An interesting point of view, arguing against the legitimacy off infanticide, even without appeal to a higher moral instance (God, etc).

Point taken (on ethics being more about feelings than about rationality, even if it can lead easily to ethical relativism). Yet, I can’t help but think that, rationally, the Melbourne philosophers mentioned in the text seem to make a logical conclusion when they say:

‘it wasn’t any MORE wrong to kill newborn babies than to kill foetuses in the womb, and that sometimes, it might actually be the right thing to do. Logically, they argued, what’s the difference?’


And apologies in advance for the controversial subject…

Two Melbourne philosophy professors recently caused an uproar when they said that it wasn’t any MORE wrong to kill newborn babies than to kill foetuses in the womb, and that sometimes, it might actually be the right thing to do.  Logically, they argued, what’s the difference?

Ok I know some people think it’s wrong to kill babies OR foetuses (and some of these people think it’s alright to kill adults if they break the wrong law, live in the wrong country or perform the wrong medical procedures).

I’m not weighing in on this. Really.  It’s a minefield.  See below.

But professional ethicists usually miss the point.  Ethics isn’t about rationality.  Ethics is about how we feel.  We have evolved to feel bad about things that don’t help us survive, and good about things that do.  We don’t like killing babies, because as…

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Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

5 thoughts on “”

  1. I find the approach cinical and indigne, I had to introduce a French word here as I do not recall the correspondant in English. Comparing man with animals is going way to far. Man is created in the image of God and in the process of creation man is created differently than animals are. All creation is created by the Logos, man is fachoned by God and receives the spirit, God briths in him the spirit. But this seems to be the intelligence of the day and I find it pitifull.

    I should probably give a quotation here, something I have heard yesterday at the conference that took place at the prestigous Collége des Bernardins in Paris where l’archibishob of Paris said: “L’absolut ouvre l’homme envers l’autre, le rélativisme l’enferme sur soi” Tentative to translate into English “The absoulut opens the human been toward his kinsman, the relativism makes him turn around himself” In the absolut the human being finds her, his value and who he truly is


  2. si cind te gindesti ca niciun german nu a avut curajul sa-l lichideze pe hitler sau un sovietic pe stalin. interesant cum omul ii ucide cu putine sau de fel probleme de constiinta pe cei fara aparare. o fi adevarata zicala Lupus est homo homini, non homo, quom qualis sit non novit.


  3. I don’t deny the existence, but the legitimacy of moral relativism, which I consider to be simply dangerous, from my (Judeo-Christian) vintage point. From the same point of view, yes, people are special, as bearers of the ‘image of God’ even if, on the other side, physically, and to a certain extent even psychologically, they have a lot in common with other beings.
    I enjoyed too looking at your blog. Thanks.


  4. That’s true, it is a pretty logical conclusion. thanks for reblogging my post! I think in a way there already is moral relativism – what’s wrong for a person is not wrong for a lion and we have to think, why not? Are people so special? Or does morality depend on your general circumstances in life? Anyway, thanks for an interesting blog!


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