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On to the news.
Physicians Legally Kill Child in Belgium
Here's a disturbing reality, from CNN: "A terminally ill minor has become the first child to be euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions were lifted in the country two years ago."
Daily Mail reports that the minor was 17 years old.
Here's the societal contradiction:
- Society as a whole does not allow minors to participate in various activities due to age (this varies by country, but includes things like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, voting, marrying, and driving, among others).
- More specifically, here are the things that Belgium restricts before the age of 18: Drinking spirits, driving a car, prostituting yourself, marrying, not attending school, and voting.
- Here's at least one thing that Belgium does not restrict for those under 18: physician-prescribed death.
That's a blatant contradiction. We (rightfully) recognize that children and minors should not participate in certain activities until reaching a certain level of development, but now some are allowing them to ask doctors to kill them? Even if folks ignore the fact that killing is never medical care, it is difficult to imagine an argument for allowing children to demand physicians end their lives.
On the Rise of "Genetic Sexual Attraction"
We already predicted that "genetic sexual attraction" (read: incest) would be one of the next big issues our culture faces. We've seen an increase in instances of incest recently, with one particularly egregious example found here.
On that last case, we turn our attention today to this post from Carl R. Trueman at First Things. In it, he spells out what he takes to be the strongest, most compelling case in defense of the mother-daughter pair above that was arrested for incest. We summarize:
- No-fault divorce made it clear that marriage was no longer a lifelong commitment; rather, it is a "relationship of mutual convenience."
- Obergefell v. Hodges furthers this redefinition and claims marriage between two men or two women is equally legitimate.
- Obergefell v. Hodges hinges on consent, which requires that the two partners are adults and capable of consenting.
- The typical objection to incest, aside from a "yuck factor," is the danger of offspring, which two women do not have a chance of producing.
For our money, Trueman's characterization is exactly the sort of argument that will be heard in courts.
Here's Trueman's refutation of the above:
"To put it bluntly, the notion of consent is arguably meaningless by itself as the arbiter of legitimate sexual and marital relationships because of the potential for manipulation, coercion, and abuse in a situation where there are deep-rooted and unequal social power relations (e.g., the President of the United States [not] having sexual relations with a besotted young intern or, as here, a parent and an adult child contracting a marriage). According to the article, one of the child’s siblings has already raised this obvious question and accused the mother of selfish manipulation of the daughter. That is a more powerful and generally applicable argument than she knows."
In summary, "consent" itself can only take us so far because it is, by its very nature, a "hidden" attribute. There is too much potential for manipulation, coercion, and abuse because consent is not easily measured.
Unfortunately, our current cultural attitude towards sexuality hinges on consent. Extreme views of autonomy lead to undue outrage and, as we once argued, other forms of sexual deviancy.
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