…by Jonas E. Alexis
In November 1996, Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson (both 18-year olds) went to a hotel room in Newark, Delaware, delivered their baby, killed him, and dropped the body in a dumpster.
Grossberg and Peterson were well off, and both were college freshmen at the time. Both teenagers were pleaded guilty of manslaughter and ended up in jail.
In the summer of 1997, a similar incident happened in Lacey Township, New Jersey. 18-year-old Melissa Drexler locked herself in a toilet stall, gave birth to a baby, wrapped him in garbage sacks, and left him for dead in a trash container. Once again, Drexler was guilty of manslaughter and was behind bars for several years.
Did Grossberg and Drexler actually commit murder? If so, what if they paid a doctor to kill their babies ten minutes before the babies came out? How about five minutes? Perhaps Four? Two?
Well, according to Steven Pinker of Harvard, Grossberg and Drexler did not even commit murder. The killing of newborns (neonaticide), Pinker told us in the New York Times, “should not be classified as murder.”
But a few paragraphs earlier, Pinker wrote that “Killing a baby is an immoral act, and we often express our outrage at the immoral by calling it a sickness.”
How can Pinker intellectually maintain both contradictory statements simultaneously? What kind of brain that would allow a person to maintain that A can be a non-A at the same time and in the same respect?
Aren’t we all familiar with the law of non-contradiction by now? Can the earth be round and not round at the same time? How did the academia get that far? Perhaps the Persian Medieval philosopher and polymath Avicenna was right about those who denied the law of non-contradiction:
“Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned.”
As it turns out, there is more to the abortion issues and killing newborns than meets the eye and ear. Let us see.
The abortion argument was first proposed by writers who vociferously disavowed the moral order (moral order can be replaced with practical reason). Ernst Haeckel, whose forged drawings helped propagate Darwin’s theory, wrote that
“the ovum is part of the mother’s body over which she has full right of control and that the embryo that develops from it, as well as the new-born child, is quite unconscious, or is a purely ‘reflex machine,’ like any other vertebrate.”
A “reflex machine” does not have a will of its own or a conscience, and does not even act by instinct. So, according to Haeckel, it is perfectly legitimate to smash that “reflex machine” and make a better one. In other words, he reduces a “new-born child” to a piece of metal or plastic or wood.
One of the most important figures of the twentieth century who developed this point further at a different angle was Margaret Mead, whose book Coming of Age in Samoa eventually became a required text for anthropology students in many colleges and universities during the 60s and 70s.
Mathematician and philosopher Alston Chase, who was (and perhaps still is) an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and who took classes with the infamous unabomber Ted Kaczynski, is a victim of that era.
As a lesbian, Mead wanted to free herself from the sexual boundaries proposed by the moral order, and therefore set out on an anthropological quest to prove that the Western ethics and morals were not only flawed, but detrimental to society at large.
Ruth Benedict, Mead’s partner and an anthropology instructor at Barnard College, was also dedicated to sexual liberation and tried to replace the moral order with, as the title of her book suggests, Patterns of Culture. The sexual chemistry between Benedict and Mead were indeed inseparable, an admission which her own daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson, could not avoid.
Mead, according to Bateson, tried to bring “a synthesis of all the fieldwork she had done” during hundreds of conversations with her third husband, “including the question of how it is possible to be in love with more than one person at the same time if they are different kinds of person.”
During those intense conversations, Ruth Benedict was there. Bateson admitted, “It is hard to visualize the kind of feverish atmosphere that must have characterized that interval.”
But during those conversations, Mead actually hinted that she was not the boss. Fanz Boaz was. In fact, it was Boaz who taught her cultural relativism.
“All passion was channeled into ideas, and Margaret and Reo telegraphed Boas that they were coming home with major new scientific insights.”
Mead also “had a sexual relationship with her closest friend, Rhoda Metraux, with whom Mead lived from 1955 until her death.”
But as some suggested, Mead quickly began to expand her sexual horizon by jumping from one partner to the next—both male and female. She started to flirt with Lawrence Lader, a revolutionary who had connections with New York communists. Lader
“divorced his wife and became a freelance writer and became an agitator for the sexual politics of Margaret Sanger shortly after his return from World War II.”
Under the tutelage of her professor Franz Boas, Mead was sent to “Polynesia (the American Samoa group protected by the U.S. Navy) to study adolescent Polynesian girls, hoping to find a much different transition from childhood to adulthood among the Polynesians.”
“Romantic love as it occurs in our civilization, inextricably bound up with ideas of monogamy, exclusiveness, jealousy and undeviating fidelity, does not occur in Samoa.”
