Archives

Monday, March 12, 2012

400-408 – Nancy Pearcey, editor-at-large of The Pearcey Report (pearceyreport.com), and a professor at Rivendell Christian Junior College in Minneapolis, is on the short list of the best evangelical minds in America.  She was the founding editor of Chuck Colson's "Breakpoint," and for nine years was executive editor of the program, authoring more than 1,000 commentaries herself.  She's written several books, including her wonderful The Soul of Science, her How Now Shall We Live?, and her Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity which won the 2005 ECPA Gold Medallion award.  She's out with her latest Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault in Mind, Morals, & Meaning.

• Alberto Giubilini & Francesca Minerva (Journal of Medical Ethics, 2/23/2012) After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

ABSTRACT

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call 'after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

CONCLUSIONS

If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn.

Two considerations need to be added.

First, we do not put forward any claim about the moment at which after-birth abortion would no longer be permissible, and we do not think that in fact more than a few days would be necessary for doctors to detect any abnormality in the child. In cases where the after-birth abortion were requested for non-medical reasons, we do not suggest any threshold, as it depends on the neurological development of newborns, which is something neurologists and psychologists would be able to assess.

Second, we do not claim that after-birth abortions are good alternatives to abortion. Abortions at an early stage are the best option, for both psychological and physical reasons. However, if a disease has not been detected during the pregnancy, if something went wrong during the delivery, or if economical, social or psychological circumstances change such that taking care of the offspring becomes an unbearable burden on someone, then people should be given the chance of not being forced to do something they cannot afford.

• Telegraph (2/29/2012) Killing babies no different from abortion, experts say.  Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are "morally irrelevant" and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.

The article, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, says newborn babies are not "actual persons" and do not have a "moral right to life". The academics also argue that parents should be able to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born.

The journal's editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, said the article's authors had received death threats since publishing the article. He said those who made abusive and threatening posts about the study were "fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society".

The article, entitled "After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?", was written by two of Prof Savulescu's former associates, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva.

They argued: "The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual."

Rather than being "actual persons", newborns were "potential persons". They explained: "Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a 'person' in the sense of 'subject of a moral right to life'.

"We take 'person' to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her."

As such they argued it was "not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense".

The authors therefore concluded that "what we call 'after-birth abortion' (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled".

They also argued that parents should be able to have the baby killed if it turned out to be disabled without their knowing before birth, for example citing that "only the 64 per cent of Down's syndrome cases" in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing.

Once such children were born there was "no choice for the parents but to keep the child", they wrote.

"To bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care."

However, they did not argue that some baby killings were more justifiable than others – their fundamental point was that, morally, there was no difference to abortion as already practiced.

They preferred to use the phrase "after-birth abortion" rather than "infanticide" to "emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus".

// While accepting that many people would disagree with their arguments, he wrote: "The goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises."

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: "This "debate" has been an example of "witch ethics" - a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in."

• Children's Hospital (9/21/2011) Parents, siblings, and people with Down syndrome report positive experiences. Survey results may inform decisions about prenatal testing.

413-423 – Nancy Pearcey, Didn't the Third Reich argue that it is morally acceptable to kill human non-persons?

• Journal of Medical Ethics Blog (3/2/2012) An open letter from Giubilini and Minerva.

428-438 – Nancy Pearcey, What is the Biblical view of personhood?  Could there be non-human persons such as animals and computers?

443-452 – Nancy Pearcey, Isn't personhood theory fundamentally gnostic (valuing the soul over the body; soul-good, body-bad)?

(:50) Lindsay Rajt, 2/28/2012, Associate Director of PETA Campaigns and Outreach (peta.org) responds to the Daily Caller piece below.  Do you value human life over animal life?  If a child you didn't know was in a pool with your favorite pet, say a dog or cat, and both of them were in distress, who would you attempt to save?  Lindsay answered, "I'd save both."  When I pressed, but who would you save first, she answered, "I don't know."  Note to self – You don't want PETA members caring for your children.

458-508 – Wesley J. Smith, is both an attorney and a bioethicist, and Co-Director of the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism (discovery.org/che).  His latest is A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of Animal Rights.  We touch on the latest with the "rights of nature" movement and wacko environmentalism, and the other attacks on human exceptionalism – which, of course, is the Big Idea under assault.

• Wesley J. Smith (FirstThings, 3/5/2012) The Great After-Birth Abortion Non-Apology Apology.

• Wesley J. Smith (FirstThings, 3/12/2012) Pill Reduces Racism!

• Daily Mail (3/9/2012) 'We would have aborted her': Couple sues health center for 'wrongful birth' of daughter born with Down syndrome after 'botched test failed to pick it up'.

A prenatal test showed couple's daughter would be 'normal and healthy'

Shocked when blood tests after the birth confirmed the baby had Down's

Botched test 'had taken sample from the mother rather than the foetus'

Now Ariel and Deborah Levy are suing Legacy Health for $3 million

Say they love their daughter - but have received death threats over the case

508 – Download a free Daily Devotional from your favorite KKLA teacher by clicking Program Guide at kkla.com.

512-523 – Wesley J. Smith, Is birthing like ordering at McDonald's, isn't it just like "Have it your way?"

528-539 – Wesley J. Smith, Could animals ever be considered persons?  How about plants?  Speciesism and ecocide.

(:50) Lindsay Rajt, 2/28/2012, Associate Director of PETA Campaigns and Outreach (peta.org) responds to the Daily Caller piece below.  Do you value human life over animal life?  If a child you didn't know was in a pool with your favorite pet, say a dog or cat, and both of them were in distress, who would you attempt to save?  Lindsay answered, "I'd save both."  When I pressed, but who would you save first, she answered, "I don't know."  Note to self – You don't want PETA members caring for your children.

544-554 – Wesley J. Smith, Ecocide?  Machine rights?  Machicide?

• Wesley J. Smith (FirstThings, 3/10/2012) Transhumanism: Now It's "Machine Rights?"

558-608 – Joe Kissack, former senior executive for Sony Pictures and successful Hollywood executive, and now author of his first book – coming out tomorrow – The Fourth Fisherman: How Three Mexican Fishermen Who Came Back from the Dead Changed My Life and Saved My Marriage (Amazon) (thefourthfisherman.com). Joe lives in Atlanta with Carmen, his wife of twenty-six years, and their two daughters.

About The Story – 

We each came to a moment of brokenness; what we found there was God. And he was enough.

It was the subject of headlines around the world: Three Mexican fishermen in a small open boat without any supplies, drifting for more than nine months and 5500 miles across the Pacific Ocean. Through blistering sun and threatening storms, they battle starvation, dehydration, hopelessness, and death. Their lifelines? An unwavering faith and a tattered Bible.

Thousands of miles away, Joe Kissack, a successful Hollywood executive, personified the American dream. He enjoyed the trappings of the good life: a mini mansion, sports cars, and more. He had it made. Yet the intense pressure of his driven and high-powered career sends him into a downward spiral, driving him deep into suicidal depression, insidious addictions, and alienation from his family.  His lifelines?  A friend and a Bible on the table between them.

Thoughtfully told with candor and humor, Kissack weaves together the incredible true voyage of fishermen adrift in the sea and his own life's journey as a man lost in the world. It is a story that will buoy your spirit and renew your hope and faith.

608 – Don't miss our upcoming KKLA Faith Night at Staples on Thursday March 15th to watch Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and the Clippers take on the Phoenix Suns. Tickets are only $18 through kkla.com, keyword "Clippers."

612-623 – Joe Kissack,

628-639 – Joe Kissack,

644-656 – Joe Kissack,

657-700 – Joe Kissack,

•• David Barton (Wallbuilders, 2/29/2012) America's Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President.

• Fox News (3/12/2012) British Govt. Says Christians Don't Have Right to Wear Crucifix at Work.

• Blaze (3/12/2012) PRIEST ACCUSED OF 'INTIMIDATING BEHAVIOR' & PLACED ON LEAVE AFTER REFUSING COMMUNION TO LESBIAN.

• Christian Post (3/12/2012) Schuller Coleman Breaks Away From Crystal Cathedral.

• Fox News (3/11/2012) Former NASA specialist claims he was fired over intelligent design.

• Fox News (3/12/2012) Justice Department files objection to Texas voter ID law.

• Fox News (3/12/2012) "Beware of Christians" filmmaker meets "The Price is Right".

• Mark Steyn (NRO, 3/10/2012) The Fluke Charade.

• Charles Cooke (3/12/2012) Our Ridiculous Contraception Debate: Democrats discover the wrong answer to a non-problem.

• WSJ (3/12/2012) Uncle Sam's Teaser Rate: Low interest rates disguise the federal debt bomb.

• IBT (3/12/2012) Apple (AAPL) Stock Closes at 552, Exceeds Exxon Market Cap by $100B.

Apple (AAPL) stock continues to soar into the stratosphere, finally closing on Monday at 552.00 a share, which is an all-time record for the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer company. Monday's high now puts Apple's market cap over $514 billion, which now exceeds Exxon's market cap -- currently standing at $403 billion -- by more than $100 billion.

AAPL has been a stock demon in 2012, scaring all other stocks away as it continues its ascension to the very top of the market. On Jan. 24, Apple announced its record-breaking quarter in Q1 2012, claiming $46.33 billion overall, $13.1 billion in profit and $17.5 billion in cash for the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2011. The final 14 weeks of 2011 proved to be the most successful in Apple's 35-year history, thanks to the release of the iPhone 4S and its voice-activated AI tool Siri, and the outpouring of sympathy following death of the company's co-founder and chairman, Steve Jobs.

For the December quarter, Apple sold 37 million iPhones, 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs. //

• LAT (3/12/2012) Apple sells out of iPad for release date; want it soon? Get in line.