Saturday, December 15, 2018

You Are Not Viable

I have not discussed abortion for some time.  I have written my most comprehensive post on the topic specifically in response to Walter Block’s evictionism argument; given his “evictionism” argument, I took the approach of a rental real estate transaction and contract.  Walter and I went back and forth on it a time or two. 

Given that this was written four years ago, I might refresh it a bit today, but overall it offers my view – specifically taking the contract / property approach.  My primary view on this topic, however, is driven by other causes.  Causes like murder of innocents.

It is curious to me (I have no better word) that those who advocate for a society based on the non-aggression principle advocate for the ultimate aggression on the individuals least capable of defending themselves, individuals that are most vulnerable to aggression by another, individuals who are totally innocent regarding their circumstance. 

If libertarianism based on the non-aggression principle supports such aggression, it is a philosophy that offers no defense against any type of aggression.

Why am I discussing this today?  Walter has written a brief blog post, followed thereafter by a comment from Michael Rozeff.  It is not to Walter that I will reply, but to Rozeff.  I have to say, I had a difficult time reading Rozeff’s post; he offers, first, some facts:

What are we talking about? “In 2015, 638,169 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2015 was 11.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years…” That’s a little over 1 woman in a hundred. There’s a lot of women in America, so the absolute number is also a lot; but it’s not large relative to the population.

More than any other statement in his post, it is this one that I cannot stomach.  Yes, I am used to libertarians favoring this type of aggression; few have had the courage to put numbers to it and – more so – suggest that six-hundred thousand is no big deal.

Over six-hundred thousand deaths in one year, all due to the same cause.  Reminds me of Madeline Albright – 500,000 Iraqi children’s deaths were worth it. Relative to the total population, not such a big deal.

He then offers the breakdown by the time elapsed after conception.  This is important to him for the following reason: almost 99% of all abortions occur before the twentieth week of the unborn child’s life.  And guess what?

The facts of abortion show that virtually all abortions are of fetuses that could not survive outside the womb.

Nor can any new-born babies, without assistance.

The question is when does a fetus gain the right to life. A sensible answer as well as one not at variance with actual abortions is that it gains this right when it is capable of surviving outside the womb, with assistance, of course. (Emphasis added.)

Wait a minute.  If a newborn baby has a right to this assistance, why not an unborn child?  What is different in any meaningful sense?  The newborn baby is entirely dependent on others for food, drink, sanitation, safety, protection from the elements, etc.  Basically, the exact same items of “assistance” that the unborn child – even one less than 20 weeks – requires.

To be a live human being, one must be capable of be-ing, even if it requires assistance that pregnancy or medical substitutes provide after 24 weeks. Fetuses that cannot survive outside the womb are not yet human beings, according to this theory.

Babies outside of the womb cannot survive without virtually identical assistance. 

“You are not viable.”  If this is the criteria for one to have the right to not be victim of aggression, well…let’s open the door to eugenics, assisted suicide, final solutions to the mentally and physically disabled, individuals with IQs below 70, etc. 

Where do you draw the line?  On what basis?  Who will decide?


In my estimation, abortion is not a major problem in America.

More than six-hundred thousand deaths per year all due to the same cause, and this is not a major problem. 


Rozeff begins early in his post with the following:

If a woman wants an abortion, I do not see how anyone can make her not have it. She cannot be forced to carry to term. Call that her right, if you want to.

I am not suggesting that I have an answer.  However, it is pointless to work on an answer if we cannot agree that murder is aggression.

The unborn child is the only innocent person in this exchange.  The woman took an action to become pregnant, as did the man in impregnating her.  If no responsibility comes to either of these two with this action, society (to say nothing of liberty) is 100% lost.


  1. Yep, normally Rozeff closes logical holes. In this one, he admittedly opened one further: “with assistance”. I’m pretty sure my 8 year old couldn’t survive on her own without our assistance, much less my younger daughters.

