Wednesday, December 05, 2007

When You Walk Through A Storm......

Looking at the posters for Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd ,I was , like others , amused to see Big Ben , looming outside his attic window a good 50 years before it was built . Similarly, I think we all enjoyed Robin Hood and his “ Saracen” stalker , alighting at Dover and walking to Hadrian’s wall in a stout days yomp .The spirit if Tony Curtis’s ,“Yonder Lies the castle of my fodder”, is alive and well in Hollywood we murmur ,chuckling in that evil, way the English always employ , in Hollywood .

Now what I `m doing here is that Vicar thing , I `m going to be tediously sententious any minute now but I `m creeping up on it in the manner of “What’s the time Mr. Wolf “ . It will take constant vigilance to spot the elegant segue ….

Right then , morality ( Did you notice ?).Like the above examples it is a question of the right proportion . Jane Austen`s thematic polyphonies lean heavily on this metaphor . A rightness in art a rightness in society a rightness in manners and morals. The study of moral philosophy might be termed the study of what we ‘ought’ to do. If I believe in the immortal soul then I ‘ought ‘to see life as not defined by its flesh but by its creation. I ‘ought’ to feel abortion is a form of murder and I ought to etc……. This is actually the case, hence the dance macabre when Liberals suggest early abortion is made easier, and Conservatives are almost obliged to approve, having borrowed medical rags they secretly find uncomfortable and thin.

The problem with this “ought to” business is that it is not two dimensional and unless you have things in the right ‘proportion’ you will get lost. . Moral decisions have fewer signposts. Transport planning may yield a chaotic infrastructure provides a clue but in the flat featureless plain the modern man surveys confronted with right and wrong , he lacks the ancestral compass. Secular and floundering he is aware of competing questions but has no language or system to resolve them… .Here is a recent moral conundrum:

Should sexual orientation be used against prospective adopters ?
Should sexual orientation be the only factor which it is illegal to hold against a prospective adopter ?
Should the government have the right to impose on religious organisations as to the rightnes of minority sexuality
Should the government sacrifice lives of 1500 children stuck in care by creating a system complex and slow enough masticate on every conceivable risk
Should a member of that Government avoid the problem and go to America (Milliband)

Or should teenagers be obliged to endure sex education as provided by the state so there are none to adopt ? . Polly Toynbee , the woman from Italy she says yes! There may be a case that such a programme would reduce early pregnancy. It sounds logical . There should be relationship counselling on a compulsory nationwide basis , morning after pills and greater access to early abortion. Polly pours scorn on the “Sex Is For Marriage “ Group by quoting numerous members of her political coterie who happen to occupy bodies producing authoritative reports . Yet ,“Sex Is For Marriage “, would cut out STD`s were anyone to listen and our European record in teenage pregnancies accompanies a socially Liberal country . I have a dim sense that we need to recreate the moral responsibility of the past but in a new way. I have doubts about continuing the factory farming methods employed to pre-mature children for the market. How can she be so doubt free ,certain enough to impose on other people’s children ?Her own went to Public school so can she understand how sex operates in the bog standard London Comp and how seriously these ”Lessons “might be taken ?

Science pushes us further away from the comfort of daily pragmatism . Modern man expected quite the reverse and he is almost enraged and having to confront old problems . Should I abort a child late because it has a cleft palette as a “serious handicap” ?. Embryos with squints can be destroyed , parents can select IVF babies to be saviour donors to their sibling with blood disorders . How does the baby feel about that ? If you could grow a human with no mind and farm the body , should you ?More than 100 babies with minor disabilities were aborted in one region over a three year period ,54 babies with club feet , 37 cleft palettes, 26 extra I webbed toes in the South West between 2002 -2005 .way above the national average . Do you find this troubling , I do ?

I have tried to describe a state dimly lit uncertainly and groped unsuccessfully for the door , but there are more hazards yet. How can we know if we have the right perspective when we cannot ‘feel’ what it`s like to be in another’s shoes. I am ending with a story on the front page of the Mail where I have some experience of how it feels :

IVF clinics were ordered to cut multiple pregnancies by up to a half to day. Walter Merrick., head of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said “maximum safety means one child at a time , it cannot be right for numbers of children ending up in neo natal units just because of decisions made in the treatment designed to help the mother conceive “

Here is the problem.126 babies die each year as a result of being part of multiple births. It is dangerous for the mother and , no doubt a bad thing ……So should the planting of multiple embryos be guidelined out of business an if not why not ? Well here are the reasons why not

Many come to IVF desperate and having to pay for themselves
Two healthy Embryos double your chance
Many can only afford one or two cycles at about £10,000 a throw and the three cycles you are suppsed to get is not available in many post codes ( Not at all if you have a child )
They have a roughly one in four chance of success per go with multiple embryos
One in four double embryos implantations results in twins
So without the second chance the success rate would be drastically reduced
Would be parents are more than aware of the risk to themselves and this cannot be a factor
The increased risk to the child is an increased risk to a child who would otherwise have had no chance of life at all.

