Really? So THIS Is What You Consider “Liberal Values”?

Look, despite ideologies, I try to avoid using the terms “Values” or “Morals” in my posts, mainly because A) folks have vastly different points of view as to what constitutes a value or a moral, and because B) it usually then strays into a conversation involving religion. And if you think folks have different opinions on the meanings of the two words, that’s nothing once you through religion into the mix.

And while some hard right conservatives think morals and religion go hand-in-hand, I tend to disagree. Yesterday when I was driving into work I heard a caller to a talk show state that those without religious convictions lack a “moral compass”. Why? Sure, I agree that God can provide a moral compass to his believers, but I also think that there are other forces at work that can provide a moral compass. What about your children? Don’t you have an oligation to them to lead a moral and ethical life? And even without children to lead, Why can’t one just WANT to lead a moral and just life?

And lets face it, many of those that preach the loudest about value and morality are among the worst violaters of what they preach.

But today, I want to briefly discuss “Liberal Values” – not liberal values as I see them, but as self-described liberals see them. Earlier today I came across a story about an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, that says newborn babies are not “actual persons” and do not have a “moral right to life”.

Let me give you a moment to let that sink in. The article, entitled “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?”, was written by 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’. 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.

And we’re not just talking about the killing of disabled children here. The authors 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”.

And if that statement doesn’t send chills up your spine, Giubilini and Minerva also stated that it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.

So how did I determine that this kind of twisted, evil thinking constitutes “Liberal Values”? Oh, I didn’t. The journal’s editor, Prof Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, (under whom Giubilini and Minerva had studied) says those who made abusive and threatening posts about the study were “fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society”.

Now I don’t know what percentage of self-proclaimed liberals would consider the concept of “after-birth abortions” (God, what an evil concept) as one of “the very values of a liberal society”, but I can only hope that it is a small, small number. I look forward to my liberal friends proving the good professor wrong on this one, but should I get the silence I expect, I can only fear for what our society will beome. Or perhaps, has already become.


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