Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ohhh.. wait...that's voluntary genocide!

Several commentors have taken me to task because I pointed out in a recent post that population control programs in poor Third World countries meet the criteria for genocide as defined by the United Nations:
...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: 
...
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Of course, the UN definition of genocide didn't distinguish between voluntary and coercive measures. Two features were sufficient to genocide-- 1) Intent to destroy a group, even in part 2) imposing measures intended to prevent birth.

What makes genocide is the intent of the actors. Imposed "measures" need not be explicitly forceful. One can impose measures that use rewards, appeals to patriotism or shame, etc. 

Even ostensibly 'voluntary' programs of population control nearly always involve real coercion-- payment for being sterilized, lying to people about the reversibility of sterilization, civil or criminal punishments for non-participation, substantial official pressure to conform, etc . The most "successful" population control programs-- in China, India, and Peru-- have been horrendously coercive and overt crimes against humanity. 

But my dear commentors insist that I answer their question. Bachfiend insists that I address voluntary government programs of population controls. How could they be genocide?
 
Commentor Boo:
Answer the question Mr. Egnor: how can it be imposed if it is voluntary?

Don't worry, we all know you will just try to weasel out of it as usual.

Of course, as I noted above, the definition of genocide used by the UN does not mention coercion. It refers only to the intent to selectively depopulate by imposed measures. "Imposed" simply means that it is government policy-- a government program. It does not distinguish between imposed coercive measures and imposed voluntary measures. If the US government opened thousands of "voluntary" sterilization clinics only in black neighborhoods, it would still be properly understood as genocide.

But heck, let's say that the UN definition doesn't really mean what it says, and that voluntary participation in government population control schemes-- even schemes that because of intent would otherwise be classified as genocide-- is not inherently a violation of human rights.

Let's presume for argument's sake that if government-led contraception, sterilization and abortion is voluntary, then it is not a violation of rights.

Which raises this question: if voluntary participation in government-led sterilization/contraception/abortion programs is not a violation of rights, then what is wrong with voluntary participation in government-led prayer in schools? 

50 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Which makes it even more humiliating for you guys.

      Delete
    2. The humiliation is all on your side given that the most prominent spokesmen for your positions are all idiots, including you.

      When only stupid people agree with you, you might want to wonder why that is.

      Delete
    3. If I'm stupid, why would I wonder?

      Delete
    4. I suspect you don't wonder. You just live blissfully ignorant of reality while you spin your comfortable world of delusion.

      Delete
  2. “If voluntary participation in government-led sterilization/contraception/abortion programs is not a violation of rights, then what is wrong with voluntary participation in government-led prayer in schools?”

    Simple, Taking or not taking contraception or deciding whether or not to get an abortion are acts that can be kept private. Voluntary participation in government lead school prayer forces children to make potentially awkward decisions in a setting rife with social pressures, and allows the state to interfere with the religious teaching and practices of individuals and their families.

    -KW

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    Replies
    1. Oh. Voluntary government-led sterilization programs are fine, but voluntary government-led prayer is an assault on human rights.

      You'll have to pardon me for not taking you seriously.

      Delete
    2. Of course you have my pardon. I know there is little point in tying to convince someone as deranged as you are. I’m not necessarily writing to communicate with you; I’m just trying to keep your bullshit from going unanswered.

      -KW

      Delete
    3. Again, we see KW profess his sanity in the face of an insane world.
      You don't agree with him you're PERSONALLY a)nuts b)evil c)racist. Not nec in that order.
      The arguments of an intellectually lazy ideologue.

      Delete
    4. You know what I find fascinating about the regular commenters on this blog? You all call each other names, but I bet you would all really like each other over a pint. I sense a sort of affection and camaraderie under the derision. It's very neat.

      Delete
    5. @KW:

      "Simple, Taking or not taking contraception or deciding whether or not to get an abortion are acts that can be kept private."

      The size of your family is not private. Try having five kids in China, and you'll find out how "private" family planning is.

      "Voluntary participation in government lead school prayer forces children to make potentially awkward decisions in a setting rife with social pressures"

      Prayer is a much more private act than child-rearing. You don't have to enroll your prayers in school, take them to the doctor, etc. Undoubtedly there are social pressures involved in voluntary school prayer, but there are always social pressures about most anything you can name.

      What strikes me is your hypocrisy: you have no problem with the massive pressures applied to people to regulate family size by sterilization/contraception/abortion programs, but you are hyper-vigilant about the relatively trivial pressures involved in silent school-led prayer.

