Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Disabled people 'should be put down' because they 'cost too much'

A Cornwall councillor by the name of Collin Brewer has caused a bit of a stink by baldly stating that disabled people 'should be put down' because they 'cost the council too much money'.

The story is reported on This is Cornwall, though the incident appears to stem from an incident in October 2011. Perhaps news travels slowly for the Cornowii.

It's just as well that Mr Brewer is an Independent, or no doubt his party hierarchy would have summarily expelled him from their ranks for holding such repugnant views, thereby insulating themselves from his 'ill judged and insensitive' remarks. Disability Cornwall were 'horrified anyone would make such a depraved comment', and so made a formal complaint against Councillor Brewer 'to seek appropriate justice'. Their Chairman Steve Paget MBE (don't forget that) is demanding Mr Brewer's resignation, for no 'representative and elected member' should 'hold such beliefs, let alone to vocalise them'.

Mr Brewer has apologised, saying: "I didn't mean any offence and didn't want to upset anyone."

His Grace really cannot see what all the fuss is about.

Mr Brewer has nothing to apologise for. His view is precisely that which our progressive society manifests toward the disabled in the womb - right up to full-term. There is no 24-week limit when it comes to 'getting rid' of those who can't walk, talk, see, hear or catch a ball. You'll have no problem at all getting your Down's child sliced up and vacuumed out, and you'll even find doctors who will neatly dispose of a baby with a hare lip, for that's an undoubted disability. The glorious achievements of our Paralympians have done nothing to change this.

Disability is a profound burden on parents (emotionally) and on society ('cost too much'), so our 'representatives and elected members' have indeed determined that they may be 'put down'. This has nothing to do with women's rights over their bodies, or with the question of when 'independent' life actually begins. It is a simple fact that society allows disability as a reason for abortion way beyond the 24-week period for the able-bodied, and that implies that disabled people, or the lives of disabled people, are less worthwhile than the lives of 'normal' people.

So, why isn't Disability Cornwall (or Disability-anywhere-else) 'horrified' by this 'depraved' statutory provision? Why aren't they lobbying Parliament or making 'formal complaints' against their elected representatives 'to seek appropriate justice'? Why are they not demanding the resignation of all MPs who 'hold such beliefs'?

Is it simply because they don't state it quite as baldly as Councillor Brewer?


Blogger bluedog said...

You're on to something, Your Grace, this could be the Next Big Thing.

"Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government," he said during a meeting of the National Council on Social Security Reforms. "The problem won't be solved unless you let them hurry up and die."

Comment by Taro Aso, Finance Minister of Japan, Monday 25th February 2013.

With this sort of talk becoming fashionable in debt stricken democracies, one can see little incentive to improve survival rates of patients in NHS hospitals.

27 February 2013 at 10:22  
Blogger Flossie said...

So very true, Your Grace. People would rightly be horrified at newborn babies having their brains sucked out, so where is the revulsion at this obscene practice? It is only a question of location, after all, inside or outside of the womb. In partial birth abortions the baby is born alive and killed in this way before the head is delivered so that the skull collapses. How this is distinguishable from murder I simply do not understand.

27 February 2013 at 11:16  
Blogger Spoonydoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 February 2013 at 11:26  
Blogger FrankFisher said...

Quite true Your Grace, but I have to say what pisses me off about this story is that it once again shows how John Prescott's 'councillors' code of conduct' is being used to suppress free speech. If you are fairly elected as, for example, a member of the BNP, the Code may prevent you from speaking or acting in accordance with the wishes of those who voted for you. This is simply wrong. Democracy is not democracy if the range of views permitted are determined by some damn committee. Call Me Dave once said the tories would get rid of shite like this - he seems to have forgotten.

Oh and this chap is quite right in pointing out that spending on the disabled is growing at an unsustainable rate.

27 February 2013 at 11:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


I have several people in my family who qualify as disabled. Two are disabled in a way that severely impacts on their mobility, another is considered disabled on account of their poor mental health. So I am aware of a spectrum of the issues.

All of them work (or in the case of one who is retired, worked all their lives). In fact it is a point of considerable importance to them that they work. My heart goes out to those who are so disabled that they cannot work in any form.

The system of disability allowance has its distinct advantages that it offsets the costs of disability. In the case of the mobility-impaired, it is supposed to make up for the equipment or assistance required - which is often extremely expensive and essenetially unaffordable to most people if they relied on their private income.

