tell us clearly—as they undoubtedly do—that the embryo is a human being with the right to life, our moral sense or sympathy lets us off the hook.

So where does this leave pro-life advocates? How can we bridge the Humean—and human—gap between intellectual understanding and actual practice in our nation? The answer lies in the parallel between the issue of abortion and those of slavery and subsequent civil rights. The pro-life movement needs to model more closely in its organization and practices the antebellum abolition movement and the civil rights movement in order to achieve similar success in ending the evil of abortion. It needs to take up the mantle of these causes in a manner beyond rhetorical parallel or intellectual analogy and be prepared to undergo similar hardships before achieving its goals.

Both of these historical movements ultimately succeeded not by winning arguments, but by awakening the moral sense or conscience of a majority of the nation. Legislation relating to the provision of an ultrasound prior to an abortion, currently in place in some form in more than twenty states, is very well suited to this purpose. The dissemination of graphic images relating to abortion procedures, though controversial in pro-life circles, is also highly appropriate to this purpose.

The civil rights movement was driven forward significantly by television and photographic coverage of the inhuman treatment of protestors, as well as the publication of vivid written reports of racially motivated cruelties. Moral senses or sympathies are sparked most effectively by distasteful, unsettling, and shocking information; and when intellectual argument has had its day in trying to awaken consciences and has shown itself insufficient, recourse must be had to the level of moral sense and feeling.

There can be no doubt that pro-lifers are the abolitionists of this generation, urging the powerful not to take advantage of the powerless.

This reminds me about the story of Emmett Till. Have you heard of that? Here it is explained in a letter from Gregg Cunningham of CBR, a pro-life group.

Excerpt:

Many pro-lifers have heard about Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago who, while visiting relatives in Mississippi, was tortured to death, allegedly for whistling at a white woman (or bidding her farewell with a flippant “bye baby” – accounts vary). But this tragic civil rights story offers more lessons for effective pro-life activism than is generally understood.

BlackPressUSA.com, August 27, 2001, reported in a story entitled “1955 – Emmett Till Killed in Mississippi” that Emmett’s mother “had insisted that the casket be opened when it arrived in Chicago, although it had been sealed when it left Mississippi.” There was a reason that authorities in Mississippi did not want the world to see the body of Emmett Till.

The Washington Post, August 28, 2005, published a story on the legacy of Emmett Till entitled “Dead End,” with a subhead which read “On the Trail of a Civil Rights Icon, Starting Where He Did”:

…Ahmed A. Rayner Sr., … prepared Emmett’s body for services after it was pulled from the Tallahatchie River – with a cotton-gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Tortured and bruised, with most of his teeth missing, his remains were returned in a sealed box on a train to Chicago.

Ahmed Rayner is dead and the family-owned funeral home is run by his granddaughter [Pamela Rayner].

[…]‘I remember him saying that he had to do something because the way that he [Emmett] was brought up here, he looked so bad that it would probably scare most of the people,’ says Rayner. There was the eye that her grandfather had to put back into Till’s head and the fixing of his swollen tongue that hung out of his mouth – the stitching and patchwork to make the boy presentable in a glass-covered casket.

There was also a reason that Emmett’s mother demanded the unsealing of the crate in which the condition of her son’s body had been hidden:

‘After the body arrived I knew I had to look and see and make sure it was Emmett. That was when I decided that I wanted the whole world to see what I had seen. There was no way I could describe what was in that box. No way. And I just wanted the world to see.’ (BlackPressUSA.com, February 21, 2001, ‘A Disturbing Picture’)

Sounds a lot like abortion: no way it can be described; vital that we show the world how horrifying it looks.

I think the right approach is to give the arguments and the evidence first, and then to show the ultrasound images or the graphical images second (warning people to look away if they are squeamish, first). This is the way that moral people have always argued against injustices. If it worked to change minds then, then it will probably work to change minds now, too. For my own part, I’ve chose not to engage in sexual behavior at all until I am in a position where I can welcome a child into the world. I want to give my future children a safe environment with a committed mother and father. And if I have to give up short-term recreation in order to avoid putting myself in a situation where abortion might be a temptation, then that’s what I’m going to do. It’s called acting responsibly.

