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The issue of the dark triad in the debates over design — the danger of cossetting an asp of evolutionary materialism-driven cold, manipulative narcissism, machiavellianism and sociopathy from Alcibiades to today

cool_cold

Just cool, mon . . . the one and only Hunter S Thompson (HT: Axel)

“Cool” is often presented as the iconic, somewhat glamorous state of being calm, collected, in control.  It is often viewed as highly desirable, sexy, balanced, stylish, just plain “right.”

Oh, soo, desirable . . .

But, beneath the surface of “cool,” there too often lurks a reptilian coldly amoral ferocity that marks all the difference between the Christian virtue of self-control and the manipulative, demonically controlling.

The dark triad, satanic side of cool.

Dark triad?

Though this sounds a little like an overly melodramatic movie title, it is actually a term of art in modern psychology, to describe a destructive cluster of personality syndromes that is increasingly seen.

As Susan Whitbourne, writing in a Psychology Today article, sums up in a nutshell:

Lurking beneath the surface of people who use others to their own advantage is psychology’s “Dark Triad.” Defined as a set of traits that include the tendency to seek admiration and special treatment (otherwise known as narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy [--> others, would want to use sociopathy instead, in a context of pointing to social influences]) and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism), the Dark Triad is rapidly becoming a new focus of personality psychology . . . .

Jonason and Webster’s Dirty Dozen scale can give you a quick way to spot the Dark Triad individual in your midst. Rate each item on a 7-point scale as you think it applies to this person. Of course, you can also rate yourself on these qualities to see how you measure up:

  1. I tend to manipulate others to get my way.
  2. I tend to lack remorse.
  3. I tend to want others to admire me.
  4. I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions.
  5. I have used deceit or lied to get my way.
  6. I tend to be callous or insensitive.
  7. I have used flattery to get my way.
  8. I tend to seek prestige or status.
  9. I tend to be cynical.
  10. I tend to exploit others toward my own end.
  11. I tend to expect special favors from others.
  12. I want others to pay attention to me.

The total score can range from 12 to 84, but you can also break down the scales into the three traits as follows:  Machiavellianism= 1, 5, 7, 10; Psychopathy= 2, 4, 6, 9; Narcissism= 3, 8, 11, 12.

cleo_asp

Cleopatra’s traditional suicide, courtesy BBC

Plainly, those who fail to mark the difference between being merely stylishly “cool” (or, better, being self-controlled) and being coldly manipulative, may well cosset an asp to the bosom, not to knowingly commit suicide as Cleopatra of Egypt is reputed to have done, but instead under the delusion that an asp has somehow managed to become lamb-like.

The effect, predictably,  is just as fatal.

And, that is where the issue of the debates over design and the evidently remorseless, manipulative and too often outright slanderous rhetorical and agitation-propaganda tactics we have seen ever so often here at UD come in.

For example, when we re-read the classic warning by Plato in the laws, Bk X, regarding the dangers of evolutionary materialism in the light of the dark triad dynamic, we can see a very significant pattern. As the Intro-summary page for the IOSE notes:

___________

>> v –> From the days of Plato, it was understood that such materialism also has serious implications for society, as it is inherently amoral: if thoughts are determined by chance and necessity, and the issue is the dominance of the “fittest,” then that all too easily becomes the premise for the ruthless and powerful to try to dominate all others. As Plato’s Athenian Stranger observed in The Laws, Book X:

Ath. . . . [[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [[i.e the classical "material" elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art, and that as to the bodies which come next in order-earth, and sun, and moon, and stars-they have been created by means of these absolutely inanimate existences. The elements are severally moved by chance and some inherent force according to certain affinities among them-of hot with cold, or of dry with moist, or of soft with hard, and according to all the other accidental admixtures of opposites which have been formed by necessity. After this fashion and in this manner the whole heaven has been created, and all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only. [[In short, evolutionary materialism premised on chance plus necessity acting without intelligent guidance on primordial matter is hardly a new or a primarily "scientific" view! Notice also, the trichotomy of causal factors:  (a) chance/accident, (b) mechanical necessity of nature, (c) art or intelligent design and direction.] . . . .