However, there are real problems with the system simply because it *can* be used to fob the disabled off. It is far easier for the government to throw lump sums around than try to get businesses to be "disabled-friendly" employers. The problem is, that while benefits really can act as the sole disincentive to work, even where disability allowance acts in a similar manner there is always an additional disincentive in the bare reality that many employers would rather not have to accommodate the disabled.

Some are undoubtedly hostile, but most, I suspect, simply do a fairly rational (if detached) calculation of the often not-inconsiderable extra costs of employing a disabled person.

I would really like to see the government looking at how they can work/slap/subsidise in various degrees employers to hire more disabled people. Not through any misplaced sense of "diversity", but actually because a lot of disabled people work especially hard to prove their ability and make excellent employees. So I don't see anything wrong with wanting disabled people to be able to work; but I do see something very wrong with the idea that disabled people can simply be turfed off whatever support they are receiving and thrust into the big wide world. Disability needs to be accounted for in employment, and it is never going to be an even field.

27 February 2013 at 11:52  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"People would rightly be horrified at newborn babies having their brains sucked out ..." (Flossie, here) - not necessarily, Flossie. Peter Singer suggests this as a "right" - infanticide some while after birth, if the parents' wish it. His books are very much used in the training of new midwives, nurses, health care professionals, etc. So look for "peri-natal abortion" being legal before long.

27 February 2013 at 11:58  
Blogger Gerv said...

Those who wish to have their say on this precise question should submit evidence to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Abortion on the Grounds of Disability: see . The deadline is 5pm on the 6th of March.


27 February 2013 at 12:01  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Thank you Gerv.

I will submit my views safe in the knowledge that they will be treated as seriously as those I submitted on SSM.

27 February 2013 at 12:07  
Blogger Jim McLean said...

We should have seen it coming. When a government or the state manages to persuade people that the main problem for our society is financial debt and potential loss of our standard of living then it is a small step to brainwash people into thinking that the solution must be to cut every scrap of "unnecessary" expenditure.

The Eurozone agenda has created handy images for people of scapegoats, undesirables, villians, scroungers, etc.

Our financial crisis does not even exist in any meaningful way. It only exists for those who seek to perpetuate the current power system of wealth control. And yet it is being used to dupe the liberal and working classes into doing exactly what they want.

As a result the weak, infim, helpless and bottom-of-the-heap are not only not helped, but we are all encouraged to despise them, because they are sucking away precious money that could be used to buy more mobile phones, ipods and cars.

27 February 2013 at 12:09  
Blogger Junior said...

Older people cost the State far more. Think of the savings. And if there was a world wide drive to "put them out of their misery" the global economic problems would be solved at a stroke. I'm off to buy shares in the funeral business.

27 February 2013 at 12:11  
Blogger Gareth said...

If anyone cares to read to the bottom of the article, the gentleman explains that he was making an extreme statement in order to provoke a discussion. He was 'playing Devil's Advocate' in other words. Apparently this is grounds for his resignation.

27 February 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Lunatic though he comes across, I have to admit that Peter Hitchens does have a point when he says that society cannot expect to be warmed indefinitely by the embers of post-Christianity. If you are a Christian, you're supposed to be in favour of "compassion"; trouble is, compassion means something different to a Christian and to an atheist. To a Christian, or at least a person formed within a Christian civilization, compassion means protecting life, however burdensome. To an atheist, or more precisely, to one formed in the atheist values of our present civilization (such as it is), compassion means releaving parents of the "burden" of children with hare lips, or indeed, of the wrong sex.

You see the problem, of course. You start with different assumptions, you end up with different conclusions. Atheist civilization has been piggy-backing on Christian values long enough. Let's have more people like Councillor Brewer showing up atheist values for what they are.

27 February 2013 at 12:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


His "I was only being provocative" defense is too convenient by half. It seems a post hoc rationalization designed to provide escape from condemnation. But even if we grant it some truth, it simply makes him dumber than a bag of rocks.

Who thinks it a good way to start an argument by saying "Those people you want to help should all be killed." No one with two connected brain cells would expect such an opening line to be parried. They would expect to happen exactly what happened.

In truth, the guy was tired and simply off guard. He said something in the open that he would have preferred to keep hidden. Now he is trying to hide it again.


