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War Report

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Written by Basil on 10/29/2004 4:17 PM. Filed under:

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Today, 3,287 innocent lives were lost in an attack on American soil. If the count is right, that is more lives than were lost on September 11, 2001. We are only just now getting the reports in but most accounts indicate that the assault happened in reproductive clinics all over the country. Each attack was very coordinated and surgical, and most people are concluding that it could only be the work of terrorists.

Were you at least intrigued until I got to “reproductive clinics”? Today, I read an interesting article comparing a hypothetical unjust war with infanticide:

“So to be worse than abortion,” I asked, “wouldn’t an unjust war have to kill even more than 1.2 million innocent people each year?”

“Hey, that’s right,” said Don.

“What’s the death rate in the present war?”

“Not even close,” he said.

Can evil be quantified? Well, if one is choosing between the “lesser of two evils,” then the presupposition is, “Yes, it can.” Evils must be must be measured in some way — either quantified or qualified — in order to compare them. Otherwise, we are fooling ourselves into thinking that it’s not really such a big deal that 3.2 thousand babies are being murdered every day, just so we can preserve the status quo. Keep voting on social issues, or war, or whatever it is that you fancy is more important than 3,287 innocent children being murdered today.

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2 Responses to “War Report”

  1. pete Says:

    Agreed: Abortion is an abomination.

    The thing that is a problem for me with your (and others’) approach to the election issue with regard to abortion is that of making it THE issue to decide upon. I mean, if you ARE going to make your vote based on ONE issue, sure, abortion is a great issue to vote on. However, what if one agrees with one candidate about this issue and finds his or her position on EVERY OTHER issue (the poor, “homeland security,” education, the economy, gun control, and so on) problematic? In some respects, it’s crass to try to weigh these issues against abortion, because abortion is so awful. But let’s just imagine for a moment that President Bush (or anyone else who comes after him) overturns Roe v. Wade (something President Bush has not stated he would do, by the way). What then? If my vote puts President Bush into office and he overturns abortion, great. If that same vote means turning back decades and decades of environmental reforms that make this world a safe place to live in for children and adults, if it means contributing further to the reinforcement of an aristocratic social class and a poor serfdom, if it means continuing to make the United States an isolated kingdom whose “right” is based on its military might by “protecting our own interests” even if these interests are unjust…well, on balance, I’m sadly not sure that my vote would have been cast rightly, even with the benefits considered.

  2. basil Says:

    Well, I don’t make it the only issue I vote on. I did, after all, consider a wide variety of candidates (admittedly, all of them were moderate or to the right of center). But it’s interesting how I let the issue color my vote. I guess I essentially considered it a sine non qua in terms of a candidate’s position, rather than a litmus test of what the candidate will do.

    I’m afraid we will be in almost the same position four years from now. There will be another Republican candidate dangling the possibility (which he has no intention of fulfilling) of ending the crimson tide and a Democrat fully committed to continuing it. I hope I’m wrong.