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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 14:12   #1
You Are Gay
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A question about morality

Following on from the discussion of morality in this thread i have been recently contemplating an issue which was raised in this post.

My question is:

"Why does (British) society not kill disabled babies* whilst allowing the existence of abortion?"

Personally i feel the notion of "a woman's right to choose" is not the real reason at the heart of the matter. I feel that notion, whilst "morally" expedient in the current climate, disguises the real reason.

I believe that the reason given why disabled babies (who could only ever be a drain on societies resources) are allowed to live is because "it's wrong to kill". Society however allows the death of soldiers, foreign combatants and unborn babies. As such killing is acceptable, just not in this case.

I propose that nobody (currently) kills disabled children whilst they (currently) do kill the unborn because it encourages the creation of the most children under favourable conditions (e.g. standard of living etc). If parents knew that their children could be disabled (more likely when the parents are older) they might not risk having their child killed so they might have no children at all (bad from societies viewpoint). Abortion on the other hand allows greater "family planning", having children when the conditions are optimal (and as such not wasting societies resources on e.g. state aid etc)

It's just a thought i've had rattling around in my head for a few weeks. Dissect it as you see fit GD.






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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 14:23   #2
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by You Are Gay
Following on from the discussion of morality in this thread i have been recently contemplating an issue which was raised in this post.

My question is:

"Why does (British) society not kill disabled babies* whilst allowing the existence of abortion?"

Personally i feel the notion of "a woman's right to choose" is not the real reason at the heart of the matter. I feel that notion, whilst "morally" expedient in the current climate, disguises the real reason.

I believe that the reason given why disabled babies (who could only ever be a drain on societies resources) are allowed to live is because "it's wrong to kill". Society however allows the death of soldiers, foreign combatants and unborn babies. As such killing is acceptable, just not in this case.

I propose that nobody (currently) kills disabled children whilst they (currently) do kill the unborn because it encourages the creation of the most children under favourable conditions (e.g. standard of living etc). If parents knew that their children could be disabled (more likely when the parents are older) they might not risk having their child killed so they might have no children at all (bad from societies viewpoint). Abortion on the other hand allows greater "family planning", having children when the conditions are optimal (and as such not wasting societies resources on e.g. state aid etc)

It's just a thought i've had rattling around in my head for a few weeks. Dissect it as you see fit GD.






*a la 300
Peter singer says its ok to do just that, but the grand area of knowledge that emcompasses discussions about philosophy, ethics and morals canīt even give a straigt answer if it is right or wrong to let 10 paedophiles fulfill their life objective of having sex with a 10 yr old ( its the happiness of 10 people versus the subjective disgust of one person), or a poor man stealing a rich person. Therefore there really are no answears when it comes to that


What there is is how many people would found outragerous the rapists and thieves go free, or how many people would simpatize with the paedos suffering and the poor manīs starvation. Based on that laws are made, and social customs.

As there is no right or wrong, these things are decided on a convenience basis, rather that fair/unfairness
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 14:29   #3
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Re: A question about morality

I totally agree with you nick
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:02   #4
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by KaneED
I totally agree with you nick
non sequitor kind of humour?

No compreendo seņor
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:07   #5
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by You Are Gay
I believe that the reason given why disabled babies (who could only ever be a drain on societies resources) are allowed to live is because "it's wrong to kill". Society however allows the death of soldiers, foreign combatants and unborn babies. As such killing is acceptable, just not in this case.
It's wrong to kill people. However abortion doesn't necessarily kill people. Abortions in this country are done pretty early (first trimester is it? I can't remember), the logic being that the embryo / foetus hasn't become sentient yet and so can't really be considered a person.

As for why we kill people during war time, well, it's war innit. If we didn't kill people then it wouldn't be much of a war would it!
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:10   #6
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Exclamation Re: A question about morality

The reason we don't kill all of the disabled and infirm is that if we did then half of the shops in the UK north of Nottingham would have to close.

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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:12   #7
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by Baron Morte
Peter singer says its ok to do just that, but the grand area of knowledge that emcompasses discussions about philosophy, ethics and morals canīt even give a straigt answer if it is right or wrong to let 10 paedophiles fulfill their life objective of having sex with a 10 yr old ( its the happiness of 10 people versus the subjective disgust of one person), or a poor man stealing a rich person. Therefore there really are no answears when it comes to that


What there is is how many people would found outragerous the rapists and thieves go free, or how many people would simpatize with the paedos suffering and the poor manīs starvation. Based on that laws are made, and social customs.


