December 7, 2017

USA: Far-Left Insanity: Progressive Democrats Want To Ban Raising Kids, Kill Aging Parents. Another One Says Science Proves Kids Are Bad For Earth. They Say Morality Suggests We STOP HAVING THEM 😦

NBC News
written by Travis Rieder
Wednesday November 15, 2017

A startling and honestly distressing view is beginning to receive serious consideration in both academic and popular discussions of climate change ethics. According to this view, having a child is a major contributor to climate change. The logical takeaway here is that everyone on Earth ought to consider having fewer children.

Although culturally controversial, the scientific half of this position is fairly well-established. Several years ago, scientists showed that having a child, especially for the world’s wealthy, is one of the worst things you can do for the environment. That data was recycled this past summer in a paper showing that none of the activities most likely to reduce individuals’ carbon footprints are widely discussed.

The second, moral aspect of the view — that perhaps we ought to have fewer children — is also being taken seriously in many circles. Indeed, I have written widely on the topic myself.

But scientific evidence and moral theorizing aside, this is a complicated question with plenty of opponents. In what follows, I will address some of the challenges to this idea. Because while I recognize that this is an uncomfortable discussion, I believe that the seriousness of climate change justifies uncomfortable conversations. In this case, that means that we need to stop pretending the decision to have children doesn't have environmental and ethical consequences.

The argument that having a child adds to one’s carbon footprint depends on the view that each of us has a personal carbon ledger for which we are responsible. Furthermore, some amount of an offspring’s emissions count towards the parents’ ledger.

Most environmentalists accept this sort of ledger view when it comes to recycling, driving, and flying, but support begins to decrease when applied to family planning. The opposition is typified by Vox writer David Roberts, who argues that “such an accounting scheme is utterly impractical” because it seems to entail that one is never responsible for one's own emissions. Because "we don’t want to double-count,” as Roberts says, this means parents are really only responsible for their kids’ emissions.

The flaw in this objection is the plausible-sounding caveat: “we don’t want to double-count.” Because why wouldn’t we want to double-count? If moral responsibility added up mathematically, then double-counting would be a serious problem. But I think it’s clear that we should not accept a mathematical model of responsibility.

Consider a different case: If I release a murderer from prison, knowing full well that he intends to kill innocent people, then I bear some responsibility for those deaths — even though the killer is also fully responsible. My having released him doesn’t make him less responsible (he did it!). But his doing it doesn’t eliminate my responsibility either.

Something similar is true, I think, when it comes to having children: Once my daughter is an autonomous agent, she will be responsible for her emissions. But that doesn’t negate my responsibility. Moral responsibility simply isn’t mathematical.

If you buy this view of responsibility, you might eventually admit that having many children is wrong, or at least morally suspect, for standard environmental reasons: Having a child imposes high emissions on the world, while the parents get the benefit. So like with any high-cost luxury, we should limit our indulgence.

The rebuttal to this argument is that individual actions simply don’t make a significant difference, and that institutional action is how you actually have an impact. Do everything you can to minimize your emissions, and the “earth won’t give a damn.”

All of these claims are true. Most individual actions won’t matter in the context of a trillion ton, all-time anthropogenic carbon budget. And indeed, policy and collective action are important for seriously mitigating the harms of climate change.

But does this mean my individual actions are morally permissible? I think the answer is clearly no.

If morality only applied to meaningful change, then morality would rarely recommend actions of symbolic integrity or defiance. We would not, for example, praise the activist who stands up for what she believes in until there was evidence that her tactics work. And those who sacrifice their own interests in order to contribute minuscule amounts of time, money, or labor to alleviating global hunger or poverty would look like suckers rather than saints.

I don’t think these judgments sit well with our moral sensibilities. On reflection, many of us believe that it is wrong to contribute to massive, systematic harms, even if each individual contribution isn’t causally significant. This explains why many of us think you are obligated to do things like recycle, especially when it’s easy. Your recycling doesn’t matter much to the environment — the earth doesn’t give a damn — but you should do it anyway.

The confusion around this sort of moral claim is understandable. Our moral psychology has not yet evolved to solve the problems of today. Humanity grew up in relatively small groups; Rules like “don’t harm others,” or “don’t steal and cheat” are easy to make sense of in a world of largely individual interactions.

That is not our world any longer, though, and our moral sense is evolving to reflect that difference. Moral decisions are no longer about math; Being a part of the solution matters.