      "and allows the state to interfere with the religious teaching and practices of individuals and their families."

      And teaching kids in school to put condoms on bananas doesn't interfere with the religious teaching and practices of individuals and their families?

      Delete
    6. True American Jeebus-lovin CHRISTIANNovember 24, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      And teaching kids in school to put condoms on bananas doesn't interfere with the religious teaching and practices of individuals and their families?

      Just like teaching evolution, amirite???

      Delete
    7. @John:

      "I sense a sort of affection and camaraderie under the derision."

      I feel the same thing. Interesting.

      Delete
    8. "Just like teaching evolution, amirite???"

      Nailed it. No problem if assent is voluntary, right?

      Just like government sterilization.

      Delete
    9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    10. True American Jeebus-lovin CHRISTIANNovember 24, 2012 at 3:38 PM

      You're amazing, Egnor. Teaching science and forced sterilization are totally the same thing.

      Delete
    11. (repost as first attempt was butchered by a combination of poor eyesight, a teeny tiny display, and a need to rush)

      Mike and John,
      I did not call anyone 'names' I simply pointed out a pattern or trend in the commenter KW's behaviour.
      I might have felt like name calling - but I did not.
      If you disagree with KW you are called evil (or 'sick' a subjectivist equivalent), insane (see previous), or racist.
      'Liar' also features, if to a lesser degree.
      You know that, Mike. He does it to you frequently. He does so in these very comments.
      Don't believe me?
      Try it out.
      These conversation killing shut-downs (evil, sick, racist, liar etc) are INDEED the sign of an intellectually lazy ideologue.
      Any intellectually vigorous ideologue would attack the points and attempt to refute them.
      I wish I could say that a pint of some sort would bridge the gap and open dialogue, but I don't think so.
      For my own part, I would willing to buy the theoretical pint.
      Alas, I doubt someone like KW would deem someone like myself worthy of sharing the AIR we breath with with him, let alone a lager or ale.
      I suspect the same is true of you gentlemen: KW would not want to have one with you either.
      There comes a time when a man must sell his cloak....

      Delete
    12. Hey Crusader, I’m right here you know. If you got something to say why not address me directly instead of pussy footing around? If you think you come off as more reasonable, think again. You sound like a passive aggressive little girl.

      For the record, you are the last person I would want to have a beer with.

      -KW

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    13. Gentlemen,
      KW makes my point...once again. Hook, line, and sinker as they say.
      Now for some REAL name calling via trend identification techniques.

      KW,
      I will give you a break and address you directly.
      I guess it must be frustrating thinking you are 'right here' when, in reality, you're in front of a terminal or computer somewhere many, many miles from 'right here' - at least as far as most of us are concerned.
      In fact, it would be a safe guess you inhabit a different reality to most of us (ie humanity).
      Some sort of De Sitter universe would be my guess.

      Anyway, here goes:
      You come off (on this blog, at any rate)as an intellectually lazy ideologue who uses ad hominem to avoid the issues that are debated on this page.
      You seem (re your writings on this blog) to have a pissy temper and a very Cyclopean view of the world about you and the people in it. Further, you have no wit or flair about your style which makes it very, very predictable and dull.

      At best you serve as an example to readers of this page of what damage eliminative materialism can do to the human mind. You're like the warning on a package of cigarettes: 'WARNING: The worship of yourself and the denial of experiential reality can lead to psychotic breakdown'
      You might have to look some of those words up.
      Or maybe you could ask the 'passive aggressive little girl' whose anatomy you like to brag about online.
      She may be able to explain, provided your subscription to her website is paid up :)

      Feel better now?
      Enjoy your beer! (Oh! Maybe a Shirley Temple for you?)
      I'll have a single malt. Neat.

      Delete
  3. So often, like above, you fail to acknowledge or respond in any way to the point in my argument. You simply re-state what you think is obvious. You ignore my point that organized school prayer has an obvious element of coercion of children that makes it significantly different from a family planning decisions.

    You don’t take me seriously, whatever. I bet you just can’t counter my argument.

    -KW

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    Replies
    1. @KW: If the social pressures of school can be considered coercive, how much more so the economic pressures of raising children (expenses and lost wages) in a developing country?

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    2. If the social pressures of school can be considered coercive

      Because children are not adults. Learn the distinction.

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    3. Anon,
      So abortion is forbidden under a certain age? Children are not allowed to abort a pregnancy is China or the USA without parental consent?

