May 11 2012, 4:27 PM
Who is John Galt?
Undoubtedly. But the question remains. Would it be right for anyone to end the person's life?
Similarly, it is a rights violation to pick the pockets of a dead guy. Similarly it is a rights violation for you to kill someone while you sleep (though perhaps not an intentional one).
I just typed up a long discussion of human rights, and I think it's hijacking this thread. So rather than post that, I'll answer this in as succinctly a way I know how.
You own your body (and all other possessions). Nobody has the right to shoot holes in your body (or any other possessions), even after you die. You have the right (while you're alive and have rights) to dictate who takes possession of your belongings after you die. Once you die, those people take possession of your belongings, and still can't have holes shot in them by random people even though you're dead.
If you're sleeping and someone tries to stab you, they're violating your property rights (more than that, but this is the short version). If you're dead and someone tries to stab you, they're violating the rights of whoever you gave your belongings to (including your body).
That's the conceptually easy explanation. The rest is for another thread.
We don't abort a child because we know it will die, we abort it because we know it's alive/will live. An abortion is murder before it's legally murder.
It doesn't matter why we abort fetuses/embryos (I think "child" is a stretch. Otherwise I've personally had dozens of my "children" die). We can abort them because we know they will die, or because we expect them to live. The only thing that matters in this discussion is the nature of the thing we are terminating at the time of termination
. Someone who does not yet exist has no rights to infringe.
A difficult topic this. I'd say I'm a mixture of pro-life and pro-choice. If the foetus isn't developing properly, if it's causing potentially fatal harm to the mother, or if it's a product of rape, then I think abortion is justified. But I condemn anyone who has a perfectly healthy child growing inside them but decides to abort it simply because they don't want it.
This is generally the most pragmatic approach. It's also the least principled approach. You're willing to commit the "murder" of an innocent "child" in some circumstances but not others? There is no principle behind that. Either it is a child with rights or it is not. I see scenario where it makes sense to curtail the mother's right to her own body in favor of an entity that we decide should also have rights, only to decide that the entity doesn't have rights if we feel like it.