And now slavery: Venezuela’s socialist policies lead to forced labor camps

Two socialists shake hands: Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez
Two socialists shake hands: Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez

How well are Democrat Party policies working out in Venezuela?

Here’s the latest from CNBC: (H/T William)

The government of Venezuela has issued a decree that “effectively amounts to forced labor” in an attempt to fix a spiraling food crisis, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

A Venezuelan ministry last week announced Resolution No. 9855, which calls for the establishment of a “transitory labor regime” in order to relaunch the agricultural and food sector. The decree says that the government must do what is “necessary to achieve strategic levels of self-sufficiency,” and states that workers can be forcefully moved from their jobs to work in farm fields or elsewhere in the agricultural sector for periods of 60 days.

[…]The law is vague in laying out exactly which workers can be forced to work in the farm sector, though it indicates that both public- and private-sector workers may be included. While working in food production, workers will be suspended from their regular jobs. They’ll be allowed to return to their original jobs upon the completion of service.

[…]Under President Nicolas Maduro, the country has been gripped by skyrocketing inflation and food shortages that have led to rising unrest this year.

Venezuela’s oil-dependent economy capsized with the fall in crude prices in 2014, leaving whole swaths of the country’s 31 million people without enough food or other necessities. Inflation is expected to hit almost 720 percent this year, and gross domestic product is seen falling by 8 percent, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Maduro’s predecessor, Hugo Chavez, left the nation in a vulnerable economic position by nationalizing energy assets while oil prices were high and spending proceeds on widespread social programs. Oil’s global drop in 2014 left the government far short of its revenue needs and with only an anemic private sector to generate taxes or jobs.

How did Venezuela get to this point where their economy is in such a shambles that they can neither produce nor even purchase enough food to feed their people?

Answer: socialism.

Here is an article from March 2013 from the radically leftist Slate. The headline is “Hugo Chavez’s economic miracle: The Venezuelan leader was often marginalized as a radical. But his brand of socialism achieved real economic gains”. The author is “a senior writer for the International Business Times”.

He writes:

Chavez became the bugaboo of American politics because his full-throated advocacy of socialism and redistributionism at once represented a fundamental critique of neoliberal economics, and also delivered some indisputably positive results. Indeed, as shown by some of the most significant indicators, Chavez racked up an economic record that a legacy-obsessed American president could only dream of achieving.

What did Chavez do, precisely, that caused the Venezuelan economic to boom? Well, he nationalized private industry and redistributed wealth from job creators and entrepreneurs to the poor.

As The Week correctly put it, while “Chavez’s policies of redistribution and nationalization of oil assets endeared him to Venezuela’s working class” and produced many laudable results, the country’s “oil-centric economy has taken away resources from other areas that are badly in need of development.”

And now we know what happened after socialist policies were such as nationalizing private companies were adopted. But would you learn anything about what socialist policies actually do, in our government-run public schools, or universities, or in the mainstream media, or from the celebrities in pop culture?

In the United States, we ought to have an electorate that has more understanding of economics than a hamster does. Otherwise we run the risk of electing people who will take us down the same road to serfdom that Venezuela has walked under socialist policies.

Maybe instead of giving ignorant, spoiled millenials free tuition, so they can study English and philosophy, we should be giving them a 2 year missions trip to Venezuelan forced labor camps. They would learn a lot more about America and economics from that, than they would learn from Ivy League professors.

Related posts

Awakening the “moral sense” of the public in the abortion debate

 

Young pro-life women protest Planned Parenthood
Young pro-life women protest Planned Parenthood

Scott Klusendorf linked to this article from the Public Discourse. The article talks about the need to augment logical arguments in other ways in order to awaken the moral sense of the public so that they will support the pro-life cause and vote to repeal pro-abortion laws.

Excerpt:

In a manner similar to the case of slavery as outlined by Douglass, there are two simple points that, once admitted, join to condemn clearly the practice of abortion: (1) the embryo is a human being from the moment of conception, and (2) all human beings have a natural right to life.

The second point, as in the case of the natural right to liberty, doesn’t require serious argument on the level of ordinary judgment, even though many pro-choice philosophers have tried to argue that only persons have a right to life, and the unborn, in their view, aren’t persons. To make such arguments, however, requires choosing an arbitrary cut-off point for personhood, as pro-life philosophers such as George, Tollefsen, and Lee have shown.