 

[[Thus, they hold that t]he Gods exist not by nature, but by art, and by the laws of states, which are different in different places, according to the agreement of those who make them; and that the honourable is one thing by nature and another thing by law, and that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.- [[Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT. (Cf. here for Locke's views and sources on a very different base for grounding liberty as opposed to license and resulting anarchistic "every man does what is right in his own eyes" chaos leading to tyranny. )] These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might [[ Evolutionary materialism leads to the promotion of amorality], and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [[Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality "naturally" leads to continual contentions and power struggles; cf. dramatisation here],  these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is, to live in real dominion over others [[such amoral factions, if they gain power, "naturally" tend towards ruthless tyranny], and not in legal subjection to them.

 

w –> This ancient analysis has been echoed tellingly in our day by historian of science (with a special focus on evolutionary biology and population genetics) Prof. William Provine of Cornell University, in his well-known 1998 Darwin Day keynote address at the University of Tennessee, as he then went on to try to make the best case he could for an ethics of naturalism:

 

Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . . 

 

The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [--> which immediately undermines both rationality and morality, on the same reason why we do not blame a brute beast for what it does through its controlling instincts] . . . .

 

[[Evolution: Free Will and Punishment and Meaning in Life, Second Annual Darwin Day Celebration Keynote Address, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, February 12, 1998 (abstract).]

 

. . . These remarks find a striking parallel in Dawkins’ words in a 1995 Scientific American article:

Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This lesson is one of the hardest for humans to learn. We cannot accept that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous: indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.

 

We humans have purpose on the brain. We find it difficult to look at anything without wondering what it is “for,” what the motive for it or the purpose behind it might be. The desire to see purpose everywhere is natural in an animal that lives surrounded by machines, works of art, tools and other designed artifacts – an animal whose waking thoughts are dominated by its own goals and aims . . . .

 

Somewhere between windscreen wipers and tin openers on the one hand, and rocks and the universe on the other, lie living creatures. Living bodies and their organs are objects that, unlike rocks, seem to have purpose written all over them . . . . The true process that has endowed wings, eyes, beaks, nesting instincts and everything else about life with the strong illusion of purposeful design is now well understood.
It is Darwinian natural selection . . . . The true utility function of life, that which is being maximized in the natural world, is DNA survival. But DNA is not floating free; it is locked up in living bodies, and it has to make the most of the levers of power at its disposal. Genetic sequences that find themselves in cheetah bodies maximize their survival by causing those bodies to kill gazelles. Sequences that find themselves in gazelle bodies increase their chance of survival by promoting opposite ends. But the same utility function-the survival of DNA-explains the “purpose” of both the cheetah [--> i.e. predator]  and the gazelle [--> i.e. prey] . . . .

 

The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but pitiless indifference . . . . DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music. [[ “God’s Utility Function,” Sci. Am. Aug 1995, pp. 80 - 85.]

[[NB: This article raises the issue of the problem of evil, here emphasising the problem of natural evil; probably the strongest argument in the atheists' arsenal, but one that only works by implicitly assuming that good and evil, thus moral obligation, are real; while ducking the implication that the only valid worldview in a world in which OUGHT is real, is one that has a foundational IS that adequately grounds ought. And materialism -- scientific atheism today, has no such is. So, the objecting atheist actually has no grounds to stand on to make the argument; his argument, in the end is self-defeating, and so the proper response is to insist that such an atheist face that issue before proceeding further. (Cf here for a preliminary discussion of the problem of evil from a Christian perspective.)]

x –> In critiquing Provine’s remarks from a Judaeo-Christian perspective, Kyle Butt brings out a significant implication:

Provine’s . . . [[address] centered on his fifth statement regarding human free will. Prior to delving into the “meat” of his message, however, he noted: “The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them” (Provine, 1998).

 

It is clear then, from Provine’s comments, that he believes naturalistic evolution has no way to produce an “ultimate foundation for ethics.” And it is equally as clear that this sentiment was so apparent to “modern naturalistic evolutionists” that Mr. Provine did not feel it even needed to be defended . . . . [[However, i]f it is true that naturalistic evolution cannot provide an ultimate foundation for determining the difference between actions that are right and ones that are wrong, then the door is wide open for subjective speculation about all human behavior. [[Rape and Evolution, Apologetics Press, 2005.]

 

y –> Thus, whether or not we are inclined to accept either Evolutionary Materialism or Judaeo- Christian theism or another worldview, issues closely tied to origins science matter, truly matter, and lie at the core of many of the complex issues we face in our civilisation today, in our communities, institutions, families and lives.>>

___________

In short, once evolutionary materialist amorality and irrationality gain a foothold within the door, the door is now wide open to the coldly manipulative nihilist who can persuade us that somehow the asp has become lamblike.

