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photos by Lara Shipley

Ah, Sanity

September 8th, 2008 · 4 Comments

Much media flutter over Joe Biden’s declaration that he believes “life” begins at conception. Since I’ve hammered this point too many times already, I outsource my response to Jill at Feministe, who reminds us that “when life begins”—despite being tossed about as though it’s somehow at the core of the debate about abortion—is basically an uninteresting, irrelevant question. “Life” begins at conception? Sure, whatever. But it’s a sign of profoundly muddled moral reasoning to think anyone should care.

Tags: Moral Philosophy


       

 

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 JL // Sep 8, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    thanks for the link, but your subcontractor’s blog was fraught with inconsistencies and contradictions as pointed out by conrad in the comments.

  • 2 southpaw // Sep 9, 2008 at 12:20 am

    I dunno, JL, conrad over there seems to want to argue that if Jill concedes (a) the government has an interest in decreasing unwanted pregnancies, then, necessarily, (b) the government is constitutionally empowered to ban abortion. I don’t think that follows.

    Plus, that’s all a side issue to the contract work Julian wanted Jill to do: demonstrate that bickering over the precise moment when “life begins” is beside the point. She does that adequately, and I didn’t really see anyone effectively undermine the point.

  • 3 Sanjay // Sep 11, 2008 at 11:33 am

    That’s an antypically silly comment, Mr. Sanchez. I mean, sure, when “life” begins doesn’t have to be relevant to when or whether abortion ought to be permissible.
    But both the questioner, and Joe Biden, knew what was being asked was the latter thing. OK, the language is unfortunate but it was a question about how he feels about abortion, not a deep philosophical one about when “life” begins. And that’s how people are taking it, and how I imagine everyone involved figured people would take it.

  • 4 JL // Sep 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    “I dunno, JL, conrad over there seems to want to argue that if Jill concedes (a) the government has an interest in decreasing unwanted pregnancies, then, necessarily, (b) the government is constitutionally empowered to ban abortion. I don’t think that follows.”

    It depends on why she thinks they ought to decrease abortions. clearly they portray their position as desiring a decrease in abortions because it is morally inferior to the alternative.

    So if they admit that aborting a fetus is equivalent to murder then it is absolutely the responsibility of government to criminalize abortion.

    But they simultaneously claim that a woman has the right to have an abortion. If a woman has that right, then how and why does the government have any authority what so ever to interfere with these decisions? and how do they justify using tax dollars in doing so?

    And if one claims a decrease is desired because of the health risks to women, then that would imply that government has the authority to regulate our food consumption, personal lifestyle and everything else.

    unfortunately, government has already begun assuming many of these roles.

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