Saturday, April 22, 2006

What You Believe Vs. What You Do

Ilkka Kokkarinen at Sixteen Volts writes:

Abortion is another issue where I have no horse in the race. If some slutty cheerleader gets knocked up by the soccer coach behind the local gas'n'gulp, there is no point in forcing her to keep the baby but it's no skin off my back either way. I am pro-choice mostly for eugenic reasons, the same way that most people reveal themselves to be pro-choice if it turns out during the early pregnancy that their baby would have Down syndrome.

I don't know if I agree with the idea that most people are who would abort a Down-Syndrome baby are "pro-choice." There may be many people who oppose abortion but who are too weak to do the right thing if they discover that abortion would make their lives significantly more convenient. This doesn't mean that they don't think what they did is morally wrong, just that they decided to do it anyway.

If it could save someone I love and I thought I could get away with it, I might kidnap a homeless person and steal one of his organs, even kill him for his organs. Or I might pay a lot of money for someone in China to execute a political prisoner and give his organs to me. This does not mean that I am "pro-organ stealing" in the sense that I condone doing this.

In fact, that is one of the reasons for having laws preventing such things; that it it protects us from engaging in our worst instincts in order to benefit ourselves. The wise man supports a society that restrains him to some extent, whether through law or through custom and social opprobrium. The fool believes that he can provide all of the restraints himself.

That is all.

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