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As a person who has felt extremely violated by an bodily modification that I had no say in, I'm entirely appalled at this. How many times would this procedure be done against someone's will. How often will there be mistakes that cause it to be irreversible, or worse? This is bodily rape. Disgusting.

Somewhere Huxley and Orwell are shaking their heads.

evil delights doesn't it, the comments say it all.

As medical technology advances profound moral decisions will have to be considered. As we learn more about DNA that will bring a whole list of moral decisions that will need to be made.

It appears to me that intellectualism without spiritual input such as a purpose and meaning to life can lead to some of kind of social Darwinism and severe societal problems. That spiritual input cannot be just about religious beliefs and there lies the problem. In most societies spiritually and religion are considered synonymous.

After reading the article this is another case of attempting to deal with a symptom rather that doing the hard part; finding, and dealing with the root cause of teen-age pregnancies.

Could economics be one of the factors? I have read that England is the lowest in the standard of living in Europe other than maybe Greece. In our society it does look like income levels play a role in teen pregnancies. Again like so many things in life we deal with symptoms not root causes.

Many of the specials I have seen on TV many of the teen girls wanted someone to love them and they thought a baby would fulfill that need. It almost always seems to be about love or better stated a lack of love that causes so many societal problems.

Maybe there is something to that idea we are supposed to love god, love our neighbors, and love ourselves. Easy to state difficult to do.

The Daily Mail is well known here for its right wing opinions. Few people in Britain take its views seriously, though it is widely read by the lower middle class, and does inform government policy on matters such as tax (ie it helps keep down tax for the better off).

A bit of background might make you soften your stance just a little (I live in the UK):
1. The point you make about overpopulation in Britain is no longer right. The population of the UK is projected to virtually double in the next 50 years, and currently a quarter to a half of all children in city schools are born of recent immigrants – Britain is attracting Eastern Europeans to work due to the economic boom here. And we are feeling like a very small overcrowded island at present. For instance, it is almost impossible to live anywhere away from traffic noise unless you are very well off (house prices are phenomenally high).
2. Recent immigrants (many of whom don’t speak much English) are happy to come in and take in all the lower paid jobs to send what (for them) is quite good money back to their families in Eastern Europe, often living ten or twelve to a 2 or 3 bedroomed terraced house here in the UK.
3. The welfare state (supporting the native “Vicky Pollards” referred to) means that Britain now has a rising permanent underclass of people who will never work, and it is necessary for young women to have children in order for the welfare state to grant them separate accommodation away from their parents –so naturally they oblige!
4. Among the working class and underclass there is a strong anti-intellectualism in the UK which you don’t find anywhere else in Europe. Education is to be avoided and disparaged (Pink Floyd: "We don’t need no education”). Classes are deliberately disrupted, so that those who want to learn cannot. A recent news report featured the son of a recently arrived Polish worker; he asked his teacher if he could be placed in a different class, because he couldn’t concentrate due to disruption. The teacher said to him, “I’m sorry –all the classes are like this. You just have to shut the noise out”.

So you see, Michael, these problems are endemic and deeply entrenched. In the UK, we have human rights in abundance, but a corresponding dearth in human responsibilities. We know that Fascism arises when all else fails. True, Dawn Primarolo is a disaster. She has no inkling of how to solve the above problems. The trouble is – nor does anyone else! It is not easy for me to say these things – I have always been a liberal. I guess it’s the decision of the planetary hierarchy to bring all these youthful souls down at present. We’ll just have to trust in their wisdom!

"In the UK, we have human rights in abundance, but a corresponding dearth in human responsibilities."

As Ross states, stories like this one go right to the heart of deep, fundamental problems at the core of western civilization. It’s not unique to the U.K.; children having children is a serious problem here is the States as well, and does contribute to perpetual dependence on government assistance.

I’m sure that many of the commentators in the linked article are taxpayers that look at this proposal and say to themselves, “Well, I guess it’s much easier than working to establish a sense of personal responsibility and genuine self worth among the population.” It never occurs to them that the proposed solution has alarming parallels, as MP suggests, to what has gone before.

Solutions will appear only from “outside of the box” of current thinking about these issues. When government assumes the role of caretaker of the population, chilling solutions to perceived problems begin to appear eventually. A step in the right direction might be to consider that government assistance may be better suited to teaching fishing than giving away fish.

Thanks, Ross, for that interesting background information. To me, it sounds as if many of the problems could be better addressed through welfare reform and immigration reform.

Unfortunately, anti-intellectualism is prevalent in the US underclass as well. In inner-city schools, kids who get good grades are taunted as "sellouts," while flunking out is considered cool. I believe a partial solution is to subsidize parents who wish to send their kids to parochial or private (nongovernment) schools. But the powerful teachers' lobby consistently blocks this proposal, fearing (correctly) that the private schools will put the public (governmnent) schools to shame.

Exactly human rights get's thrown out the window with this proposal. Lucky I live in Canada.

Well, speaking as someone who does not think that human rights are anything more than a group of convenient social structures that con the public into thinking that they have power, I see no problem with the proposal, provided that it is done properly according to true ethics as opposed to human rights ethics. I would probably need to see more specifics in order to know for sure. Michael Prescott, with all due respect I hope you realize that there is a HUGE difference between killing and preventing conception. I can't say that I'm a big fan of the body that I inhabit. If it is true that my spirit would have chosen another body if this one was not born, then I really wish my society would have tried harder to give my spirit better genetic options then the one that I am now stuck with.