What we are seeing here is the quintessential manifestation of pseudo-science. Mead, like the determinists who believe that biological determinism is true (no matter what the actual evidence says), started with the premise that sexual liberation is true and then forced that upon anthropology.
In other words, Mead’s “research” was not born out of a need for scientific enquiry but in Mead’s own sexual environment. It was this “philosophy of sexual openness” that “allowed her to be involved with various men and women over her lifetime beyond her relationships with her husbands.” In fact,
“The Mead/Cressman apartment was a meeting place where Mead’s friends could discuss their generally unhappy love affairs and the latest methods of birth control. It was also a place where they could go beyond the theoretical and get actual experience.
“One afternoon when Mead’s husband, Luther Cressman, returned to their apartment unexpectedly, he found a condom in the bathroom and ‘heard enthusiastic noises from one such couple in the bedroom.’”
In the process, she has deliberately concocted one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of anthropology.
Sadly, the same Mead had an enormously powerful influence on many. Sherwood L. Washburn, former president of the American Anthropological Association, declared that Mead’s book “influenced the way people were brought up in this country.”
Practically overnight, Mead’s book became a household name. Time magazine noted that “Mead became the natural ally of those who promoted free education, relaxed sexual norms, and green light parenting intended to give American youngsters the trouble-free adolescence enjoyed in Samoa.”
According to Mead’s work, while the Samoan people are having sex by leaps and bounds, breaking all sexual taboos, their civilization seemed much better than the one that the moral order endowed to Western men and women. Denis Diderot indirectly and mightily tried to propose a similar theory with little success.
Yet despite the positive sound of all of Mead findings, it was later discovered that nearly all of her work was based upon blatant fabrication.
“It was not until 1983 that the myth of Mead was exploded by Derek Freeman’s Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth.
“Freeman, an anthropologist and professor in the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies in the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Australian National University for forty years, showed step by step that nearly every assertion made by Mead in Coming of Age was either completely false or severely distorted.
“Unlike Mead, who did not even speak Samoan when she arrived to do her research in 1925 and stayed for only nine months, Freeman has had nearly a half-century of research on Samoa and knows its culture and language inside and out.
“In his damning words, ‘The main conclusions of Coming of Age in Samoa are, in reality, the figments of an anthropological myth which is deeply at variance with the facts of Samoan ethnography and history.’”
Freeman declared that “Margaret Mead seriously misrepresented the culture and character of Samoa” and “all the encyclopedias and all the textbooks accepted the conclusions in her book and those conclusions are fundamentally in error.”
Yet it was this flimsy research, backed primarily by her bold quest for sexual freedom, that led Mead and a host of others to propagate the idea that abortion is legitimate.
Moreover, as it turned out, Mead’s sexual inclinations were quite congruent with the ideologies that her Boaz and Lader were trying to impose upon society.
When Lader met gynecologist Bernard Nathanson, the war on Catholics with respect to abortion had begun. “The ethnically ambiguous Lader was to Lenin what Nathanson was to Trotsky. Together they carried out a crusade against Catholics. Shortly after meeting Nathanson, Lader explained his strategy of legalizing abortion by attacking Catholics.”
Lader admitted that pro-abortion opponents had to “bring the Catholic hierarchy out where we can fight them. That’s the real enemy. The biggest single obstacle to peace and decency throughout all history.”
Soon, the WASP ruling class and its secularized version were involved—and Margaret Mead was a product of that secularized version.
“It is human to interrupt a pregnancy in certain circumstances—when a woman has suffered rape or when disease threatens the normality of the fetus or the life of the mother.”
In other words, the unborn child must be looked at as a piece of property: you can smash him or her inside the womb or pass laws against letting deformed children be born.
The sad thing is that proponents of this view never seriously cite the psychological studies of what happened after abortion. Moreover, they never tell us what the women had to go through:
“Women who get abortions, according to this survey, tend not to be members of the underclass, as they often are portrayed. Compared to the average, they are better educated and have higher incomes–42% went to college and 35% earn more than $40,000.
“A ‘sense of guilt about having had an abortion’ was felt by 56% of the women. And 26% said they now ‘mostly regret the abortion.’ Among the 1,050 men interviewed in the survey, 7% acknowledged having been the father of an aborted child. Guilt was felt by almost two-thirds and regret by more than a third.
“Only 39% of the women believed that abortion is ‘morally right.’ About as many, 37%, considered it to be ‘morally wrong’ and 24% were not sure. Roughly a third agreed that ‘abortion is murder.’”
