[lit-ideas] Re: Does This Have Wings?

  • From: Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 16:24:20 -0500

I don't know why you guys (and it is all guys) think that logic or morality
or sociology or economics The Daytona 500 have any thing to to with this.
 Guys, it's all about FUCKING.  How do you put an end to that?  The
Catholic Church ministery found a way -- fuck the altar boys, leave those
women alone.  My suggested solution is Radical Circumcision.  Oops.  And
another one gone and another one gone and another penis bites the dust.
  Ethnographers can set the RC rate.  Those who grew up penisless could be
honored as saviors of the human race and accorded great honors and

Mike Geary

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM, Ed Farrell <ewf@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

>  Friday, July 13, 2012, 8:26:44 AM, Donal wrote:
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Ed Farrell <ewf@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> >It's also clear in the arguments of Paul and Donal how utilitarian
> "ethics," constructed as it typically is upon hypotheticals, is less about
> human beings and more about statistical constructs.>
> Whatever I posted is compatible with a rights-based and non-utilitarian
> view, one "about human beings" and not mere "statistical constructs": a
> so-called 'right to have children' may have to be curtailed when having too
> many children undermines other rights (like to survive without some
> conflict to the death between the living). Starvation or drought being
> faced through over-population is hardly merely hypothetical or a
> 'statistical construct': and no morality says anything worthwhile if what
> it says is irrespective of any 'hypotheticals' in the sense of a practical
> problem-situation that is partly determined by 'facts'.
> Starvation through overpopulation, when presented as a moral club to
> persuade us to large scale programs of enforced birth control, IS a
> hypothetical.  Ehrlich, who Hart cited earlier, was a notorious
> proponent of draconian birth control whose "starvation through
> overpopulation" predictions were notoriously wrong.
> From what I have read elsewhere, the evidence tends to support Chris
> Bruce's suggestion: that when sufficiently empowered and free from poverty
> women will not have more children than is sustainable. But say that
> empowerment does not occur so as to stave off a potentially disastrous
> expansion of population (which may make issues of poverty even more
> intractable, and lead to social instability and even war): it seems to me
> the 'right to have children' does not clearly trump any other rights and
> that legal restrictions on such a right may be justified in terms of the
> importance of other rights.
> What matters here is the moral problem-situation which is partly
> constituted by the 'facts'. On my view, there are conceivable circumstances
> when certain restrictions would be justified: and I can even conceive of
> circumstances where forcible abortion might be the lesser of two evils -
> say, if nothing short of such a policy would curtail an expansion of
> population such that mass starvation and social breakdown would occur. This
> is not necessarily only a utilitarian view but one that might be based on
> the view that there is something morally much more wrong in many starving
> to death than in some foetuses being forcibly aborted (as part of a policy
> needed to keep population within sustainable limits). If it comes down to
> it, I am inclined to think that there is something morally much more wrong
> in many starving to death than in some foetuses being forcibly aborted, but
> of course any genuine moral problem of this sort will rarely present in
> such a straighforward or clear-cut way. Nevertheless, what I am inclined to
> think here is very much "about human beings", and the reality of their
> suffering, and not "about statistical constructs".
> Well, but this "starvation though overpopulation" scenario IS a
> hypothetical construct (and a rhetorical device, of course). It
> is certainly not about starvation and suffering in any unequivocal
> way.  Starvation and suffering are not one-dimensional but the
> 'starvation through over-population' scenario is.  We do not
> associate the Netherlands, Japan or Singapore with starving masses
> yet they have far higher population densities than the most
> crowded parts of sub-Saharan Africa. When presented with the
> figures for Japan's population and population density, someone of
> Malthus's generation would have undoubtedly regarded it as
> impossibly over-populated. More that this, population curves are
> not the simple exponential series most "starvation through
> overpopulation" scenarios (pace Malthus) assume, but are in fact
> complex and difficult to account for (here's Japan again, from
> the Eugenics Review of 1966):
> http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0CFIQFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2Fpmc%2Farticles%2FPMC2905976%2Fpdf%2Feugenrev00009-0027.pdf&ei=-lkAUMn9MYK82wWGsomCBA&usg=AFQjCNHhrm4-OwbAp-LU8gjtBTqRS_207w
> As it happens, I do not regard myself as utilitarian though I think there
> are many cases where some of the considerations that would weigh in certain
> utilitarian thinking have moral force (though that force need not be based
> on 'utility' but on a sense of right and wrong; and so acknowledging their
> force need not make one utilitarian).
> The suspicion is that over-population is not here offered as an issue
> raising genuine and difficult moral problems - problems we should try to
> foresee; and plan so as lessen the suffering that over-population might
> cause - but in an ideologically driven way to flush out liberals as
> crypto-fascists [or even just fascists] by perhaps showing them up as child
> murderers if they would ever countenance forcible abortion (as indeed I
> plainly would: though this is not a pressing problem for me as there are
> many ways short of forcible abortion by which we might better tackle issues
> of over-population). The attempt to use a morally serious issue in this way
> is itself morally questionable. The attempt to identify my position, with
> one that prefers statistical constructs to human beings, is false.
> I do not say that you prefer statistical constructs to human
> beings. I do say you are too ready and willing to dictate which
> freedoms and life-choices are available to others.  And while
> some of your willingness may spring from empathy and a love of
> one's neighbor, I would be surprised if self-interest in
> preserving one's own standard of living were not the larger
> factor.  I don't think anyone is immune from the persuasion of
> self-interest, and this should make us particularly cautious
> when we're feeling altruistic, and have the power and ability
> to coerce.
> On a side-note that is perhaps important: I also share the Darwinian view
> that, despite all the humbug in our culture that hides this, the drive to
> have children is more of a selfish drive than an altrusitic one; and we
> should be wary of such drives especially when they come with a plentiful
> capacity for deception as to their moral character [large families in poor
> countries may be motivated by parents wanting a plentiful supply of
> children to look after the parents in old-age: that may be why removal of
> poverty lessens the drive for large families]. It is the kind of
> self-deception we have around children, and the emotional response we
> easily can feel, that allows examples such as over-population and abortion
> to be used as convenient tools in ideological warfare. But from a Darwinian
> and global perspective on the possible future, and not current
> circumstances in the well-off West, even forcible abortion might be a
> lesser evil if we do not act to stave off unsustainable population growth
> with its potentially catastrophic consequences.
> Donal
> London
> --
> *  ><(((º>¸. ·´¯`·.¸., . .·´¯`·.. ><(((º>
> *  Edward W. Farrell // ewf@xxxxxxxxxxx
>   E d  F a r r e l l  P h o t o g r a p h y
>   http://www.edfarrellphotography.com
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