Anthony Horvath is a contributor at Laigle’s Forum, Christian apologist, pro-life author and speaker, and publisher. To learn more about his latest project aimed at combating the philosophies discussed in the essay below and how you can help, click here.
Tina Fey, impersonating Sarah Palin, joked, “I can see Russia from my house.”
I can see the next holocaust from my house, and it is no joke.
In the decades leading up to one of the most horrific chapters in human history, the leading lights of the day openly discussed bringing about those horrors. Eugenics was posited as the rational position of all intelligent, well-meaning individuals. In journals, newspapers, academic conferences, public health offices and elsewhere, they talked about sterilizing people with or without their consent, segregating them from society, or even exterminating them. And that was in America.
In a book written in 1920 by two German experts and applauded by American experts, it was argued that it was allowable to destroy the ‘life unworthy of life.’
Who was regarded as ‘life unworthy of life’? The handicapped, the disabled, the diseased, the mentally ill, the ‘feeble-minded.’ Really, just about anyone the experts decided was ‘unfit’ could be deemed ‘unworthy of life.’ When eugenics morphed into the Holocaust, many of its proponents quietly went to ground. Some asked ‘What went wrong?’ but few arrived at the right answer.
Fast forward sixty years. Enter Julian Savulescu.
You probably don’t know who Julian Savulescu is, just as your average American off the street in 1910 wouldn’t have known who Charles Davenport was. You probably don’t know who Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva are, just as your average American in 1920 wouldn’t have known who Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding were.
But you may recall a few months ago when two ‘ethicists’ quietly submitted an article in an ethics magazine arguing that the logic of abortion does not cease after the child has fully exited the birth canal. For all the reasons that abortion on demand was justified, so too, the two ‘ethicists’ Giubilini and Minerva argued, was infanticide. Of course, they preferred to call it ‘after-birth abortion.’
I hope that nobody misunderstands me: Giubilini and Minerva were correct in their analysis. If they are to be faulted for anything, it is for stopping at the newborn.
When people heard about this article there was outrage, and not a little of it spilled over onto the journal that printed the article in the first place. That journal was “The Journal of Medical Ethics.” Flabbergasted, the editor defended the publication of the article, saying:
“As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.”
Yes, that is quite right. The arguments presented were not new, and have been ‘presented repeatedly.’
He continued, “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.”
This embattled editor of a renown journal of medical ethics is named Julian Savulescu. Read the rest of this entry »