    It all comes back to what you’ve raised: culture (through viable religious institutions), not lack of government, is the way to a more free society.

  2. Possible Hypothesis: The history of the West has largely been the history of an elite using the working class as a tool. The working class family structure has accordingly been significantly desacralized, functionalized, truncated. It is almost as if unintended pregnancy is deployed in the role of a trap, the crisis used in provoking the formation of the ‘nuclear’ working class family. And it is exactly this calculated utilitarianization of working class life which has given rise to the phenomenon of abortion. Now in contrast to the utilitarianized, schematitized family of the West there is the complex, multifaceted, nuanced matrilineal family structure of the Mosuo of the East. Brothers and sisters live their whole life with their mother, as do the sisters kids. Paramours meet fleetingly always returning to their mothers home afterward. Any resulting children are cared for in the mothers mothers home - by her, her brothers and sisters, and her maternal aunts and uncles. There is a massive stable support structure permanently in place for the care of children. Pregnancy is always a blessing never a crisis.

    In the Mosuo language there is reportedly no word for father or husband. I expect there is likewise no word for abortion. And no one makes appeals to Blockian evictionism, to NAP, or anything of the kind. And so the difficult question of abortion will best be understood by studying actual social practices and social structures rather than by applying dry logic, in deriving clunky proofs in the abstract terms of libertarian economics. Now Misean libertarians have wisely abandoned the scientifico-mathematical pretense of classical economics. Yet they seem determined that they can derive an understanding of anything from the proper application of the non aggression principle.

    One needn’t credit the Mosuo with having higher moral ideals simply because they refrain from abortion, just as one need not impugn the morality of the West because they don’t. Rather it is owing not just to received ideas and traditions but to actual functioning, in place socials structures or their absence which account for the extraordinary differences.

  3. Extreme situations such as rape, etc require further discussion. But for me, I must ask, “What real, aware, mature man and woman would not be responsible enough to anticipate and use proper birth control? What real, aware and mature man and woman would not talk about this weighty possibility beforehand? What real, aware and mature man and woman would WANT to abort their own baby? What real, aware and mature man and woman would not instantly reject whatever poor excuse they come up with to justify killing their baby? What real, aware and mature man and woman can live with themselves after going ahead and killing their own baby?”
    I can barely imagine how one can live with themselves after such an act.
    And yes, I fully understand that real, aware and mature adult men and women are fairly rare in our world.

  4. Reading Rozeff’s article on LRC yesterday, I admit to being taken aback by his comments about abortion, since I usually read his contributions there with alacrity. I don’t question his point that, “If a woman wants an abortion, I do not see how anyone can make her not have it.” Abortion is nothing new; women have resorted to it from ancient times.
    Abortion is reprehensible, and should be resorted to only in the direst circumstance. Using abortion as a first-choice method of birth control is especially egregious. “The pill” (since 1960), and other less invasive forms of prevention have been available for decades. No longer disapproved by society, abortion is now met with either approbation or indifference. That is what I find appalling.
    While I agree that, “The government should neither forbid abortions nor support them,” for libertarians, or anyone else who believes abortion to be ignoble, only the use of moral suasion is an acceptable way to convince others of the primacy of reverence for life. Peg in Oregon

  5. My thoughts mirrored your own when I read his post. It's sadly one of the most reprehensible things I've ever read on LRC. And I really like LRC.

    If a libertarian (assuming Rozeff claims to be one) so casually wrote off 600,000 deaths in any other context, I doubt anyone would consider him to be a libertarian.

    Thank you for addressing this.


    1. Your post is linked on LRC today, which is nice.

      The tag line is a head scratcher: "The state announces."

      Seems to miss the point just a bit...

  6. Amen!

    I don't have much to add to your posts lately, but I do want to show support for this post.

    1. Yes, that's my situation as well- so I second the notion.

      I add "kudos" or "well done" on occasion just to make sure he knows now and then even though I agree more often than I type it.

