From a pro-life position, it is sometimes morally permissible to do something that you know will lead to a loss of life.
Generally, those of us on the pro-life side accept the ethical principle call the Principle of Double Effect (PDE):
Here is David Oderberg’s statement of the PDE (he calls it the DDE, Doctrine of Double Effect) :
The DDE basically says that you can take an action that you know or believe will have or likely have an evil effect under certain conditions.

It isn’t as simple as choosing a greater good. There are some things you just can’t do, morally.
The act you want to do needs to be AT LEAST PERMISSIBLE.

So you can’t do outright evil to bring about good.
An obvious case of the DDE is TRIAGE.

When you have a bunch of injured people and you can’t treat everyone, you treat the ones you can save, even if you know that this may allow some to die.
1 Treating the injured is permissible
2 Treating the injured does not itself CAUSE the other injured to die
3 Some of the injured dying is not intended; you’d save all if you could
4 Saving lives is on par with losing lives
The DDE plays a role in certain cases related to arguments about abortion.

We sometimes wrongly speak about “permitting abortion to save the life of the mother.”

This is not put correctly, but there is a thing in this neighborhood.
There are cases, by the DDE, in which it is permissible to do a procedure than will save the life of a pregnant woman, but which will cause her child to die.

That isn’t “abortion” because killing a child is not in fact and morally cannot be a “treatment.”
But it does look like abortion, because it is a procedure that has the effect of killing the child and thus ending the pregnancy.

But the procedure does not AIM AT killing the child. That is an unavoidable side-effect, one which can be permitted if the DDE conditions are met.
So, a pro-life ethicist (like me) can agree that there are cases in which saving a pregnant woman’s life requires a procedure or treatment that may, and likely will, result in the death of the child.

When you cannot save both, it is better to save the one you can. Triage.
But this case is NOT a case of “abortion is permissible to save the life of the mother.”

It’s not an abortion, and directly and intentionally killing the child wouldn’t be permissible (even if its death would somehow cure the mother, which isn’t the case).
But be aware that sometimes people speak loosely of “a case where it is morally permissible to save the mother’s life by a treatment in which the child may or will die” as “an abortion to save the life of the mother.”

It isn’t really, but few people speak precisely.
A “junzi”, the superior man, speaks precisely:
So, my pro-life position is that abortion, the killing of a child in order to end a pregnancy, is never morally permissible.

But I understand there are some cases in which the child of a pregnant woman may be allowed to die if this is the unavoidable effect of saving the mother.
A FURTHER NOTE on Abortion and the DDE

Abortion doesn’t pass the DDE at all.

It fails 1, because the act intended, the killing of an innocent child, is NEITHER good NOR neutral (morally permissible).
Abortion does pass criterion 2 of the DDE: ending the life of the child does end the pregnancy

Abortion fails 1, as we saw, and it fails 3 also: the killing of the child is the direct (evil) means of bringing about the end of the pregnancy
So abortion fails criteria 1 & 3 of the DDE, but passes 2. What about 4, proportionality?

In almost no cases will abortion pass 4, that is, the taking of a person’s life weighing equally to the benefit of ending a pregnancy.
It seems like abortion could pass 4 only if there were a situation in which ending the child’s life would lead to saving the mother’s life.

But it is hard to see how the killing of the child could be the DIRECT CAUSE of saving the mother’s life.
As I noted already, a case in which the mother’s life is in peril due to some ailment or injury and the treatment of this in order to save her life causes the infant to die is NOT a case of “abortion in order to save the life of the mother.”
I can’t think of a realistic case in which abortion would pass criterion 4 of the DDE, and even if it did, it still always fails criteria 1 and 3 — meaning it is not morally permissible.
I am assuming you recognize Utilitarianism as morally abhorrent and don’t think killing innocent people “for the greater good” is fine.
Utilitarianism is plausible only because, in cases in which we are free to choose among many morally permissible options, it is sometimes natural (and correct) to use utilitarian reasoning, and choose the best overall option.

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More from @EveKeneinan

3 Jan
No, it doesn’t mean EQUALITY; THAT is the FUCKING PROBLEM.

"Racial equity does not mean simply treating everyone equally, but rather, allocating resources and services in such a way that explicitly addresses barriers imposed by structural racism and White privilege..."
“racial equity” = treating people unequally, based on their race

“addressing White privilege” = depriving White people of goods or access to goods on the basis of their race, even though they have done nothing wrong
A large amount of “equity” is illegal under American constitutional protections against seizure of property without due process and equal protection of the laws.
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3 Jan
A serious problem with Kant’s First formulation of the Categorical Imperative, the Universality formulation, is that while it is often a crucial test, it isn’t a perfect one — some ethical matters ought not to be universalized: this destroys their very substance.
A good example of a place where Kant’s test breaks down is in our ethical obligations to our own family, which are always particular: no one but her children have *these* duties to my/our mother.
Kant’s test of universalizability does do an excellent job testing whether something CAN BE universalized — and all moral principles that apply to us just qua human beings, or rather, persons, are such.
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2 Jan
There are TWO main kinds of Socialism. The Left needs to stop pretending that National Socialism or German Socialism "isn't Socialism" because it isn't the other KIND of Socialism: Image
"The National Socialists hated socialists.”

No. The Nazis hated COMMUNISTS.

Precisely BECAUSE they were the RIVAL faction of Revolutionary Socialism.
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Both the “revolutionary” and the “ideology” parts place these movements firmly on the LEFT.
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2 Jan
The Left will continue to act as if they are not subject to the rules they desire others to obey — but they cannot stop us from simply holding them in more and more contempt whenever they do.

After their actions regarding Trump, they have no ground to throw these stones.
Trump was the best president we’ve had in generations and the Left went insane, pretending he was a demon, and supporting a senile relic like Biden because “nothing mattered” but getting rid of Trump.

It does matter. They CHOSE this decrepit fool, and we’re all paying for it.
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And Biden’s characteristic move for his failures is to blame everyone else.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jan
Why Kendi-ism is terrible.

Take premises from Kendi:

K1 Every law or policy is either racist or antiracist
K1.1 Only antiracist laws or policies are permissible
K2 Every law or police that is race-neutral, that is, that does not take race into account, is racist
It unmistakably follows from K1, K1.1, and K2 that

K2.2 Any law or policy which does not take race into account, or — what is in practice the same thing — “accounts” for race by treating each race equally is racist, and therefore not permissible.
And from K2.2 we get

K2.3 In order to be a antiracist and thus permissible, any law or policy must explicitly take race into account and decide how — not whether — to favor and disfavor the various races.
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31 Dec 21
It’s okay if vaccinated people spread covid.
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If you are vaccinated, it is fine to carry in a live case of covid.
So, to get in to the event, you can either (a) not have covid or (b) have covid but be vaccinated.

Does this double standard make sense? How is it just? Or sane?
Read 4 tweets

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