Thursday, February 7, 2013
I have recently been thinking about the lack of substance in the last presidential debates. Most of the responses to the questions reminded me more of sales pitches than deep explanations of why one view was better than the other. Here is an excerpt from an article, "Doing better on 'hard cases'" in the January 26, 2013 issue of World Magazine, by Marvin and Susan Olasky, quoting Amherst College political science professor Hadley Arkes: "Arkes recommends that pro-lifers pursue 'a strategy Abraham Lincoln used when he asked slave owners, why are you justified in making a slave of the black men? Is it because he is less intelligent than you? Ah, beware! The next white man who comes along, more intelligent than you, might enslave you. Is it because he is darker? Ah, beware again. The next white man who comes along with a complexion even lighter than yours may enslave you.' "We're simply making the same kind of principled argument, so we say, why is that offspring in the womb anything less than human? It doesn't speak yet? Neither do deaf/mutes. It doesn't yet have arms and legs? Well, other people lose arms and legs in the course of their lives without losing anything necessary to their standing as human beings."