Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pope Francis: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

When Joseph Stalin was asked how he planned to gain the support of Pope Pius XI against the then increasing threat of Fascism, he reportedly replied with dripping sarcasm, “The Pope! How many divisions has he got?”

The Papacy has learned a great deal since the days of Stalin. Though the Vatican still does not possess an Army as it did in the days of yore, it has certainly learned to master the art of soft power.

In the eight months since Cardinal Bergoglio has been elected pope – Pope Francis, as he has chosen to be called – he has caused quite the stir in the Catholic world. For one thing, he has called on Catholic bishops to eschew opulence to show their solidarity with the poor. Pope Francis himself did away with the famous bulletproof papal Mercedes limousine and chose instead to drive a 1984 Renault 4 as well as refusing to sit on the customary papal throne and preferring his simple white cassock over the more colorful clothes that his predecessor usually adorned. He also got the world’s attention when he said that the Catholic Church could not “interfere spiritually” in the lives of homosexuals and that he would not judge gay priests, asking rhetorically, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord with good will, who am I to judge?”

One can almost hear Michael Buffer smoothly yelling into his microphone, “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get ready to HUMBLE!!!!”

Who could possibly hate this man?


Pope Francis’ antics have been charmingly quaint. However, he has recently chosen to enter into another fray; one that is close and dear to my heart – economics.

In a document supposedly called an “apostolic exhortation,” Pope Francis claimed that unfettered capitalism is “a new tyranny,” and that capitalism is nothing more than the “idolatry of money.” He said that politicians had to “strive to provide work, healthcare, and education to all citizens;” and then called on the rich to share their wealth because “an economy of exclusion and inequality… such an economy kills.” Consistently with his logic, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality.”

He later added that “some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

Never mind that greater minds have already dealt with this question, this being just one example among many.



To honestly understand what Pope Francis is condemning, however, we have to know its exact nature. So what is capitalism? As I have already said in one of my previous posts, capitalism is an economic system whose fundamental philosophy is voluntary action. It is based on voluntary action because it is an economic system whereby people are free to choose to either cooperate or not cooperate with each other in order to satisfy their mutual interests. Due to it being based on voluntary trade, capitalism requires people to rely on their own rational mind and rational minds, in turn, can only exist under free conditions. A rational mind cannot work under compulsion. An individual can choose to obey his jailer or refuse to do so. Refusal, however, is almost always punished.

In essence, therefore, what Pope Francis despises is freedom. According to Pope Francis, individuals voluntarily trading with one another, exchanging values for values in the hopes of making profit in order to improve one’s own living conditions is a form of tyranny.

Furthermore, when Pope Francis exhorts politicians to “strive to provide work, healthcare, and education to all citizens,” from where does the good pope think that those things spring up from? His book seems to suggest that manna will somehow miraculously rain from the heavens to feed and clothe us helpless mortals. For the rest of us who do not believe in childish fairy tales, however, we have to contend that, as argued by Parmenides, ex nihilo nihil fit. Nothing comes from nothing.

To have jobs, healthcare, and education, they have to be created by people. People have to think, organize, work, and produce for anything to come into existence. It is because of these few individuals who thought, organized, worked, and produced (chief of them being to have thought) that the rest of humanity has been able to rise up to where we are now. And how does Pope Francis think that such people ought to be rewarded? Rewarded? Pope Francis wants politicians, people who produce nothing besides trouble, to provide those things to all citizens. He does not want them rewarded. He wants them chained.

Somewhere I hear the ghost of Galileo weeping.

"It still turns."


“Of course the Pope doesn’t want those people chained to slavery. He wants good hearted, noble men and women to take on their public tasks with great humility in order to serve the best interests of all of humanity,” his defenders will clamor. Of course! The men and women of noble hearts; the angels that each and every one of us strives to be. But where does Pope Francis think that he will find such men and women? Why is it assumed that bureaucrats are less motivated by personal interest than a trader? Does anyone assume that a president appoints his/her cabinet members or judges or ambassadors based on their individual virtues, or based on their political clout? Is political self-interest somehow nobler than economic self-interest?

