Monday, February 27, 2012
Many thanks to Robby for bringing to light, just below, the scandal that is this Giubilini and Minerva paper. Surely what is most shocking about said paper, apart from the fact that one of its authors is named 'Minerva,' is the sheer ... well, wastefulness that it seems so cheerfully to countenance. How in heaven's - oh all right, earth's - name do our authors reconcile themselves to the monumental opportunity cost that they propose we incur, with no offsetting benefit (!), here in this world of both great and still-growing scarcity? Are they blind, or are they just cavalier about costs in the manner of over-indulged children?
I am going to hope that our authors soon come to their senses and consider revising the paper along some such fiscally more prudent lines as the following ...
The paper advances two theses, accompanied by a modest two-part proposal upon which both theses converge. The first thesis is that abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. The second thesis is that as the global population increases certain resources, notably those that afford nourishment to human organisms and fuel for transport and manufacturing purposes, will rapidly come under increasing and ultimately unsustainable strain. By showing that (a) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (b) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (c) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that (d) 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 (e) the leftover infant material should be sold for use in the production either of biofuel or of a nutrient for human consumption (including in infant formula) that we call 'soylent green,' the precise allocation to be determined by market prices.
(Eds: As the adage has it, 'you [almost] can't make this stuff up.' I actually think that the more people who see this paper, the better - for reasons implicit in the Podhoretz 'Road to Damascus' story. Many thanks, Robby.)