But to my mind morals are about what's in the best interest of society. Allowing 10 paedo's free reign with one child might be of greater individual value* (10 people's happiness vs 1 person's despair) but does it benefit society as a whole (increased productivity of the paedophiles involved, less resources spent on policing etc)? I don't think so.





*i would argue the point though as 1 child wont be enough as after 5 years or so the child will be too old. You could always share the child amongst more adults but then i suspect they wouldn't get enough play time and as such their happiness wouldn't be as great.
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:15   #8
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by Baron Morte
non sequitor kind of humour?

No compreendo seņor
It wasn't in response to you it was in response to You Are Gay aka nick
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:20   #9
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChubbyChecker
However abortion doesn't necessarily kill people. Abortions in this country are done pretty early (first trimester is it? I can't remember), the logic being that the embryo / foetus hasn't become sentient yet and so can't really be considered a person.


I don't know what the word for this argument is (somebody please enlighten me ... a fallacy? A strawman? What?) but it's wrong. It's the same kind of argument as "a woman's right to choose". If a woman's right to choose how to live her life were really so important to society then a lot of things would be different (i'm thinkin work place etc).

I would doubt a newborn child has significantly more sentienence than an embryo. A child's brain is still developing for years after birth. A child is just potential when it's born the same as an embryo so what's the difference?

Approximately 10% of abortions in the UK are undertaken after the first trimester.
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 15:22   #10
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by KaneED
I totally agree with you nick


You're out of the closet now then?
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 16:50   #11
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Re: A question about morality

If you are posing the question "why, if abortion is legal, do we not force parents to have their disabled babies killed?", you're missing a vital point, namely the word "force".

If you didn't intend that word in your question, there's still a practical issue. From a moral point of view, I'd agree that abortion is about equal to killing a new born baby (as far as I know, the blank slate argument holds). But then you wouldn't be killing new born babies. Why? Because many chronic disabilities or illnesses don't get noticed until far past the point of birth. This of course means you wouldn't be killing ("terminating") a new born baby, but a young child, in which case you'd not be killing a blank slate.

As for your "wrong to kill" argument, maybe society allows the death of soldiers, but it doesn't approve of them, nor would society handpick soldiers to be shot. Society (I'm avoiding the word "we") considers soldier's deaths (indeed, deaths in general) to be a necessary evil, not a thing that should be openly advocated. If this were not the case, suicide would not be as much of a taboo as it is, nor euthanasia, or indeed, the killing of babies.

The real issue at hand here is that there is not a point at which a blank slate becomes not blank, for lack of a better expression. Society has a problem with grey zones. The development of a sperm and an egg into a person starts at conception, and ends at either death or adulthood (the transition into which is of course another such grey zone). We would love to be able to point at a specific point in everyone's life and say "see, that's where little Johnnie became a person!", but there is simply no such thing. Radical christians would place this point at conception, pro-choice groups at birth, sociopaths not at all, and they're all wrong.
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 17:40   #12
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by ChubbyChecker
hasn't become sentient yet and so can't really be considered a person.

so i get this guy, give him some acid morphine ghb special-k, xtasy etc etc and about the time heīs out in space (non sentient for that matter) i instantly kill him with a helmet made of 1kg of C4. You cant get a more quick/painless death than this am i rite?


Have i killed a person or done any wrongdoing?
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 18:54   #13
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
"Why does (British) society not kill disabled babies* whilst allowing the existence of abortion?"
Society doesnt kill babies, people do.

Are you suggesting that disabled babies should be forcibly killed against the will of the parents, or that parents should be allowed to kill 'their' disabled babies if they choose to?

These positions are very, very different.

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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 20:45   #14
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by You Are Gay
Society however allows the death of soldiers, foreign combatants and unborn babies.
It doesn't "allow" the death of soldiers, it's just that soldiers are well aware that their jobs carry a higher risk of fatality than other jobs. Same for foreign combatants. Unborn babies don't really get much a choice about the whole dying thing, so it isn't like society is "allowing" them to die.
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 20:54   #15
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Re: A question about morality

has anyone pointed out that disability is an accepted ground for abortion and that abortion is parental choice?
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 21:20   #16
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Re: A question about morality

Kill is a loaded word and is inappropritate for this thread.
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 22:41   #17
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
has anyone pointed out that disability is an accepted ground for abortion and that abortion is parental choice?
I assumed he meant killing them after they were born (and it was then realised they had a disability).
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Unread 22 Jan 2008, 22:51   #18
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomkat
I assumed he meant killing them after they were born (and it was then realised they had a disability).
but you've never been very bright ...
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 09:40   #19
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Re: A question about morality

you cant say that killing all babies with a disability; it depends on the disabilities really. I for one have dyslexia and dyspraxia, yet I've trained myself up to be "normal" and I managed to get out of uni with a 2:1. People with Downs Syndrome can usually excel in one particular area rather than a wide spread selection of areas.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 11:18   #20
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by All Systems Go
Kill is a loaded word and is inappropritate for this thread.


Personally i thought kill was neutral. Murder, on the other hand, is quite emotive.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 11:28   #21
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Re: A question about morality

Good point by Mzyxptlk and nod. Choice is the difference between the two acts of killing. I hadn't thought of it that way.

OK so how about this:

"Should society allow disabled babies to be killed if their parents so choose?"

and following that:

"Should society allow and encouraged disabled babies to be killed retaining the parent's right to choose."

and by encourage i mean financial gain. Something like x percentage of the money the child would cost society in caring / extra training support etc. This money might not be paid directly in sterling into an account of your choosing but rather be benefit in kind (fertility treatment, the possibility of additional child tax credits ... basically things that would encourage you to have more children).

For the sake of argument a baby is a child up to the age of 2 where they are still a "blank slate" (i don't know if that is scientifically correct but we'll just use age 2 as the example for this argument)
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 11:49   #22
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by You Are Gay
Personally i thought kill was neutral. Murder, on the other hand, is quite emotive.

how about "slain". Even for a person that has english as a second language this word is quite chilly, am i rite?
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 11:52   #23
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudge
you cant say that killing all babies with a disability; it depends on the disabilities really. I for one have dyslexia and dyspraxia, yet I've trained myself up to be "normal" and I managed to get out of uni with a 2:1. People with Downs Syndrome can usually excel in one particular area rather than a wide spread selection of areas.
DS impairs you from being good at anything. I think you are referring to autism!
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 12:02   #24
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by You Are Gay

For the sake of argument a baby is a child up to the age of 2 where they are still a "blank slate" (i don't know if that is scientifically correct but we'll just use age 2 as the example for this argument)

I think you are missing the point here... Im gonna steal some arguments from Singer and pretend to be mine:

The main purpuose of doind anything on these lines is to decrease the ammount of suffering in this world. In the grand plan, that should be the objective of mankind. Should a man and a woman stranded on a deserted island conceive a child with brain palsy, would it be wrong for them to kill it? If no one is going to miss it, why not? The kid isnt really going to feel anything anyway.

On the other hand, Should this happen on a broader family, and lets say, grandpa has a lot of love for this children, things change drastically, because killing the infant would add to the suffering of the world.


You are basically focused on the resources bit, but they are merely means to an end: Bring confort, stability and wellbeing to other people.

Government money invested in people with DS is a dead end. It is solely for the pleasure of the family, as they will never give anything back to society, and personally i agree with proposition #2, albeit i think that the family should earn half of the benefits, or less.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 12:07   #25
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Re: A question about morality

I'd argue that even if grandpa loves his grandchildren dearly, relieving the current and future suffering (how's that for emotive!) of the newborn would probably offset grandpa's grief.

In regards to You Are Gay's propositions, a financial benefit for those parents who allow their child to be killed would be more tempting for those parents with little money; indeed, people could even go as far as to try to get a DS baby, just to get the cash. It's a bad situation if people find themselves in a position in which the wellbeing of a child is overshadowed by greed or financial troubles.
As for the first one, I find myself able to live with that. If, of all people, the parents of the baby consider this the best solution, I'm not going to tell them otherwise. Whether I would make the same decision or not... I don't know, and I hope I never have to make the choice.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 14:19   #26
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Morte
Peter singer says its ok to do just that, but the grand area of knowledge that emcompasses discussions about philosophy, ethics and morals can´t even give a straigt answer if it is right or wrong to let 10 paedophiles fulfill their life objective of having sex with a 10 yr old ( its the happiness of 10 people versus the subjective disgust of one person), or a poor man stealing a rich person.
I "love" how you first mention the molestation of a child and then just say "or a poor man stealing [from] a rich person."
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 14:21   #27
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mzyxptlk
I'd argue that even if grandpa loves his grandchildren dearly, relieving the current and future suffering (how's that for emotive!) of the newborn would probably offset grandpa's grief.
and heres the point where stuff gets messy. We need a griefometer to do just that.


And grief is some elusive shit. Who suffers more, a tough person that loses the great love of his life or a crybaby that had a fight with his GF?
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 17:56   #28
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by You Are Gay
I would doubt a newborn child has significantly more sentienence than an embryo. A child's brain is still developing for years after birth. A child is just potential when it's born the same as an embryo so what's the difference?
What???

You then go from this to saying a child is a blank slate until they're 2 years old!?
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 20:12   #29
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Re: A question about morality

Why should society kill disabled babies when they can also be used for sexual education in high schools?
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 20:39   #30
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Re: A question about morality

This thread makes me want to eat a placenta.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 20:52   #31
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by horn
i didn't really understand the OP let alone how this relates to it but you're making some pretty bizzare claims here. utilitarianism isn't the only moral doctrine in philosophy, and if i'm right in thinking by "things" you mean laws in your last sentence, then you're wrong. they aren't based on convenience (atleast not abortion laws)
it was an example of how this kind of stuff really has no answears and yes, laws are convenience because in one way or the other it tends to be what most people agree upon. People have a sense of (un)fairness so convenience and justice tend to overlap, but for very different reasons
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 20:58   #32
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Morte
it was an example of how this kind of stuff really has no answears and yes, laws are convenience because in one way or the other it tends to be what most people agree upon. People have a sense of (un)fairness so convenience and justice tend to overlap, but for very different reasons
You are allowed to talk about law or laws. However I forbid you (you) (yes i mean you) (you in particular even though it might seem unfair because from your point of view you are only as stupid as several others here) (but i'm singling you out) are forbidden from talking about justice.

Do not cross me on this.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 21:51   #33
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Re: A question about morality

hey yahwe can you teach me jurisprudence?
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 21:52   #34
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Kila_
hey yahwe can you teach me jurisprudence?
yes
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 21:56   #35
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
"Why does (British) society not kill disabled babies* whilst allowing the existence of abortion
In the Netherlands it's already possible when a few criteria are met. There is no actual law that allows it, but it won't be prosecuted.

Quote:
"the suffering must be so severe that the newborn has no prospects of a future; there is no possibility of a cure or alleviation with medication or surgery; the parents must always give their consent; a second opinion must be provided by an independent doctor who has not been involved with the child’s treatment; and the deliberate ending of life must be meticulously carried out with the emphasis on aftercare. "
Couldn't be arsed to translate so i quoted this from here. Basicly the protocol says that the child must greatly suffer from his condition and will always keep suffering from it. So it isn't exactly a matter of convenience for the parents but it's really to end it's suffering.

When they're older it's not up to others anymore and they have to ask for euthanasia themselves.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 22:01   #36
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessio
In the Netherlands it's already possible when a few criteria are met. There is no actual law that allows it, but it won't be prosecuted.


Couldn't be arsed to translate so i quoted this from here

When they're older they have to ask for euthanasia themselves.
the thread starter is playing with words. this is necessary for him. he is a boy.

I do not think that foreign language speakers can give him what he needs
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 22:18   #37
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Re: A question about morality

Especially Turks.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 22:19   #38
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Re: A question about morality

Alright. I'll just let him play with his words then, while I go get a hamburger. Tell me when he's done playing with his words.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 22:39   #39
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Re: A question about morality

A friend of mine, many years ago, had a child which had Down's Syndrome as well as a multiplicity of physical ailments. The child could have been kept alive (in all liklihood) for a relatively short life (say 20ish, the mother was told. However, she (it was a little girl) would still have been severely retarded and would still have had numerous physical conditions which would have limited her. To achieve this level of life, the child would have had to undergo numerous surgeries to repair her heart and her other internal organs.

