Monday, November 06, 2006

Going downhill

Slippery slope arguments would be much easier to argue against if they didn't work so well. I remember reading, years and years ago, an argument that abortion, by giving one human the unquestioned right over the life of another, was inherently dangerous, and that it would, in typical slippery slope fashion, allow us to extend such rights over greater and greater numbers of people. Lt. Col. David Grossman's On Killing, discusses how the closer a relationship a person has with another, the harder it is, psychologically, to kill them. One would expect, therefore, that euthanasia would not be the next stage on the slippery slope, since one already knows, and has formed a relationship with, the older people. One would expect, that the next group to be killed would be relatively anonymous, and have little ability to form relationships. For example, severely disabled infants.

2 Comments:

Blogger Noumenon said...

I think most people would be better off dead, so the slope could go down a long way.

It's not like infanticide was invented only because of the invention of abortion; Sarah Hrdy's Mother Nature has me thinking it's been a feature of more societies than not.

Here's a very long article (half footnotes, but I still can't believe I read the whole thing) on all the times that slippery slopes are valid. Beyond the Slippery Slope.

3:11 AM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

It's not like infanticide was invented only because of the invention of abortion; Sarah Hrdy's Mother Nature has me thinking it's been a feature of more societies than not.

Which does not make it right. Abortion just makes it more justifiable. They talked about infanticide in "The Economics of Microfinance". The rate of infanticide is strongly correlated with the economic cost. When things are going well, all children are fed well. When things are going poorly, the children that are least economically viable, the younger, sicker, and less productive (usually female) ones, are usually fed last, moving resources to those who will provide the greatest return on investment.

6:52 AM  

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