Bordering on ludicrous: was Handmaids etc.

Woodchuck djv at
Tue Nov 11 09:28:01 PST 2003

On Fri, 7 Nov 2003, jbone at wrote:

> Woody says:
> > (1) The laws that treat the fetus as a legal
> > person whose killing is therefore, under
> > some circumstances, murder are a new
> > thing, quite strange in the western legal
> > tradition.
> "If man was meant to fly, he would have been born with wings."

The problem is with the word "meant".

> "The world market for computers is probably around --- 5."

This view was correct. The nature of computers changed.

> "Physics is done."  (Circa late 19th century.)

Thermodynamics was done.

You're trying to mock me with these silly sorts of irrelevant
quotes applied to a remark taken out of context.  My remark was
about the strangeness of its status as a natural person being
dependent on the opinions of a very small class of people: its
mother.  You don't find that strange and bizarre?

> Etc.
> The problem is that the law treats a fetus as a legal person.  Period.

No, the law treats the foetus, under *some* circumstances as
a *natural person*, and under other circumstances as a chattel,
and under yet others as "nothing".  And that is the problem.

BTW, General Motors is a "legal person".  (Check Black's).  Sorry
for my mistake in terminology.

Treating the foetus as person is part of common law. (Check inheritance
of property by posthumus born baby.  I believe (see Blackstone) that
it has been common law that the rights in the deceased father's estate
are established before birth -- a guardian for the foetus may dispute
on its behalf with other heirs.

> Human is a slippery word.  Look forward, or look back.  I have less
> problem granting human rights to a sentient computer than a woman who
> has been brain-dead in Florida for a decade.

And that, Sir Bone, is your basic human-values problem, not mine.  That
is a flippant remark, true, but your attitude is scarily inhuman.

Sorry for the delay in response.

        In each of us, there burns a soul of a woodchuck.
        In every generation a few are chosen to prove it.

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