27 February 2013 at 12:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I find Peter Hitchens refreshing in every way but his style :)

27 February 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

" disabled people 'should be put down' because they 'cost the council too much money".

So what? this is the view of one person in a society that claims to uphold freedom of speech. He has apologised but been kicked out from the independent representative's umbrella group. There is a propensity developing these days to adopt the cloak of victim-hood through perceived hurt feelings - that's the chosen environment of some of the Muslim groups and we should kick it in to the long grass.

This man will no doubt stand down or be democratically voted out come next election. Those calling for his resignation are simply playing the political game of exploiting an opportunity to force a bye-election.

As for the argument of the abortion on demand, that will remain publicly contentious I think until induced miscarriages fall more in line within the first trimester and essentially a matter for those directly involved.

27 February 2013 at 12:46  
Blogger Galant said...

The thinking on these lines is moving along quickly.

This is no longer an abortion issue, or a euthanasia issue, it's a 'value of human life' issue.

The argument that abortion is infanticide will soon hold less and less value, because people are already talking about whether infanticide is, itself, such a bad thing.

If we take the abortion issue and add to it the euthanasia issue what we find is an attack on the value of all human life starting from the two 'weakest' ends and working its way in.

Unborn? Elderly? Disabled? Logically speaking, why not those who smoke, or are obese, or eat too much salt or red meat?

In the end this attack has the potential to affect every individual. Once an objective value to life has been removed, life itself means nothing, and is subject to whatever changing values a given society wishes to maintain.

This is just one sad part of the progression of sinful humanity in breaking down and walking roughshod over God's plans and boundaries.

If God tarries I fully expect to see the marketing of death for entertainment, even if only on the fringes - because once one is permitted to choose the time and manner of one's death (who, after all, can define 'honourable'), financial incentive isn't far behind.

27 February 2013 at 12:47  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Once abortion becomes a legitimate "treatment" for certain pre-natal conditions, there really isn't a lot of reason to consider other treatments. An abortion costs a few hundred dollars. Spina Bifida over a lifetime can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The economic trade space is obvious. Eventually some bright accountant with an MBA is going to suggest compulsory abortion for pre-natal birth defects. I suppose the parents could refuse - at the cost of carrying by themselves the full cost of the disability.

Both children and disability create obligation in others. Abortion is a means to avoid the obligations that attend having children. Killing the disabled is a little more tenuous because people are always more reticent to create vulnerable categories into which they might find themselves placed at some future date. I might become disabled. I will never again become unborn. That is why unborn children are so much more vulnerable. The self seeks after its own interests. And that is truly what unites the two sides of this coin. It is self-interest that motivates men to of abort disabled children. It is self-interest that makes men worry about the implications of killing the disabled.


27 February 2013 at 12:49  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Yes , we have become a strange and dysfunctional society which knows the true value of very little anymore. There are now very few people, including some amongst the church going, who are able to think, let alone operate, along truly Christian patterns. Given the pervasive power of the media, assumptions made in places of education and training, and just about everywhere really, perhaps I should not be surprised as much as I am. However I am increasingly horrified by the number of Christian acquaintances whose thoughts are taken straight out of the all enclosing secular world view. My hunch is that there is just a relatively thin layer of people, probably found across the denominations, who still manage to hold the secular world at bay, to some extent at least, in their thought patterns.

27 February 2013 at 13:27  
Blogger Junior said...

But spare a thought for the poor woman. The collection of cells in her womb have no value. She defers child birth in order to work hard and build a career, obtain the necessary comforts of life, a nice, well furnished home, car, regular holidays and savings for her retirement. All this selflessly to provide for her and her and future off-spring. Then nature spoils it all for her. What a cruel twist of fate; a meaningless, random evcent.

She has the power to chose. How can she reasonably be expected to lead a life of self sacrifice? To devote herself to a disabled child and incur all this expense and the pain and embarrassment of having anything less than perfect? Its just not fair. Surely her mental health will suffer or that of her partner or other children? No, best to exercise her right to choose for the good of all. She wants a normal, heterosexual child, preferably of the sex of her choosing and with all the physical attributes she desires. Anything less just will just not do. It will make her unwell.

27 February 2013 at 13:51  
Blogger Darren said...

By the same logic, should the long term unemployed be put down too?

