Friday, March 22, 2019

Political idolatry

In general, I find political parties to be conglomerations of moral, nonmoral, and immoral concerns, producing some pretty accidental alliances. No Christian should be fully and completely comfortable with any political party. One can, I think support the party one think best embodies Christian principles at any particular time, but there are always going to be some things about your own party that make you cringe. If you think your own party is always completely right the opposing party completely wrong and evil, you are committing idolatry.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Mary Anne Warren's case for abortion rights

uMary Anne Warren, in “On the Moral and Legal Status of Abortion,” argues that the fetus does not have a right to life.
uOnly a person has a right to life.
uFor a human to have a right to life, it needs five criteria.

u1. Consciousness
u2. Reasoning
u3. Self-motivated activity
u4. Capacity to communicate
u5. Self-awareness
Fetuses don’t pass these criteria, and are therefore only potential persons.
They do not  have a right to live, at least not one sufficient to overturn a woman’s right to control her own body. 
Don’t infants fail these criteria as well?
Wouldn’t that justify infanticide? 
uWarren says no. She says that even though the  parents may not want the baby, others in the community do, valuing newborn infants that way we value valuable art works.
uPeople in the country also want newborn infants preserved.
uBut what if we stopped thinking that? Would that mean infanticide would be OK? 
Two philosophers, Michael Tooley and Peter Singer, think that both abortion and infanticide can be justified. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Universal Causation and Determinism

Having a cause can mean a number of different things. It can be something that  contributes to the occurrence of something. Or else it could mean that something that guarantees the outcome. The thesis of determinism is the claim that for every event that happens, there are a set of past events that, given those past events, the future event is guaranteed to occur. The thesis of universal causation entails determinism on the second definition of causation.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Judith Thomson's Defense of abortion

uThomson assumes for the sake of argument that fetuses really do have the right to life.
uDoes that mean that the fetus is entitled to use the mother’s body as a life-support system until it is born?
uThomson suggests that this need not be true. Suppose the Society of Music Lovers kidnapped you and hooked you up to a famous violinist to provide kidney function for nine months. You can get up and leave at any time, but, if you do, the violinist will die.
uAre you obligated to stay in bed all that time and let the violinist use your kidneys, or do you  have the right to get up. If the right to life is an absolute trump card over every other right, then you do. If not, then there may be circumstances in which personal liberty, or considerations of the quality of life, can outweigh the fetus’s right to life in much the way that these considerations can outweigh the violinist’s right to life.

How many abortions does this justify? 
Possibly, not a whole lot of them. The idea that quality of life considerations can outweigh the right to life does not mean that, in typical abortion cases, it does so. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Why aren't open marriages more popular?

I wonder why open marriages aren't more popular than they in fact are.  For example, politician after politician has been caught in extramarital affairs, and I have never heard a single one of them defend their conduct by saying that there is really nothing wrong with what they did, since they had an open marriage to begin with. Perhaps people abstractly think or say that there would be nothing wrong with an open marriage, but when it comes to their own lives, they wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Disability rights and assisted suicide

 Evidence seems to suggest that people who ask for assisted suicide do so, in many instances, not to relieve pain, but because they are having trouble facing disability. By allowing assisted suicide in these cases, are we sending the message that life with disability is not worth living. Disability groups see this as an example of ableism, a prejudice against those with disabilities, and because of this disability rights groups are almost unanimous in opposing assisted suicide.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Want to support the right to life? Impeach Trump!

I can understand the pro-life argument as a reason maybe for voting for Trump over Hillary. What I don't get is Christians not challenging the proclivity of the Republican party to cover from Trump no matter what comes out against him, to refrain from serious investigation of his fitness to be President. Whatever my conscience might tell me about voting Democratic in light of its excessive defenses of abortion, there is no way in the world I could vote Republican so long as Republicans refuse to address wrongdoing by the President. The Cohen hearings are an excellent example. Republican questioners, with maybe one exception, kept just attacking Cohen, who is not on trial (at least by the House), not on any ballot, and whatever you think of him, was offering hard evidence of criminal activity by a sitting President. If the worst happens and Trump is impeached guess what? Hillary Clinton won't become President. The one who will become President will be the most President most dedicated to the pro-life cause in history: Mike Pence. Want to support the right to life? Impeach Trump!

Wives should submit, or should they?

It would make life easier for me as a husband if they had to. But I think its pretty problematic.