|If Dr. House finds your statements, assumptions or beliefs|
about "personhood" to be stupid or annoying, he will mock you!
Judging by his face, someone is about to pout and whine.
Dear Blogger Au Coeur,
I am having my dad, speaking for me, respond to your initial comments in huff post and further elaborated upon in your blog about what makes me a "non-person human." My dad has been my voice and my personal warrior for the past thirteen years. In the first 12 years of my life as a real person (according to the likes of Amber), somewhat useful to society, Dad was there for me and helped me with my own battles of "coming into my own." A near drowning interrupted things as we knew them, as I was underwater for 25 minutes. I died and was resuscitated. I am unable to speak, unable to walk, unable to move independently. I can do nothing for myself and in your words I guess I'm a "turnip." Amber, in her blog told the world quite dispassionately that " My understanding of this situation is that persons who suffer some sort of traumatic injury significant enough to take away their personhood will never be capable of regaining it and are most likely to live in their current state until death." This turnip is thriving because of the unconditional love from my parents.
Your words and your echoes of Mary Anne Warren's convoluted and thoroughly shallow musings from the mid 70's hurt me and my parents very much. I know that you were threatened by an emotional response from my dad to a very sophomoric and inane definition of personhood attributed to the illogical and flawed think of a Mary Anne Warren . You should have looked to the words of JC Superstar first for guidance on personhood. You know "what you do for the least of my brethren you do for me."Matt 25:40 This dude valued the least of mankind as he viewed himself. Cool!
While the blatantly unethical and inhumane propositions forwarded by this mindless philosopher (Warren) are inculcated and accepted into your arguments, you are clear to send me the message that I am "a non-person human" because I was diagnosed initially in a persistent vegetative state . I assume that you have not studied neuroplasticity in your undergraduate courses. Your words and thoughts hurt me very much and reinforced and allied with the very forces that discriminate against the disabled. You say that I am not a person, I am not worthy of the same rights as every person, I am dispensable when measured against others. You allude that dolphins and chimps are worthy of more rights that I am. I guess that world view would place you in the same bed with utilitarian philosophy.
I remind you that you are a young girl. I am older than you and so is my sister, Aimee. Your implication that I am not a person offends me, my parents and every other severely disabled person and their parents. You perpetuate stereotypes which are too numerous to mention. I can forgive your lack of empathy because of your youth and absence of experience with the disabled. You like philosophical argument for its own sake, regardless of who you shit on. That's a very sad position for a young girl to take. To consider that you even say your own child was not a person till three months old offends every parent I have ever met. You are a young girl saying foolish things. People who fail to see the consequences of their words lack empathy and human compassion.
So, let's look at the lunatic ideas of Warren and how they apply to me: I cannot prove consciousness to you or my ability to feel pain (does suffering the pain of contractures in silence qualify?), but I would probably laugh hysterically if I met you in person. I cannot prove that I can reason and solve relatively complex problems. I certainly am not self-motivated, except that I want to stay happy and enjoy my existence. Can't really communicate or demonstrate my self-concept, especially my awareness as part of a group with the exception that my disability makes me invisible to most people and the older I get the more invisible I become. Thanks for making me feel whole, equal and worthy of life and deserving of the same rights as all people. I have few medical complications except that my basal ganglia got fried underwater; that's kind of a big problem.
My dad got shut down by you because he a strong man who would give his life for me and also that he swears a lot. I take it the young girl disdains a few swears. Usually he can't finish a sentence without a fuck or goddamn being included. He is incapable of rational ideological discourse when it comes to me because you see he loves me without condition and would give his life so I could live. I would, of course, reciprocate. So, by your criteria, I am a "non-person human". My simple response which fails the polite test is "fuck you".
Warren's criteria of personhood reflects a utilitarian view of people originally applied to fetuses and extended to perhaps younger children who have not yet attained personhood. If a less than three month old isn't a person yet, you can kill 'em? I think, little girl, it's called infanticide no matter how you bake it. You were pretty clear when you stated :"potential person, but most certainly not a person. Actually seeing day in and day out what an infant is like made me truly understand and agree with Warren’s argument." Does that make my dog a potential person? If so, he has more rights than I?
None of Warren's criteria for personshood have any objective, scientific, peer-reviewed ways of measurement. Determinations would be guesses by people who feel disabled people like me are dispensable...just kill 'em, what the hell, they aren't really people. If they aren't real persons, we as a society have no responsibility for them. This is pure, unabashed utilitarianism...if it doesn't advance the cause of our great society get rid of it.
How the hell could you expect to confront any parent who has given their lives to care for a disabled kid or adult and not have them devolve into a psychotic rant...emotional responses are unacceptable to a child as yourself. Warren's definitions are pure bullshit as are Pete Singer's. Again Hitchens says: "That which can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof." Oops, there go all your philosophical arguments. They are the very same arguments which allowed for the mass involuntary sterilizations of developmentally delayed women in the 20's, arguments which justified Aktion T-4 in the late 30's and early 40's where over 250,000 disabled were killed, and support most genocidal and eugenic movements around the globe. Remember Rwanda where the Hutu extremists killed almost a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu people. It was ok, they weren't really people. Indifference to human life in any of its varied forms breeds a culture of the acceptance of the disposable human.
Flawed philosophical arguments about what constitutes personhood contribute to every evil in our society: women were less people than men; gays are lesser people and (innately disordered ) compared to hetero's; poor people are less entitled than the wealthy; in China, males are valued more than females; and in the area of religions, everyone will not be saved unless they belong to your religion. Suicide bombing of innocents is ok, because the infidels are not really persons. Your thesis about extending Warren's flawed and ill-conceived definitions of personhood contribute to the evil and inequality of society. Evil always has a philosophical root and ideological justification.
Intelligence and personhood is over-rated, " There is and has always been an unusually high and consistent correlation between the stupidity of a given person and that person's propensity to be impressed by the measurement of IQ." (Hitchens, in Nation, 11.28.94) Uncritically agreeing with Warren is tantamount to a vested belief in virgin births and miracles. The unexamined life is certainly characteristic of many people.
So people spew an unfounded ideology, and invariably others must die and suffer. It is the entitled who spew the ideology, always unproven and unprovable. Let's euthanize a few more...they're not really people.
These words are probably stinging, but I don't give a sweet fuck. Again, Chris Hitchens, "I have a very thick skin and a very broad back, so I think I shall not complain of being called a redneck mutant, provincial philistine, backwoods dolt, or blood crazed religious maniac. Insults come with the turf." (Not So Dumb Then?, Hitchens, Mirror 2004)
Also you screwed up by calling Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome a severe genetic disorder. Check out www.blogaboutabloke.com written by a friend in Australia who has a young son with the syndrome and it will dispel your assumptions resulting from a lack of investigation. You are a young girl and you need to apologize to the people who were wounded, devalued, dehumanized and offended by your ill-thought and archaic drivel. Your view of personhood, my dear, is quite banal. Try writing about the treasure to be found in all life, not just life defined by your limited and narrow world view.
I am a person! I am happy and fulfilled! I would never trade places with you!
Phil Dzialo for Adam Dzialo