      Delete
    4. So abortion is forbidden under a certain age?

      Many states in the U.S. do in fact have parental notification requirements. You were thinking this wasn't the case?

      Delete
    5. Anon,
      Good. Well sort of, anyway. I guess with a note from mum and dad they can have an abortion. So with a note from mum and dad they must be able to have a prayer in school too, right? I mean, nobody dies from school prayers.
      Anyway, I am glad to hear some states have at least some sort of standards and have not had the federal government interfere with them.
      Honestly, I was unsure.
      I keep reading articles in the US media about young girls getting abortions ( and parents being outraged etc) in various states as well as abortifacients being available to them 'over the counter' etc.
      I also hear they counsel children on abortion at a very young ages in some sort of sexualization courses at the schools. You know? The whole 'It's a woman's choice' stuff etc.
      Anyway, what about China?
      Is there a law preventing abortions for children there?

      Delete
    6. With a "note from mum and dad" a child can have almost any medical procedure. That's standard legal practice. In some states a teenager doesn't have to notify their parents if they want an abortion or to get "morning after" pills, and in others they do. That's up to the states to decide at this point.

      And a child is free to pray in school all they want so long as they are not interfering with the operation of the school (for example, large groups of students "Tebowing" in the hallways and preventing other students from being able to get to and from class would be over the line). The legal restrictions in the U.S. are on school-led or school-sponsored prayer.

      Delete
    7. So you support legal restrictions on government-led prayer, but not on government-led sterilization.

      Delete
    8. If a high school teacher ever walks into their public school classroom and announces that they are going to be sterilizing everyone, but those whose parents object can go outside, I will not support that.

      Boo

      Delete
  4. Which raises this question: if voluntary participation in government-led sterilization/contraception/abortion programs is not a violation of rights, then what is wrong with voluntary participation in government-led prayer in schools?

    Man, that's some top-quality crazy you're bringing. Been dipping into the oxycodone supply in the hospital pharmacy, by any chance?

    ReplyDelete
  5. My wife and I are friendly with a lovely Chinese couple who moved to Canada just over a decade ago. We know them through my wife's old job. Good people.
    What is alarming is when you ask them about having children. They have none, you see. When asked why - they explain they are 'too ugly and weak'. That they do not deserve to have children. They 'dream' of it, they say, but could not do it because only 'strong and smart' Chinese people should have kids.
    When asked how they came to think in such a way, they explain this is 'how they were educated'. They explain they are in no way alone in this thinking. That it is common in China.
    Sufficed to say they are neither ugly or stupid (what they mean by weak). They have started to come around and realize that party membership or ethic background is not what parenthood is about and that they are free to have children or adopt now they are citizens of this country. But they still feel they would be doing 'the Chinese people' and 'the world' a disservice by having even a single child.
    I pray they will at least adopt a child eventually, as they are great folks and could offer the future far more than their demise.
    Very sad.

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  6. This is a good one:

    http://www.ratical.org/ratville/sterilize.html

    More later.

    JQ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's some nasty, heavy stuff, JQ.
      Thanks for the link.

      Delete
  7. Michael,

    You're either a liar or your reading skills are substandard. Your previous thread was entitled 'What if that 'basic right' to contraception genocide?'

    And my answer was that a 'basic right' is voluntary. It's only obligations that are mandatory. Access to contraception should be available freely to all. Allowing people to reduce the number of children they have voluntarily isn't genocide.

    I've previously noted that in the Philippines because of the influence of the Catholic Church, the poor don't have access to affordable birth control. And poor women often have 6, 7, 8 children, instead of the average of 3. Because of the lack of social welfare, they're vulnerable to the disaster of even worse poverty if the parents fall sick and aren't able to earn an income. Being able to reduce their family size would give them more safety.

    Because you always make such a point of China's One Child Policy, I agreed that there is much to criticize about it, in particular the coercion. But that China does what China wants to do. The UN has little influence over what China does.

    And I noted that China's One Child Policy is very discriminatory. Minorities, rural populations, parents without siblings are exempt. A funny sort of 'genocide' that targets the majority Han population which makes up 90% of the population.

    With China's demographics, even with the One Child Policy, China's population is still going to increase in future years before stabilizing. You have a funny definition of genocide that includes an increasing population, but one that's not increasing as quickly as it would otherwise.

