Monday, December 31, 2012

Nicholas Kristof on the missing girls of Asia



NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof during a recent appearance on Fareed Zacharia's show:

Between 50 and 110 million females are missing around the globe. This is an astonishing figure. It means that in any one decade more girls are discriminated against to death around the world than all the people who died in all the genocides of the 20th century, which is a, you know, it's a staggering scope.

All of these girls were killed by sex-selective abortions and infanticide.

The enormity of death and suffering caused by population control is difficult to comprehend. Kristof makes the point: it exceeds all other genocide in the 20th century by an order of magnitude. And that is only the girls. Tens (perhaps hundreds) of millions of children-- boys and girls-- have died from infanticide and abortions.

Yet it is merely one part of the culture of death- euthanasia, abortion, contraception, capital punishment, aggressive war, terrorism, sterilization, destruction of human embryos for research, murder-- that derives from the denial of the full humanity of each human being.

Each human being is created in God's image. We are not just animals. We are spiritual as well as corporeal beings, and we each have a transcendent dignity.

First and foremost, we each have the right to life, from conception to natural death.

The horror of the 20th century femicide-- a genocide that along with abortion dwarfs all others in number of innocents killed-- is just the beginning of the evil that man will inflict on man if we continue to deny human dignity.

We are killing millions of children on the altar of false prosperity and 'sustainability'. We have returned to child sacrifice. The re-paganization of civilization continues apace.

48 comments:

  1. When I used to be able to get 'Newsweek', the column by Fareed Zakaria used to be the first one I read, just for its common sense.

    I read his 'the Future of Freedom'. It's very good (I should go hunting for my copy to reread). Strongly recommended, with his discussion of liberal democracy (compared to illiberal democracy).

    You've managed to take a small part of an interview, and blown it out of all proportion to ride your hobbyhorse of sex selective abortion and female infanticide, without discussing the interviewer's and interviewee's solutions.

    Educate females, encourage economic development so that women can have independent income from small businesses and reduce the birth rate (which generally follows from the first two), so that women aren't marginalized in their societies.

    Once women are regarded not as second class citizens, the discrimination that leads to bad treatment of females, such as sex selective abortion, female infanticide and violence against women tends to disappear.

    Patriarchal societies are bad news for women.

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    1. 'Educate females, encourage economic development so that women can have independent income from small businesses and reduce the birth rate (which generally follows from the first two), so that women aren't marginalized in their societies.

      Once women are regarded not as second class citizens, the discrimination that leads to bad treatment of females, such as sex selective abortion, female infanticide and violence against women tends to disappear."

      Agreed. All of these involving respect for human life and dignity, which is a seamless fabric that is pro-life.

      To kill females wholesale by population control, and then educate the survivors, is dissonance.

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    2. "Educate females, encourage economic development so that women can have independent income from small businesses and reduce the birth rate (which generally follows from the first two), so that women aren't marginalized in their societies."

      When you get that done, Johann, make sure I'm on the cc: list.

      Until that time, however, your non-solution is, apparently, to keep killing them. Because the politics are more important than the people.

      It's always fun to start the day with a missive from the Australian Clown Car.

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    3. Georgie Porgy,

      I've told you before. It's PDQ, not Johann. It's disrespect not to use the right moniker.

      Your comment is a bit much, coming as it does from such an Ueberpatriarch as you. Countries vary in their education policies of girls. Bangladesh educates them, and has fewer problems than other Muslim countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Having micro-banks to give women small loans to start up businesses also helps.

      Michael,

      Your solution is a non-solution. Nothing practical. Also, you got Fareed Zakaria's name wrong... It's not Zacharia.

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    4. @bach:

      "nothing practical" in my pro-life solution?

      Well, to get specific:

      1) Immediately cease funding and political support for all population control programs.
      2) Label population control as a form of genocide (Congressional resolution, UN resolution, EU resolution, etc)
      3) Declare population control bureaucrats and organizations international criminals, akin to Nazis and terrorists.
      4) Allow civil litigation against population control agencies (UNPFA) and organizations that support population control (Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, etc)on behalf of the billion people whose lives have been disrupted by this new totalitarianism.

      There are lots of practical things we can do. The problem is that many people, including you, sympathize with population control junk science and totalitarianism, and would block bringing these people to justice.

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    5. Michael,

      OK. So you want to make women breeding machines. Your plan won't work. No one, except in a theocratic dictatorship, would agree to it.

      I support voluntary birth control. Giving people the ability to space out and limit the number of children they have to the number they can support in an adequate way. By making contraception freely available to those who want it.

      I don't sympathize with totalitarianism. I make up my own mind too, unlike you, who accepts, no questions asked, the dogma of the world's longest existing dictatorship, the Christian Church. If this is offensive to you... I hope it is.

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    6. @bach:

      [OK. So you want to make women breeding machines. Your plan won't work. No one, except in a theocratic dictatorship, would agree to it.]

      Breeding machines? No. I believe that formal programs to limit populations are immoral and often criminal. This is basically a matter of historical record.

      [I support voluntary birth control. Giving people the ability to space out and limit the number of children they have to the number they can support in an adequate way. By making contraception freely available to those who want it.]

      What is "voluntary", especially in a poor country, when coercion of all sorts can and has been employed. It China's program "voluntary"? India's (especially in the 1970's)? Peru's? The siting of Planned Parenthood clinics in minority neighborhoods?

      [I don't sympathize with totalitarianism. I make up my own mind too, unlike you, who accepts, no questions asked, the dogma of the world's longest existing dictatorship, the Christian Church. If this is offensive to you... I hope it is.]

      The Church is a voluntary organization. She has no army, no weapons, and no legal authority. No one forced me to join, and no one forces me to stay and to obey. I do so because I love and respect that Church, and I believe she holds the truth. That's not "dictatorship".

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    7. Michael,

      You have the greatest compulsory 'incentive' to believe and accept the dogma of the Catholic Church. The delusion that if you're disobedient you'll suffer an eternity in Hell in the mythical afterlife. What about excommunication? Membership of the church might be voluntary now, but it certainly wasn't in previous centuries.


      What don't you understand about a woman agreeing or not to swallow an oral contraceptive daily as not being voluntary?

      I'm not obliged to support China's One Child Policy. If Planned Parenthood chooses to put their clinics in poor neighborhoods, then that's their decision. If a rich person in a rich neighborhood wants birth control, then she can afford to visit a private clinic and pay for it herself.

      OK - give me the 'historical record' of the voluntary birth control I accept - making oral contraceptives freely and readily available to those who want to swallow them - showing that its 'immoral'. And 'criminal'. I don't support compulsion.

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    8. Contraception is inherently immoral. But that is not what I'm talking about here.

      Population control has two salient characteristics: 1) it nearly always targets certain populations, usually poor minorities. 2) It is always coercive, in the sense that it is either forced, or incentive systems are used against vulnerable populations.

      It is evil. And you are certainly not obliged to support China's One Child policy, anymore than an apologist for National Socialism is "obliged" to support the Holocaust. Totalitarian groupies always wiggle out of public support for obviously horrendous policies, yet continue tacit support.

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    9. Michael,

      I don't agree with you. Contraception isn't inherently 'immoral'. The greatest incentive voluntary birth control has is that it allows the parents to give adequate support to the children they want. I'm not a 'totalitarian groupie'. I'm a private citizen of a middling developed country and I don't have any power to offer support, tacit or otherwise, to China's One Child Policy, which by the way wasn't a No Child Policy, was predominantly aimed at urban populations and was restricted to the majority Han population, and not the minority populations, which were exempt. And it's a strange definition of 'genocide' to include a policy which would actually result (owing to the demographic structure of the Chinese population) in a growing population, albeit one not increasing at the same rate as without it.

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    10. The UN Declaration on Human Rights defines genocide as including "imposing measures to prevent births in a population".

      If you disagree, take it up with the UN.

      Any defense of China's OCP is a defense of rank totalitarianism. The government has no right whatsoever to tell you how many children you can have. Period.

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    11. Michael,

      The definition of 'genocide' is too broad. The UNO doesn't always get things right. I don't defend China's One Child Policy. And generally, I agree with you that governments don't have the right to dictate how many children people should have. Australia takes the opposite position and provides financial incentives to have children, as a form of middle class welfare. And anyway, I argue for the provision of freely available easily accessible contraception to anyone who wants it, voluntarily. I disagree with you that contraception is immoral. Why should it be?

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    12. Contraception is immoral because we are not merely animals to be spayed and neutered so we can rut without concern. We are made in God's image, love and sexuality are transcendent. They are mortal manifestations of love and joy that is beyond nature.

      Sexuality brings new life, which is an astonishing gift. We are permitted by His grace to participate in the creation of life.

      By breaking the link between sex and procreation, we do real violence to this gift. The damage it will cause-- the damage it is causing-- is incalculable.

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    13. Michael,

      So old people aren't allowed to have sex? There's no link between sex and procreation there. Although, it's still a manifestation of love and joy.

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    14. All that is required is that the act be open to procreation. It's not the fault of the partners if they cannot conceive because of age, infertility, etc.

      The Church teaches only that we have an obligation not to willfully prevent conception.

      The analogy between sex and procreation and eating and nourishment is a good one. Sex and eating can be enjoyed for reasons not directly related to procreation and nourishment, but the willful unlinking of the pair-- contraception and bulimia-- is unhealthy and thwarts natural ends.

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    15. Michael,

      Agreed; bulimia is unhealthy. But the comparison with contraception is a forced one. What if a couple decides to limit sex to the non-fertile periods, immediately after the menstrual periods (admittedly a risky strategy)? Is that immoral too?

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    16. Egnor: The Church is a voluntary organization. She has no army, no weapons, and no legal authority. No one forced me to join, and no one forces me to stay and to obey. I do so because I love and respect that Church, and I believe she holds the truth. That's not "dictatorship".

      That has not always been that way. The Catholic Church was much more powerful in the good old times. The papal bulls Dum Diversas, Romanus Pontifex, and Inter Caetera gave the Spanish and the Portugese a legal authority (and a divine blessing) to conquer the newly discovered lands, convert the natives to Christianity, and should they refuse to do so, enslave them.

      Here is a brief excerpt from Dum Diversas:

      We grant you [Kings of Spain and Portugal] by these present documents, with our Apostolic Authority, full and free permission to invade, search out, capture, and subjugate the Saracens and pagans and any other unbelievers and enemies of Christ wherever they may be, as well as their kingdoms, duchies, counties, principalities, and other property [...] and to reduce their persons into perpetual slavery.

      Hoo

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    17. The Church is a 2000 year old organization. It has through history stood for the most enlightened ideas of its time. It has not been perfect.

      It is the primary source of Western Civilization, and it is the source of our modern ideas about freedom, rights, and liberty.

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    18. "What if a couple decides to limit sex to the non-fertile periods, immediately after the menstrual periods (admittedly a risky strategy)? Is that immoral too?'

      No. That's continence and chastity. Voluntary restraint. Natural family planning is strongly endorsed by the Church.

      Again, the analogy to eating and nourishment. Adhering to a sensible diet-- prudent restraint-- is good and wise. Bulimia is not.

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    19. Egnor: The Church is a 2000 year old organization. It has through history stood for the most enlightened ideas of its time. It has not been perfect.

      Enslaving indigenous peoples seemed like an enlightened idea at the time, I suppose. What a difference a few hundred years make!

      Hoo

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    20. Michael,

      You do a very good job in parroting Church dogma. But what if the initial premise 'we're made in God's image' isn't true? That there's no God deeply concerned with the sexual foibles of one species amongst the 10 million or so existing species on Earth? You're attempting to impose your dogma on large numbers of the global population against their will. And for no good reason, besides satisfying your desire to control others.

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    21. If God doesn't exist, bach, then by what objective moral standard do you object to my "imposing my dogma" on everyone?

      Isn't that exactly what morality becomes,without God?

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    22. Michael,

      No, without God, humans as a group in communities, in societies, decide on the system of morality they adopt. Which is what humans do anyway, believers and non-believers alike.

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    23. bach;

      Sure. That's what humans do-- form opinions and act on them.

      But that evades the salient issue: does Moral Law exist independently of humans?
      Is morality in the final analysis mere human opinion (individual or collective) or is it something that exists independently of us, and something that we seek.

      Do we invent morality, or discover it?

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    24. Michael,

      No. 'Moral Law' doesn't exist independently of humans, or any other sentient species - if intelligent extraterrestrial species exist. We invented morality, or at least we developed it to a much higher level than any other species. Other social species do have a primitive morality based on cooperation. Humans have been so successful because we've taken it to a much higher niveau.

      Morality is more than human opinion. It allows humans to thrive. Opinions can be right or wrong.

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    25. Is it possible for something to be morally wrong, even if all people thought it morally right?

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    26. Obviously not.

      Hoo

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    27. Obviously yes. It would not matter if every human being on earth thought that the Holocaust was right. It would still be wrong.

      That's the difference between subjective and objective morality. Christians believe that Moral Law exists in itself, as God's Will, and is not merely fabricated by man.

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    28. Contrived hypothetical examples aren't particularly convincing. If grandma had balls she would be grandpa. Clearly, every human being on earth does not think Holocaust was right.

      On the other hand, certain teachings in the Old Testament (one of the sources of "absolute Moral Laws") are no longer shared by practically anyone. Wearing clothing of mixed fiber is absolutely morally wrong, but no one gives a damn anymore. So much for absolute morality.

      Hoo

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    29. @Hoo:

      So you're saying that morality is statistical-- the majority determines what is moral?

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    30. Make it overwhelming majority.

      Hoo

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    31. Hitler won the plebicite to become President after Hindenberg's death in 1934 with 95% of the German vote.

      Was that moral?

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    32. Dr. Egnor,

      There was nothing immoral about that election outcome. World War II and its horrors were still in the future.

      Hoo

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    33. In 1934, the fact that Hitler was a monster was evident to all objective observers. This was after the June 30 purge, in which a couple hundred people were murdered by Hitler and his gang. The murders were publicly known,as were the atrocities of the SA over the previous eight years. Already, concentration camps for political prisoners were set up in Germany.

      Your thesis that morality is something determined by plebiscite is crap. One of the dumbest things you've said, which is saying something.

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    34. Dr. Egnor,

      If Hitler's moral monstrosity was "evident to all objective observers" and the Germans failed to see that in 1934 then the next logical step in your chain of thought is to condemn the entire German nation as immoral. Are you ready to take that step? That would be silly, if not to say stupid. (Now we're even.)

      Hoo

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    35. @Hoo:

      All Germans who voted for Hitler did an immoral act. The extent of culpability depended on their knowledge. There was enough generally known about him in 1934 to label a vote for him as immoral.

      Any other blindingly obvious things I can help you with?

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    36. Egnor: All Germans who voted for Hitler did an immoral act. The extent of culpability depended on their knowledge.

      This sounds like back pedaling, Dr. Egnor. So the ones who did not know that Hitler was a moral monster were not acting immorally, were they?

      The Germans of the 1930s could be accused of being culpable, easily led and unwise, but immoral? I don't think so. They were by and large God-fearing people who read their Bibles and atended church.

      Hoo

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    37. Supporting Hitler in any way after the mid-1920's was immoral. The degree of culpability varies with knowledge. Willfull ignorance is no excuse,and it may increase culpability.

      Your moral system sucks.

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    38. And yours is imaginary, Dr. Egnor.

      Hoo

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    39. No. Some things are wrong, objectively, independently of human opinion.

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    40. This servile attitude of Egnor is pathetic and dangerous. Whatever the objective Fuehrer in the sky says, he will obey. Sieg Heil! It's precisely this servile attitude of useful idiots that made Hitler get away with his crimes for so long.

      Dr. Egnor, jetzt gehen Sie mal diesen medischen Experimenten ausfuehren in Lager 5, mit den Zwillingenn, und schnell bitte!

      Jawohl, mein Fuehrer!

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    41. Michael,

      'Supporting Hitler in any way after the mid-1920s was immoral'.

      Now you're condemning your beloved Catholic Church and its acquiescence with the Enabling Act of 1933, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers and the abolition of all other political parties, including the two Catholic parties, all in exchange for the Concordat, which wasn't worth the paper it was written on. After that, there were no free elections in Germany. All votes were carried out in a climate of fear and intimidation. It would be a brave person who'd rely on a secret vote.

      Conservatives in Germany were worried about the Communists. In the early 1930s, the Soviet economy appeared to be doing very well, compared to the misery and mass unemployment in the capitalist world. They were worried that the communists would take over, just as they threatened to do so in 1919. They thought that the Nazis were the lesser evil. They were wrong. Although, it wasn't necessary to have gone either with the Communists or the Nazis.

      Morality comes from acquiescence of a free people, not from acquiescence of a enslaved one.

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    42. Supporting the Nazis in any way was grossly immoral. The Catholic response to the Nazis was complex, and mixed, and to the extent that Catholics enabled Hitler , they were immoral to do so.

      However there was substantial opposition to Hitler from Catholics. The Centre Party fought him more than anyone else, except the Social Democrats. (the communists don't count, because they were as evil as he was).

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    43. Michael,

      You're getting increasingly frantic in your attempts to justify your illogic. As Kierkegaard noted, history is lived forwards and understood backwards. The retrospectoscope is always 100% accurate.

      Your evidence that the Catholic Parties fought the Nazis more than anyone else (except the Social Democrats - which, by the way, was still officially a Marxist party)? Your evidence that the German Communist Party was as evil as Hitler?

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    44. Communists and Nazis are equally evil. They differed in some ways, but are on a par as far as evil goes.

      William Shirer in Rise and Fall... documents the last year of the Republic and the first year of Hitler's rule in detail. Paul Johnson in the Modern World... documents it as well.

      Support for Hitler among Catholics was among the weakest of all segments of the electorate-- he did worst electorally in Catholic Bavaria and other Catholic regions. The Centre Party and The Social Democrats were his major political enemies at the end, before he destroyed the democracy completely in 1934. The Centre Party caved before the Social Democrats, to their shame, but Catholics were among the least likely of factions in the Republic to support the Nazis. Both Shirer and Johnson affirm that.

      There was still considerable surrender to Hitler by Catholics, and even occasional collaboration. That was horrendous, and deeply sinful.

      Hitler was a known entity at least since the Beer Hall Putsch. His evil was explicit and public. By the mid-20's, no one who supported him in any way had any excuse. Deplorable.

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    45. Michael,

      Support for Hitler amongst Catholics should have been weakest; they had their own political party to vote for. Actually, Hitler's support was least in Berlin. And Potsdam. And Westfalen/Nordrhein (not exactly bastions of the Catholic Church.

      You still haven't provided evidence that at the time the Catholic Church and the Centre Party were supporting Hitler and allowing the Enabling Act to pass with the necessary 2/3 majority (manipulated with the exclusion of the freely elected Communist deputies), that the Communists were as evil as the Nazis. You're still looking through your biased retrospectoscope. Hitler wasn't a known entity since the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch. He should have been, after he published his 'Mien Kampf', if anyone managed to read it (even after heavy editing, it's still largely unreadable) and taken it seriously. He laid out his plans explicitly in it.

      William Shirer's book is good, for its time. Paul Johnson's book is old too. I recommend Richard Evans' trilogy ('the Coming of the Third Reich', 'the Third Reich in Power' and 'the Third Reich at War') as being more accurate.

      But anyway. You were the one who brought up Hitler as supporting your delusion that there's a God-given Moral Law, waiting to be discovered by humans. That a morality devised by humans is wrong. Which it isn't, not necessarily.

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  2. Happy New Year, everyone!

    Hoo

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    1. Happy New Year to you as well, Hoo, and to all of our readers and commentors!

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