Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Knock down ginger

Actually, while we're thinking about that JME paper, the rather plaintive defense of its publication by the editors is something of a classic of its type. Bear in mind that we're talking about a paper that called for the legalisation of infanticide for social reasons.

What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.

What on earth did they think the online response would be to a paper that specifically denies that newborn babies are people and argues on that basis that it ought to be permissible to kill them? This is the internet for God's sake, you might just as well argue that little kittehs ought to be tied in sacks and put down the waste disposal.

What the response to this article reveals, through the microscope of the web, is the deep disorder of the modern world. Not that people would give arguments in favour of infanticide, but the deep opposition that exists now to liberal values.

I think that self-designated liberals should probably distance themselves from the idea that 'liberal values' include infanticide, however reasoned the arguments in its favour.


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3:45 pm  

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