      On other topics sometimes I sit and digest it mentally for days. I'm still digesting "Two sides of the same coin" for instance. (there's an inherent commonality between individuality and decentralization that I haven't rectified)

      We all know that getting libertarians to agree and then act on any topic is like herding cats- perhaps it's important to try to get people to "sacrifice" their individuality in the name of political meaningfullness(word?). But it strikes me as a potential double edged sword on some level. It's an argument the Alt-right types effectively make against libertarians- you know, basically that we can't be politically effective because of disdain for the state and the inability to subvert ourselves to any "state like" entity for political effectiveness. I have answers for some of that, the big one being we don't need to do anything for the state to fail(Ron Paul recently did a video on this notion recently and how the real intellectual battle begins when the state fails), but their argument has some merit regardless. I've been called out on occasion with the question of what I do personally to "fight the state" and I've answered cryptically that I do fight the state. But for some, it's not been enough...they've never stopped to think that if I responded in a more direct manner I could be putting myself in jeopardy...and still yet I've hinted to some degree but it didn't same to "take".

      I'm not saying BM's wrong on the topic of individuality by the way, I'm just undecided and have nothing to say on the issue(for now) until I get to a place with more clearly defined personal thoughts.

      It was kind of the same regarding his exploration regarding the impact of the Gothic hoards that later became Frankish kingdoms and medieval decentralization. I really didn't comment much on his articles exploring decentralization because I didn't have much to add and was still(and still am to some degree) processing. Further, I didn't understand at the time I read(and skimmed) some of his posts where he was headed in the big picture.

      I don't think I 100% agree with some of his conclusions regarding future paths to libertarian outcomes, but on the whole I'm not ready to seriously debate the issue. Outside of the few exchanges on the topic that didn't go so well it's easier to just think about things....for months/

      Some topics are much easier to come to conclusions to and I'd say that I'm easily over the 85% mark of agreement with BM's posts- so I'd be typing pedantic "kudos" responses all the time and taking up commenting space for others that actually have something more valuable/important to post. lol

      I enjoy reading the comment sections as much as BM's posts.

    2. NB: What if liberalism and by extension libertarianism are just other words for "western culture" ?

    3. "NB: What if liberalism and by extension libertarianism are just other words for "western culture" ?"

      An interesting question. The etymology of words is a big part of many debate/discussions, as we know that just in the last 100 years the meaning of the word "liberal" has changed significantly.

      It was part of my argument a few years ago that we should try to use "voluntary"(ism) more often as it's a word that's harder to corrupt(change meaning).

      That being said, the ideas surrounding the varying words associated with libertarian thought are hard to clarify at times. I think people tried to do it using the "NAP, but BM has blown that out of the water fairly recently or at least caused a lot of people to stop and consider the need for accessory moral code at a minimum to compliment it and deal with the subjectivity of life and differing cultures. Of course, BM's argument regarding the Christian roots being a foundational element of the proverbial libertarian society(as Western Civs consider it) is noted.

      Personally, I keep coming back to Nock's concept of "transcendent values". But really, I need much more time to digest it all reasonably.

      Further, and somewhat dishearteningly, Nock appears to have become very bitter about the prospects of defeating the state later in life and character of the average man(calling into question his earlier work on culture/values):

      "The question at issue, obviously, is whether the educable person can any longer be regarded as a social asset; or, indeed, whether in time past his value as a social asset has not been overestimated…In a society essentially Neolithic, as ours unquestionably is at the moment [1943],—whatever one may hold its evolutionary possibilities to be,—there can be no place found for an educable person but such as a trainable person could fill quite as well or even better; he becomes a superfluous man; and the more thoroughly his ability to see things as they are is cultivated, the more his superfluity is enhanced. As the process of general barbarisation goes on, as its speed accelerates, as its calamitous consequences recur with ever-increasing frequency and violence, the educable person can only take shelter against his insensate fellow-beings, as Plato says, like a man crouching behind a wall against a whirlwind."-Nock

    4. NB: Oh wow... that Nock was a deep thinker... your quote from him can be interpreted in more than one way, for example: Is NAP an attempt to do away with the educable men? To create a mechanistic society?

