Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, March 21, 2005

Terri Schiavo: News and a Theory

      Captain Ed reports the House has passed the Schiavo bill, so it should be signed tonight or tomorrow, as soon as the Senate can print it and get it over to the White House.

      Meanwhile, Jane Galt asked why so many people saw killing Terri as a moral imperative.  That is an excellent question.

      Also, "Ann" observes, in Galt's comments, that:
It often appears that what many liberals really object to is value judgments. Hurting people in response to something that they've done is wrong, because it's judgmental (and we could probably blame their mistakes on others, if we tried; is there ever really a right and wrong?), whereas hurting people for convenience doesn't involve moral values, so it doesn't bother them. Thus, it's wrong to kill murderers who have been sentenced to death, because you're killing them based on their own actions, but you're in no danger of making a value judgment when killing a newborn. If it's convenient, do it.

Maybe I'm being too hard on them, but I've been so disappointed at the lack of liberal concern for the Iraqi people under Saddam, or for North Koreans or others. The philosophy seems to be that going after dictators because they've hurt people is judgmental and therefore wrong, whereas letting the people in those countries suffer and die is regrettable but is the lesser of two evils.

But liberals are willing to judge rich white guys, especially businessmen. It's OK to say that businesses are evil, but it would be wrong to say that a dictator is evil. Maybe the only value judgments allowed are against businesses (but not governments), and rich people can be considered businesses. I have a hard time putting it all into one coherent approach.

      Bert Cates replies to Ann, essentially, that liberals like him have loads of concern for North Koreans, Iraqis, etc.  Just not enough to actually do anything about their suffering, especially because it might hurt others and might make things worse.

      Arguments from prudence should always be respected, but I can't
help but notice that most liberals recklessly interfere in social arrangements that have lasted for centuries, even millennia, absolutely dismissing any objection concerning possible ill effects.  Thus I find his Mr. Cates's argument hard to take seriously.

      Further update: the bill's been signed.  The vote, by the way, was 156 Republicans and 47 Democrats in favor, 5 Republicans and 53 Democrats opposed, 71 Republicans, 102 Democrats, and 1 independent not voting.



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