On 22 Oct 2008, at 00:32, email@example.com wrote:
I just read your article, and I noticed your discussion of the libertarian argument against abortion seemed to be lacking. There are multiple libertarian arguments against abortion which you did not address.
Producing a child through consensual sex is akin to abducting someone and tying them up in your basement. In the case of the abduction, the abductee is there in your basement dependent upon you for survival by no act or omission of his own. In the case of pregnancy, the child is likewise there in the mother's womb, dependent upon her for survival, by no act or omission of its own.
If you, the abductor, were to stop feeding the man in your basement or subsequently to evict him from your property, still tied up or otherwise handicapped so that he did not have the faculties necessary to fend for himself, you would be committing an act of murder. Likewise with abortion.
This view is perfectly consistent with libertarianism, assuming the libertarian is conditionally pro-life and thus makes exceptions for cases of rape.
Tell me where I'm wrong.
Hello, Mr. Simmons
Thanks for your email. Arguing by analogy is always a dangerous thing, and I think in the instance you cite is flawed. Allow me to explain:
In the case when you abduct someone and lock him in your basement, you have a clear and conscious act of coercion on behalf of the abductor against the abductee. Agency is quite clear and unambiguous. This does not hold for impregnation, even in the case of consensual sex. A better analogy would be if someone were to accidentally, through a technical flaw, get teleported into your basement. In such a case I would argue that one is well within one's libertarian rights to expunge the person from the premises -- *even* if one was the person who operated the teleportation device in the first place. But as I say, arguing by analogy is dangerous ground.
I am not a libertarian, and I think libertarianism is (no pun intended) an abortive political ideology bereft of sound intellectual and empirical foundations. The very way in which libertarians discuss abortion is a testament to this. The whole abortion debate is obviously about personhood, not property rights and initiation of force.
On a personal note, I'm very much in *favour* of abortion. The world has too many human beings.
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