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Monday, December 10, 2007

Meanwhile, I Solve the Abortion Question

At LewRockwell.com.

4 comments:

  1. Well, I hardly think you've solved it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I realize this was an LRC piece, and not a submission to the Journal of American Philosophy, but I still think you made this way too blunt.

    First, the extreme libertarian position probably IS to have the legal right to kick the guy off your ship. I'm virtually certain that's what Walter Block (of non-Crash Landing posting privileges) would say.

    Second, let's make the analogy closer. Suppose the person coming aboard was certain to go around ripping up the sails, or was so heavy that the ship couldn't get to the original destination. Or suppose the owner of the ship had just watched that early Nicole Kidman movie and was afraid the guy coming aboard was a nutjob.

    There are plenty of scenarios where even intuitively, most people would think it OK for the ship owner to kick the person back into the ocean. So then the issue is, is Gene's ideal court going to get inside the person's head and second-guess those motives?

    I.e. if you agree that if the owner truly feared for his/her life--maybe the person climbing aboard just had a weird look about him, or kept muttering stuff under his breath--then that makes refusal to bring him aboard OK, then I think you're stuck. Because then everyone can just claim that that was the motivation, and it would be hard in practice to prove otherwise.

    If you're just trying to prove most cases of abortion are immoral, that's one thing. (I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing.) But I don't think you've come close to proving that it would be illegal in a just world.

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  3. I would like a clarification on something. What is your stance on legally requiring women to carry pregnancies that result from rape?

    I ask because in your analogy, the man boarding my boat not only comes aboard without my consent, but my actions were in no way the cause of his vulnerable, shipwrecked state to begin with (in the way that the actions of people who voluntarily have sex ARE the cause of the helpless and dependent fetus that results).

    Thus, while you don't bring up that case, the situation in the analogy seems more analogous to being raped than to finding yourself pregnant after consensual sex. I wasn't sure if that was your intent or not.

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  4. Rachael, you have my sympathies.

    Bob, Block is wrong. And current international law goes much further than, 'You can't throw the guy off' -- in fact, you must go get him even if he doesn't climb aboard himself:
    '1. Every State shall require the master of a ship flying its flag, in so far as he can do so without serious danger to the ship, the crew or the passengers:

    (a) to render assistance to any person found at sea in danger of being lost;

    (b) to proceed with all possible speed to the rescue of persons in distress, if informed of their need of assistance, in so far as such action may reasonably be expected of him;

    (c) after a collision, to render assistance to the other ship, its crew and its passengers and, where possible, to inform the other ship of the name of his own ship, its port of registry and the nearest port at which it will call.'

    UN Law on the High Seas

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