The first point is more often chosen as promising ground for challenges, but it too is plainly obvious to the unbiased mind.

Once conception occurs, the embryo is something other than the woman who carries it. The fact that the embryo requires the mother’s body to live is no argument against this—dependence does not exclude otherness, otherwise none of us would be distinguishable from everyone and everything else in the world upon which we depend in innumerable ways. The embryo is obviously something other than a part of the mother, but what is it?

This is where it gets easy, despite the messy, abstract philosophical arguments. The more appropriate version of the question is the following: What else could it be besides a human being? Is there a single example in natural history of sexual intercourse between two individuals of the same species resulting in something other than another individual of that species? Is it plausible to guess that sexual intercourse between two human beings might result in a fish, at least initially? Or maybe a frog? Such speculation is entirely fanciful and runs directly contrary to our experience of the world since the beginning of recorded history.

It should be obvious to anyone that the two points hold, and that the embryo is a human being possessing a natural right to life from the moment of its conception. The problem is that the younger and less developed the embryo is, the less it excites what some have called our “moral sense,” our sympathy with it as another human being like us. And as Hume correctly notes, human beings tend to be moved more by their passions and feelings, including the so-called “moral sense,” than by their intellectual understanding of the world when determining their actions. Even if our reason and common sense tell us clearly—as they undoubtedly do—that the embryo is a human being with the right to life, our moral sense or sympathy lets us off the hook.

So where does this leave pro-life advocates? How can we bridge the Humean—and human—gap between intellectual understanding and actual practice in our nation? The answer lies in the parallel between the issue of abortion and those of slavery and subsequent civil rights. The pro-life movement needs to model more closely in its organization and practices the antebellum abolition movement and the civil rights movement in order to achieve similar success in ending the evil of abortion. It needs to take up the mantle of these causes in a manner beyond rhetorical parallel or intellectual analogy and be prepared to undergo similar hardships before achieving its goals.

Both of these historical movements ultimately succeeded not by winning arguments, but by awakening the moral sense or conscience of a majority of the nation. Legislation relating to the provision of an ultrasound prior to an abortion, currently in place in some form in more than twenty states, is very well suited to this purpose. The dissemination of graphic images relating to abortion procedures, though controversial in pro-life circles, is also highly appropriate to this purpose.

The civil rights movement was driven forward significantly by television and photographic coverage of the inhuman treatment of protestors, as well as the publication of vivid written reports of racially motivated cruelties. Moral senses or sympathies are sparked most effectively by distasteful, unsettling, and shocking information; and when intellectual argument has had its day in trying to awaken consciences and has shown itself insufficient, recourse must be had to the level of moral sense and feeling.

There can be no doubt that pro-lifers are the abolitionists of this generation, urging the powerful not to take advantage of the powerless.

This reminds me about the story of Emmett Till. Have you heard of that? Here it is explained in a letter from Gregg Cunningham of CBR, a pro-life group.

Excerpt:

Many pro-lifers have heard about Emmett Till, the fourteen-year-old black boy from Chicago who, while visiting relatives in Mississippi, was tortured to death, allegedly for whistling at a white woman (or bidding her farewell with a flippant “bye baby” – accounts vary). But this tragic civil rights story offers more lessons for effective pro-life activism than is generally understood.

BlackPressUSA.com, August 27, 2001, reported in a story entitled “1955 – Emmett Till Killed in Mississippi” that Emmett’s mother “had insisted that the casket be opened when it arrived in Chicago, although it had been sealed when it left Mississippi.” There was a reason that authorities in Mississippi did not want the world to see the body of Emmett Till.

The Washington Post, August 28, 2005, published a story on the legacy of Emmett Till entitled “Dead End,” with a subhead which read “On the Trail of a Civil Rights Icon, Starting Where He Did”:

…Ahmed A. Rayner Sr., … prepared Emmett’s body for services after it was pulled from the Tallahatchie River – with a cotton-gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Tortured and bruised, with most of his teeth missing, his remains were returned in a sealed box on a train to Chicago.

Ahmed Rayner is dead and the family-owned funeral home is run by his granddaughter [Pamela Rayner].

