A University of Knoxville student recently said it was okay to kill young children who can’t communicate. He’s not alone. Two “philosophers” justified “after-birth abortion” in 2012. The next year students at George Mason University signed a petition to legalize the practice. Also in 2013, an MSNBC host opined that when life begins “depends an awful lot on the feeling of the parents.” Welcome to the intellectual vanguard of the culture of death.
The Tennessee student’s opinion was captured on video by Students for Life’s Appalachian Regional Coordinator Brenna Lewis. As Liberty Nation reports, “The interviewee concurs with colleagues that two-year-olds unable to speak due to muteness, autism, learning infirmities, and other difficulties should be put to death” (hat tip: Whatfinger.com).
The unnamed young man actually states (video below), “Without communication, we have no way of knowing if you’re sentient or not. It’s no different than this tree,” he says, motioning to his left. “It’s alive, but is it sentient? I don’t know. I cannot communicate to it,” he continued.
While the student should remember that it’s better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt, the foolishness isn’t of his own design. Rather, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, laments that it merely “reflects the kinds of attitudes our staff members and students can face on a daily basis on high school and college campuses,” as the Daily Caller reports.
Where do these attitudes originate? Killing allegedly defective infants dates back to antiquity; the Spartans’ practice of “exposing” such babies is a good example. In the early 1900s, the eugenics movement — whose proponents would sometimes advocate exterminating the “unfit” — was all the rage. Yet in recent times this attitude has again manifested itself. As Slate reported in 2012, presenting a passage by philosophers Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva published in the Journal of Medical Ethics:
When circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.... We propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus ... rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk.
What you’re witnessing here is the partial dropping of the pro-death lobby’s mask. While it would at one time argue about when life begins, it’s clear this was never really a concern. Pro-life philosopher G.K. Chesterton wrote in 1932, to make a point, “Let all the babies be born. Then let us drown those we do not like.” Now some on the Left accept that proposal.
Yet where do you draw the line if not at conception? Before anyone rolls his eyes, consider what CNSNews.com reported in 2014, quoting Kristina Garza, director of campus outreach for the California-based Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust: “Some students even maintain it’s okay to kill a child under the age of five, she told CNSNews.com.”
“Since their requirements for personhood are completely arbitrary, they throw around numbers, you know, four years old, five years old. I had one friend say a college professor claimed six years old was a good cut-off,” she added.
Yet the age of “abortion’s” extension is unsurprising. As I explained in 2013:
Think about where the “pro-choice” position takes us. It doesn’t really matter what month one says human life “may” begin because we’re always presented with the same correlative questions. What week of that month? What day of that week? What hour and minute of that day? And, then, what second of that minute?
This lends perspective. For what we then must accept is that one second the intrauterine entity isn’t a person, but the next second it — although I suppose at that moment we can say “he” — somehow magically becomes one. And this isn’t even the moment of conception, a seminal event without which there would be no development in the womb whatsoever. So how, pro-aborts, does this humanizing transformation take place?
And this logic also applies to the justification of abortion throughout pregnancy ... and beyond. After all, if it’s okay to kill the intrauterine being in a certain month, what is the exact week, day, hour, and second of that month before which it isn’t morally licit?
So “forget the intellectual contortions — the truth will out,” I wrote a few sentences later. “If it’s all right to murder an innocent person one second, there is no reason to think it isn’t okay the next, and then the next and the next and ... well, finish the progression.”
Of course, the most basic question is: Is human life sacred? The reality that it is — that we’re divinely-made, soul-infused beings — is the basis of the pro-life position. For what logically follows from rejecting this theistic supposition? Well, as I’ve oft pointed out, absent souls (spirit), what are we but some pounds of chemicals and water, organic robots? And what could be wrong with terminating an inconvenient robot’s function?
For that matter, what could be wrong with anything without a divine, universal, eternal, unchanging, omnipotent yardstick for right and wrong? Who is to say? Politicians?
So today’s half-baked pseudo-intellectuals, informed by a utilitarian atheistic perspective, are merely finishing a progression initiated long ago. They’re just not quite at its terminus yet. We’ll perhaps know we’ve arrived when a viable defense for killing a prenatal-infanticide doctor is, “You honor, I was just performing an extreme after-birth abortion — in the 136th trimester.”
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