I see there are risks and I see there are competing claims of the new born child who has , lets not forget , a very good chance indeed of a life otherwise nonexistent . I think I have looked at this from every angle and I find it a heartless and poor moral direction. What strikes me moreover is this . With such desperately subtle and difficult balancing to be done who the hell gave Doctors the right to decide for us all. ?Its like leaving a cannibal to baby-sit and if I am sure of one thing it is this .The faux medical language in which arguments of principles are couched should be ditched and replaced with the real issues they thinly disguise . Desperate for any sign modern man clings to the white coated chap who likes bossing us around .This is absolutely , “wrong “

Thanks for listening if you did,go on treat yourself to this .


Daisy said...

newmania...i just want to say first off, i look forward to reading your take the time to get into the meanings behind the meaning and make me think...
on the liberal/conservative views on abortion: i think that people are so stuck in their politics they forget the people factor...a hundred years ago abortion would have been horrid and unconcieveable...but then again we didn't have the sexual assaults, fathers not taking responsibility and all of the other factors which are part of our every day life today...i find myself in a precarious position regarding abortion, and while i could not have one (or imagine being in the position to), i don't feel it is my right to make that decision for another...
sexual orientation re: adoption: i have adopted out several children to homosexual couples and single homosexual persons...and i have no issue doing so. In my line of work (child welfare) i have found the majority of the abuses happen in "normal" situational families and the contact i have had with homosexual couples fostering children and adopting children have been extremely positive. The children do not "turn out to be gay", they are given a loving home with people who actually WANT them (imagine the concept)...i could go on but won't (you get the drift)...
i am however torn on IVF...i have a problem with people continuing this practice to populate an already overpopulated world and to do so in multiple births...i don't begrudge anyone the pleasure/pain of having and raising a child...however i know people who have had 2 or 3 children and do IVF because they have "hooked up" with a new man and want to give him a baby...i think that is (for lack of a better word) stupid...i know people who have done that under the british system where it is paid for by the public and i think that is wrong...
again just the ramblings of an american...but thank you for the posting :)

Daisy said...

btw sorry for the long posting...

Newmania said...

Daisy I did not mean i had form views on abortion and i have come round to the idea of gays adopting . It ws more the illiberal law i do not like .

On IVF I disagree. That is not what is overpopulatingthe world and it is a tremendous boon for couples ( like us )

Daisy said...

i understood that newmania was taking off of what you said...and like i said in my post i am really torn on the IVF idea as i see both sides...and the overpopulating comment was more for people like i described, than those who truly want to have a child...i see pregnancy used by a lot of people to solidify their relationships and children should not have that pressure put on them even before their birth...

Newmania said...

Really ? In a sense thats quite natural isn`t it

Little Black Sambo said...

One helpful indication of where moral truth lies is to listen to (and watch) Dr Evan Harris. Whatever that cold-blooded creep says is likely to be 180 degrees wrong.

Newmania said...

Just read his wik entry LBS he does seem to be suffering from tosseritis in my considered medical opinion.

Anonymous said...

Newmsie, old bean -

I've managed to get through the first two paragraphs of your post. I hope to finish reading tomorrow when, hopefully, I shall be sober.

In the meanwhile, however, your post somehow (inexplicably, of course) reminds me of that quote about a writer taking 'a ballistic approach to spelling and punctuation.'

Now why that should be will remain something to be contemplated in a state of sobriety. But this being the run-up to Christmas that state may have to wait some weeks.

Nick Drew said...

Mr Mania you are a subtle moralist

or perhaps a subtle immoralist, I haven't quite decided

in the heyday of blogging (2006) this post would have resulted in a high-quality debate lasting 5 days at least

(no disrespec to daisy, lud or LBS: in fact, why am I not pitching in ? too busy, that's why)

Newmania said...

Lud ...the spelling is ok...punctuation is a ...Shakespearean

Nick , I don`t fuss about that sort of thing and i getting pretty myself . Apart from anyhitng else i am going to help the PPC here ...and make ssome money at some point

Thanks for looking in

Newmania said...

and I am, getting pretty BUSY myself...I mean

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