Discussing abortion with its supporters is I feel like going into the ‘gloom’ in the Night Watch movie; I’m invisible because the entities there don’t recognise my presence but there is a price to be paid - my life is drained. (The N.W. is a Gnostic masterpiece by the way)
Writing, by hand, notes as I was reading
James Edwin Mahon’s paper I felt the biro going like a polygraph as I claimed ‘I am a Saturnian’ - really. For this annotation I required a power tool, ancient technology that is not susceptible to malign vibrations. Out of its insulating case I bring the brushed aluminium and dimpled leather look body, Olivetti Lettera DL (de luxe). Big ju-ju.
Does that sound mad? Does it sound madder that putting Judith Thomson’s violinist front and centre in the war on life? Of course she, J.T., doesn’t want to be taken as a bad person so she asks – Would someone who decide to abort at 7 months because it interfered with holiday plans be not a decent human being? Really. Mahon asks why should there be any negative assessment of the probity of her action if the foetus viable though it be still had no right to the use of her body? Kinda gotcha, sort of. Get outa that one.
Bergson would say that the analysis of concepts and the virtual hypostasis of analysands is the problem. This is what gives Ethics as above its pettifogging and trifling trolleyist cast. Break up the continuous flow of life into point instants, pausing it at your command, generates the paradox that what is an inalienable right at month 2 becomes questionable at month 7. The intuition about a right to life has become undeniable at that point even if was unrecognised due to lack of imagination at the earlier point.
I must get out the gloom now. Young Mahon says Ould Mahon has moved on; in the right direction one hopes. The Only Philosopher of the Western World may miss the packed jury of the Citizen’s Assembly on the question set up by the dismal Half Taoiseach Kenny, tenant at will of Fianna Fail. In Ireland we do Noh Drama not Kabuki. It’s an ancient tradition.