27 February 2013 at 13:54  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Where can one access the original article? It is utterly foolish to judge somebody on a journalist's allegation of what he said. It may have been twisted or taken out of context, as Gareth says. But Gareth does not provide a link.
Journalists are malicious and will twist most things to make a "story".

27 February 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger Flossie said...

Corrigan @12.16 (and Peter Hitchens) are exactly right. We are seeing the results of our brave new post-Christian society where the great god is 'ME'.

Eugenics has historically been supported by some quite surprising people as well as Peter Singer and the other obvious ones such as Marie Stopes and Margaret Sanger. Winston Churchill was in favour.

27 February 2013 at 14:10  
Blogger Sean Baggaley said...


"Disability needs to be accounted for in employment, and it is never going to be an even field."

Damn right. But there is an increasing shift towards self-employment in the West and this might prove a better long-term bet for many, especially the mobility-impaired. Many IT-related jobs (e.g. programming, documentation, etc.) can easily be done from home. By removing the need for the client to make sure the 1960s office block he chose to lease for his business is "accessible", you eliminate the cost implications of hiring someone in a wheelchair.

Another thing government could look into is subsidising "work-live" housing designed specifically for disabled people, for example. Pushing the disabled into freelancing and contract work (which is becoming increasingly typical even for the fully able-bodied) may be a far easier and cheaper means of levelling the playing field than the present approach.

@Dreadnaught: Precisely. While "Freedom of Speech / Expression" does not exclude anyone from the *reactions* to their actions, the MP in question was perfectly within his rights to say what he did.

27 February 2013 at 14:18  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Sean Baggaley:

There certainly are a lot of potential options, but I think I'd want to still be working towards making it possible for disabled people to be able to work in as broad a range of employment as is feasibly, and realistically possible.

The danger of overly-prescriptive approaches is that they always carry the risk of balkanising people, so that it isn't a far cry from a position where people say- don't your kind have places specially made for them, what are you doing here in the jobs for us?

The government has a role to play in helping mitigate some of the pressures disabled people face, but it's a far healthier society where it's possible to employ on the basis of ability, rather than out of a sense of needing to fill disabled housing that has already been built etc. etc.

But generally yes, some more imagination would be preferable.

27 February 2013 at 14:26  
Blogger Nick said...

I suppose the answer would be to knee-cap him and then finish him off before he has chance to claim any disability benefit

27 February 2013 at 14:37  
Blogger Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh said...

A couple of articles on Eugenics:

A short "pro" piece from Reader's Digest -

"Much of the unease about designer babies comes from the work of the 20th-century eugenics movement. It tried to use selective breeding to weed out criminals, the insane and the poor, based on the false belief that such conditions were caused only by genetic disorders. It reached its inglorious climax when the Nazis moved beyond sterilisation to exterminate the “genetically unfit”. But what was especially objectionable about this movement was the coercive imposition of a state vision for a healthy population. Modern eugenics, from testing for diseases to deciding whether you want a girl or boy, is voluntary....Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance."
The Maverick: "It's Our Duty to Have Designer Babies"

A longer "con" item from "Creation" magazine -

"For example, by 1913, one-third (and from the 1920s on, more than half) of the US States had laws allowing for the compulsory sterilization of those held in custody who were deemed to be ‘unfit’. This resulted in the forced sterilization of some 70,000 victims, including criminals, the mentally retarded, drug addicts, paupers, the blind, the deaf, and people with epilepsy, TB or syphilis. Over 8,000 procedures were done at the one city of Lynchburg, Virginia, and isolated instances continued into the 1970s. About 60,000 Swedish citizens were similarly treated between 1935 and 1976, and there were similar practices in Norway and Canada."
"Eugenics … death of the defenceless"

27 February 2013 at 15:37  
Blogger SadButMadLad said...

It's basic economics and cost benefits analysis.

Society thinks it worthwhile to spend millions to save a few lives killed by very rare train accidents, but thinks nothing of saving a few quid by aborting seriously disabled babies that it would cost to keep them alive for life.

27 February 2013 at 16:03  
Blogger David B said...

I find myself reminded of an eminent churchman's modest proposal to deal with over-population in Ireland, as I recall it.

Dean Swift.

What is the difference between his modest proposal (with which I trust the congregation has at least a passing acquaintance - I must admit it is decades since I read it) and Councillor Brewer's outburst?

