I was recently called to task when I expressed my views in favor of infanticide. I’m not surprised; it’s easily my most controversial view, and the only person I’ve discussed it with is my wife. She disagrees with me, as I am sure most people do.
I would personally never kill a baby, but the fact of the matter is that most cultures have explicit evidence of infanticide as accepted practice. It’s not an off-the-wall idea. Ancients cultures did it, and since this is the reasoning for all Christian beliefs, those who oppose abortion are the ones who should most respect my reasoning for legalizing infanticide. We’re both traditionalists, just on different ends of the spectrum.
Legalizing infanticide is more clearly in line with our freedom and liberty based ownership culture. If you make something, you ought to be able to destroy it. “I brought you into this world, I can take you right out of it,” as my parents used to say. It’s not forced on anyone; no one is going to make you kill your baby. Unlike abortion, it does not limit options, it creates a new one, without infringing on anyone.
Except the baby, of course. But what is a baby? Do you remember being born? Do you remember turning 1? I would posit that we are our memory, that we were not who we are now when we were infants. In the parlance of Christianity, I don’t think the soul enters the human being until sometime between the ages of one and three. That’s my belief, and you cannot prove differently.
What interests me, however, is not that people oppose this notion. What I have noticed from exposing people to this view of mine is that I have never gotten as much hate mail. While I got a couple disagreements from liberally minded people on the infanticide issue, the true vitriol came from anti-abortionists.
Now, I have no way of knowing for sure (some of these people might in fact threaten my life for supporting abortion, but no one has before), but I have a feeling people take greater offense at infanticide than abortion. Why? Is it because maybe one is worse than the other? That a full born baby is in fact signficantly different than an unborn fetus, perhaps?
But this shouldn’t be. Anti-choice advocates think females are concubines who have no sovereignty over their own bodies. They think the government has a right to tell a woman what she can do with herself, all because removing what amounts to a smear of cells constitutes “murder.” These anti-abortionists are right now in Washington trying to redefine rape over this very issue, because they want more children of rapists and incest to be borne by women against their wills.
Anti-choice advocates are willing to stomp on the rights of women, and yet despite this… they seem to see the difference between killing a fully-born infant and aborting a fetus. And they seem to think infanticide is worse.
The irony is, what anti-choice advocates don’t realize is that a complete ban on abortion would cause infanticide to sky-rocket. Historically, Christianity and Judaism oppose abortion, which was possible through not only surgery in the ancient world, but with the use of herbs. When those who performed abortions were killed and tortured as “witches,” women could no longer abort a fetus… and infanticide through exposure became more common. Why? Because someone who is determined to not have a child will not keep it. It’s just like how allowing divorce decreases murder; if you can’t leave someone, you’ll find another way of getting rid of them.
Frankly, I don’t think legalizing infanticide would result in the death of many babies, or at least many more babies. It is estimated that 200 children are killed by their mothers every year in the US. When a child under five is killed, it is usually the parents who did it. It’s already happening, so don’t think that the laws are saving all the babies who grow up; most people survive their parents because their parents love them, not because of a decision made by politicians.
So, I’m curious what questions people have, because based on the response I have gotten, this seems to be an idea of mine that most people take issue with (with a distant second being my view on legalizing drugs, which we can discuss in tomorrow’s post). Does the idea of infanticide disgust you (as it does me)? Is it worse than abortion? Am I a heartless monster who wants to round up the elderly, disabled and Jews into camps for extermination?