Consider this, “From 1973 through 2008, nearly 50 million legal abortions occurred.” You can actually build a nation with nearly fifty million people.
You cannot reject the moral order without facing its detrimental consequences—and nations are finding this the hard way.
“There may be many circumstances in which it is not desirable to carry a fetus to full term. Either nature or god appears to appreciate this, since very large number of pregnancies are ‘aborted,’ because of malformations, and are politely known as ‘miscarriages.’
Sad though this is, it is probably less miserable an outcome than the vast number of deformed or idiot children who would have been a torment to themselves and others.”
Here Hitchens got himself into an intellectual dead end. Why would Hitchens be involved in the business of judging other societies such as Nazi Germany? Who is to say this or that baby is to be aborted? Hitchens? steven Pinker? Mao? Stalin? Richard Dawkins (who by the way is in favor of infanticide in some cases)?
No matter what Hitchens and others would like us to believe, the end result of their philosophy is always social Darwinism and survival of the fittest. Let me quote John D. Watson himself,
“Eugenics is sort of self-correcting your evolution, and the message I have is that individuals should direct the evolution of their descendants, don’t let the State do it.
“I think it would be irresponsible not to direct your evolution if you could, in the sense that you could have a healthy child versus an unhealthy child, I think it is irresponsible not to try and direct the evolution to produce a human being who would be an asset to the world as well as to himself.”
If, according to this subjective standard, you are not fit, not smart, or not well-formed, then you should be eliminated. And those same thinkers want us to believe that they are against Stalin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh, etc.
Here again we are confronted with a dead end: the relativistic culture boasts itself in intellectualism, but it simply cannot have it both ways. By rejecting the moral order, which is practical reason, the relativistic culture, as G. K. Chesterton eloquently put in a different fashion, ends up shooting itself in the toes. Chesterton wrote quite persuasively:
“The modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which he insults it himself…
“As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time…A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself…
“The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts.
“In short, the modern revolutionist, being an infinite sceptic, is always engaged in undermining his own mines. In his book on politics he attacks men for trampling on morality; in his book on ethics he attacks morality for trampling on men.
“Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost his right to rebel against anything.”
If this sounds unpersuasive, pay close attention to the following conversation, which is based on a real-life exchange:
“Teacher: Welcome, students. This is the first day of class, and so I want to lay down some ground rules. First, since no one has the truth, you should be open-minded to the opinions of your fellow students. Second…Elizabeth, do you have a question?
“Elizabeth: Yes, I do. If nobody has the truth, isn’t that a good reason for me not to listen to my fellow students? After all, if nobody has the truth, why should I waste my time listening to other people and their opinions? What’s the point? Only if somebody has the truth does it make sense to be open-minded. Don’t you agree?
“Teacher: No, I don’t. Are you claiming to know the truth? Isn’t that a bit arrogant and dogmatic?
“Elizabeth: No, not at all. I think it’s a bit dogmatic, as well as arrogant, to assert that no single person on earth knows the truth. After all, have you met every person in the world and quizzed them exhaustively? if not, how can you make sure a claim? Also, I believe it is the opposite of arrogance to say that I will alter my opinions to fit the truth whenever and wherever I find it.
“And if I happen to think that I have good reason to believe I do know the truth and would like to share it with you, why wouldn’t you listen to me? Why would you automatically discredit my opinion before it is even uttered? I thought we were supposed to listen to everyone’s opinion.
“Teacher: This should prove to be an interesting semester.
“Student (blurts out) Ain’t that the truth. (the students laugh.)”
As it turns out, the underlying ideas that post beneath cultural relativism has to be abandoned precisely because they fail to correspond to the real world.
Moreover, when cultural relativism is the norm, rest assured that dictatorship, as Pope Benedict XVI has put it, is right behind it.
To return to Watson: If individuals should direct the evolution of their descendents, why not letting the neoconservatives direct the evolution of their descendents by slaughtering innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan?
More recently, Nicholas J. Davies writes,
“The final scale of the bloodshed and destruction in Fallujah were hard to assess. U.S. troops disposed of bodies before relief workers were allowed into the city, and no independent survey of the number of people killed was permitted.
“Survivors saw U.S. troops collecting bodies and dumping them in the Euphrates, and burying others in mass graves on the outskirts of the city.
“A team of Fallujah Hospital went through six of the city’s twenty-eight residential districts to collect bodies on December 25th and 26th 2004. According to the director of the hospital, it removed 700 bodies, of which at least 550 were of women and children and the rest were mostly of elderly men.
“Hafid al-Dulaimi, the chairman of the Fallujah Compensation Committee, reported on March 23rd 2005 that about 36,000 houses had been demolished as well as 9,000 shops, 65 mosques, and 60 schools.
“He added that, ‘The American forces destroyed one of the two bridges in the city, both train stations, the two electricity stations, and three water treatment plants’ as well as ‘the whole sanitation system and the communication network.
“Other local authorities reported that 60% of all houses in the city were either completely destroyed or sufficiently damaged to be unhinhabitable. By March 2006, less than 20% of these had been repaired, and much of the electricity, water, and sanitation infrastructure was still not working.”
Similarly, historian and investigative journalist Nick Turse writes that many of the American soldiers who went to Vietnam
“gunned down old men sitting in their homes and children as they ran for cover. They tossed grenades into homes without even bothering to look inside. An officer grabbed a woman by the hair and shot her point-blank with a pistol.
“A women who came out of her home with a baby in her arms was shot down on the spot. As the tiny child hit the ground, another GI opened up on their infant with his M-16 automatic rifle.”
The sad part is that such people like Watson seldom apply their ideology to themselves.
For example, Francis Crick once suggested that people should die at the age of eighty because they are no longer useful to society. The irony is that Crick lived to be eighty-eight years old! If he truly believed what he proclaimed, why didn’t he start with himself? Why didn’t he set a good example?
“[M]y colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggested that a period of twenty-eight days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.
“This is clearly well before the infant could have a sense of its own existence over time, and would allow a couple to decide that it is better not to continue with a life that has begun very badly.”
Singer further reasons that
“The wide support for medical infanticide suggests that, instead of trying to find places to draw lines, we should accept that the development of the human being, from embryo to fetus, from fetus to newborn infant, and from newborn infant to older child, is a continuous process that does not offer us neat lines of demarcation between stages.”
He also states in his book Writings on an Ethical Life:
“[O]n any fair comparison of morally relevant characteristics, like rationality, self-consciousness, awareness, autonomy, pleasure, pain, and so on, the calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy—while if we make the comparison with a fetus of less than three months, a fish would show more signs of consciousness.”
And then this:
“Human babies are not born self-aware or capable of grasping their lives over time. They are not persons. Hence their lives would seem to be no more worthy of protection than the life of a fetus.
“We may not want a child to start on life’s uncertain voyage if the prospects are clouded. When this can be known at a very early stage in the voyage, we may still have a chance to make a fresh start.
“This means detaching ourselves from the infant who has been born, cutting ourselves free before the ties that have already begun to bind us to our child have become irresistible. Instead of going forward and putting all our effort into making the best of the situation, we can still say no, and start again from the beginning.”
Here Singer is redefining life in order to better suit his own beliefs, and the best way to do so is to define it away from what life actually is. But why should we choose Singer’s definition of right to life as opposed to, say, the ideas proposed by Joseph Stalin?
For us to get anywhere, the ultimate standard for life must come from an external, objective source. Somebody other than man has to define life, or else we’ll end up in blatant irrationality, swamped by individual opinions, many of which are destructive.
If we base our opinions on what society thinks, then we are asking for trouble, because some societies eat their children and sacrifice them to the sun god. One country might see it one way, another nation another way; since all must be considered relatively equal, to use the postmodern standard, there is nothing to make one mindset rise above the others as definitive.
Of all the writers I have been reading for more than a decade, none of them can logically defend their position on the life-and-death issue. Singer was a classic example. He actually got jammed in his own philosophy.
Do not forget that Singer was like a fencing master facing multiple foes, slashing students and his readers with his petty arguments. Throughout his career, Singer has spoken out passionately for animal rights and has emphasized the need for euthanasia, even
“defending abortion and infanticide in the case of a fetus or an infant with a severe disability.”
Yet, when his own mother fell victim to Alzheimers, he spent thousands of dollars on private nursing for her. Despite years of rhetoric and philosophical deadness, when it came right down to it, Singer’s weltanschauung only existed in his mind—it didn’t match the real world. He said,
“I think this has made me see how the issues of someone with these kinds of problems are really very difficult. Perhaps it is more difficult than I thought before, because it is different when it’s your mother.”
What about the mothers of other people?
Numerous arguments for abortion have been proposed over the years, and it would not do justice to discuss them all here. One of the central arguments is that “since the unborn cannot survive independent of her mother, she is not a completely independent human life and hence not fully human.” This is commonly known as the viability theory.