Plato’s chief implicit exemplar, Alcibiades, should give us pause. As Gabriella Arcan summarises:

According to Thucydides, Alcibiades was an immoral man. He was never able to be loyal to his country, his wife or his friends. As a teenager, he was Socrates’ protégé and pupil but was not faithful to him. Alcibiades also liked to be flattered, and indulged himself in sensual pleasures. He was famous for his parties which scandalized the citizens of Athens . . . .   Alcibiades showed no respect for other people’s feelings, and for them as human beings all together. Sometimes he did certain things to redeem himself, but not because he was sorry for the wrong he caused, but because he realized that even he needed to maintain a certain level of decency in the public eye.

People of Athens tolerated his behavior for two reasons. First, he was a good general, and they needed him, and he knew how to get their clemency, by being very eloquent. He was a very charming man, and knew how to use that. But a time came when even the Athenian people had enough, and one day Alcibiades, having too many enemies, was accused of a religious sacrilege. He escaped to Sparta where the most unforgivable example of his immoral character occurred.

Alcibiades convinced the Spartans that he was their friend, and indeed helped them, against his own city, but in the meantime he was very busy himself, seducing the wife of his Spartan protector King Agis. Incredibly, Alcibiades seduced King Agis’s wife to have a successor to the Spartan throne. He thought that he was able to manipulate everything. She gave birth to a baby boy, and even if according to Plutarch, the boy’s name was not Alcibiades, she used to call him that when she was in a circle of good friends. Word got back to King Agis, and he got suspicious of Alcibiades. The king knew that the baby was not his own, since he hadn’t been with his wife for about ten months prior to the child’s birth. When he realized the boy’s father was Alcibiades, he planned to get revenge. Alcibiades, who up to then had pretended to be the king’s friend, being scared, fled Sparta for the chief enemy of all the Greeks, The King of Persia and his satrap Tissaphernes. Once there, he behaved unscrupulously. But what should not be forgotten is he left behind to who knew what sort of dangerous fate his own son and the woman with whom Alcibiades conceived him. He never thought of the king’s wife’s situation, or the child’s. But Alcibiades had never proved himself to be faithful before that time or afterward. He committed evil deeds because he thought he would be manipulating a situation for his own self-interest or simply because of whatever short-term pleasure it offered and he did not care about the harm that he caused. If he actually cared, he could have taken the mother, or at least the child with him. Of course, he did not. He did not go back to get them, or attempt to . . . .

 As a result Alcibiades ultimately had to flee for his life to the king of Persia’s minister, or satrap. Turning traitor a second time, Alcibiades advised the Persians how to best defeat the Spartans. Later on, having worn out his welcome with the Persians, Alcibiades took advantage of a pair of revolutions in Athens, the first of which overthrew the democracy and the second of which overthrew the oligarchy that had taken over. Alcibiades participated in the revolution that returned the city to democracy and then came back to Athens . . .

In the end, the Athenians came to a point where they simply could not trust him (and ended up suffering a fatal defeat). He ended up in exile and came to a sticky end. I therefore cite him as a classic example (the one most likely in Plato’s mind when he penned The Laws) of the “cool” one who is in reality satanically coldly manipulative, amoral, remorseless, tricky, self-seeking and destructive, seduced by both sophistry and flattery, and seducing others with the same. (And BTW, when Socrates — who had tried to rescue Alcibiades but failed — was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens in his trial, the ghost of Alcibiades lurked in the background.)

Now, we have already sufficiently underscored the concerns about the ideology of evolutionary materialism. The issue now, is the dangers it poses through warping the mindset and conscience of ever so many, opening the door to nihilistic manipulation that imagines that might and manipulation make as much of ‘truth’ and ‘right’ as exist.

For, if there is a rising tide of such notions in our civilisation — and there plainly is — that invites the cluster of dark triad behaviours already highlighted. Indeed, we already see that on the design debates,  in how often there is a cynical disregard for duties of care to truth or fairness in how the issue of inference to design is handled by objectors. And, when such is corrected (on evidence), we too often see no sense of remorse or of duty to truth or fairness in response.

Instead the game is usually to double down, as though the truth and the right can be rendered ineffective by being drowned out.

When we see this, let us not be fooled by a “cool” manner or manifest cleverness and glibness.

And, for sure, let us not cosset an asp (or even a potential asp . . . even one dressed up in a lamb’s skin)!