Of course Pope Francis never gives an answer to this. Perhaps he will pray for a miracle.

In the midst of his mindless rant, Pope Francis then goes on to say that what this world needs is a “more ethical financial system.” Hardly surprisingly, he never goes on to explain what this new ethical financial system might look like. Considering how Pope Francis despises freedom and thinks that capitalism ought not be given “absolute autonomy,” I can only imagine that it would look a lot like slavery.

“But it’s for the common good,” his apologists will counter. But just what exactly is the common good? Brotherhood and good will to all men? Please. Anyone can show a pretense of sentimentality. Just what exactly is the common good? The common good implies that something is good for the whole society. But what is society if not a collection of individuals? Can every single person in the world ever agree on what the common good is? It is impossible. What the common good in practice comes down to is that some people’s idea of what is good takes precedence over that of others. In other words, it comes down to the good of the majority as against the minority or the individual.

But the good of the majority assumes that what is good comes down to a simple numbers game. The bigger gang is right, and the smaller gang is wrong. So one has to ask: Is Pope Francis the leader of a movement that believes in objective right and wrong, or is he nothing more than just another populist demagogue?




But surely giving to charity cannot possibly be argued against? Firstly, Pope Francis is not just hoping for more charity. As he said, what he wants is “beyond a simple welfare mentality.” Though he never gives a name to what this thing beyond a simple welfare mentality is, I cannot help but imagine a golden sickle and hammer.

Is there anything wrong with charity? Certainly not. There is nothing wrong with helping others, if and when they are worthy of the help and when we can afford to help them. But that is not enough for Pope Francis. What he wants is for the misery of others to hold a mortgage on the lives of those who are better off. He wants charity not to be voluntary, but an obligation. Instead of being proud of one’s own virtues and accomplishments, he wants people’s self-esteem to come from each handout that they are forced to give to others. Never mind that the image of inherited wealth is mostly a thing of the past. As far as Pope Francis is concerned, the rich owe others for having been allowed to be rich.

It has been most amusing to see the rest of the world’s reaction to this pope. After having seen a few symbolic gestures of what passes as humility, so many in the world seem to be more than ready to forget the Church’s great many sins and crimes. The sexual abuse of children? Who wants to hear of it? The Pope refuses to sit on an elevated throne! The Church’s unchanging position on condom-use in Africa? Why be so morose? The Pope washed a Muslim woman’s feet. If Pope Francis is so concerned about income inequality and the poor and wants to help them, then why is it that His Holiness has not yet auctioned off the Vatican’s unquantifiable assets? Or why hasn’t Pope Francis condemned his own bishops’ support for the minimum wage despite the fact the minimum wage is one of the culprits that keeps the poor where they are? But why question logical consistency? He’s already picked most everyone’s favorite villains, the rich (which the Church curiously does not appear to count as being part of) to foot the bill!

It would appear that the Catholic Church has succeeded in its PR campaign beyond its own wildest expectations. When Pope Benedict XVI threw in the towel, the Vatican was in desperate need of a PR makeover and who better to lead this makeover than a man who can make the fickle masses forget about the Church's crimes by giving mushy homilies without actually doing anything? It’s still the same morally bankrupt institute of charlatans but, oh, who cares? The Pope drives a beaten-up second-hand car and who could not relate to that?

I hate to end this by quoting a mass murdering tyrant but it has to be asked – just how many divisions has the Pope got? More than anyone suspected that he had, I fear.

Definitely more than that!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Korea’s “Gender Income Gap” is NOT Based on Gender Discrimination

For the past few years, Korea’s Gender Income Gap has been widely reported in international and national media outlets (as can be seen here, here, here, here, and here). Each time the media reports on Korea’s ‘dismal’ gender income gap, it is always followed by the usual hand-wringing and calls for the central government to do something about this.

As a result, over the past few years, the Korean government has passed laws that ensure maternity leave for up ninety days. Furthermore, earlier this year, the Korean government increased spending from previous years in order to promote gender equality (₩13.3 trillion) and plans on spending up to ₩22.4 trillion, a 68% increase, next year.

Despite all this, however, a not insignificant number of women are either pressured to quit their jobs or indeed do quit their jobs after giving birth. Furthermore, as can be seen in the news articles that were cited earlier, Korea’s “gender income gap” ranking has fallen over the past few years instead of climbing. It would appear that throwing money at the problem of gender income inequality has not had the desired effect of solving the problem.

Source: http://americaexplained.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/throw_money.png

Those who find these statistics offensive have pointed their fingers at various factors but they all boil down to one thing – gender discrimination. Therefore, many people who are calling for the closing of the “gender income gap” have been demanding for “equal pay for equal work.” The government has also weighed in on this by amending the Equal Employment and Support for Work-Family Reconciliation Act. Article 6-2 Section 2.3 emphasizes the importance of “the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.” In fact, an employer who is found guilty of violating this law faces imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to ₩20 million.

“Equal pay for equal work” is a beautifully crafted call to arms. Its unnuanced brevity is the verbal embodiment of a clenched fist; loudly demanding an end to injustice. It is as poetic as political rallying calls come. Unfortunately, however, the phrase is intellectually bankrupt.  This phrase (and, in fact, most arguments made in favor of closing the “gender income gap”) is intellectually bankrupt because of several factors.

Firstly, this cleverly constructed political phrase does all that it can to obfuscate one very important factor: statistical misreading.

  1. Statistical Misreading

The OECD report that showcases member nations’ “gender wage gap” claims that the difference between male and female earnings is expressed as a percentage of male earnings. However, due to the fact that there are various factors at play such as the different types of jobs held by men and women, which translates to the differences in pay (depending on other factors such as industry type and level of unionization) and thus differences in taxes and pension contributions, and work experience, the only way the “gender wage gap” can be measured is via accounting for the median and average wage earnings.

In other words, the “gender wage gap” is based on aggregate information – information that does not measure individual jobs or tenure or hours worked, but merely the aggregate of all jobs and all employees.

If we want to see if gender discrimination is the culprit behind the “gender wage gap,” it becomes important to control for all other differences between men and women in order to explain the gap in a non-discriminatory fashion. However, seeing that these statistics do not compare men and women who hold the same job or do the same work, much less find a satisfactory way for controlling all those other differences, it requires a leap of faith, or a political agenda, to make the claim that the gap is a result of gender discrimination.

Source: http://us.123rf.com/450wm/radiantskies/radiantskies1211/radiantskies121102472/16529826-abstract-word-cloud-for-political-agenda-with-related-tags-and-terms.jpg

  1. Greedy businesses only care about the bottom line... until they don’t.”

Another thing that the phrase “equal pay for equal work” carefully neglects is the Marginal Revenue Product Theory of Wage Determination, which is a fancy way of saying that an individual’s wage is dependent upon his/her level of productivity. Productivity, for its own part, is NOT synonymous with “equal work.”

For example, let us say that there are two men who both work ten-hour days at a construction site and they both have the same job of moving a tonne of bricks up three storeys. The first man moves the bricks by carrying them on his back up the three storeys. The second man moves the bricks via a pulley and lever system. At the end of the ten-hour work day, though both men have worked the same number of hours (equal work), assuming that all other factors remain unchanged (ceteris paribus), the second man would have moved many more bricks than the first man had (unequal productivity) because of his greater efficiency.

From the business owner’s perspective, the second man has a greater rate of marginal productivity of labor aka he works harder and smarter and, therefore, has a higher marginal rate of utility aka he is worth the pay. Therefore, when both men ask for a pay raise, the business owner is more likely to acquiesce to the second man’s request than the first man’s.

As a result, considering the fact that men and women, for various reasons of their own, have a tendency to work different jobs and therefore have different rates of productivity (as well as there being different levels of supply and demand for those different kinds of jobs), it makes sense that there is some amount of difference in the income levels between men and women.

However, let us assume for a moment that there is no difference in productivity between men and women as the phrase “equal pay for equal work” so often insinuates. Let us assume that despite the equal level of productivity between men and women, men do, indeed, on average earn 38% more than their female counterparts.

If that were true; if women are not getting equal pay despite doing the same job with the same level of productivity, then why would any business, which almost always cares about profitability above all else, employ any man at all? What reason would there be for businesses to not employ only women to fill all of their job positions and save 38% on their labor costs (labor costs usually being most businesses’ single greatest expenditure)? If greedy business executives’ main concern is almost always profit maximization, how do we account for so many “overpaid” men in the workforce?

Source: http://positivesharing.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/overpaid.jpg

Do business executives only want to maximize profits until they happen to come across a woman at which point they decide to forget about maximizing profits so that women will sooner or later realize that their only proper place is in the kitchen/bedroom? The answer is obviously “No.”

Assuming that men and women are equally productive, the sexist employer has no choice but to become extinct, courtesy of market forces. If he were stupid enough to hire a man when he could have employed an equally productive woman for less money (because of the pay gap), his gender-blind competitors would hire her, and price him out of business.

Businesses have different needs when it comes to employment; and men and women, who have a tendency to work different jobs (which in turn are affected by different rates of supply and demand) are often paid different wage rates. To insinuate that this is somehow the result of some kind of woman-hating conspiracy that is engineered by a cabal of patriarchal Taliban-lite business executives is, to say the very least, disingenuous.

  1. The Mommy Factor

In an editorial titled “The Fear of Becoming a Housewife,” which was published in Groove Magazine in August 2013, the author, a self-proclaimed Feminist, who married a supposedly modern Korean man, wrote that she was disappointed that her husband “simply could not imagine a home in which the husband and wife share household duties.”

The fact is that women bear a disadvantage when it comes to working in the market not because of some kind of inferiority, but rather because women, especially after marriage and having children, tend not to be able to be as productive in their occupations as the men are because women, who would otherwise have equal productivity with men, tend to be more subjected to their intensive home and child-rearing interests than men with children.

Either due to biological reasons or social behaviorism (or perhaps both), marriage tends to result in vastly unequal division of housekeeping and child-rearing responsibilities. As a result, men, who tend to pick jobs that are relatively more dangerous and better paying (especially so when they become fathers), find that marriage enhances their take-home pay. On the other hand, again, either due to biological reasons or social behaviorism or both, women tend to seek jobs that have more flexible hours with slow obsolescence rates (jobs where their skills or knowledge has not become outdated by the time they resume their careers after they raise their children; jobs such as librarians and teachers, as opposed to software engineers) so that they can spend more time with their families, which in turn reduces their take-home pay.

Though this may seem unfair upon first glance, this is only part and parcel of the fact that nothing in life is free; goods are scarce, and thus everything has a cost. And as everything else, time has a cost. When an individual devotes a large part of his/her life/thoughts/energy to any one particular task, he/she will be able to accomplish less in alternative pursuits than otherwise (opportunity cost). Similarly, when a woman/mother devotes a large part of her life/thoughts/energy to housekeeping and/or child-rearing, in itself not an insignificant task, it is only natural that it comes at the expense of her productivity at her job.

I wanted to find a picture of a "super mom" but there wasn't a single picture that wasn't just insultingly cartoonish or condescending.  Hence, "No Image Available!"
Source: http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/img/misc/noImageAvailable.jpg

  1. More female executives to close the “Gender Income Gap?”

In recent years, some have claimed that the reason that Korea has such a wide “gender income gap” is due to the dearth of female business executives; that somehow this male-dominated business culture, which fails to understand women’s issues and plights, is one of the main factors that perpetuates gender discrimination. Therefore, naturally, ‘improvements’ in gender diversity in executive boardrooms in places such as Samsung, Hyundai, Kia, and LG will bring about the necessary changes.