      Any way, my question was more aimed at the connection between liberalism and westen culture. I do not see liberalism anywhere else but in western culture. Which brings me to question whether liberalism has a genetic component. I suspect it does.

    5. " I do not see liberalism anywhere else but in western culture."

      I think that was BM's drive in his series on medieval decentralization- but I'm going to offer that despite the "sidetracking" of enlightenment he suggests in the process of what "liberalism"/libertarianism might be/is, that in the early inception of the US governance structures(whether it's the Articles of Confederation or Constitution), or lack there of in respect to Europe- in essence drew people via Nock's concept of transcendent values(Tom Wood's did a dissertation on this! I can't find the link off hand).

      BM discussed it briefly here:

      I acknowledge these structures were corrupted early/often and have only gotten worse, but more importantly their inception was conceived to some extent surrounding libertarian(liberal) notions and there was much more prevalence of that way of thinking then, than today. So, when for example Chinese came here some of them appreciated these values and assimilated accordingly- despite the fact they had little/no exposure to Christianity or Western liberal values that might in part come out of medieval decentralization. We also note that a very low, almost non-existant, percentage of Asians migrating to the US today ever get "on the dole" compared to other races. I think that says something about transcendent values.

      Some question(s) surrounding this are for example:

      1. How much immigration can a culture withstand before being changed as a result?
      2. How is the immigration itself done? (is it managed, if so, how, etc.)

      We all know the cliche, "When in Rome, do as Romans do." as an admonition/suggestion- so it's an age old issue.

      Block has suggested before that there's a genetic component to being a libertarian. I have nothing to say about it at this time. I do believe there are average IQ differences associated by race, but I'm not prepared to go any further down that rabbit hole.

      It is a giant mental task to try to speculate on the interaction of IQ and culture in determine someone's value system. Recently I've seen the question asked in libertarian forums regarding Ashkenazi Jews: "Why if they as a group are so smart(higher avg. IQ) does it appear then lean communist in their ideologies?"

      Even asking that question in the wrong place could cause someone all sorts of grief(thankfully not here). But my point is, it's a very difficult, if not impossible task, to somehow tie genetics to liberal predispositions. I personally don't feel up to the task.

  7. What a ridiculous post! The author insists upon calling a fertilized egg a "child" and so is able to whine about "six hundred thousand deaths per year." Yawn! A fertilized egg is the BLUEPRINT for a human being, nothing more.

    With all the problems in the world that affect real, living, breathing human beings, people who waste time screaming about abortion really need to get a clue.

    1. JdL, a "blueprint" for a human being, the "human being" part of your statement being rather important.

      But let's play your game: precisely and scientifically, please educate us all on when your so-called "blueprint" becomes "human." You are free to select from any time period beginning at conception and ending at 21 years after birth (as those with children might consider such as these something less than human.

      Again, precisely and scientifically.

    2. Ha. JdL didn't have anything else to say. How is a fertilized egg a blue print? It is human life by scientific definition. From what I have seen those who defend abortion only have obfuscation as a tactic.

    3. Because a fertilized human egg does not grow into a giraffe.

  8. A libertarian paper I read years ago (I can't remember who's paper) argued that humans had property rights because they were able to recognize them, avoid violating the rights of others and abide by contracts. This was in a paper justifying animals as property.

    From that definition I could easily form an argument similar to Rozeff’s that defined children as property with no rights themselves, since they do not yet recognize property rights. Parents would have the right to do with them as they wanted - sell them, kill them, rape them, eat them (the acts listed in the paper as I remember it).

    The simple fact is that libertarian theory cannot deal with abortion, because it lacks a uniform definition of humanity. Every argument requires a definition as a prerequisite, a definition others will disagree with.

    I am personally convinced abortion is murder not because of any libertarian theory, but because of my faith. If I were raised in a culture that accepted it (most of us have been) I would still not practice it, nor would I associate with anyone else who did.

    1. Jeff, in my longer post on abortion (linked in this post), I deal with the topic via contract. I believe it sits on solid libertarian foundations, based on valid contracts.

    2. BM, I have read your longer post before and thought your arguments were very strong. In fact I agreed completely with the conclusions of both your posts. However, you like everyone else assumes when a child gains rights, becomes human. And there is nothing in libertarian theory to support those assumptions.

      As you have stated in other posts, the NAP requires a consistent definition of property. So to does it require a consistent definition of property owners.

    3. Jeff, given the consequence to the unborn child, it is clear that the burden of proof of when, precisely, the unborn child becomes "human" (on a scientific basis) rests with the other side, not with me.

      The issue is not one of property ownership - unless by property you include the body. If so, the unborn child holds the same rights to this property as the born child.

    4. Hmm, since when does the burden of proof rest on the accused, the one who gets or provides the abortion?

      The issue is one of property owners, or rather the definition of property owners. A slight modification to that definition as attempted by Rozeff and one can slaughter unborn children without violating the NAP.

      All I'm saying is libertarian theory is not sufficient to make a distinction. As with certain property rights, a great deal is dependent on culture or religion.

    5. Regarding burden of proof, there is one thing certain: the child is human on the day it is born; the unborn child is human the day before birth, two days before birth, three days before birth...sixty days before birth...120 days before birth, etc.

      Who should carry the burden of proving when the unborn child is NOT human, given that we know with certainty that at some is?

      Prosecutor to the defendant: "on what basis did you decide that prior to day X the unborn child was not human?"

      In other words, someone claiming that the unborn child is something other than what is proven via evidence carries the burden of proof.

      FYI, science cannot answer this question:

      Or, where science has answered it, it answers “at conception”:

      Libertarian theory is sufficient on murder; libertarian theory is sufficient on rental contracts. It is sufficient, therefore, on abortion.

    6. If you read my original post, I was basing the argument on when a human gains rights, not when a fetus becomes human. A different culture with a different resolution to that could justify both abortion and the killing of children, and not violate the NAP. This was exactly what Rozeff was doing in his post, which was the point of my post.

      TBH your efforts at showing my definition is wrong were unexpected considering your previous posts on the nature and necessity of culture in a libertarian society. Any rise of liberty in this country will have to overcome the programed belief that abortion is OK by the society it is grafted on. And for that the NAP and similar appeals to liberty will prove useless.

    7. Jeff, when does a human gain rights? We struggle with the rights of children (when, how, which ones), and on the surface this situation might fit. Do we gain all rights on the same day in life? I don’t think so. We are not talking here about the right to own a bathtub duck. We are talking about the right not to be murdered. There is a drastic difference, isn’t there?

      Yes, no doubt culture determines much about the gray area of the NAP - call it the continuum. So when might murder of an innocent be OK in a given culture? I guess assisted suicide could be, if the one deciding to die is of sound mind when making the decision. I do not personally approve of this, but I think this is my moral compass speaking and not an NAP-based decision.

      But in assisted suicide we are speaking here of an adult making the choice. In the case of abortion, the one being murdered made no such choice. Murder of an innocent, an unwilling victim, is not a gray area - it is a clear violation of the NAP in any culture. Even if the culture says it is OK, it is an NAP violation.

      We recognize in our culture that the murder of a child is a violation of the NAP; this, even though in our culture we do not recognize that the child holds all the same rights as an adult.

      At what point does a human gain the right not to be murdered? Ten years old? Five? One? The day after birth? The day before birth? Six months before birth? Please, answer the question and provide some basis for your answer – why at one specific point in time. Please form your answer consistent with the NAP. If you do not take into account the science, please explain why. If you believe that there are cultural exceptions consistent with the NAP (as I have done with assisted suicide), please provide.