The importance of this argument for family size is obvious. If having one fewer child reduces one’s contribution to the harms of climate change, the choice of family size becomes a morally relevant one.

I am certainly not arguing that we should shame parents, or even that we’re obligated to have a certain number of children. As I’ve said elsewhere, I don’t think there is a tidy answer to the challenging questions of procreative ethics. But that does not mean we’re off the moral hook. As we face the very real prospect of catastrophic climate change, difficult — even uncomfortable — conversations are important. Yes, we should discuss the ethics of making babies with care and respect; but we should discuss it.

Travis Rieder, Ph.D, is the Assistant Director for Education Initiatives, Director of the Master of Bioethics degree program and Research Scholar at the Berman Institute of Bioethics.
MRC Newsbusters
written by Dan Gainor
Please follow me at @dangainor on Twitter. I’d like to hear from you.
Thursday November 16, 2017

If Paul McCartney and Wings want to record another album, they should call it, Ban On The Run. It could be the Splinter theme song, appropriate since this is “Ban Week” on that crazy, alt-lefty site.

Ban Week gives the Splinter staff a chance to opine (say dumb garbage) about everything from cologne to zoos. If you didn’t think liberals hated everything before, you will now. Even more disturbing is how many facets of life they want to get rid of -- even aging parents. It’s not funny. It’s just bizarre. Logan’s Run beat Splinter to the punch by about 40 years -- depicting the murder of anyone over a certain age and government raising our kids, too. (See photo.)

A few actual quotes from this marvelous journalistic enterprise (bunch of kooks):
  • “BAN ICE” -- (The immigration one, not the frozen water kind. That comes later.): “It is tearing communities apart. It is destroying lives with obvious glee. It is little more than a blunt instrument of racist terror.” Yes, the alt-left wants the U.S. to have open borders and taxpayers (That’s you.) to have open wallets.
  • ”BAN PARENTS” -- In case you were optimistic for our future, let me kill that: “We could raise children collectively, by people whose full-time occupation is parenting.” That naturally leads to this: “All of this would require radical changes to society. The regulation of human reproduction would entail requiring contraception for the vast majority of the population.” But conservatives are the fascists, we are told.
  • “BAN NURSING HOMES (JUST KILL YOUR PARENTS)” -- That’s sure a heartwarming Christmas sentiment. “We don’t have the resources to live to 100, and a lot of people shouldn’t. Talk to your parents about their end-of-life plan. Consider helping them die, when and if they’re ready. Really, you can do it. It’ll be okay.” Note: Police, courts and prosecutors might take a dim view of you taking an axe and giving your mother 40 whacks. (Another story advocates banning prisons, so you could indeed whack the ‘rents and not serve a day in the pokey.)
Ban Week goes on to discuss banning the NFL, cologne (Boy, I bet the Splinter offices smell nifty) and even zoos.

One of the best is their criticism of engagement rings. The rant starts off noting that hip hop artist Cardi B just got engaged with an 8-carat ring. (Yikes!) This was so upsetting to our author that he/she/ze couldn’t even heart it on Instagram and that “should tell you something about just how much I hate engagement rings and how much they need to be wiped off the face of the Earth.”

Sounds jealous, but it’s not. It’s about the patriarchy. (You knew I was going to write that, didn’t you.) Actual alt-lefty quote: “There is stiff competition, but engagement rings might be the least progressive and most purely patriarchal element of the Wedding Industrial Complex, a monstrosity impervious to feminism and anti-materialism, an enduring display of ownership despite everyone from Lesley Gore to Janet Jackson to Rihanna insisting women are not things to be owned.”

Merge all of these ideas together and let’s look at your society. Men smell … bad because they don’t wear cologne. That makes them super special to the women they want to date (assuming liberals still along men to date womyn) and they can’t even woo them with a nifty engagement ring. Then they aren’t allowed to raise their kids together and when they get old, liberals help kill them off.

Ah, what a Brave New World.

And that nuttiness takes us to the rest of this week’s Week of Alt-Lefty Insanity:

And Speaking Of The Patriarchy: Given the alt-left’s opposition to human relationships, one might hope it would die out when they don’t breed. But liberalism is a virus and it keeps getting passed along.