No one who makes these claims ever seems to like to share with the rest of the world the evidence of the causal links between gender diversity and equalized gender income gaps and/or improved profitability. There are certainly companies around the world such as IBM and Johnson & Johnson that are more women-friendly AND profitable. However, correlation is not the same as causation. A more plausible explanation for the correlation between these businesses with strong financial performance is that these businesses, which have been powerful players in international business for a very long time, can better afford social engineering initiatives such as the appointment of more women onto their boards. It also does not hurt that their social engineering initiatives of this kind gives them a good public relations story.

The fact of the matter is that boardroom members of Goldman Sachs or Hyundai Motors are NOT representative of the vast majority of society. That elite groups inhabit a different social universe than the majority of the population is hardly surprising. There is no evidence to suggest whatsoever that forcing these groups to “better” mirror society at large would somehow lead to higher rates of profit.

Would gender diversity, in all levels of industry, lead to less social injustice?  It is certainly plausible.  However, there is no causal proof (as yet) that an increase in the number of female executives at the top would necessarily lead to equalized gender income gaps and/or improved profitability.

  1. Milton Friedman’s Argument Against “Equal Pay for Equal Work”

And here it is; straight from the horse’s mouth.





Firstly, even though Dr. Friedman did not challenge the premise’s assumption that equal work is synonymous with equal productivity, he is correct when he says that “Equal Pay for Equal Work” laws would have the same effect on women that the minimum wage has on unskilled labor, i.e. disemployment (though there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that this is a direct causation, there certainly seems to be a positive correlation between “Equal Pay for Equal Work” laws and the disemployment of women considering Korea’s worsening “Gender Income Gap”).

While those who support “Equal Pay for Equal Work” laws may be well-intentioned, such laws must not be judged based on their good intentions, but rather their actual results. Instead of throwing money at the “gender income gap” problem, which might not even be a problem at all, as the Korean government has been doing, a better course of action for the government might be to rescind those policies which have brought gender economics/politics to its present disarray.

  1. Real Sexism vs. Perceived Sexism

This is in no way to suggest that sexism does not exist. There are many well-written and well-researched articles in The Grand Narrative and Korean Gender Café, just to name a few, to know that sexism is not a figment of peoples imagination.

That businesses do not pay women as much as they pay men for differences in productivity, supply and demand, and the different choices that are made by men and women in their respective lives is not a result of gender discrimination, but rather a reflection of reality. Claiming that this “pay gap” is a result of sexism is comparable to yelling at the bathroom scale for telling us that we are overweight and attempting to pass a law that “fixes” this “pay gap” is to indulge in that ultimate totalitarian fantasy where passing a law against bad weather will actually have its desired effect.

The real sexism that ought to be challenged is not the “pay gap,” but rather Korean society’s long-held belief that housekeeping and child-rearing responsibilities are strictly the domain of women. And there is no real way to challenge that without challenging the efficacy, the morality, or even the necessity, of a nuclear family. Cultural changes, which are the result of moral and philosophical changes, must always precede political changes. Any attempt to usurp that order will be met by nothing more than a series of failures. The “gender pay gap” is an economic issue, but those who advocate “Equal Pay for Equal Work” laws are attempting to turn it into a political one, because, as usual, political arguments require much less thought to understand than economic arguments.

However, as Murray Rothbard said about economics: “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

Source: http://weakonomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/bernanke-dismal-science.jpg

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Anti-Abortion Movement: An Affront to Morality

Throughout history, whenever governments have attempted to control or prohibit a trade of any kind; be it prostitution, firearms, drugs, alcohol, internet pornography, or jeans – as long as there is demand, a black market has always emerged as a way of getting around those government controls. The same applies to the prohibition of abortion.

One of the most common go-to arguments in favor of legalizing abortion is that when abortion is criminalized, one of the unintended consequences of the law is that many poor women die from dangerous self-induced abortions or unsanitary “back-alley” abortion clinics (affluent people do not tend to be as constricted by the law as their poorer counterparts).