    8. BM: "At what point does a human gain the right not to be murdered? Ten years old? Five? One? The day after birth? The day before birth? Six months before birth? Please, answer the question and provide some basis for your answer – why at one specific point in time. Please form your answer consistent with the NAP. If you do not take into account the science, please explain why. If you believe that there are cultural exceptions consistent with the NAP (as I have done with assisted suicide), please provide."

      We must be talking past each other. I have already stated I believe abortion is murder, any abortion. I was giving an arbitrary example of what someone else, or another culture, might believe.

      There is a large and growing population in the US that strongly believes other than you and me, and any foothold liberty gains in this country will likely encompass a fair number from that population. The reason for my post was to point out that appeals to the NAP would not be effective with those people, since they believe the unborn do not possess the same rights as the mother. Both our beliefs and theirs are completely consistent with the NAP within the context of those beliefs.

      For the record, I disagree with Rozeff's as well as my own example of when a child gains rights. But both are consistent with the NAP in the context they were given. When I wrote it I thought it was a minor point, but if I am wrong I would be very interested in an explanation that doesn't appeal to religion or science or emotion, and remains strictly within the boundaries of libertarian theory.

      Specifically, how can something that has no rights in the opinion of the culture in which it exists be protected by the NAP? My answer would be that it's protected, or not, by the owner.

    9. Jeff, my apologies for contributing to talking past each other. I have gone through the thread and, just for clarification, will try to unpack the conversation:

      “The simple fact is that libertarian theory cannot deal with abortion, because it lacks a uniform definition of humanity.”

      Perhaps I started getting sideways right here. You are correct, of course. I will only offer: most, if not all, libertarian defenses of abortion focus on the woman’s right to her body – her right to choose. The unborn child is considered an unwanted trespasser.

      Certainly, some argue that the unborn child is not human – yet they have no evidence from science on this. As I have noted, science either has no answer or answers “at conception.” It isn’t a question for libertarians to develop a uniform definition: the question is outside of the realm of libertarian theory.

      “…the NAP requires a consistent definition of property. So too does it require a consistent definition of property owners. …a great deal is dependent on culture or religion.”

      We also have science (of course, like you, my view on this is fundamentally Christian, but my arguments are for a wider audience), but good science never got in the way of nihilists’ & post-modernists’ happiness.

      I also offer this video:

      But at bottom, if a society does not believe that unborn children are human, then that society will not consider violations of the unborn child to be aggression.

    10. Thanks BM. I was pretty sure we were both arguing different points, and were actually in agreement with each other. Looking at my earlier posts I think I could have done a better job of explaining myself. I have a bad habit of just assuming everyone will grasp the context of my post without me stating it up front.

      w.r.t. science, its practitioners are routinely wrong about much simpler things, as well as extremely positive they know what they are talking about. As an engineer (I'm remembering to state my context!) I see scientists as low level researchers who dig up facts we engineers can use to improve the products we design for consumers, those people who pay our salaries. Scientists should stay out of politics lest their facts be used for ill purpose : )

      I had seen the video you posted recently, though I don't remember where I found the link. I found it as disturbing the second time I saw it as the first. It's too bad the media doesn't focus on such things. As with war images, it would be a persuasive motivator against the practice.

    11. Jeff, have you read / seen Hoppe's recent Bodrum lecture? He makes a similar comment regarding the relationship of scientists to engineers (or something quite like this).

      Now, if you are suggesting that engineers have an answer regarding our "born on" date, this is a scary thought!


    12. I will look for Hoppe's lecture, thanks.

      "Now, if you are suggesting that engineers have an answer regarding our "born on" date, this is a scary thought! "

      Alas, God doesn't entrust secrets with engineers anymore than he does with scientists. That's probably a good thing considering how many of us work for government contractors!