    China definitely has reason to worry about the size of its population. Already, in North China, agriculture's access to the aquifers has been banned, preserving the depleting aquifers for the use of the burgeoning cities.

    In Australia, there's been considerable concern that China wants to buy Australian agricultural land. China's actions are entirely logical. They want food security. Importing food is just another method of importing fresh water, because you don't need to use the considerable amounts of fresh water to grow crops at home.

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  8. I renounce Satan and all his works.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pepe--which is better?

      Meme and Pepe

      -OR-

      Memere and Pepere?

      Ben

      Delete
    2. My apologies to the blogger for being off topic. But I wouldn't mind an answer from a native Quebecois.

      Ben

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    3. Pépé,
      'I renounce Satan and all his works'
      Amen!

      Delete
  9. It's a strange definition of genocide that includes voluntary birth control and an increasing population, but one that's not increasing as rapidly as it may otherwise.

    Michael is obsessed with having as many children as possible, and falsely accuses the 'Darwinists' of having the same aims, 'survival of the fittest' , whoever has the most offspring 'wins', and all that.

    Michael claims Sir Isaac Newton as one of his own, including a quotation from him on the right of the page. Funny really. Newton never married. Also probably didn't have any children, because it's claimed that he died a virgin. Having no or few descendants doesn't determine success. Newton had a multitude of 'children' even if he didn't have any biological ones.

    Having a lot of children doesn't mean you're going to be a success in making your community a better future place. Being able to give all your children a good education and upbringing is more important, and that means in almost all cases restricting the number of children you have. And having access to affordable contraception.

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    Replies
    1. The voluntary use of contraception between monogamous couples is one thing, Bach.
      Killing the unborn another.
      There is a distinction here that should not be ignored.
      Once a child is conceived it's natural progress is to adulthood. It is not the same thing as PREVENTING conception, unless that prevention is in the form of coerced or forced means.
      Interrupting that progress of life, once it has begun, is killing.
      This thread, unless I mistaken is concerning abortion.

      Delete
    2. CrusadeRex,

      Yes, you are mistaken.

      The original thread was entitled 'What if that 'basic right' to contraception genocide?'. And the thread concerned Michael's meschugge delusion that contraception is genocide, regardless of whether it's voluntary or coerced.

      And this thread continues Michael's delusions, including his idea that people being paid to undergo sterilization is coercion.

      Unethical perhaps. Certainly unethical if the people aren't giving informed consent, and aren't being told that it's permanent.

      Michael's just shifting the goal posts. The original thread was in response to a UN statement that access to contraception is a human right, because it is a benefit to the people and their smaller families. Michael has just thrown in abortion and sterilization to make the original UN statement seem less reasonable, which it didn't include.

      Delete
    3. Bach
      'Yes, you are mistaken.'
      Hey, it happens. quite often, actually.
      I am the first to admit it. Having scrolled WAY up, I can see what you mean. The thread has shifted all over the place topically.
      I am still not sure that I could say we agree on this distinction you make between unethical and coercive behaviour (and thus the UN definition of genocide), but I would happily give you credit for forwarding an argument of sorts.
      I would posit that fooling people into sterilization and pressuring them economically into using contraceptives is a form of coercion.
      It is also unethical, but that goes without saying. These aspects, in my estimation, are not mutually exclusive and are actually often paired.
      I can see Dr Egnor's point.
      That said, I would have to say I feel people should have the right to be able to purchase contraceptives if they are of age to do so. Any country that calls itself 'free' should allow people to do what they want with their own bodies...and NO that does not include killing a gestating child in the womb.
      I am not sure I would call contraception a 'human right', but then I think that is a tired term that has often proven to be 'legalese' with no real weight.
      It also smacks of globalism, which I detest.

      Delete
    4. CrusadeRex,

      You would certainly appreciate that the poor in developing countries are extremely poor. Poorer than we can imagine. Being able to buy contraception at market prices is a luxury few can afford. In Australia, one month's OC costs around $22, and in the Third World, many people are surviving on less than a dollar a day.

      Being poor is economic coercion we can't even start to imagine. Making contraception available to the poor is a human right. Having more children than is affordable makes poverty into destitution.

      I don't know why you detest globalism. We do all live on the same Earth, don't we?