But as philosopher Francis Beckwith argues,
“In other words, the viability criterion seems to be arbitrary and not applicable to the question of whether the unborn is fully human, since it relates more to the location and dependency of the unborn than to any essential change in her state of being. This criterion only tells us when certain members of our society want to accept the humanity of the unborn.”
Finally, if a baby in the womb is not able to fulfill a particular set of criteria and is therefore not a person, how is that principle different from a purely psychotic person who decides that passing her baby through fire will bring prosperity to her well-being, particularly when the baby out of the womb is also not a fully independent person?
 Robert Hanley, “In a Plea Deal, Youth to Testify in Baby’s Death,” NY Times, March 10, 1998.
 James Barron, “Decision Whether to Charge Prom Mother Awaits Tests,” NY Times, June 10, 1997.
 Steven Pinker, “Why They Kill Their Newborns,” NY Times, November 2, 1997.
 Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution (WA: Regnery Publishing, 2000), chapter 5. Stephen Jay Gould himself admitted, “Haeckel had exaggerated the similarities (of the embryos) by idealizations and omissions. He also, in some cases—in a procedure that can only be called fraudulent—simply copied the same figure over and over again.” Gould moved on to warn about the science textbooks that are based on Haeckel’s drawings: “‘Improved’ illustrations masquerading as accurate drawings spell much trouble in popular books intended for general audiences lacking the expertise to separate a misleading idealization from a genuine signal from nature.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Abscheulich (Atrocious!): Haeckel’s Distortions Did Not Help Darwin,” Natural History, March 2000.
 Quoted in Donald de Marco and Benjamin Wiker, Architects of the Culture of Death (Sant Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 113.
 Alston Chase, Harvard and the Unabomber: The Education of an American Terrorist (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003), 209-210. After reading Mead’s Coming of Age in Samoa, Edward Westermack’s Ethical Relativity, William Graham Sumner’s Folkways, Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture, A. J. Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic, Charles L. Stevenson’s Ethics and Language, Sigmund Freud’s The Future of Religion, Albert Camus’ The Myth of Sisyphus, Jean Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, “and countless other writers,” Chase was still confused as an atheist. In the end, he concluded, “A life without God, meaning, or value is a difficult one to live…”
 See for example Hilary Lapseley, Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict: The Kinship of Women (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1999).
 Mary Catherine Bateson, With a Daughter’s Eye A Memoir of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson (New York: Harper Perennial, 2001), 164.
 Ibid., 165.
 De Marco and Wiker, Architects, 254.
 E. Michael Jones, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and Its Impact on World History (South Bend: Fidelity Press, 2008), 941.
 De Marco and Wiker, Architects, 251.
 Ibid., 254.
 Margaret M. Caffrey and Patricia A. Francis, ed., To Cherish the Life of the World: Selected Letters of Margaret Mead (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 131.
 Jones, Degenerate Moderns (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1993), 34.
 Quoted in ibid., 20.
 Quoted in ibid., 33.
 Sharon A. Stanley, The French Enlightenment and the Emergence of Modern Cynicism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 60-63.
 De Marco and Wiker, Architects, 257-258.
 Quoted in Jones, Degenerate Moderns, 20.
 Cited in De Marco and Wiker, Architects, 943.
 Ibid., 261-262.
 See for example Barbara Seaman, The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill (Alameda, CA: Hunter House, 1995).
 George Skelton, “Many in Survey Who Had Abortion Cite Guilt Feelings,” LA Times, March 19, 1989.
 “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States,” Guttmacher Institute, December 2013, http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html.
 See for example “Iran Tries to Reverse a Slumping Birth Rate,” NY Times, January 6, 2014.
 Christopher Hitchens, God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2007), 221.
 G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1996), 52-53.
 Cited in Francis J. Beckwith and Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005), 74.
 Pope Benedict, Light of the World (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), chapter 5.
 Nicholas J. S. Davies, Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction in Iraq (Ann Arbor, MI: Nimble Books, 2010), 215-216.
 Nick Turse, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2013), 3.
 Peter Singer, Rethinking Life and Death: The Collapse of Traditional Ethics (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), 217.
 Ibid., 130.
 Peter Singer, Writings on an Ethical Life (New York: Harper Perennial, 2001), 156.
 Peter, Rethinking Life and Death, 213-214.
 Peter Singer, Practical Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 53.
 Michael Specter, “The Dangerous Philosopher,” New Yorker, September 6, 1999.
 For a full force of the argument and the historical study behind it, see Francis J. Beckwith, Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case Against Abortion Choice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).