    13. Jeff Bell says above, “Specifically, how can something that has no rights in the opinion of the culture in which it exists be protected by the NAP? My answer would be that it's protected, or not, by the owner.”

      Let me rephrase this to make sure I understand it correctly. In the opinion of the culture in which it exists, an unborn child which has no rights cannot be protected by the NAP. Instead, whether it is protected or not is solely dependent on the pregnant woman who “owns” it. She is the only one who can decide to keep it alive or to kill it.

      Wouldn’t this also be true of the Jews in Nazi Germany? In the opinion of the culture they lived in, they had no rights, not even the right to life. Their protection (or lack thereof) was determined by their owner, the National Socialist State. If Hitler had known about the NAP, he would have completely disregarded it. If the statement (as I understand it) is correct, then why did we waste an incredible amount of men and money to make things “right”?

      Perhaps I’m missing it, but this statement sounds like the protections offered by the NAP are conditional on the culture in which it exists. If that’s the case, then the NAP of today will not be the same as the NAP of tomorrow when the opinion of the culture changes, as it always does, sooner or later. The NAP in America will not be the same as the one in Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Bolivia, or Kazakhstan. This sounds like a subjective code which varies circumstantially rather than an objective one which applies universally.

      Perhaps I’m wrong about this, but I’ve always thought of the NAP as something akin to the Ten Commandments. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not aggress against your neighbor. As a side note—the Mosaic Law Code has also been subject to countless discussions of its proper meaning.

      The Ten Commandments did not stop people from acting aggressively against their neighbors. Neither will the NAP. Nor will any set of man-made laws. There has to be something more and it has to come from a moral and spiritual position, something which the NAP is an important part of. It can be summed up in five words as an unconditional statement--“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

      Do this and everything else will follow.

    14. I agree with your point about the child.

      “Perhaps I’m missing it, but this statement sounds like the protections offered by the NAP are conditional on the culture in which it exists.”

      On some issues, it is black and white; on some issues it is gray. The NAP is clear when it comes to violations of physical property and the physical person (albeit too many libertarians don't extend this to the unborn child); it doesn’t work well for non-physical violations, it doesn’t speak to proper punishment, it doesn’t define necessary terms like “property” for all cultures.

      While it is a side comment, I cannot let this pass: “…why did we waste an incredible amount of men and money to make things “right”?”

      I am assuming that “we” is the United States via its military. There was nothing made "right” by that “we” in the war. The US didn’t enter the war to save Jews, the US entry into the war didn’t save democracy (as if that’s worth saving), the US entry into the war made Europe safe for communism.

    15. Your assumption is correct as far as the US and its military. The word "right" was meant as a tongue-in-cheek comment, suggesting skepticism about the reasons for the US entry into the war and the ensuing results because of that entry.

      After looking at this again with assistance from your comment, I can see that my question may have been poorly worded and misunderstood. Consequently, I will say no more about it.

  9. I've maintained for a while now this sort of loose notion that libertarians at least must hold that life begins at conception for no other reason that establishing it at any other point in the development of the child opens opportunities for the law and the State to "un-human" individuals on the basis of any number of arbitrary metrics.

    Say life begins at birth. Natural or Caesarian? Normal or breach? What if natural begins, but there are problems and Caesarian has to be performed? What if the mother doesn't go into labor and has to be induced? What if the child is premature? What if he is late?

    You see where I'm going with this?

    Ron Paul said that one of the reasons he was against abortion, besides his Christian faith, was the fact that, as a doctor, if he erred and both the mother and the child died in his care, he'd be liable for two deaths. Legally. The arbitrary nature of the whole business forced him to make a principled decision that he's stuck by. If we can call it murder of two people under a doctor's care, why isn't it murder and thus a human being when an abortion occurs?

  10. Let's try it this way.

    I don't get the impression Block or Rozeff are lobbying for more aggression against fetuses, and both would probably say it's wrong.