The mother decided to forego the operations and the child lived a few weeks and died of the disabilities. It was one of the hardest things I have ever watched someone go through emotionally.

On the other hand, I have known many people who have had an abortion with hardly a second thought.

I don't know what this means but the emotional investment and the bonding which occurs between most parents and most children at birth or soon there after certainly plays a part in attitudes being different between the two types of death.

There is a genetic predisposition on the part of most humans to be protective of the young which is good for the survival of the species but is not a rational decision.

The problem with disabled children is who is to make the decision as to what constitutes a disability and who is to make the decision which children to kill? Those with gross deformities? Those with mental problems? Those feared to have predisposition to certain diseases?

As it is, with the easy availability of abortion, it is a wonder that most of GD has survived to this point.
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Unread 23 Jan 2008, 22:52   #40
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Re: A question about morality

Chavs, ie the parents of most gd'ers, are not aware of that posibility, I belive.
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Unread 24 Jan 2008, 00:54   #41
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
You are allowed to talk about law or laws. However I forbid you (you) (yes i mean you) (you in particular even though it might seem unfair because from your point of view you are only as stupid as several others here) (but i'm singling you out) are forbidden from talking about justice.

Do not cross me on this.
you see im a lawyer too, infact im going to get my licence tomorrow ( hooray) so i would be most interested in your views on laws/justice et cetera
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Unread 24 Jan 2008, 08:59   #42
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Re: A question about morality

How are you defining "disability"?

A parent shouldn't be able to choose to destroy their child if it has low-medium level autism (for example) or 6 fingers.
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Unread 24 Jan 2008, 09:13   #43
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Re: A question about morality

what about if the child had a huge chin?
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Unread 24 Jan 2008, 11:02   #44
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Re: A question about morality

or what if it has both a peepee and a cunny??
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Unread 24 Jan 2008, 11:56   #45
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by dda
As it is, with the easy availability of abortion, it is a wonder that most of GD has survived to this point.
Hindsight is 20/20.
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Unread 24 Jan 2008, 12:55   #46
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Re: A question about morality

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Originally Posted by _Kila_
what about if the child had a huge chin?
then he would go Giggity giggity
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Unread 25 Jan 2008, 00:34   #47
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by You Are Gay
I would doubt a newborn child has significantly more sentienence than an embryo. A child's brain is still developing for years after birth. A child is just potential when it's born the same as an embryo so what's the difference?
An embryo can't be easily sustained without being permanently linked to a woman.

In practical terms, this is about a woman's right to choose. The problem with rights for embryos is that you'd be diminishing the right of women to control their own bodies. And quite frankly, you can't actually stop abortions even if the medical profession don't carry them out.

Babies that have severe health problems upon being born have an obviously increased chance of dying anyway - 1 in 90 (ish) live births have some sort congentinal defect but close to 1 in 10 still births had a similar problem. But generally, you don't need to talk about society (or more specifically, doctors) "killing" disabled people, they'd just need to withdraw medical care.

With health problems that pose a low risk of very early death (like downs syndrome), I'm not sure how many of those are either obvious in all cases or fully grasped by their parents. Babies can do very little for themselves regardless of impairment and so the full extent of their adult disability won't be obvious (to the parents, at least). And by the time you've cared for a child for quite a while then killing it is might be a rather difficult step to take.

As for society (as Nod says, it's not clear what you mean by this but let's assume social workers+the medical profession) intervening and killing the child directly...why bother? Of the 2-3 million people getting disability living allowance in the UK only something like 5-10% of claimants have had the condition since birth. If we're interested in austerity then legalising euthanasia would probably save more money than shooting all those mooching down syndrome kids.
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Unread 25 Jan 2008, 14:42   #48
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Re: A question about morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron Morte
and heres the point where stuff gets messy. We need a griefometer to do just that.


And grief is some elusive shit. Who suffers more, a tough person that loses the great love of his life or a crybaby that had a fight with his GF?
They guy who's never had either because he spends all his time crying.
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