The Establishment has a lovely piece about the patriarchy, headlined: “When You Can’t Throw All Men Into The Ocean And Start Over, What CAN You Do?” (If the alt-left wants to throw me into an ocean, this one looks nice. It’s pulled from the gorgeous trailer from Disney’s Oceans.)I bet you read that and thought, “This looks like fun.” And if you had any doubts, here’s the subhead: “This society is broken, abusive, patriarchal trash—and not just in little pockets or in dark alleys and frat parties.”

But, wait! There’s a longer version of that amazing, actual quote in the story, with lots more goodies: “This society is broken, abusive, patriarchal (and white supremacist, ableist, hetero-cisnormative) trash. Not just in little pockets. Not just in dark alleys and frat parties. It’s fucking rotten through and through and has been forabsofuckinglutelyever.”

Ah the horrors of our “hetero-cisnormative” society. Dang. We’ve tried for hundreds of years to be normal. (I bet that brings out the haters.) The article goes on to bash “toxic masculinity,” toy guns, success and “wage gap” and conflating them with incredibly serious problems like sex assault.

It’s an Establishment classic.

Too Sexy?: The left and the internet are going berserk because Blake Shelton was named People’s Sexiest Man Alive 2017. (Here he is from The Voice. Enjoy. )Horrors. Except the alt-left is no longer even vaguely sane. So this has become a thing.

Now, it’s fair to say I don’t give a damn here. As a straight guy (hetero-cisnormative for our alt-lefty friends), I couldn’t care less who gets named sexiest dude. I don’t even care that much who gets named sexiest woman of the year either, but at least I have a theoretical opinion. While Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow from The Avengers) might get my vote, there are probably dozens of beautiful women in Hollywood who would deserve this honor.

And not only would none of them care what I think, nor should they. But there would be lots of disagreement because we don’t all agree on beauty, wit, humor, personality or any other human trait. Yet the alt-left is in the midst of a tantrum because Blake Shelton won sexiest man and he isn’t a person of color. He’s been attacked as a ‘homophobe” on The Daily Beast, and a “frequent purveyor of weird gay panic, misogyny, and Islamophobia” over at Vox.

There’s Huffington Post whining, “People On Twitter Pretty Sure Idris Elba Was Robbed Of ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ Title.” The article of course names the popular lefty choice. Actual quote: “Like, oh, we dunno, a suave British actor who goes by the name Idris freaking Elba, perhaps?” Now, anyone who is a fan of The Wire knows Elba is an excellent actor. But why the crisis? Oh yeah, Shelton is a white dude.

No, it’s not me claiming race is an issue. Here’s The Root’s actual quote: “Shelton has the face and the personality of a possum, and it’s amazing that People really thought its pick would wow folks. People’s white nonsense definitely has the internet wondering WTF.”

The site doesn’t stop there. There’s this, “White Meats I Personally Find Much Sexier Than Blake Shelton, Ranked.” The list includes everything from “Chicken McNuggets” (No. 19) all the way up to “Yak Meat” (No. 13) and “Bacon Fat” (No. 1). Let’s flip this around and say People had chosen Elba and some right-wing site had posted this about him. You’d hear the internet scream for about a year.

This isn’t intended to be humor. It masquerades as humor to express hate.

Those Evil White Women: The alt-left has a default setting. If you are a member of any minority group -- race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, etc., then you belong to them. Your vote, your opinions, your person are not your own. That’s been the hidden reason behind the liberal/media jihad against Justice Clarence Thomas, former presidential candidate Herman Cain, Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, former VP candidate Sarah Palin, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and many more.

So when a group or an individual strays from the approved course, they become targets. In the words of our Japanese friends, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” The Bustle political story version of that is: “How White Women Voted In The 2017 Election Proves They Haven't Learned Their Lesson.”

The rest of the article is filled with compliments for black women who voted for liberal Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam for governor. And those who voted for moderate Republican Ed Gillespie? Here’s a lengthy actual quote:

“However, the gap between progressive and conservative voters is deepened by race, according to [Oregon State University Prof. Kelsy] Kretschmer. The professor says that the voting behavior of single and married black women is not influenced by marriage the way it seems for white women; her observation is corroborated by Katherine Tate, professor of political science at Brown University and author of ‘From Protest to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections,’ who noted that black women tend to vote for the collective progression of society as a whole. Similarly, Kretschmer says ‘black women tend to see the well-being of women as really important to their vote choice.’”

Got that? African-American women care about the “well-being of women.” White women? Not so much. God, I love the alt-left.

No comments: