Monday, September 07, 2009
What Really Matters
With great word economy, Isaac Schrodinger makes a point it took me two posts to make.
Where the Libertarians Go Wrong, Part 5064
Vox Populi, by jumping (via Isaac Schrodinger) into the abortion debate half-cocked with a faulty definition of "human" really does turn out to be vox Dei!
There is not a single pro-abortion argument that stands up to science and reason. Every single one is not only spurious, but easily demonstrated to be spurious. It is not necessary to bring religious arguments into the debate to conclusively settle the matter in favor of the pro-life position, in fact, the Bible-based arguments against abortion are, in my opinion, weaker than the rational and scientific arguments.A search of the whole post and comments yielded only a single passing reference to Ayn Rand, whom some libertarians are fond of quoting when it's expedient. Since the expedient often is neither moral nor practical, I find that I shall have to quote her myself, as she is either being forgotten or expediently ignored here:
An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).And there's lots more on the subject where the above came from.
Abortion is a moral right--which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body? ("Of Living Death," The Objectivist, Oct. 1968, 6.)
What am I doing here?
Yep. Usually, I don't post on Labor Day since we often leave town for it, but when it was time to make plans this year, we thought we were going to be out of town again within a couple of weeks, and I have too much on my plate to be skipping out that often.
But I will make something tasty this evening from this massive selection of Cajun recipes Mom sent me last week. Some of these might be out, since I'd have to special order something from Cajun Grocer, but I should be able to manage something like a jambalaya. That link to Cajun Grocer I wrote down as soon as I could upon passing a billboard in Cajun Country a couple of years ago, after Match Day for Mrs. Van Horn.
That finger was just a taste...
I almost forgot that a supporter of physician slavery recently demonstrated the depth of his concern for his fellow man by biting off the finger of someone who happened to be standing near a counter-demonstration.
Interestingly, the AP was sure to point out the fact that Medicare paid for the victim's finger to be reattached, but said nothing about a story from the day before describing how one National Health "Service" instructs its physicians to speed certain patients along towards their deaths.
Numb Beef, or Numb Skulls?
When a moral argument -- in this case, for individual rights -- is needed, there is no substitute for a moral argument -- no amount of brilliance or misdirected effort will suffice. Here's a case in point.
On the one hand, it is scientifically interesting that there may soon be genetically engineered cattle that cannot feel pain. On the other hand, this effort, to work around a dishonest objection to eating meat, is doomed to fail, as the article itself notes is already happening and for reasons already outlined by Keith Lockitch not too long ago in his editorial, "It Isn't Easy Being Green."
There will be nothing but caterwauling about how "unsafe" and "unethical" it would be to use these animals (which we don't need anyway -- normal cattle make excellent food), and continued efforts to sacrifice legitimate individual rights on the altar of fictitious animal "rights." In the meantime, behold the waste of talent, time, and money being spent to appease these irrationalists.
Update: Darren Cauthon notes in the comments that this is, so far, just an idea that is being floated.
Clarification: The article also mentions another method of "farming" beef, which could be down the pike. This other method would be to raise muscle tissue rather than whole animals. This would reduce costs and is actually a good idea for that reason. That said, I think attempting to justify it on the grounds that it prevents animals from feeling pain is a bad idea, for the same reason that I am objecting to the "pain-free" cattle.
Today: Added an update and a clarification to final section.