If you think everyone is affected by the law equally, you clearly need a dose of reality.
Source: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0154383c9f52970c-pi

The black market has historically had a seedy reputation. This makes sense. Firstly, when the law criminalizes an act, the increased risks force suppliers to charge higher prices, which is more bad news for poor women. Secondly, criminalisation always breeds criminals. As a result, there is little reason not to believe that the criminalisation of abortion leads to those unintended consequences that pro-choicers often claim.

However, the occurrence of this unfortunate logical sequence of events requires one important caveat – the strict enforcement of the law. Passing a law is one thing. Enforcing a law, however, is another thing entirely.

Abortion is still very much illegal in Korea. However, according to a report in the New York Times, it is estimated that around 340,000 abortions are performed annually in Korea. To say that there is a discrepancy between the law and the occurrences of abortion is certainly an understatement. Furthermore, due to the lack of strict enforcement of the law, though still illegal, the clinics that provide abortion services are hardly the seedy back-alley abortion clinics of Victorian England (as seen here, here, and here).

So to summarize:
  1. Abortion is illegal in Korea.
  2. Despite the law, abortion is widely available in Korea, albeit at higher costs in recent years.
  3. Most abortion clinics are not unsanitary.
  4. Conservatives and the religious right are happy, or at least pretend to be happy, knowing that abortion is illegal.
  5. Liberals and women’s rights activists might not be entirely happy (Are they ever happy?), but can be satisfied knowing that despite the law, abortion is widely available.

It might then appear that this is a win-win for everyone involved in this debate. Especially from a political standpoint, the Korean government would appear to have reached the ideal compromise that has long eluded the American government in regards to abortion.

Source: http://static.someecards.com/someecards/usercards/d3a8f314d450aa875d688c481485f84a29.png

However, it is NOT a win-win for everyone. Women are the clear losers in this arrangement. However, there is another unseen victim. One that people rarely ever talk about. That victim is morality. There have been many writers who have already spoken at great length about the unfair nature of anti-abortion law to women. I think that it is unnecessary for me to do the same. My arguments will focus on the aspect of morality.

Firstly, it ought to be noted that the doctors cited from the aforementioned New York Times article have adopted the lingo used by their anti-abortion counterparts in the United States – specifically, the use of the term “pro-life.” I will speak more about this terminology later.

One of the arguments of the pro-life movement is that the government has an obligation to preserve all human life, regardless of intent or viability. It is incredibly difficult to find fault with such logic. However, the problem arises when the pro-life movement argues that even non-viable, undeveloped human life is sacred and must be protected by the government. Their rationale stems from the religious tradition that believes that life, and thus the implanting of the human soul, begins at the moment of conception. As such, they believe that there is little difference between a week-old pregnancy and a living, breathing person.

Actual depiction of how every person gains life.
Source: http://www.katapi.org.uk/images/Art/Sistine-CreationHq.jpg

The objective truth of the matter is that an embryo is a potential human being; not an actual human being. To equate a potential with an actual is ludicrous nonsense. An embryo is nothing more than a small lump of human cells. If we accept that a potential human being is the same as an actual human being, then it would only be logical to claim that every single person in the world is a murderer every moment we are not trying to reproduce. But of course, pro-lifers do not make either arguments for that would be ridiculous. A potentiality is not the equivalent of an actuality and it is this false equation of the potential with the actual that ought to be rejected.

The person in white is holding a sign that says "A fetus is alive," and the the person in the black stripes is holding a sign that says "A fetus is also a person."  I don't think it is possible for me to roll my eyes any further.
Source: http://www.kukinews.com/online_image/2009/0510/090510_33_2.jpg

As for the term “pro-life,” their usage of the word is an utter abomination. Despite the fact that an embryo is nothing more than a potential human being, anti-abortionists advocate the rights of the embryo – an unborn entity – but refuse to recognize the rights of the living person: the woman. Being a parent is a profound responsibility that requires financial, psychological, moral, and emotional investment – and assuming that both the parent and child live full lives – across decades. To a woman who is unable or unwilling to make these investments, being forced to carry this pregnancy to completion is a death sentence as it would force her to give up her future and happiness. It is an individual’s own values and chance for happiness that are being demanded to be sacrificed.