[…]‘I remember him saying that he had to do something because the way that he [Emmett] was brought up here, he looked so bad that it would probably scare most of the people,’ says Rayner. There was the eye that her grandfather had to put back into Till’s head and the fixing of his swollen tongue that hung out of his mouth – the stitching and patchwork to make the boy presentable in a glass-covered casket.

There was also a reason that Emmett’s mother demanded the unsealing of the crate in which the condition of her son’s body had been hidden:

‘After the body arrived I knew I had to look and see and make sure it was Emmett. That was when I decided that I wanted the whole world to see what I had seen. There was no way I could describe what was in that box. No way. And I just wanted the world to see.’ (BlackPressUSA.com, February 21, 2001, ‘A Disturbing Picture’)

Sounds a lot like abortion: no way it can be described; vital that we show the world how horrifying it looks.

I think the right approach is to give the arguments and the evidence first, and then to show the ultrasound images or the graphical images second (warning people to look away if they are squeamish, first). This is the way that moral people have always argued against injustices. If it worked to change minds then, then it will probably work to change minds now, too. For my own part, I’ve chose not to engage in sexual behavior at all until I am in a position where I can welcome a child into the world. I want to give my future children a safe environment with a committed mother and father. And if I have to give up short-term recreation in order to avoid putting myself in a situation where abortion might be a temptation, then that’s what I’m going to do. It’s called acting responsibly.

New Planned Parenthood video shows doctor admitting to partial-term abortion

Here’s the video: (viewer discretion is advised)

Anika, writing over at The Stream, has the story.

She writes:

The latest undercover Planned Parenthood video from the Center for Medical Progress shows Dr. Amna Dermish, the abortion provider for Planned Parenthood in Austin, TX, describing a partial-birth abortion procedure to terminate living, late-term fetuses.

[…]Dermish assures the potential organ buyer, “My aim is usually to get the specimens out pretty intact.” She uses laminaria sticks to slowly dilate the cervix and prompt labor.

Then, in an uncut sequence, Planned Parenthood’s Dr. Dermish walks the organ buyer through the method she uses for infants older than 18 weeks.

She uses ultrasound guidance to convert a second-trimester fetus to a feet-first breech presentation.

“With a further gestation, I will sometimes do that [deliver breech] if it’s a cephalic [head-first] presentation, just cause it’s easier to get … convert to breech, grab the spine.”

This is a textbook description of partial-birth abortion, which is illegal. The baby is alive and mostly outside of the mother’s body when it is killed.

After this ghoulish walkthrough, Dermish admits to the buyer that she hasn’t gotten an intact head. Yet.

“I haven’t been able to do that yet — to get the calvarium intact [the portion of the skull containing the brain] … Well, this will give me something to strive for,” she laughs.

Planned Parenthood’s Dermish describes the difficulty of “getting around the cal” once the fetus is 20 weeks and presenting head first. “Especially the 20-weekers are a lot harder versus the 18-weekers, so at that point I’ll switch to breech.”

Dr. Dermish told the organ buyer that a worker in her clinic, “one of our POC [product of conception] persons is really into organ development.”

“She’ll pull out, like, kidneys, and like, heart, and heart we frequently see at nine weeks and she always looks for it.”

“Just like, for fun?” the buyer asks.

The other doctor interjects. “Well, it’s cute.”

Well, it’s cute.

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is defending Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting for profit operation. And why not? They donate tons of money to Democrats.

Life News reports:

Hillary Clinton has some pretty hard words for the new panel investigating Planned Parenthood.

Clinton claims the creation of a special committee to investigate Planned Parenthood is “just code for a partisan witch hunt.” She then pivots to the smaller amount of legitimate health care Planned Parenthood provides — as if helping women with a pap smear makes up for aborting babies and selling their hearts and livers.

She claims pro-lifers upset with Planned Parenthood forget “the mom who caught her cancer early thanks to a screening at Planned Parenthood,” and “the young woman who avoided an unintended pregnancy because she did have access to birth control.”

It’s a partisan witch hunt. Hillary says.

Related posts

 

Democrats defeat bill to ban abortions of babies who can feel pain

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

Well, even with all the attention to the for-profit organ harvesting of born-alive babies, the Democrats went ahead and voted against a bill to stop late-term abortions in the Senate.