My guess is that, while Swift's proposal was very clearly satire, aimed at bringing many uncharitable views into disrepute (and doing so magnificently) Brewer was not so clear, and many might doubt the veracity of his justification for making his statement.

I'm further reminded of something I once read about obscenity laws - I think from that great proponent of the art of talking dirty and influencing people, Lenny Bruce.

I forget the exact form of words, but as I recall he made the point that allowing works deemed to have literary merit, while banning, and perhaps jailing the author or publisher of erotica (or porn) deemed to be without any artistic merit is tantamount to punishing people for being untalented, or, in the case of the publishers, having bad taste.

Perhaps Brewer was indeed a bad satirist making a point.

Further points - in cases where the best medical evidence suggests that if a particular foetus is brought to term, and kept alive by any means necessary, then all the child who arises from that foetus could expect is a life of agony, with a negative quality of life that is not what any normal person whose moral compass has not been warped by religion would wish for themselves, or for their children.

Do we really want society to be that cruel?

And is an almost undeveloped foetus morally the same as a person who has been born? There are laws against chopping down oak trees in many circumstances, but not against destroying acorns.


27 February 2013 at 16:36  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


To the general and wider points raised in the thread. The issue here is how far we wish to see a re-creation of Nazi Germany in this country. This may seem over the top, but the idea that disabled babies should be aborted because they are disabled seems a bit like eugenics to me.

Another general point, is that the idea of state controlled population is also something to steer clear of, in preference for the natural state of affairs of a society based around the family unit (where possible) of father, mother, children- the west should get back to that way soon or face the consequences.

China's one child policy has lead(for cultural reasons I guess) to an acute imbalance in the population, as a family can have one child only and the preference is for boys. This has also contributed into a demographic shock which will hit China in the next couple of years. I suspect we won't be talking about China being the next super power for much longer....

or perhaps because China is a one party atheist state, it will attempt a rapid eugenics breeding programme to make up for the ageing and declining population?

27 February 2013 at 16:57  
Blogger Junior said...

Why stop the analogy with the acorn?

If there are no moral objections to terminating life there then old trees can go too and make way for younger ones. And any saplings we don't much care for too. They have no intrinsic value. No moral worth in themselves. Just random pieces of DNA accidently brought together through a process of evolution.

27 February 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

I've said this before but

There is a family in the village that simply eats too much.

I would guess that the parents are 200 kg each.

They cannot walk very far so they qualify for a free car and various other benefits.

One of them is now waiting for a hip replacement. (Presumably it wore out.) But the weight has caused so many problems I keep hinting that she needs to consider preparing for the next world rather than hoping that the NHS can spend tens of thousands getting her body back together for her. It is plain to me that it is never going to happen and they have only themselves to blame for this.

Most working families in the village can only dream of changing their car every year for another new one (I think they were going for a seven seater next so that they can get the dogs in...Road tax and insurance paid) and have never owned a new car.

Lets just say it causes a "bit of resentment".

It also sends the message that irresponsibility pays.

Some disabilities are very much preventable. I wonder if this is what the councilor was referring to.

We have to reward virtue or we what little we have left in society will be gone.


27 February 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

In 1981, an old school friend’s wife was handed her cerebral palsy baby boy. What a damned curse that was. She was 21, he 22. As the child grew, that is, outgrowing one wheelchair for the next size up, this mill stone round their necks ensured the couple never laughed again. The child made a vile sight. Writhing in spastic motion and making the usual groans and grunts; only God knew whether there was anything going on in that mind.

The worst disability you can get is cerebral palsy. And there was more to come. Physical ailments too, and the weight problem. More than 9 out of 10 marriages collapse under this torture. Theirs lasted twenty years, but collapse it did. He’s in an institution now.

The Inspector’s advice to any couple in similar – walk away, walk a long way and be bloody quick about it. Leave the child in the hospital. Weep and weep again until you can weep no more. But your weeping will be over within a week, and then you are both safe. And then you put it all behind you, because, as God is this man’s witness, if you don’t, you are looking at years of despair and heartbreak, pain and anger, frustration and torment.

Having said all that, one finds the idea of giving the child a lethal injection morally repulsive. One also finds giving murderers board and lodging in their cell for 15 years before turning them loose back into society morally repulsive. So if we can fund the latter, we must fund the welfare of the disabled child in every case…

27 February 2013 at 18:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

Do we really want society to be that cruel?