    Do draw that conclusion suggests that the conversation on this topic has strayed too far from what libertarianism stands for. Too many abstractions from anything start getting murky and it's best to stay closest to the root.

    So, IMHO the libertarian position is that the moral/immoral decision to abort is the mothers' to make and the consequences of the decision are hers to live with. A libertarian would no more interfere in her affairs (assuming they are non-family) than they would ask the government to interfere in her affairs.

    Generally we resist government interference because it is force put upon us without our consent and usually at our own expense. It would be un-libertarian of a libertarian to force her as well.

    In my analysis all the consequences fall upon the mother (and father and family) depending on how she decides. The rights,responsibilities, and consequences stay where they belong - close to home.

    Not saying I have the definitive answer, but an answer

    1. "So, IMHO the libertarian position is that the moral/immoral decision to [kill her newborn baby] is the mothers' to make and the consequences of the decision are hers to live with."

      Sounds problematic to me.

      "In my analysis all the consequences fall upon the mother (and father and family) depending on how she decides."

      For some reason, I am thinking that the most significant consequences fall on someone not identified in this sentence. I am drawing a blank as to who - on which party does the most significant consequence fall? Please help, someone...anyone!

    2. I just read the Steve Jobs bio. He was adopted and told his birth mother later in life he was glad he was not an abortion. Oprah just said the same thing. But I can’t help answer your question. I need assistance to answer it. Maybe one of those mere 600,000 last year will be able to answer it ...

  11. I guess I should add that there are two predominant objections to abortion.

    One being faith/morality, and the other being Law.

    If there is a God and life is sacred regardless of circumstance judgement will not be kind to the aborter. If there's no God and we're adrift in this universe we're left with morality and laws per se. Morality is squishy depending on the culture, laws are laws of men and usually ill considered and shifty, and almost always an unwarranted intrusion into personal behaviors.

    Which is why I prefer my own way of thinking in the above text :)

  12. that we slaughter, rather than protect, the absolute most innocent among us, reveals ours has become a barbaric society.

    when the means to prevent conception are available, free to those who cannot afford such, yet the slaughter goes on, there is confirmation of barbarism.

  13. I can't recall ever being in disagreement with Rozeff, before yesterday. Wrote to self:

    SENSIBLE? Senescence•able, more like it. People, even if once libertarian, have use by dates. Block’s theory illegalizes biology. And legality has nada to do with law. Hubris. & court apologia.

    Motives vary, but the reason for, purpose of, sex is not trumped by motives of those rationalizing their drives. Mother owns mother. Father owns father. Conception is neither mother nor father. And in mammals, that means what it means – not what verbal gymnasts wielding lawyerly dismembering s•words & mental vacuums wish it to mean.

    Conception is birth, including of synonymous being. Mother, nor father, nor gov, own that life. Shouldn’t, anyway; would it were.

    I am no churchgoer. Religion, wherever it lies on the supernatural↔secular continuum, is all the same bowl of bunk.

    And headcounts have nothing to do with anything, beyond might makes right (which is, of course, a lie). Beckmann: when outnumbered, don’t count heads – weigh them.

    Which is not to say empty heads assembled don’t weigh tons, & that staying out of their stampede way, to furthest extent possible, isn’t a good idea. Babies can't get out of the way, & when they are dehumanized - "fetus" - they are targeted & eliminated as just another enemy of the authoritarian state...of grace (sans the even higher authoritarianism, my usage), honesty, intelligence, enlightenment, whatever or however many you chose.

  14. 638,169 isn't a big deal? Sounds like Genocide to me.
    "If a woman wants an abortion, I do not see how anyone can make her not have it. She cannot be forced to carry to term. Call that her right, if you want to." What about the man who fathered the child in having consenual intercourse with the murderous Mother? Where are his rights? What if he doesn't want his child murdered and thrown away into a Hazard Bag? Murder is murder, and should be punished as so.