Georgia on the right, her two patrons on the left…
An ABC News story from 2009 turned up on my ethics radar.
Tim Browne, a retired teacher and musician from Wiltshire, England, was diagnosed with colon cancer. He was operated on a week before his daughter’s wedding, but the cancer had spread to his liver and lymph nodes. Doctors said it was terminal.
While he was undergoing chemotherapy, his daughter suggested an unconventional treatment: her breast milk. She had seen a TV report about an American man who had made a miraculous recovery from prostate cancer by drinking it. Soon Tim was having his morning cereal with daughter Georgia’s milk.
Georgia was nursing her 8-month-old son Monty and offered to set aside a few ounces of milk every day for Browne. Browne started calling Monty his “milk brother.” “If I have a lactating daughter, why not take advantage of her? As long as Monty didn’t mind,” Browne said.
There’s no evidence that breast milk really does treat cancer, but doctors said that as long as Browne believed it did, the succor might have a genuine placebo effect.
What do we properly call a father consuming his daughter’s breast milk? Is that too close to incest for comfort?Does it matter if it’s close, as long as it isn’t quite? Continue reading
It’s a good day, a new week, and anything is possible…
Perry may be a good example of that. Supposedly he was told early on in life that he had a two-digit, sub-normal IQ and should seek a trade rather than anything too intellectually demanding. Como dutifully went to barber school, and was cutting hair when his singing talent made him a star. This story should make us doubt IQ tests more than we doubt the intelligence of “Mr. C”….
1 And today’s ridiculous virtue-signaling and pandering to political correctness goes to…Brawny paper towels!
Keep repeating falsities frequently enough, and people will begin to think they make sense. I guess that’s the theory, right? The truth is that one gender is stronger than the other in about 99.9% of the population, or to put it another way, the average male is much larger and stronger than the average female. This is why women who make themselves look like this…
…are regarded as unusual–because they are. But Brawny’s lie is used to, for example, pretend that there is nothing unfair about allowing biological men transitioning to womanhood to compete in sporting events as women.
From now on, it’s Bounty for me!
July 7th’s front page story in the New York Times not only made my head explode, it has me considering whether to chuck it all and become a bottle cap collector or something else more useful than trying to promote ethics awareness in a society where its most respected newspaper publishes something like this. Or maybe I should just give up entirely and flush myself down the commode.
The headline online is “When ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is Invoked in the Abortion Debate.” It just as well might have been: “TWSXQ@$#7mm.”
I’ll just post and comment on some of the gems in the piece, then you read the whole thing and meet me at the top of the ROLAIDS tower in Baltimore and we’ll jump together, holding hands and singing the Pina Colada Song.
“As a pastor, Clinton Stancil counsels his black congregants that abortion is akin to the taking of innocent life. But as a civil rights activist, Mr. Stancil urges them to understand the social forces that prompt black women to have abortions at disproportionately high rates.”
If the good pastor believes that abortion is the taking of innocent life, the “social forces” don’t excuse the act at all. This is like saying that we should “understand” what makes serial killers kill. Murder—taking of innocent life–is an absolute wrong; nothing can excuse it. This is equivocation.
- “But to many African-Americans like Mr. Stancil, who is the pastor of Wayman A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, abortion cannot be debated without considering the quality of urban schools. Or the disproportionately high unemployment rate in black communities. Or the significant racial disparities in health care.”
Then many urban schools are graduating African-Americans like Pastor Stancil who have the reasoning ability of household appliances and believe that taking innocent lives can be justified or rationalized by irrelevant matters. Continue reading
“OK, now where’s my gavel?”
You have to hand it to the Brits: I would have thought that it was impossible to come up with an abortion ruling that simultaneously violates the core principles of both pro- and anti-abortion advocates. Mostly, however, the ruling places one more slippery slope quiver among the anti-abortion movement’s metaphorical arrows. This is what can happen when unborn human life is accorded no respect whatsoever.
Yesterday, Justice Nathalie Lieven issued the ruling at the Court of Protection, which hears cases on issues relating to people who lack the mental capability to make decisions for themselves. She ordered an abortion for a mentally-disabled woman who is 22 weeks pregnant, although both she and her mother wanted the baby to be born. The judge said the decision was in the best interests of the woman, and, of course, the Court knows best. Presumably it did not think the abortion was in the best interests of the unborn child, which apparently was healthy and unimpaired.
But I’m just guessing at that.
The unidentified woman is in her 20s and reportedly has the mental capacity of a 6- to 9-year-old child. Nobody is certain how she became pregnant, but obviously that was not a determining factor in the decision, nor should it have been. The unborn child doesn’t care.
“I am acutely conscious of the fact that for the state to order a woman to have a termination where it appears that she doesn’t want it is an immense intrusion,” Justice Lieven said, but held that in the woman’s “best interests, not on society’s views of termination,” the baby must go. Wait, what? How is aborting a child that both the potential mother and her own mother want to have and care for in the woman’s best interests? Or anyone’s best interests, other than members of the “It’s no baby, its an invading clump of cells that you better kill fast before it grows anymore” cult? Continue reading
As always happens when the topic of abortion raises its ugly head, the commentator responded with passionate and entertaining arguments. Outstanding in the fray were the posts of jmv0405and Benjamin on opposite sides of the question of when life begins and human rights attach to it.
I’m combining two of Benjamin’s comments here, both addressing jmv0405‘s contention that the unborn doesn’t necessarily qualify as human. In his second comment, directly attempts to rebut specific assertions.
Here is Benjamin’s two-part Comment of Day on the post, “Ethics Dunce: Actress Busy Philipps”...
You’ve moved the question “what does it mean to be human?” into the fore. I think you’ve taken it lightly though. We’ve all seen the science fictional stories of men who turn into animals. If you turn into a horse in this sense, your physical form becomes that of a horse, but you somehow remain you. There’s another sense of this that intrigues old philosophers. What if the physical form remains the same, and you (the you that lies under and in all that meat, the you that’s looking at this screen through your eyes) become a horse in some essential sort of way? How would that appear to us from the outside? You can forget things and even experience amnesia and still remain you, so memories and knowledge aren’t you rightly so called. This horse imposter may very well behave exactly as you did before you were displaced. This could be happening every day. It may have happened to you, you horse, you! There’s no evidence to tell us otherwise. I suppose this does not happen. You suppose something like this does happen at some vague stage of human development.
I argue that my supposition, a continuous chain of being, is no more false than yours. William of Ockham would agree, his razor being rightly understood, because we have no reason to think otherwise. Continue reading
A New York judge ruled that the parents of West Point cadet Peter Zhu, 21, who was declared brain-dead after a skiing accident, can take sperm harvested from his body with “no restriction.” The parents say they want to fulfill their son’s lifelong desire to have children and continue the family name.
Lauren Sydney Flicker, a bioethicist and expert in post-mortem sperm retrieval at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx [there is such a thing as being an expert in post-mortem sperm retrieval?] told the New York Times,
“Here is the ethical debate, and it will be different for different people: Is it a greater ethical burden to prevent someone from having the opportunity to be a father by passing along their genetic material? Or is it a greater ethical burden to have a man father a child, without his consent, that he wouldn’t be around to raise?”
Huh? I’d say the burden of not living pretty much wipes out the burden of not being a father, and renders it moot. Absent explicit instructions that the young man wanted his sperm used to spawn a child after he died, the cadet’s desires regarding a family while he was planning on being alive are rendered moot by his death. Continue reading