Anti-abortionists claim the power to dispose of the lives of others and to dictate their personal choices in the name of protecting the supposed rights of a lump of cells. Claiming to be “pro-life” while demanding that actual human beings sacrifice themselves for the benefit of potential human beings is a willful fraud.

Some anti-abortionists therefore defend their indefensible morality by shifting the debate by arguing that after a certain period of time before birth, an embryo that later develops into a fetus develops consciousness (although no one is suggesting that a fetus has the ability to come to grips with something as complex as sentience), and if not that, at least a nervous system that allows for the beginnings of a faculty of perception.

However, at that point of the pregnancy when the fetus has acquired some primitive form of consciousness (I admit to being uncomfortable with the use of the word ‘conscious’ as a fetus cannot be truly conscious as consciousness is a consciousness of something, and until a fetus is birthed, it has nothing to be conscious of) aborting the fetus could seriously threaten the life of the mother. At that point, no semi-intelligent woman or semi-moral doctor would abort the fetus, thus making the anti-abortionists’ argument moot.

However, regardless of whether anti-abortionists are conscious of it or not, what is seldom discussed is their philosophy; outside of their religious texts that they champion. It is the fact that for centuries, they have attempted to use their philosophy (and to a large degree, succeeded) to reverse morality.

Source: http://blogs-images.forbes.com/meghanbiro/files/2012/10/reverse-mentoring.jpg

Their philosophy is based on the idea that sacrificing actual human beings for the supposed rights of potential human beings is moral. On the other hand, it forces people to believe that choosing to preserve one’s own personal dreams and happiness is immoral. It is the logical conclusion of the premise that individuals ought to live their lives for others as opposed to allowing individuals to live their own lives.

(This is not to say that one’s children are always the lesser value to be discarded at whim. When a parent is willing and able, when the parent reaches a point where he/she wants a child and is willing to value the child as much as he/she values him/herself; then the question of abortion need not be brought up. Abortion is only brought up when these conditions are not met and preventing an individual from terminating an unwanted pregnancy under such circumstances is a monstrous upending of rights.)

The anti-abortionists’ philosophy is that the surrender of the self for the benefit of others is moral; that individuals have no right to exist for their own sake, but that service to others is the highest moral virtue. Underlying this philosophy is the belief that individuals are to be regarded as nothing more than sacrificial animals.

What this ultimately does is that it destroys morality. When society accepts a morality that champions the virtues of sacrifice and condemns self-interest as a vice, then every action an individual carries out, which society has judged to be moral, causes self-inflicted loss. However, instead of challenging the established morality – a morality that no individual has ever achieved or ever will – they come to believe that they are immoral, all the while preaching what they cannot practice, which causes them to feel guilt.

Source: http://abagond.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/art-sd_guilt.jpg

And this is the ultimate goal of their philosophy. A world full of people feeling nothing but guilt because guilty people are easy to rule over. An individual who feels no sense of guilt cannot be ruled over. Their philosophy therefore attempts to break those individuals. A guilty individual, an individual with a broken soul, does not have to be whipped. When an individual realizes he/she is incapable of achieving what he/she has been made to accept as the noblest virtue, guilt and a feeling of basic unworthiness naturally set in. There is no need to whip such an individual.

The Anti-Abortion Movement, as it should be properly called, is a movement that lacks reason as well as morality. It makes up for this deficiency with emotional screeds because in order to have any semblance of authority, it has to substitute moral judgment for intellectual argument. It is a movement that has stuck around long past its expiry date; several centuries too long, in fact, and deserves to be tossed into the dustbin of history.


Source: http://www.iuoma.org/dustbin_of_history.gif