      Delete
    5. Bach,
      I do. I have seen poverty the likes of which nightmares are made of. Literally. Unfortunately, I don't have to imagine it. I recall it, and will never be able to forget it.
      In my view food, water, and shelter are paramount. These simple comforts are what the poorest people desire.
      Sexual licence, on the other hand, is a luxury that only the most decadent societies can afford. Even so, it rots them from within.
      Abstinence is the key to family planning in those lands. I realize that is difficult for many of the cultures we are discussing to consider, due to traditional ideas on working the land.
      It is a considerable obstacle, but no more considerable than convincing the same folk that the answer is to copulate with no consequence. They won't buy it. They don't buy it.
      Not without force or coercion (ie China).
      Not without diverting massive funding from wealthier nations to not only provide the devices, drugs, and surgeries - but to indoctrinate and ENFORCE these policies de facto.
      That leads me to globalism.
      You ask why I detest it?
      I have seen it in action.
      I have seen it up close and personal.
      I have seen the ferocity in the eyes of those it crushes under it's treads and the pure hatred it breeds. I have seen the resentment in the poor dupes who have been tricked into promoting it.

      I will always remember a phrase I once read scrawled on a wall in an area I was deployed in.
      It read (translated): Beware those who promise liberty/freedoms at the end of their weapons for
      they (really) want you as their slaves.
      It took a long time to sink in, but I now understand it completely.
      It was a statement against the new order: Global Collectivism.
      I despise collectivism in general. It is a lie unlike any other. It is, again, the opposite of what it promises. A tool to divide and conquer. A tool for the empower and enrich elites.
      Globalism is collectivism on a global scale disguised as trade policy and rights commissions, but backed by jackboots, killer drones, population control, terrorism, and sham trials.
      I am a firm believer in individualism and diversity of the sovereign nations.
      I know that means wars will occur, but war will never leave us, no matter what promises the elites make. Under their sway war would only be redefined as 'insurgency' and 'terror'. We are already seeing that. The non-wars that kill tens of thousands in days.
      A free world is a diverse world; a world where dissent is unavoidable. Where people can live as they want, and fight to be what THEY think of as freedom.
      A united world is dream that can only become an Orwellian nightmare.
      My regrets to Mr Wells and company. I understand their motivations. I understand there fear and hatred of conflict, but to simply redefine it at the cost of human dignity is madness and such madness is used by evil men to consolidate their ruthless ideas of power and control.
      You asked ;)

      Delete
    6. CrusadeREX- if we go by Michael's previous post on this issue:

      "(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group"

      then abstinence is genocide. Do you agree with Michael?

      Boo

      Delete
    7. Boo,
      A coerced or forced and/or permanent abstinence would be, yes. Something along the lines of separating the sexes forcibly or via economic or social coercion so they cannot reproduce would be a soft genocide, according to the UN definition.
      Abstinence as a conscious choice to control the number of children within a family would not be.
      Hence my statement on contraception.
      But, let me be frank: UN definitions mean little or nothing to me.
      If you were to ask me what a genocide is, I would say it was the complete systematic destruction of a genotype or culture (ie NK). Attempted genocide would be the real attempt to do so that fell short (ie The Third Reich or regions of modern China).
      I am simply stating - in regards to that point - that I can see where Dr Egnor is coming from.
      By their OWN definition the UN is engaging in and condoning behaviour they condemn in other national bodies.
      I hope that clarifies.

      Delete
    8. But the whole point of this post is to claim that it doesn't matter if it's coerced or not. Try again.

      Boo

      Delete
  10. ""Imposed" simply means that it is government policy"

    No Michael, it does not. You are lying.

    As for your ridiculous assertion that making contraception available equates to genocide, am I to understand that it is your contention that everyone who is not an enthusiastic member of the Quiverfull Movement is an agent of genocide?

    "You know what I find fascinating about the regular commenters on this blog? You all call each other names, but I bet you would all really like each other over a pint. I sense a sort of affection and camaraderie under the derision. It's very neat."

    I doubt it. Michael already said he thinks I'm an asshole, and I generally don't enjoy the company of lying hypocrites.

    Boo

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    Replies
    1. And furthermore, if you are correct then the Catholic Church's teaching of natural family planning means the Catholic Church is an agent of genocide. Is that really what you meant to say?

      Boo

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    2. The Catholic Church doesn't target groups with nfp programs.

      It's the targeting-- the intent to suppress births in a group-- that make it genocide.

      If the government selectively sited birth control, abortion, sterilization, etc in black neighborhoods, would you object?

      Delete
    3. Of course they target a group. They target Catholics. By your own definition the Catholic church is engaged in genocide of Catholics.

      Boo

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