What’s Wrong with the World

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

The illiberalism of liberalism

This will be only a short entry. Pro-lifers have been saying for a while that liberals' claim to be in favor of the little guy is belied by their support for things such as abortion and euthanasia for the disabled. Two recent posts have brought this point back to my mind. First, there is Jody Bottum's absolutely and justly scathing piece on Valerie Tarico's proud report of how she aborted a child that merely might have been disabled. I gather that if the child actually happened to be healthy, which we will now never know, he was just collateral damage in the all-justifying fight against the existence of the disabled. (HT Mike Liccione)

Then there is Wesley J. Smith's piece on the fact that liberals never recognize the true nature and trajectory of the euthanasia agenda. The latter may interest those few readers who are not as conservative as I am but who are sympathetic to the pro-life agenda in policy.

Comments (14)

Since when have the voices of liberalism ever thought out the ramifications of anything?

Pleasure now means future pleasure as well. The idea of payment, often more severe than the fleeting high, for such pleasures is never considered; just as the hangover for the drunkard.

I was really horrified by the fact that this woman literally considered it an argument for aborting her maybe-disabled child that future (now hypothetical) children in her family might find themselves born into a caregiver's role for a disabled elder sibling without having had the opportunity to _choose_ such a caregiver's role.

That's just...appalling. It gets worse the more one thinks about it. In my opinion Bottum was completely justified in, as the saying goes, "playing the Nazi card."

I may have to rethink my position on raising children after seeing Tarico's argument. I mean, it's possible they will someday experience pain and loss, and they certainly won't get to choose it!! The question now is what to do with the ones I've got (they both have colds! horror!)

Well, DmL, if you expect the children with the colds in the long run to be putting more into the community than they are "sucking out" (see Tarico), you can let them live. If not, you should probably find some merciful way to put them out of their misery. If they have younger siblings without colds who are having to do things for them right now while they're sick, that's a bad sign.

"(they both have colds! horror!)"

Do you have a large rock in your back yard?

I don't know al. There is a fine line between comically exceeding their worst expectations and being tasteless. In my not humble opinion, that remark goes over the line.

On a different note, the Toxoplasmosis disease is one of the most interesting and widespread diseases among warm blooded animals. For such a tiny parasite, it has a huge array of behavioral and biological effects especially among rats, cats, and humans.

Yeah, gee, clean the kitty litter box while pregnant and, bang!, suddenly you have to go aborting your baby because it might be blind. We can't have that. (Bottum actually skewers her discussion far better than I do.)

Golly Step2, exposing infants to determine fitness is an ancient and conservative custom. Didn't mean to offend you but consider all the folks who were thrilled to have their expectations fulfilled.

Anyway the link you posted got me to thinking that perhaps her reaction was due to diminished capacity induced by the acute phase of the infection. If that is the case then the resulting analysis by Westly, et al is somewhat pointless as is her article justifying her action.

What puzzles me is this. Polls consistently have folks who self identify as liberal as somewhere in the low to mid twenties. Polls on various end of life issues ranging from a patients right to refuse treatment to physician assisted suicide run from the mid forties to the seventies depending on the question.

Why do some folks insist on forcing an issue that is about personal autonomy and that obviously resonates across the political spectrum into the tired and intellectually dishonest "liberals are evil" meme?

Maybe because this woman murdered her unborn child merely because it might turn out to be blind and/or have brain lesions and then self-righteously told all of us how responsible this made her. Ya think? So much for the little guy. That meets my definition of "evil."

Lydia, you ignore my point. I realize you want this to be a pure morality play but given the information in Step2's link we might only have a reaction to the infection. In any case her possible over-reaction and your and Westly's definite overreaction to it have nothing to do with liberalism or conservativism or left or right. It doesn't even have anything to do with United States politics at all as the diagnosis of acute toxoplasmosis and the abortion occurred Singapore.

Just to be clear here, i'm not criticizing any judgment as to the rightness of her decision as her decision. I'm questioning the soundness of using this case to make any broader point.

I guess all those people before the 1930's who had lots of kids so they would have someone to take care of them in their old age were doing something inherently evil. And all those people who, instead of having kids, rely on social security, are actually "being responsible". Ignoring for the moment (as we must) that Social Security only works if people go on having more than one or two kids to pay to support each retiree.

Al, autonomy is one of the underlying memes of liberalism. It need not be the sole one, or even be found in every single liberal's defining lexicon, to be recognized as distinctly liberal. The woman in Singapore need not belong to any left-leaning political or cultural group to have bought in to autonomy as a guiding principle that swallows up normal human morality. But I actually agree with you, in a sense: there is nothing about the story that could not have been given by some neo-conservative, as well. There are amoral people in other walks of life than explicitly liberal ones. A person does not have to be liberal to be a thief.

So she was in a state of diminished responsibility when she wrote pompously defending her decision, too?

Even people who do evil that is mitigated to some extent by some physical stress are supposed to, you know, be _sorry_. Even horrified. But quite the contrary here. _If_ this theory about "diminished responsibility" were true (which I doubt concerning her and her husband's joint decision for reasons of "responsibility") it would be like some mother drowning her baby while suffering from post-partum depression and then writing a high-falutin' spiel about how the baby was going to be a burden on society anyway so her act was "responsible." Faugh! I have _no_ sympathy for such a person. The victim here is the child.

Al, you don't like things to be black and white, ever. If you don't watch out, you might get run over at the next zebra crossing.

By the way, Wesley Smith didn't post about the Tarico case. J. Bottum did. Wesley Smith posted a related piece about how euthanasia should be regarded as illiberal.

I don't think al's comment stepped over the line. I'm just glad that there are people in the world who understand where I'm coming from when I say "being blind or having brain lesions would affect my love for my child as much as having a cold would."

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