Instead, it may be helpful to ask for some clear and straightforward answers to questions such as these that I recently had to address to G2:

1] Your empirically grounded evidence that blind chance and mechanical necessity are plausibly adequate to form a life friendly cosmos, trigger OOL and then body plans (including our own with the crucial linguistic ability) is: ______________ ? [Cf. here on.]

2] Your empirically grounded evidence that things like FSCO/I are not empirically tested, found reliable indicators of design is: ____________ ?

3] Your adequate reason for dismissing the reality of God . . .  is: ___________ ? [Cf. here.]

4] In that context [of evident evolutionary materialism], your grounding of the credibility of the human ability to reason and know (note here onlookers) is: ______________ ?

5] In that context, your grounding of OUGHT in an IS at worldview foundation level adequate to sustain rights as more than the nihilistic, amoral “might and manipulation make ‘right’ . . . ” warned against by Plato in The Laws, Bk X, is: _______________ ? [Onlookers, cf. here, here and here for why this is absolutely important.)

6] Your best explanation for the minimal facts at the historical foundation of the Christian Faith is: _____________, and it is best warranted as ____________ ?

7] In light of the above, your best account for the system of reality we see in the world around us and in our hearts is: ______________, and it is best warranted as a worldview because ____________ ?

If there is an unresponsiveness or an evasiveness at this point, a prudent person would take that as a warning sign.

If there is a further, remorseless doubling down on misleading talking points such as those corrected in the UD Weak Argument Correctives here on, that is a further sign.

And if there are manifestations of denigration, stereotyping, scapegoating and the like poisonous tactics, that’s three strikes and your’e out.

Don’t clutch dark triad asps to your bosom, folks.

Never mind how glibly the snake tells us that he had changed his ways since Eden. END

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7 Responses to The issue of the dark triad in the debates over design — the danger of cossetting an asp of evolutionary materialism-driven cold, manipulative narcissism, machiavellianism and sociopathy from Alcibiades to today

  1. Catchy title!

  2. F/N: This study (HT: WK) as presented in a short lecture by Dr George Yancey — a sociologist — on bias against Christians in the academy, among progressives (especially cultural progressives) and even in IQ tests, should give food for thought as we reflect on the above. KF

  3. DiEb: I thought the term “dark triad” is a tad melodramatic, but it is indeed a term of the art. I have a serious concern that the sort of nihilism Plato warned against with the ghosts of Socrates and Alcibiades peering over his shoulders as he wrote, is a growing challenge in our civilisation at large, not just in North America. The sort of prejudices Yancey investigated, should give us additional pause. I really wish I did not have to be so direct in raising such matters, but it has reached that sad pass, given a major problem of unwillingness to attend to warning signs. KF

    PS: And, no, obviously most adherents of evolutionary materialism are not the equivalent of an Alcibiades. But the concern on undermining moral governance mechanisms and feeding the sort of cold manipulativeness I am highlighting is a serious one that needs to be soberly faced.

  4. It’s a shame, in a way, that you use the photo of Hunter Thompson, though understandable enough.

    The truth is, he was a far deeper and more complex personality than a narcissist and/or psychopath. Indeed, his empathy with the immiserated, afflicted and stricken appears in various passages in his books.

    However, as is normal, when he wrote from the heart, it is clear that he was truly inspired by God, providing, as he did, insights of exceptional depth and poignancy.

    In particular, I’m thinking of a passage in which he describes an old Christian astronaut, expressing his profound admiration for him, particularly in comparison with the new, young astronauts, whom he depicted as, generally, more like soulless functionaries. It might have been his book, On the Campaign Trail.

    Like someone who was perhaps his temperamental antithesis, Kurt Godel, he just didn’t have the courage to witness more boldly to such Christian faith as he seems to have had. Odd, isn’t it? Although, of course, Hunter would have felt a prisoner of his public persona.

  5. Axel, sorry didn’t know that was who — I only know the name HST not a pic! I was just looking for an arbitrary icon of cool and that was the first that caught my eye [didn't even get a good source], thanks, will add identity. I thought this was good, and was studiously ambiguous on race . . . black influences being a key part of cool. Cool ‘ent cold like a snake, though the two can be confused. Which is part of the point. KF

  6. yes, he was a complex character. I saw him being interviewed on a video-clip and he was quite unlike the persona he projects in his books, and lived, for that matter. He actually seemed very introverted introverted and mumbled inaudibly most of the time. I don’t think he was high.