If such a life would be impossbly cruel, the it stands to reason that such mercy should be retro-actively imposed. For if we will abort children to pre-empt such cruelty, then surely we are thrice justified to euthanize those born with such conditions. The aborted child is spared the travail of wrongful life, whereas the vicitm of wrongful life must suffer daily.

Let's start will those few remaining individuals with Down's Syndrome. Not many of them escape the abortionist's bloodty hands these days, so the numbers should reasonably small. And they are trusting enough that they won't even realize the extent of the mercy being provided to them.


27 February 2013 at 18:01  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

That is a horrid and cruel thing to say. I think that life is important and that doesn't mean we should agree to abort children, just because they are a burden or disabled.

Perhaps if we were more of a community, things would be different- family sharing the issues and community,of disabled children, helping those parents and children. Loving thy neighbour as thyself.

I think all children are a 'burden', in some senses and all children should be loved by their parents and visa versa. But what is more important, a family to raise the next generation or a holiday in Corfu?

Me and my sister could have been aborted, for being a 'burden'to my mum, who was ill when we were growing in her womb, but she chose not to think of things like that. And here I am, bouncing around being me.

27 February 2013 at 18:10  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

It may surprise you that we do have the death sentence in this country.

Certainly for rape but also for just being inconvenient.

No lawyers necessary


27 February 2013 at 18:10  
Blogger Junior said...


If parents follow your advice how is the welfare of a disabled child to be protected? Warehoused in institutions, perhaps?

27 February 2013 at 18:13  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Returning to the original post (and applause to YG for pointing out the hypocrisy of our treatment of the unborn, yet again), I was struck by another thought.

Given that this walking disaster area who appears to be a Councillor has at no point denied that he made this statement, has anyone suggested to him that by his own logic he might be considered as just too stupid to live? Firstly for making this crass statement at all, secondly for making this crass statement to representatives of a charity for the disabled, and thirdly for thinking that a politician's apology is going to get him out of it?

27 February 2013 at 18:20  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

I think in respect of the Councillor who allegedly said these things (taking on Julia's suspicion of media reporting onboard), I think that anyone should have the freedom to pronounce his own view. No matter how disagreeable they may seem. As an elected official, when it comes to the voting box, I am sure that the electors of Cornwall (nice play btw) will tell him if they like what he says... or not.

That's liberal democracy people.

27 February 2013 at 18:26  
Blogger David B said...

Carl I've known Downs people who have have an excellent quality of life. Very different from living in constant agony, which is the circumstance I was writing about. Is it not a little disingenuous of you to move the goalposts like that?

It is a difficult problem, which becomes more difficult as a foetus approaches birth, and once it is born.

I have, in my advance directive, demanded that, should I lose the faculty to make informed decisions, I should get as much medication as is needed to avoid pain and distress, even if it shortens my life, and refuse any other medication, including antibiotics.

My opinion is that should people be in constant terrible pain with no reasonable hope of improvement then the moral thing to do is something very similar for them.

Why be less concerned about the pain a human being suffers than the pain of a dog or cat?

Do not opinion polls show that this is pretty much a consensus opinion?


27 February 2013 at 18:50  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

David B,

Typical Socialist, who compares the life of a human being as being the same as that of a tree, a dog or a cat. The more I read of his posts, the less and less I am convinced by atheist socialist thought.

27 February 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


" I think that anyone should have the freedom to pronounce his own view. No matter how disagreeable they may seem."

I agree with you.

But have you really thought this through?


27 February 2013 at 18:53  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


Well as I know Hannah well, I'd say she has her view and leaps into the frey without thinking. This passion is her gift and her weakness.. if only it could be honed properly, always following passions that girl. Well I hope as she matures she'll have the ability to discern more clearly. This blog is helping with that no ends I might add.

27 February 2013 at 19:07  
Blogger David B said...

Lavendon I am not a socialist, and you seem, by accident or design, to have misinterpreted my comments on cats, dogs and people.

I take human pain more seriously, for good or ill, than I take the pain of dogs or cats, and so I find it hard to understand the mentality that would deny a person mercy in the face of unrelenting pain with no reasonable prospect of anything else.

