Lesson 89- Slippery Slope to Brave New World
As I said at the end of my last program, we are rapidly drifting towards the implementation of some of the very misuses of technology and science that Huxley portray in Brave New World. I have already described the movement towards the replacement of reproductive sex with recreational sex and the use of technology for creating life outside of the womb. All that remains is to convince a sizeable portion of the population that natural birth is bothersome, dangerous, and unnecessary and that genetic experts are capable of designing children to meet some standard of quality control. The idea of creating a Master Race based on somebody’s specification fascinated Hitler and he found a scientific community only too willing to apply their knowledge towards this end. You would think that after the horror of the Holocaust, that the human race would have learned its lesson and given up its attempts to play God. But, it appears that this temptation is too great for the scientific community to resist and now, even some of the Jewish intellectuals, who kept telling us that we should never forget the Holocaust lest we fall into the same trap ourselves, seem to have forgotten the premises and principles themselves that led to it. As proponents of abortion, they have bought into the premises that “there are humans and sub-humans and there are no rights that sub-humans have that humans need to respect” or that “some humans are persons and other are non-persons who have no legal standing before our courts.” It amazes me how people can castigate the Holocaust and the Dred Scott Decision which were based on these two premises respectively and, at the same time, use them as a justification for destroying the lives of innocent pre-born children. It just goes to show how the human mind is capable of all sorts of logical gymnastics when it wants to justify an “end” that it seeks.
The final step in Brave New World, after it has shifted sex to an exclusive recreational activity and developed human life outside of the womb, is to convince the population that it should be sterilized and leave the important job of creating new life to the so-called experts. At that end of my last program, I was commenting on how self-sterilization was becoming more widespread even among Christians and how the idea of mandatory sterilization was finding growing acceptance and had even become an accepted policy in Communist China which, as I mentioned, was already moving towards the cloning of human beings.
It appears that the attitudinal blocks that have prevented the use of science and technology towards the implementation of Brave NewWorld are already weakening or disappearing as the number of children born to dysfunctional members of the population increases while those born to functional members decreases. This, as I mentioned, is a form of social cancer and, like biological cancer, it forces us to consider radical solutions. Because we habitually make decisions without thoroughly considering their underlying premises or what kind of collateral conclusions they might lead to in the long term, we find ourselves on a “slippery slope” that is gradually taking us towards conclusions that we would never have entertained in the beginning.
Let me give you just one example. Senator Rick Santorum, from Pennsylvania, was greatly criticized because he opposed a Supreme Court decision that claimed that “sex between consenting adults” was a constitutionally protected right. He rightly pointed out that this legal premise, which was created in a case involving homosexuals, had far reaching implications. For example, “consenting adults” could apply to a father and a daughter, a mother and a son, a father and a son, a mother and daughter, a brother and a sister, a brother and a brother, a sister and a sister and, if this constitutional right included the right to marry, then our entire traditional views of marriage will be turned on its head. It also could be applied to polygamy and any other type of sexual configuration that the human mind is capable of inventing. In other words, by changing the premise, the conclusions that could be drawn from it also changed and we are right back to the conditions described by Eusebius in Ancient Rome where he said,
“Its women, as the holy apostle said, exchanged the natural function of womanhood for that which was unnatural. The same was true of its men. They abandoned natural intimacy with women and burned with passion for one another. Men performed deeds of shame with men, and they each took in return the reward which was due to their sin…Because they had plunged into such wrongdoing, evil was heaped upon evil among them, and this continued as long as pleasure was their god and their evil demon, as long as their whole lives were polluted by frenzied lust for women, by corruption among men, by marriage with one's mother and intercourse with one's daughter, and as long as wild and animal nature was under the sway of superabundant wickedness. Such, then, was the condition of the ancient people.”
This is what happens when the “theology of niceness” replaces the “theology of righteousness”, when impulse replaces logical thought, when a society reaches the point where it can no longer maintain the tension in truth between two opposing extremes. It is then, as the poet Yeats observed that:
“Things fall apart… the center can not hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the earth…
The best lack all conviction and the worst are full of passionate intensity”
However, we are only beginning to see the tip of the iceberg because we are slowly sliding down the “slippery slope” towards the premises of Brave New World. Consider some of the following examples.
In response to the growing number of unwanted pregnancies, due in part to the shift in sexual values, the women's movement pushed for the liberalization of the abortion laws to permit "abortion on demand" within the first trimester, that is 3 months). Since then, abortions have moved to the second and third trimesters or the 6th to 9th month, and the most recent abortion issue involved “partial-birth” abortion in which a child in the 6th to 9th month of development is totally removed from the birth canal except for his head. A slit is cut in the back of his head and, while he or she is still moving, a suction device is used to suck out his brain and collapse his head. Under the Clinton Administration, Congress twice banned this procedure and twice President Clinton vetoed it because he said that it didn’t provide for cases where the health of the mother was threatened. He chose to completely ignore that fact that the “health of the mother” has been so broadly interpreted by the courts that psychological social, or economic discomfort qualified or that the experts in the field said that they could never imagine a case where a partial birth abortion was needed to protect the health of the mother. The bill was finally passed into law under the administration of George W. Bush but the federal courts, which contain many liberal minded judges appointed by Clinton, have delayed its enforcement because of challenges made on the basis of the “health of the mother” by pro-abortion groups. Thus, we have moved from abortion in the first trimester for serious reasons, to abortion “on demand” up to seconds before the child is ready to leave the birth canal. And it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get back to “square one” where the child in the womb was considered a human person who had human and civil rights because one of the principles upon which the court operates is that even if a decision was wrongly decided, once it has become part of the fabric of the society, it ought to be left alone because undoing it will create more problems.
Thus, for example, the Supreme Court in its Roe v. Wade decision pleaded ignorance about the humanity of the child in the womb and declared that if its humanity could ever be established then the Constitution, which says that “no person shall be denied life, liberty or property without due process of law” and that all person are entitled to “equal protection under the law”, would defend its right to life. The Court chose to ignore that, at the time of the decision, the world’s leading embryologists testified before Congress that, according to science, human life is a continuum that begin at the moment of conception. Now, since the development of the science of fetology, we have overwhelming evidence of the child’s humanity, yet the Court refuses to reverse itself because “abortion on demand” has become institutionalized. It’s just as Shakespeare wrote: “Oh the tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive” because the original lie was followed by a series of supporting lies that eventually created a “web of deceit” that frustrates all attempts to unravel it. Our logic and our language have been so distorted that we find ourselves in George Orwell’s world of Newspeak where words have lost their original meaning and sometimes mean just the opposite.
Thus we find ourselves caught between two words, ‘baby’ and ‘fetus’, that both conjure up different emotional responses. “Baby” is a word that appeals to the right lobe that prefers concrete, picturesque words that evoke an emotional response. “Fetus”, on the other hand, appeals to the left lobe that prefers abstract, non-picturesque words that evokes no emotions. In appear that both lobes are capable of killing you. The only difference is that the right lobe is a “hot-blooded killer” that is motivated by strong personal emotions, while the left lobe is a “cold-blooded killer” that kills without any personal feelings. The right lobe needs emotionally charged words like “blob”, “parasite”, “gook”, “pig”, “nigger”, “honky” etc… to dehumanize the object of its anger and to stir its emotions into a murderous rage. The left lobe needs clinical abstract words like “embryo”, “fetus”, “indigenous personnel”, etc.. to depersonalize those persons who stand in the way of it reaching its goal. The right lobe is the enraged boyfriend who shakes his girlfriend’s baby to death because it won’t stop crying; the left lobe is the abortionist who is employed to surgically dismembers a living child which he refers to a fetal tissue. The right lobe is the enraged husband who shoots his unfaithful wife; the left lobe is the “hit man” who is hired by the enraged husband to kill his unfaithful wife. The right lobe is the enraged father who kills the man who raped and killed his daughter; the left lobe is the state executioner who pulls the switch that electrocutes the rapist who killed his victim.
The right lobe is impulsive, emotional and personal, while the left lobe is logical, unemotional and impersonal. For one killing was the non-verbal way of expressing their hatred of the other person; for the other, it was only a job.
Most of us react strongly to “right lobe methods” because our own right lobes identify with the underlying feelings and they evoke similar strong positive or negative emotion in us. However, we are less emotionally responsive to “left lobe methods” because, since they are motivated by logic and pragmatism, they seem distant and impersonal to our right lobes. Thus, so long as you don’t “put a face on it” or connect it to me personally, my right lobe will remain indifferent to what is being done. Thus, when the “cold-blooded”, logical, pragmatic left lobe wants to kill, it keeps it abstract and “out of sight” and thereby short-circuits any emotional responses in itself and in others. And that is why the American Medical Association advises doctors to avoid showing ultra-sound pictures of their babies to mothers who are considering abortion. Once that “blob” or “fetus” becomes personalized as “my baby” or even “a baby”, the decision to kill it becomes difficult, if not impossible. As someone once said, “The heart needs no reason.” and that is because it acts spontaneously and impulsively It was because of this that Brave New World tried its best to eliminate or control all emotions because their unpredictability undermines all dictatorial systems. Abortion would end or greatly diminish tomorrow if a woman had to make an “informed choice” in which she was required to view all of the evidence on the humanity of her child. As one bumper sticker puts it, “If wombs had windows, no child would ever be aborted.”
But wombs don’t have windows and thus we are being constantly emotionally castrated by a constant barrage of abstract language that carefully avoids anything that might remind us of the concrete reality. Newscasters, who universally referred to “unborn babies” before Roe v. Wade, gradually began to insert the word “fetus” when referring to it. However, they have a strange way of reverting back to the previous term of “baby” in certain sensitive cases. For example, when Lacey Peterson, who was in the late term of her pregnancy, was found murdered, her husband was later convicted for killing her and their unborn child. Planned Parenthood and the National Organization of Women, who are major supporters of “abortion on demand”, became upset because the obvious implication of this was that the unborn child was a human being and that killing it was murder. After their complaint, newscasters began to vacillate as though they couldn’t make up their mind whether it was a “baby” or a “fetus” that had been killed.
The conflict between these two different perceptions became even more obvious when a local female newscaster became pregnant with her own child and wanted to proudly display the ultra-sound pictures to the viewing audience. Although, she had used the word “fetus” on other occasions while reporting the news, she constantly used the word “baby” when referring to her own child. An even greater conflict was revealed on CNN when a female reporter was interviewing a representative from a major medical firm concerning a new three-dimension ultra-sound machine that produced pictures so clear and lifelike that even the most ardent abortionist couldn’t deny its humanity. It was the nearest thing to a “window” on the womb. The reporter was awestricken with the pictures and you could see that her natural maternal instincts had “kicked in” and she was struggling with doubts about the whole issue of abortion. As the reporter continued to speak in glowing terms of the reality of the baby in the womb, the lady from the major medical firm, who was obviously uncomfortable with the reporter’s constant reference to “the baby” said, “I hope people don’t take these pictures and politicize them.” Translated into more concrete language she was saying, “I hope that they don’t take these pictures to undermine our commitment to abortion by showing that it’s a human baby instead of a “fetus.”
However, probably the worst example of our hypocrisy on this issue is the law by Congress banning partial birth abortion whose passage was supported by many Congressmen who had pro-abortion records. Even they couldn’t stomach this type of abortion because of its graphic nature. The idea of a fully developed child dangling from the birth canal by its head having its brain sucked out was too much… it was too graphic… This had broken the cardinal rule of the supporters of abortion. Under no circumstances should we ever allow the humanity or the personhood of the unborn child enter our conscious minds or the minds of others. If that happened, it would threaten the premises upon which the whole superstructure of abortion rested. Therefore, it had to be banned.
However, there was no ban against killing the same child by other techniques so long as it was done in the womb. But logic says “what is the difference between killing this child in the womb or killing him partially out of the womb?” To the child the results are the same. The only difference is one of perception.
Thus, the cultural war between the churches and the humanist is, for the most part, a battle of perception. It is a propaganda war in which the weapons are often words that are designed to shift our values, attitudes, and perceptions. And, since liberal, humanist forces are often well placed in our media and educational institutions, they have been very successful in changing the way that we look at our world. For example, before abortion was institutionalized, the common response to the announcement of “I’m going to have a baby” was “Oh, congratulation. Do you want a boy or a girl?” That has been replaced with “Oh, do you intend to keep it or not?” This is a perfect example of how through the constant repetition of words, terms, and slogans, norms are shifted and a previous abnormality becomes normalized while the former norm becomes abnormal. In other words, we become desensitized until we no longer react to things that used to provoke us. The poet Yeats puts it this way:
Vice (or evil) is a monster of such a frightful mien (appearance)
That to be hated needs but to be seen
But seen too often… familiar with her face…
We first endure… then pity… then embrace…
When this happens, then we, like the children in Brave New World, whose moral values were shaped by the constant repetition of slogans and suggestions from the state, lose our ability to consciously critique reality and instead become part of a mindless mob that is being led and manipulated by those who control the substance of what enters our mind.
Thus, today, according to modern terminology, no woman is ever “having a baby” because the word “baby”, which stirs up warm and loving feelings, has been replaced by the word “fetus”, an intellectual invention that has no reality except in the minds of those who created it. There is nothing in the developing child that says, “I am an embryo” or “I am a fetus”. In fact, if any terminology could be written on its flesh, it would says, like Popeye, “I am what I am: a developing human being conceived by human parents who is going through a developmental process on my way to maturity. If you choose to invent and name demarcation lines in this developmental process, know that they are your intellectual inventions and have no bearing on my existential being. I am not a fetus developing into a human being. I am a human being, resulting from the sexual interaction of my human parents, who is going through a mental construct invented by you called the “fetal stage of development. In fact, you use this same mental construct to describe the developmental process in other species such as fetal goats and cows. ”
Once the dehumanization and depersonalization of unborn children was accomplished, it removed the major barrier to the implementation of Brave New World, where everybody was dehumanized and depersonalized. Logic says that new premises always lead to new conclusions and that is what we are dealing with today.
After the child, now a "fetus", was place in a non-human, non-person status, the door was open for scientists to experiment with it in ways that were prohibited before when it had human status. And each step down this path paved the way for the next step. Thus:
New drugs that before were tested on chimps and other animals with only
approximate results as to how they would affect human beings could now be tested on unborn children which gave you exact results. While listening to the radio, I heard a debate between two scientists who were arguing whether testing new drugs on human embryos gave accurate results. The first scientist pointed to an experiment that was done that indicated that they did. The second one countered by saying that the test was flawed by the fact that these embryos had been placed in the uteruses of laboratory rats who were then injected with the experimental drug. The major objection of the second scientist was not that a human child had been placed in the uterus of a female rat but that it tainted the experiment because the rat introduced another variable into the experiment.
If unborn children could be used for medical experimentation then why couldn’t they be used for other medical purposes. Thus, proposals have been made to use aborted children as organ donors for sick children. On one afternoon talk show, the teenage granddaughter of an Alzheimer’s patient suggested that she might purposely get pregnant so that the child could be aborted and enzymes be extracted from it brain to treat her grandfather's Alzheimer's disease. The audience applauded.
Little by little the justification for abortion expanded as the principle of the “slippery slope” proved its validity. Abortions that were originally justified for serious medical, social, and psychological reasons were now being granted for less serious personal reasons. In India, out of 800 abortions that were studied, 798 were performed on females because of the cultural bias for boy. A famous female a tennis star, admitted to two abortions to permit her to play tennis and the female singer in a famous musical trio admitted to aborting her second child because it would have interfered with her career. A poll taken at a local secular university concerning the reasons for which babies could be aborted included, “if the baby was going to be fat”, or “if it was the wrong sex”. We now have “abortion on demand” which means “for any reason” as those who favor it claim that the mother has an unrestricted right for “Choice!” This position, as I explained in a previous program, is based on Situational Ethic that is connected to Jean Paul Sartre’s atheistic philosophy of Existentialism which says, that since the universe is “accidental and absurd” there are no objective right or wrongs. Therefore, everyone is free to decide for him/herself what is right and wrong. As a result, the only thing that makes any action moral is whether the person freely “chose” to do it.
The mother’s womb, which was suppose to be the safest and most nurturing
environment that we ever experienced, has now become the most dangerous place for a child to be. A child has a better chance of being killed in his mother’s womb than any place else. Over 40 million babies have been aborted since Roe v. Wade and it has been estimated that 1 out of every 3 children conceived is aborted.
The things that provided grease for the “slippery slope” were the “hard cases” that made bad laws. In other words, cases in which there was a “good end” but required the use of “bad means.” These cases, because they appeal to our emotions, cause us to make a decision in the short term for a specific case that creates a bad precedence in the long for general cases. Thus, couples who had problems in conceiving were offered “in vitro fertilization”, to improve the chances of pregnancy. Multiple eggs that were fertilized in a laboratory were inserted into the woman’s womb. If more than one egg began to develop, a practice called “selective reduction” was used to kill the embryonic babies who were not wanted. When the Church opposed the entire procedure it was painted as a heartless monster by its opponents.
“In vitro” fertilization led to the practice of storing frozen embryos for future use by those who had fertility problems. What to do with them became an ethical and legal dilemma. For example, the practice erupted into a custody case in which a number of frozen human embryos were fought over by a couple that had decided to get divorced. The court decided to give them to the woman since they were "human beings" and had a better chance to grow to full development with their mother since she intended to have them implanted in her womb. But what about those “abandoned eggs” whose parents no longer intended to bring them to full maturity? This opened the door for the next proposal.
Since they will eventually be discarded, research scientists wanted them for “stem cell” experimentation that they hope would lead to making it possible to replaced or repair damaged parts or organs in sick or handicapped people. Once again the “slippery slope” was being greased with a “good end” that wanted to use “bad means.” And, if these existing human embryos could be used for stem cell research, why couldn’t we make more for the same purpose.
At present, the government has compromised by agreeing to allow the researchers to use and clone the “stored embryos” that are destined to be thrown away but it has refuses to finance the creation of new human embryos. The Church, who opposed this, was quick to point out that stem cell also can be harvested from the placentas of newly born babies and from the bodies of adult humans. In other words, they had no problem with the “ends”, it was the “means.”
“In vitro” fertilization paved the way for the next step in our march towards the use of technology and science to completely turn our ethical outlook upside-down. As "in vitro" fertilization and surrogate motherhood became accepted, the concept of parents and family was challenged. Lesbian women claimed the right to form families by having one of them artificially inseminated. Eventually, scientists spoke of the possibility of impregnating one female with the genes of another female by removing the nucleus from one of their reproductive cells. This was followed by "gay" male couples demanding the right to produce children through artificial insemination in a female surrogate or through adoption. The "Gay Liberation Movement" made it a goal to have "gay relationships" receive the same legal sanctions and tax advantages as heterosexual married couples. Massachusetts, which has a large Catholic population, has already accepted “gay marriage.”
As attitudes towards sexual behavior, sexual roles, and sexual preferences were challenged, a conflict arose between conservative religious groups and liberal humanistic groups over the teaching of sexual values. Conservative maintained that the family was the social institution that should handle this responsibility. Liberals maintained that the family couldn't and that the government should use the schools to teach “value free” sexual education. These Liberal have argued that there is no such thing as “normal sex” and that it is “different strokes for different folks!”
Conservatives claimed that the courses were taught in such a way that they undermined tradition sexual values in that they accepted fornication, masturbation, and "gay" relationships as norms for behavior.
As the right to abortion became established, another argument broke out between conservative and liberal forces over the rights of the family and the intrusion of the state. Traditionally, it was held that no medical procedure could be done on a minor child without the approval of the parents. However, liberal forces argued that any law that required abortion clinics to inform parents of the intent of their minor child to have an abortion was a violation of the child's "right to privacy."
Conservative forces argued that this eroded the parent’s traditional right to be involved in decisions that concerned the welfare of their minor children.
These and other examples indicate that we are involved in a great culture war that, unless the Silent Majority chooses to open it mouth, will be won by liberal, humanistic forces. Many conservatives argue that there is a Secular Humanistic conspiracy that has organized itself for the restructuring of our society through its control of the federal courts, education and the media. They claim that this restructuring will replace the basic Judeo/Christian ethics of the society with an atheistic, humanistic ethics that will take the country towards a socialistic state in which the family role as chief paradigm shaper will be replaced by an atheistic, paternalistic state. e.g. New World Order.
This is something that I will take up in future programs. However, that will have to wait for September because, as is my practice, I take a rest during the summer to recharge my batteries. Therefore, following Memorial Day and going until the second week of September, I begin to replay back programs. So have a good summer and be sure to tune in again in September to discover my analysis of what the New World Order should be. It’s not enough to know what is wrong with the other guy’s plan. You must have a plan of your own and, God willing, I will outline my plan in September. Here’s Dom!