    He once said if he really took drugs at the rate people thought, he’d never have been able write his books. A great deal fewer, anyway.

    He was cool, wasn’t he, yet when he was granted an interview with Ali, he was like a little kid, you know, clowning around and so on.

    If you haven’t read On the Campaign Trail, and you can find the time, I would recommend you do. It’s a great read.

  7. F/N: in case you thought this stuff was a ho-hum, observe a case in action on bioethics:

    ________

    >> Let’s clip a bit more of that editorial, which is saying to objectors, how dare you get angry at the “Academic freedom” expressed in our journal:

    As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.

    The novel contribution of this paper is not an argument in favour of infanticide – the paper repeats the arguments made famous by Tooley and Singer – but rather their application in consideration of maternal and family interests. The paper also draws attention to the fact that infanticide is practised in the Netherlands. [--> In short, we see here the collapse of he next domino beginning]

    Many people will and have disagreed with these arguments. However, the goal of the Journal of Medical Ethics is not to present the Truth or promote some one moral view. It is to present well reasoned argument based on widely accepted premises. The authors provocatively argue that there is no moral difference between a fetus and a newborn. Their capacities are relevantly similar. If abortion is permissible, infanticide should be permissible. The authors proceed logically from premises which many people accept to a conclusion that many of those people would reject.

    Of course, many people will argue that on this basis abortion should be recriminalised. Those arguments can be well made and the Journal would publish a paper than made such a case coherently, originally and with application to issues of public or medical concern.

    [--> Really? Where were you when Schaeffer and Koop made exactly this point, to object to setting off the first domino in the cascade, warning that it then leads from abortion to infanticide to euthanasia tot he utter devaluation of life and establishment of a culture of death for the convenience of the powerful thence the death camp or the like? Where are you, now that he prediction is coming true again? On what rational grounds do you found reason and morality? In a worldview that infers as Provine put it in his 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day address: >> Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . . The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will . . . >>? Let's just say that this cascade of assertions would undermine both morality and reason, indeed without power of responsible choice, neither can exist, all reduces to might and manipulation by the powerful make 'truth,' 'reason' and 'right'.]

    If there were threats, that is to be regretted, but surely there should be strong condemnation and a call to return to a sanctity of life ethic rather than a ‘life unworthy of being lived” ethic that if translated into German will have a suitably sinister tone, given its history.] More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.

    Methinks I find here a turnabout moral equivalency accusation, meant to poison the well.

    And, it seems that — true to the manipulation game — the editorial misrepresents. Let us hear the abstract of the paper, which is so short that failure to cite it in extenso is telling:

    J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411

    Law, ethics and medicine

    Paper

    After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?

    Alberto Giubilini1,2,
    Francesca Minerva3

    Published Online First 23 February 2012

    Abstract

    Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

    In short,t he powerful get to decide who is convenient to live, even with no excuse of disability.

    MONSTROUS!

    Introduction:

    Severe abnormalities of the fetus and risks for the physical and/or psychological health of the woman are often cited as valid reasons for abortion. Sometimes the two reasons are connected, such as when a woman claims that a disabled child would represent a risk to her mental health. However, having a child can itself be an unbearable burden for the psychological health of the woman or for her already existing children,1 regardless of the condition of the fetus. This could happen in the case of a woman who loses her partner after she finds out that she is pregnant and therefore feels she will not be able to take care of the possible child by herself.

    A serious philosophical problem arises when the same conditions that would have justified abortion become known after birth. In such cases, we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human . . .

    Then, the newspeak, doubletalk manipulation of language game and where it goes:

    In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. [--> the intent of this doublespeak is obviously to benumb to what is being done, and to give talking points to be drummed in to spread the benumbing far and wide] Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.

    Failing to bring a new person into existence cannot be compared with the wrong caused by procuring the death of an existing person. [--> dehumanising the intended victim, always the first step to excusing mass, politically backed murder] The reason is that, unlike the case of death of an existing person, failing to bring a new person into existence does not prevent anyone from accomplishing any of her future aims. However, this consideration entails a much stronger idea than the one according to which severely handicapped children should be euthanised. If the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds that she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing, then it should also be permissible to practise an after-birth abortion on a healthy newborn too, given that she has not formed any aim yet . . .

    Utterly monstrous, machiavellian, narcissistic [how dare you object, we are the academic elites exercising our minds in free speech] and sociopathic.

    The dark triad in action. >>
    ________

    Chilling.

    KF

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