The oak and acorn analogy I used is just that, to illustrate that a bundle of cells the size of an acorn is not a human being. An opinion I maintain, mind body dualism being a busted flush.


27 February 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

David B,

Lord Lavendon suggests anyone is who is an atheist a 'socialist' or centre left, but that is mild compared to his view on 'fascists'.

But anyway,I can't see the misrepresentation there because you did actually say that the life of a human was as important as a dog or a cat or an acorn. And it is your good self who views parts of my religion- which has existed for thousands of years- as a form of 'child abuse'. Presumably you would like to use the power of the state to ban male circumcision as child abuse, but at the same time wilfully agree to abortion on demand.

I really cannot understand that, because to follow through your argument isn't abortion child abuse or rather murder?

So it is morally wrong to circumcise an infant of a particular faith, but it is OK to murder very same possible life in the womb?

PS- I am well aware of the ins and outs of the Jewish ethics on abortion which is not as dogmatic as, say, a Roman Catholic, but I want to be as polemic as possible to make you perhaps think about your various views.

27 February 2013 at 19:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Junior. In the case of the aforementioned child, one really wonders if he actually knows he is alive. And there is nothing wrong with being looked after in an institution...

27 February 2013 at 19:54  
Blogger Gareth said...

Carl -

I appreciate your skepticism regarding the 'Devil's Advocate' thing, one is reminded of John Humphrys' aphorism about a dog's relationship with a lamppost, but his story really doesn't seem that far-fetched to me. I've played Devil's Advocate many times.

27 February 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Dodo's Ashes said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 February 2013 at 20:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Junior. If the Inspector was ever to lose the use of his legs, or go blind, cart him off to an institution. Put him with people of the same. The worst thing that can happen is solitary ‘independence’. God help all the disabled who are faced with that ‘freedom’...

27 February 2013 at 20:33  
Blogger uk Fred said...

My wife was affered an amniocentesis test when she was carrying our second child, over twenty years ago. The reason was that her age was such that there was a relatively high probability of the child having Downs syndrome. We were aware of the probabilities and chose not to go ahead with the test because it could first of all cause a spontaneous miscarriage and secondly we were both of the opinion that life starts at conception and therefore we would not kill the child.

I have no problem with the views expressed by this councillor. Better an honest disagreement based on value judgements than hypocrisy, based on what is considered acceptable to faceless party apparatchiks.

The logical problem comes with those who see an unborn child as having no more value that a tumour or a cyst yet do see value in the life of a criminal who may have committed the most heinous of crimes.

27 February 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger Marie1797 said...


When visiting Blackpool some years ago I was having tea and cake in a seaside café when in came six very spastic adults all either in wheelchairs, on trolleys and one on a mobile bed. The six carers had their work cut out. They writhed, grunted, and made such a mess as they were fed. I felt so sorry for them and marvelled at the carers who couldn't even leave them to go to the bathroom themselves. I thought then that this must be punishment somehow.

By all means care for any disabled people in institutions funded by the tax payer and the family concerned can and should contribute too if they cannot cope with the care themselves.

I don't think those who have been born disabled should have children of their own if they reach child bearing stage, even though the child might be fine, they are propagating those genes which will in future generations be carried and re-surface.
I don't think there is anything wrong with wanting a healthy population it is after all survival of the fittest and nature is very cruel.

27 February 2013 at 22:35  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

David ,you have made a very good point.It is almost impossible to resist the overpowering secular values which crush society. It is all pervasive through our institutions and imo only a very few can escape its influence even with a religious background.It's a depressing but real concept and I am pleased you introduced it in this debate.

27 February 2013 at 23:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Well, he's resigned now. I wonder if he was good at his job despite having unsavoury views, or perhaps saying something unsavoury at the time. I wonder if they affected his decisions in his job.

28 February 2013 at 07:00  
Blogger David B said...

@david kav

" Presumably you would like to use the power of the state to ban male circumcision as child abuse, but at the same time wilfully agree to abortion on demand."

Yes, and within certain limits, as we currently have regarding abortion.

"I really cannot understand that, because to follow through your argument isn't abortion child abuse or rather murder?"

I can understand that it might look like that, if one adopts (as I don't)the metaphysical position that humanity is an on/off switch starting at conception and ending at death.

I don't think that a sensible position. I see no sensible alternative to the legal system adopting certain arbitrary values regarding such considerations as an age of sexual consent, an age to vote, join the armed forces, marry....

