Re: rights for late-term and yet unborn human beings...

From: Brian Manning Delaney (
Date: Sat Jan 22 2000 - 12:01:29 MST

"Zeb Haradon" <> wrote:

> What makes human life special and worth
> preserving does not have anything to do with our
> biological properties, it's our mental properties.

Right: OUR mental properties, those of the discussants, not merely those of the
life in question. Values aren't free-floating, they are HELD, they are values
FOR particular people. My cats' lives are worth preserving mostly because of my
mental properties, not my cats'. As my cats get more complicated, the "mostly"
gets diminished, yes, but never eliminated.


> Instead of pushing the valuation back towards
> the younger end of the spectrum, it is probably
> much more rational to push it *ahead* to the
> older end of the spectrum (though this flies in
> the face of the emotional ties that soft wet
> cuddly babies generate).

Indeed, the characters "Socrates" and "Glaucon" in the
philosophico-poetico-eugenic drama, _The Republic_, seem to make precisely that
suggestion. [1]


>> I remember reading about a controversial
>> philosophy professor who has put forward the
>> idea that children up to a certain time after
>> birth should be under "probation" as to whether
>> or not they are allowed to live by the parents.
>> There have been protests at the college that
>> recently hired him to try to kick him out.

> Irrational people know no limits.

Yes indeed -- above all, those who call themselves purely rational know no
limits, since they thereby forget that the very choice of rationality is itself

But still, I've always thought....

Oops Jehovah's Witnesses at the door. Gotta run.

Back to lurk mode,



Brian Manning Delaney
My email was (mostly) down from ~1999.12.26 through
2000.01.02, and has been sporadic since then.
Things believed to have been sent to, or from me might
not have been. Sorry.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:02:31 MDT