Michael P says: “To me, it sounds as if many of the problems could be better addressed through welfare reform and immigration reform.”

Yes, that seems sensible Michael, but is it practical?

Welfare reform:

My son is working for a recruitment agency this year. He says that some people are simply unemployable: poor timekeepers, illiterate, argumentative, go off sick, and they just walk out! Then there are the Vicky Pollards. She is a character from the comedy show “Little Britain”, and I believe is supposed to have 4 children, each by a different father. An extreme caricature perhaps, but illustrates the point: if you try to put her in a job, what happens to her children? The way our society works, welfare subsistence is unavoidable.

Immigration reform:

Not easy in the UK at present. The European Community has recently expanded to include several Eastern European countries, and part of the package is freedom of movement for employment purposes. Also, with 3 million UK citizens on welfare (and most unemployable, per above), and with many pensioners (from the baby boomer era), the UK actually needs the Eastern Europeans -someone has to do the lower paid jobs!

I am surprised that some of your correspondents take the Daily Mail seriously though. What it suggests won’t actually happen –honest! It’s a tabloid newspaper, for Heaven’s sake! Not sure if the Americans understand the British mentality: we throw ideas around, but never actually take away peoples’ rights. Far from it. Good grief! What do you think we are? We have a democracy here!

Michael H is right about the need to “think outside the box” – that would mean a complete change in society, including in the end of capitalism. We need a new “consensus reality”. But I reckon that’s for another blog, don’t you?

We need a new “consensus reality”.

This is true, but a new consensus reality begins on the level of the individual. Solutions won’t come about from the current level of thinking, and the current level of thinking won’t be elevated until there’s a wide recognition on the individual level of how we all trap ourselves at our current level by the very fact we’re thinking. Once just one person sees this, new ideas come to their mind. It goes back to what Syd Banks is trying to tell us.

As I reflected on this, it occurred to me that there were thousands of couples that would love to adopt a healthy infant, yet it’s a very difficult and expensive process. My nephew spent tens of thousands to adopt his boy, including two trips to Russia. The waiting list is long.

It’s obvious to me that the existence of the welfare state has created a wholly undesirable situation. A sense of hopelessness pervades a significant portion of the disadvantaged, and this leads to all sorts of issues. Reliance on government assistance lowers self-esteem. Long-term reliance leads to hopelessness. Hopelessness begets disregard for education. Disregard for education begets more hopelessness, which leads to alcohol and drug abuse. Alcohol and drug abuse begets even more hopelessness which begets crime to support the substance abuse. And hopelessness also leads to young women having children to alleviate their hopelessness, even though they can’t support the children they are having. And the mother’s lack of means creates the circumstances where their children begin their lives reliant on government assistance, so they begin life with a sense of hopelessness.

Such is the ‘compassion’ of the welfare state. Genuine compassion is not about creating circumstances to allow anyone to avoid the consequences of their actions into perpetuity. It is about providing hope, and a path out to the disadvantaged.

What is wrong with phasing out publicly provided support for mothers that choose to have children without the means to support them? If someone cannot properly support a child, the determination of which would involve nothing more invasive than a means test, the government could provide prenatal care and place the resulting children with qualified adoptive parents who would love to have them. Prenatal care should involve drug testing, and a positive drug test should end in housing in a comfortable setting for the mother until the child is brought to term. At which point, the healthy infant would be provided to a loving family who does have the means to raise the child in an environment that begins with promise and hope. Adoption fees could be used to defray the costs of the program.

Just the implementation of this approach would lead to a much greater interest in freely available contraception provided by the same government, and a significant drop in teen pregnancies. The elimination of lifelong support as payment for having children one cannot afford would lead to a greater interest in education at an earlier age. The greater appreciation for education would open eyes to hope, as the disadvantaged begin to see possibilities for their lives that go well beyond continued reliance on the government or the pursuit of crime. Those who begin to elevate themselves from the underprivileged class would provide even more hope to those still there. The newly discovered sense of hope would lead to less interest in substance abuse, and a resulting drop in crime. These would result in more hope. It might take generations, but it’s taken generations to arrive where we currently are as well.

Any good parent understands that love involves tough decisions sometimes. Parenting isn’t about letting children run rampant. As government has chosen to assume the role of parent for the disadvantaged, and no matter how well intentioned they may be, they’ve somehow forgotten this. As I mentioned earlier, the core problem is in a failure to understand the role of thought. Not only are the policymakers trapped in their own thinking about these issues, but the thinking of the policymakers includes the assumption the lower classes are incapable of helping themselves. There isn’t an understanding that every human being on earth has a much deeper well of resources than they currently know. And the existing system allows millions to spend their entire lives without discovering that for themselves.

Whatever it is, the current welfare state is neither compassionate nor loving. And instead of looking for genuine compassion, they’re now considering forced sterilization. The link Michael closed his main piece with might be more on target than we currently know. We can all take solace that if it comes to that, we’ll be assured that it’s intended as compassionate. It just couldn’t be helped.

One the biggest problems with welfare as it exists in America, as I see it, is the lack of local control.

The model followed by the Swiss is quite interesting in this regard.

http://www.vermontrepublic.org/issues_essays/thomas_naylors_writings/the_swiss_model

Michael H: "the government could provide prenatal care and place the resulting children with qualified adoptive parents who would love to have them."
Such idealism! It's so rare these days, and to be treasured wherever it is found. Even the word idealism is never used in the UK anymore! How sad is that?
Chris Gilbert: "the lack of local control."
Ahhh..small communities in charge of themselves. Wouldn't that be just wonderful?

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