Life News has the story.

Senate Democrats today blocked a vote on a pro-life Senate bill to ban late-term abortions — a bill that would save as many as 18,000 unborn babies form abortions each and every year.

The Senate voted today to stop the Democrats’ filibuster of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks — as neither Congress nor state legislatures can vote to ban all abortions under Roe v. Wade. The bill highlights how unborn babies feel intense pain when they are killed in abortions. The vote comes at a time when 10 expose’ videos have exposed the Planned Parenthood abrogation business selling aborted babies and their body parts.

“What I am asking every colleague is this: look in your hearts and help us stand up for the most innocent life,” said Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in advance of the vote.

But Democrats defeated the cloture vote 54-42, with pro-life Senate Republicans not getting the 60 votes needed to end debate and proceed to a vote on the pro-life bill itself. Three Democrats joined with Republicans to support the pro-life bill, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Two pro-abortion republican, Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Kirk of Illinois — voted with Democrats to support late-term abortions.

[…]Had the Senate approved the bill, President Barack Obama has issued a veto threat. But pro-life groups hope to use the measure as an election tool in 2016 in an attempt to wrest control of the White House and approve a pro-life president who will sign it into law.

Now, I’ve written before about the science that shows that babies after 20 weeks can feel the pain of being torn limb from limb. And I also wrote about how babies as young as 22 weeks could survive outside the womb (“viable”). And that evidence was presented to Senate Democrats as part of the vote.

More:

“Fresh impetus for the bill came from a huge study of nearly 5,000 babies—preemies—published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The next day, a New York Times article titled: “Premature Babies May Survive at 22 Weeks if Treated” touted the Journal’s extraordinary findings of survival and hope,” Congressman Smith continued. “Thus the babies we seek to protect from harm today may survive if treated humanely, with expertise and compassion—not the cruelty of the abortion.”

A similar bill in the House did pass, even though almost all the Democrats voted against it, simply because so many Republicans were elected in the 2014 mid-term elections. And yet in the Senate, we were not able to elect enough Republicans to pass the  bill. The article notes that the Senate bill was modeled after similar measures that have been passed in 12 states where Republicans control the legislatures.

Here’s what a baby is like at 20 weeks

You are 20 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 18 weeks)

  • Baby now weighs about 11 ounces and is roughly 7 inches long.
  • Baby is 17 cm long crown to rump, and weighs about 310 grams.
  • The baby can hear and recognize the mother’s voice.
  • The mother will probably start feeling the first fetal movements.
  • The toenails and fingernails are growing.
  • The growth of hair on the rest of the body has started.
  • The skin is getting thicker.
  • The heart can now be heard with a stethoscope.

Your baby may react to loud sounds. Baby can actually hear noises outside of the womb. Familiar voices, music, and sounds that baby becomes accustomed to during their development stages often are calming after birth. This is an important time for sensory development since nerve cells serving each of the senses; taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch are now developing into their specialized area of the brain.

Your baby now weighs about 11 ounces and at roughly 7 inches long they are filling up more and more of the womb. Though still small and fragile, the baby is growing rapidly and could possibly survive if born at this stage.

I understand why Democrats would vote to allow abortions on unborn children at this age. The abortionists make money off of these procedures, and they make more money off of the sale of organs, sometimes cut from babies who are still alive. Some of that money makes it’s way back to the Democrats in the form of political contributions. It’s similar to the way that slavers made money off of slaves… except they didn’t torture the slaves and cut the organs out of them to sell. I guess someone standing in a slave plantation might have said to a slaver “you can’t do that, they can feel pain”. And Republicans are standing outside abortion clinics and saying “you can’t do that, they can feel pain”. But in both cases, the slavers and the abortionists are making money from their barbarism. So it doesn’t make a difference to them whether they unborn can feel pain. The important thing to them is that they are making money.

Democrats are the heirs to the practice of slavery. They think that it’s fine to declare an entire category of humans as non-persons and then chop them up like firewood to sell. And since most people who vote Democrat do so because they are voting to get more and more of their neighbor’s money, none of this slavery is a concern to them. They care about getting their neighbor’s money without having to earn it. That’s what a Democrat is.