Cookie Consent

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Locke on Abortion

In June 2010, I left a note on Libertas et Memoria, Mark in Spokane's quidnunc, about the pro-choice potential in John Locke.  "In Concerning Human Understanding Book II Chapter Twenty-Seven, Locke defines persons as 'only{. . .}intelligent agents, capable of a law, and happiness, and misery.'  In Book III, Chapter Six, Locke suggests that it would be permissible to kill a misshapen infant of poor intellect.  He questions the meaning of the word 'life' in Book III Chapter Ten.  In Book III Chapter Eleven, Locke says that killing a misshapen infant is permissible only if it has no 'rational soul,' by which Locke means having poor intellect.  Another idea Locke is fascinated with is 'the changeling,' described as an animal and having a narrow, flat, long face (Book IV Chapter Four), and what is most disturbing about this is that it seems apparent to me that Locke is talking about developmentally disabled people when he talks about changelings.  He also uses the term 'monster' to describe them.  It is hard to avoid thinking Locke would enthusiastically support abortion were he alive today."

A Bruno Waterfield article in the London Telegraph should 'leave their beliefs at home or get another job'.html says that British Muslims may wear a headscarf, but British Christians may not wear a crucifix.

No comments: