Just, “Wow!” Ms. Paglia and I have many points of common ground. I’ve admired her honesty and linear logic, even though I most certainly disagree with some of her views that are (as she says in this column) informed by her atheism.
Read the whole essay, when you can. But, for the moment, let’s look at the comments on the ethics of abortion.
Let’s take the issue of abortion rights, of which I am a firm supporter. As an atheist and libertarian, I believe that government must stay completely out of the sphere of personal choice. Every individual has an absolute right to control his or her body. (Hence I favor the legalization of drugs, though I do not take them.) Nevertheless, I have criticized the way that abortion became the obsessive idée fixe of the post-1960s women’s movement — leading to feminists’ McCarthyite tactics in pitting Anita Hill with her flimsy charges against conservative Clarence Thomas (admittedly not the most qualified candidate possible) during his nomination hearings for the Supreme Court. Similarly, Bill Clinton’s support for abortion rights gave him a free pass among leading feminists for his serial exploitation of women — an abusive pattern that would scream misogyny to any neutral observer.
But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand. My argument (as in my first book, “Sexual Personae,”) has always been that nature has a master plan pushing every species toward procreation and that it is our right and even obligation as rational human beings to defy nature’s fascism. Nature herself is a mass murderer, making casual, cruel experiments and condemning 10,000 to die so that one more fit will live and thrive.
Hence I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue. The state in my view has no authority whatever to intervene in the biological processes of any woman’s body, which nature has implanted there before birth and hence before that woman’s entrance into society and citizenship.
On the other hand, I support the death penalty for atrocious crimes (such as rape-murder or the murder of children). I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?
Thanks to Vox Populi for the tip.
Edited 5/10/13 for formatting problems — BBN
>So let me get this straight:1. The exterminaton of the powerless by the powerful is murder.2. Abortion is the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Therefore, abortion is murder.3. The state has no right to interfere with abortion. Therefore, the state has no right to interfere with murder.And the rationale is that the murder is taking place inside the mother, so she has a right to commit such a murder even though it is a unique human being that is being murdered. I wonder if I could extend that rationale to my home? -Steve
>"I wonder if I could extend that rationale to my home?"No, Steve, you couldn't.
>Steve – some of us are more equal than others.
>LifeEthics:"some of us are more equal than others."WTF?! 1.01 is not equal to 1.00. I guess what you meant was 1.00 (black person) is not equal to 1.00(white person).
>That's a reference to a line in Animal Farm. Meant as sarcasm.