"So it is morally wrong to circumcise an infant of a particular faith, but it is OK to murder very same possible life in the womb?

IMO murder is not a word that applies until a foetus becomes human, which to my mind necessarily involves the law adopting one arbitrary position or other. Conception would be one such arbitrary position, but, not, I think, a wise one.

Another such arbitrary position would be, IMO and currently under law, the age at which a foetus can live independently of the mother, another would be birth. Under normal circumstances. There might be a case for late abortions, subject to rapid judicial review, in particularly harrowing cases regarding, perhaps, young girls who have been raped and whose pregnancy comes to light late. Things of that ilk.

There are similar conditions at the other end of life, too, I think. There comes a point, in many cases, I would argue, when to keep officiously alive, to not provide sufficient medication to control pain or distress, becomes cruelty rather than compassion.

So I don't regard an early foetus as something sufficiently human to be subject to murder, but I do see a baby, once born, as old enough to be protected against child abuse, whether assault and battery, FGM or male circumcision.

The law is pretty much on my side on the first two, catching up on the third, and is running late on the last. It took a while for campaigners against slavery to get their case established in law. Hopefully in another generation male circumcision will be generally regarded as barbarity.

Once again, I suggest googling Jews against circumcision.


28 February 2013 at 07:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well it is certainly true that secular values exert a crushing, unavoidable effect on almost everybody. This is accentuated by the long massive involvement of EU and State laws on almost all aspects of life. One really has to stop and think very hard not too fall into the trap of going to the default position, that adopted by the secular culture, as opposed to the Christian position, and even the possibility of doing this is possible only with a fair degree of education, exposure to Christian ideas and the maturity and strength of character to exercise this mental and spiritual function. So amongst the young, who tend to be more impulsive, less reflective, this is an almost never happens activity. Moreover with fewer and fewer receiving any exposure to core Christian beliefs and values the situation of increasing conformity to a slowly but ever deteriorating set of secular values seems set to continue. Only by removing the young from these all pervasive influences, almost entirely, which is hardly practical, could one retain a core of genuinely Christian people. How does The Church , taking the widest sense for that noun, oppose this ? This is of course, precisely the idea behind the highly segregated elite Muslim schools that exist, to raise a genuinely separate , authentic Muslim generation.

28 February 2013 at 08:34  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"I suggest googling Jews against circumcision"

Meaning this as no slight, I do love how your posts so frequently introduce me to such groups, David B.

Whatever next? "Catholics against Confession", "Muslims against Mosques", "Anglicans against Ambiguity"?

Where will it end?

28 February 2013 at 13:38  
Blogger David B said...

Belfast, you might try out your google-fu on Catholics for Choice:)


28 February 2013 at 20:09  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

David B,

Next, you old socialist, shall be quoting 'Atheists for Jesus' !

1 March 2013 at 00:17  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Absolutely agree with you David Hussell. Unless the young are exposed to true Christian values it seems now it will only be through elite faith schools or strong family influence that Christian values will survive.It seems the only successful way to do this is to practise complete segregation as the Muslims and Jews do. I think this poses another set of problems where groups do not intergrate but at least it preserves their belief systems. To be honest I am very pessimistic about the future of Christianity.The dilemma is fitting into a modern day society retaining Christian values. I would say it is almost impossible and one must expect to feel alienated if adopting a Christian stance.As a Hindu priest recently pointed out to me the vast number of Christians do not practise Christianity.The sketchy remnants that remain are fast being eroded. This blog is a perfect example of such a claim .

1 March 2013 at 01:37  
Blogger David B said...

Lavendon, I saw their site years ago.

A bit of an odd bunch, but in some ways not all that far away from Spong, Jenkins, Cupitt et al.

They do make a good point about the way often in modern Christianity what is ascribed to Paul ( many Biblical scholars apparently doubt that all of Paul was actually written by Paul) is taken as at least as important as what is ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels. And, further, that like Koresh and Jones, never met Jesus except in what is claimed to be a vision.


1 March 2013 at 08:02  
Blogger Sureseam said...

There was a book "Whatever happened to the Human Race?" by Francis Shaefer and Everett Koop.

It shines thoughtful light on this subject area; and would shine rather more if it were in print.

1 March 2013 at 09:43  

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