Has just gotten greased.
The first step in every genocide perpetrated on the planet has always been to de-humanize that which is to be destroyed, defining humanity in terms that make it impossible for a group to achieve it. Some medical ethicists at Oxford have forgotten this as they argue that because abortion is legal, birth should not stand in the way from applying it to newborns.
Rather than being “actual persons”, newborns were “potential persons”. They explained: “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life’.
“We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”
As such they argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense”.
The authors therefore concluded that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”.
Of course, by this definition one could murder children up to the age of three or so. It could also apply to adults who believe in an afterlife such as Christians or Muslims (since “being deprived of this existence” would not be considered a loss to them), the depressed, the poor, the disabled, and the elderly.
And when that line no longer suffices, what’s to stop creating another arbitrary line? Can a Republican really be a person because they lack empathy for the homeless? Can the homeless be people if they lack the dignity of a job?
This should serve as a reminder that intelligent people can talk themselves into anything. The Wannsee Conference in 1942. The Killing Fields 1978. Rwanda 1994. Intellect is no barrier to preventing genocide and atrocities.