Re: ETHICS: The Marginalization of Humans and the Abortion Issue

Mark Miloscia (
Thu, 05 Mar 1998 22:41:06 -0800

Michael Lorrey wrote:

> > As I see it, the abortion debate has very little to do with the value of life
> > or what it is to be human. Its purely about individual freedom. If the
> > individual freedom of people were not at stake there the abortion debate would
> > be less robust by several orders of magnitude. An illustrative example: If you
> > polled 100 people from both sides of the abortion issue they would probably all
> > agree that the unnecessary death of children after birth should be avoided at
> > all costs. There is little dispute of the value of life after birth. Yet
> > 40,000 children die each day from hunger. The developed world drops a virtual
> > Hiroshima bomb on the Third World every two days in the form of depravity. In
> > the last three years the number of children that have died from starvation in
> > the Third World outnumber the number of abortions since the Roe v. Wade
> > decision.
> Gawd, what decade are you still in? Just how is it that the developed world is at
> fault for the starvation of children in countries which most of the time actually
> produce enough food to support the population, but hold back supplies from areas
> where dissident groups are based (as was the case in Ethiopia and Somalia, as is
> the case in Burma, as well as present day Indonesia) Hunger is a tool of third
> world despots, not of the first world citizenry who wind up footing the bill to
> feed the starving masses of other peoples basketcases.Spouting anti-western
> statist propaganda does not win any points in these debates. If anything, it is the
> fault of the authoritiarian states that produce such propaganda for their fifth
> column insurrectionists that the side effects of such brinksmanship even occur. Get
> off the statist treadmill.

Morality and Values! I love this discussion. Doug: The abortion debate has
everything to do with choice and what is human and Ethiopian. Most don't recognize
Michael: There is enough fault for everyone. We are all equally to blame.
Authoritarian regimes are directly at fault for allowing their people to die in a
horrible manner. The developed world (including all of us) is also at fault for
allowing starvation and death to occur when they have the power (either individually or
through their government) to stop or mitigate it.
Two key questions. Should we individually or collectively value all human life? Do
we have a (moral) responsiblity, individually or collectively, to prevent or reduce
human suffering and death? If you answer yes, the failure of anyone to act is wrong
(If you disagree, I would like to hear).
There is no doubt in my mind that most people would drop whatever they are doing
and fly to Ethiopia or picket the US Capitol, do what ever it takes, and try to rescue
their spouse or sibling or parent or offspring if they were one of those starving
statistics. Most people would think it strange (irresponsible even) if I mentioned
that my wife was "...dying in some Ethopian hell-hole. Darn those Warlords, it's their
fault. Oh, by the way, did you see those Knicks last night, blew another game..." I
bet Ethiopia would be hip-deep in Marines if Hillary C. was lost somewhere in-country.

In any case, what is good for my wife or Hillary should then be good enough for the
rest of humanity. We can stop or reduce the dying, we just don't think a million
Ethiopians are worth one spouse. That is immoral.
Which brings us to abortion. When do those cells become human and worth protecting?
Are they equal to Etiopians? The proverbial gray area seems to be one mircosecond after
conception to one microsecond before conception (though some old-fashioned Chinese
peasents push the boundry a little further). I honestly believe that no one here, or
anywhere else, has put forth a good arguement that at "________" (period of time) after
conception, you become a human and then get this special protection. I am then left to
weigh the relative importance of curtailing for a few months a persons right to make a
certain decision (and the ensuing discomfort of childbirth) vs the possibilitity of
taking a human life. Believeing in mandatory seatbelts, DWI laws, and other minor loss
of freedoms, I vote (dare I say choose) life over discomfort.
Which then brings us to transhuman concepts. To quote "2001", I believe something
'wonderful' will happen to us in the future. Technology will insure that. I am trying
my hardest to ensure we are as responsible with all that new power, technology and with
each other, and thus avoid David Bailey's worry:
"I believe this issue will (and perhaps has already) arise in the future as the
utility of a large portion of the human population will be marginalized to virtually
zero. This marginalization might occur through the technologies such as
nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and so on."
However, my mom always taught me that "the good guys always win in the end" and my
Christian faith also teaches me the same. So I just fight the good fight, don't worry
to much and try to be happy :-)
Wasn't there a song..?

Mark Miloscia