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Abortion

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scottscobig Posted: Tue, Apr 17 2012 8:58 AM

How to broach this subject?  Well, I'll just plunge in.  I'm as libertarian as anybody; or maybe I'm not.  This is the last vestige of my conservatism and it's not something I'm likely to let go.  But that's okay.

 

My understanding of the argument for abortion is that the unborn baby is a helpless, completely dependent parasite and has no individual unalienable rights.

 

I thought I had exploded this theory with the following analogy:  If I lived in some mountain pass that was snowed in for 9 months every winter; and someone left a newborn baby on my doorstep the first day of that snow in, it would be illegal and, I would say, immoral for me to let that baby die.  And obviously I see no significant difference between this scenario and a woman's pregnancy.

 

But, if I understand Murray Rothbard correctly in "The Ethics of Liberty," he says no one should be forced to care for, be responsible for the life of another.  And while a mother couldn't kill her baby, she could allow him to die, because, as a newborn, he hasn't developed and matured past the level of an animal and so, has no rights.

 

I understand that argument.  I just can't go along with it.  In theory, I can kind of see what he's saying.  But I certainly don't know anyone who could dispose of a baby this way, especially in light of the fact that you can line up dozens of married couples who would pay dearly for the chance to raise that baby.

 

I just think the argument goes too far to justify abortion.  Yes, for women, an unwanted baby just shows up inside them if they have sex.  And that can be an unbearable consequence.   But I view human beings as THE greatest asset.  Call me a mystic or a socialist or whatever.  But show me someone who could stand by and neglect a baby to death.  And I'd wager that he has precious little to recommend him.

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But I view human beings as THE greatest asset.  Call me a mystic or a socialist or whatever.

I call you indoctrinated by a few millenia of state religion.

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Clayton replied on Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:44 AM

Abortion is miscast as an argument between the rights of the fetus and the rights of the mother. It is not. It is an argument between the rights of the mother and the rights of the father or the father's family or some other interested party. The real question is: who has the legitimate decision-making authority with respect to the disposition of the fetus while it is inside the mother's body? From a legal standpoint, the answer is obvious - no one has a higher claim than the mother to decision-making authority regarding the disposition of the fetus while it is inside the mother's body. Therefore, if the mother decides to have an abortion, no one may legitimately impede her.

The "rights of the fetus" are hand-puppet rights - they are invoked by the father or the father's family or some other interested party in order to pretend that they are not even arguing for their own rights. They are much more altruistic than that, they are simply arguing for the rights of the unborn child. But the fact is that they are arguing for their own rights, namely, their right to (potentially coercively) impede the mother in her decision to have an abortion.

Once abortion has been framed in the proper light, then you begin to see the correct basis for the analysis. There are several old threads dealing with abortion where I've explained my position in detail. I'll search them up later when I have time.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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Meistro replied on Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:47 AM

Wilding is to be condemned, certainly, but the question is what is worse - leaving someone alone, or forcing an individual to be anothers slave?  Ideally we can find other solutions ofc.

 

... just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own - Albert Jay Nock

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Apr 17 2012 11:02 AM

I think you (the OP) should probably read the majority opinion from Roe V Wade

and then read Rehnquist's dissent to understand the issue more thoroughly from a legal standpoint.

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But I don't think he raised a concern about extant US law, or how to apply it / know it / deal with it in daily and pragmatic affairs.

If anything he is either asking legal theory, or ethical concern of some sort

Either way there are 50 threads on abortion, none of them go anywhere because, unless it is a basic verify / falsify question the topic can't go anywhere - 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, Apr 17 2012 11:24 AM

Frankly, I'm not entirely sure what he's asking for.

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It looks like he is talking about a response to Rothbard's ethical argument

My guess is he is talking about an ethical issue - and more specifically Rothbardian ethics.

Oh, and because it goes against Rothbardian ethics I guess that makes him a "statist" - that's the best I can make out of Caley's response - which in reality appears to be a vapid psychologism / or a useless probability hunch

Clayton looks like he is bringing up legal theory?

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Clayton replied on Tue, Apr 17 2012 11:47 AM

OK, here is a master-list of abortion threads on this forum.

Here here and here are some of my posts discussing the topic from a few different angles in more depth.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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While you, on the other hand are magically untainted by untruth or error of any kind?

 

I love it when someone calls names or points fingers while refusing to address even one of his adversary's arguments; let alone deign to come up with any of his own.

 

Well done.

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@Scott

are you wising to strictly adeal with Rothbardian ethics, precedent, law, or something else?

Good call on that abortion thread Clayton - it's a good reference point

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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I only brought up the legal argument because it's still illegal to allow a child to die from neglect.

 

I would argue that there's a difference in potential between a fetus and a tumor.  Although I acknowledge that potential, in any form, is relatively worthless until realized.

 

I'm not saying I wouldn't be upset with my slavery under my snowed-in argument.  It's just, I would endure it rather than kill the baby.  It's one thing to talk about theories academically.  It's another to stand by while a baby dies.  I can't objectively claim that temporary slavery is less evil than murder.  But I don't accept my argument's wholesale dismissal, either.

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I'm not saying I wouldn't be upset with my slavery under my snowed-in argument.  It's just, I would endure it rather than kill the baby.  It's one thing to talk about theories academically.  It's another to stand by while a baby dies.  I can't objectively claim that temporary slavery is less evil than murder. 


Understandable; but I just want to point out that it isn't "just theory".  It is a fairly common action, and certainly not without practice.

It was a normal and accepted practice at least in some points of time in Rome, Greece, Carthage, Phoenicia, Carthage, South America, and China 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Apr 18 2012 3:11 PM

Not all fetuses are sentient. People have rights because of sentience, not some "humanity." Else we'd have livers be sentient.

/thread

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