April 14, 2016

Satanic justification for infanticide

(AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File. Read more here.)
The current conversation around Zika virus and related birth defects is provocative. Me being who I am, I think life is preferable to death and I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea of killing children. Still, I force myself to take the long view and accept that my personal norms and attitudes (especially toward infanticide) are shaped by contemporary values. If you go back a few thousand years to ancient Greece, you'll find that it was common practice to expose deformed or unwanted infants, which is polite language for, "abandon the child immediately after birth at the local trash dump." 

By today's standards, is it a grotesque and revolting practice? You bet. But I don't agree with today's egalitarian standards that all life is equal. For example, when you go out to the shopping mall, do you ever see that 40-something parent pushing an elaborate wheelchair carrying a 20-something, massively-disabled and often mentally retarded adult child? And when you see that scenario, do you ever immediately think, "Holy shit, I'm glad I'm not that parent?" 

I think kids are precious and I don't want to force a decision on any parent that I wouldn't want forced on myself, but if I'm honest with myself, I have to say that I resent my tax dollars being used to subsidize medical services and equipment for severely disabled and profoundly retarded children who will never, ever provide a return on that money and who are also a drain on the potential future success and contributions of their parents or caretakers.

Possibly the parent of such a child is in that position because he or she knew of the health risks to the child but chose not to abort (or was not permitted to abort if the pregnancy was unwanted.) And then, possibly, the parent is in that position because the child's deformities weren't known until after birth and today's laws insisted that the parent be chained to the child for rest of its natural life.

If egalitarian values regarding both the sanctity and equality of all life were re-evaluated, we wouldn't see parents in the position of being chained to their massively disabled or severely retarded children. Forced-lifers have shaped a lot of public opinion regarding not just birth control and abortion, and not just euthanasia and end-of-life decisions, but also created a culture where parents are forced to sacrifice their future happiness, success, and potential for the sake of caring for an immobile meat-sack who will probably accomplish nothing, ever.

Perhaps as a result of Biblical teachings that man is superior and separate from animals, people do a lot of things in the name of "humanity," but if we start from the premise that humans are not separate from animals, then we can also take a page from the animal kingdom where naturalists have long documented that mothers will abandon or kill (and sometimes even eat) deformed offspring. In that sense, infanticide is a natural phenomenon, and the legislation of laws and imposition of artificial morality go against the natural biological order, as well as against historical precedent in the cradle of Western civilization.

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