Tuesday, February 25, 2014

From Abortion to Infanticide (No Big Step)

...Yet what is perhaps most terrible about these apologias for child-murder is that they have a point. They are not correct about the justifiability of infanticide; but they are correct that if abortion is justified, so is infanticide. People who first hear of [Peter] Singer’s views are apt to respond that he is simply crazy. But if the philosophers of infanticide are insane, it is only in the Chestertonian sense: They are not people who lost their reason, but people who have lost everything but their reason…

Comes the inevitable rejoinder: You have to draw a line somewhere. No, actually, you don’t. You don’t need to draw a line separating human beings who have rights and personhood from those who do not. You can draw a circle around the whole class of human beings instead, and say that no one within it should be deliberately killed when acting peaceably.

(From Ramesh Ponnuru, NRO article, “After-Birth Abortion, a.k.a. Infanticide.”)