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Blog Roundup

1. In a short post at New Ideal, Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute describes the ambit of Ben Bayer's recently-released Why the Right to Abortion Is Sacrosanct:
Where did defenders of Roe v. Wade go wrong? Why did they lose the moral high ground? What does it take to defend abortion rights in the United States?

To defend abortion as an inviolable right, it has to be understood as a claim of uncompromising justice.


That's the case my colleague Ben Bayer lays out in a series of hard-hitting New Ideal articles, newly collected in a short book... [format edits, bold added]
I admire Bayer's commentary on abortion and was glad to see ARI take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the recently-leaked draft Supreme Court decision to release this.

And seize this opportunity they did, as I learned from a recent appearance of Bayer on Yaron Brook's podcast about the book. I haven't yet heard the entire episode (embedded below), but I learned that one of the rationales for the release of this collection in book form was to leverage the Amazon search algorithm to get the attention of as many potentially receptive readers as possible.


2. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Jaana Woiceshyn explains why the current fashion of ESG [Environmental, Social, and Governance -- ed] investing owns a large part of the blame for today's energy crisis -- and offers the following good news:
This evidence demonstrates that the campaign for carbon neutrality is destructive -- which is the reason we should reject ESG investing.

Not only do we have Alex Epstein's pro-human, fact-based moral argument for rejecting the campaign to abandon fossil fuels and the ESG investing that facilitates it -- we soon will also have an alternative to ESG investing. Vivek Ramaswany, the billionaire entrepreneur, has launched a new asset management firm, Strive Asset Management, in response to the major asset managers' push for ESG policies.

Instead of the ESG criteria, Strive uses excellence as the basis of investment. With backing from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists such as PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, Strive's first investment product will be available later this year. It will offer us an opportunity to start reversing the ESG investment trend -- for the benefit of human flourishing in an improved environment.
The sooner the tide turns against ESG and global warming catastrophism, the better.

3. At Thinking Directions, Jean Moroney considers the example of a delayed car repair to show why and how one should take negative emotions as a cue to figure out what is at stake (and how to get it) in a situation, rather than dwell on its threatening aspects:
[T]his is what it means to fight reality. The car is the car, and the mechanic is the mechanic, and the car is not ready as originally foretold. Ruminating about how you wish these facts were different doesn't make it so and is not a good use of your time.

The way forward is always to figure out the value that is most important to you in the circumstances.

Let's stipulate that you want reliability and predictability and the freedom to think about other things rather than car repair. Now you can do some constructive thinking about the situation.
The closing analysis of the nature and purpose of emotions may sound familiar to many regulars here, but it is not always obvious how to apply such knowledge. This post is helpful in that regard.

4. At Value for Value, Harry Binswanger revisits the perennial topic of gun control, which happens to be related to many other public policy debates:
The principle I've come to accept is that you don't illegalize objects, you illegalize acts.

If I walk a rabid pit-bull on a thin leash on the city sidewalk, I'm properly going to be stopped by the police (if it comes to their attention). But to get this result, you don't need laws against walking rabid pit bulls or regulations relating the weight of the dog walked to the strength of the leash used, you just have law about being responsible for harm caused by an animal you own.
How Binswanger applies this principle to such crimes as the Uvalde Massacre, why he disagrees with the idea of banning certain types of weapons, and why he regards his solution as superior are all within, and make for a thought-provoking read.

-- CAV

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2 hours ago, Gus Van Horn blog said:

Blog Roundup

1. In a short post at New Ideal, Elan Journo of the Ayn Rand Institute describes the ambit of Ben Bayer's recently-released Why the Right to Abortion Is Sacrosanct:

Where did defenders of Roe v. Wade go wrong? Why did they lose the moral high ground? What does it take to defend abortion rights in the United States?

To defend abortion as an inviolable right, it has to be understood as a claim of uncompromising justice.


That's the case my colleague Ben Bayer lays out in a series of hard-hitting New Ideal articles, newly collected in a short book... [format edits, bold adde

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"Abortion Should be Legal Until Birth". [Ch. One]

If Bayer is correctly going to insist upon the absolute, *moral* position for abortion, then he should carry it through consistently.

Individual rights do not determine what one ¬ought¬ to do. Rights protect one's freedom of action. Ethics and morals are the guide to ¬which¬ action to take.

From Chapter One:

"Even a viable fetus is no more of an individual than an unviable fetus is. To be viable is merely to have another non-actualized potential: it *could* survive outside the womb (usually only by intensive medical intervention). But only outside the womb does it become *actually* individuated and acquire the right to life".

"Viability" has been rather a red herring argument. Conversely, the argument must be biological. Many an infant is not brought to full term by way of C-Section. Because a full term fetus might not be birthed "naturally" doesn't change its biologically-acquired "independence" - in every way that matters, while still in the uterus: obviously, any infant's dependence on being mothered and protected long after birth remains constant as before birth.

"Individuation" or separation then, is not the ¬moral¬ criterion. "Birth" is a primitive measure of a life beginning. With all that is known today. 

While Bayer has it right on everything else, it is not moral nor ethical, for the mother - nor for her infant's "actual" life - to abort a full term fetus. For one, her psychological state then and after is at risk; not to mention the irrationality of holding off on her (premeditated or arbitrary) decision to abort, with any inherent medical problems that may arise, until the last hour or few days. 

His implied and stated, extremist, and I think, rationalist, stance, only weakens the moral-for-the-woman argument.

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It's pretty obvious that the argument you are criticizing never did claim that aborting a full-term fetus would be typically moral, in the exact thing you quoted. But it isn't murder, and it is absolutely immoral to ban the right to an abortion to any degree. 

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