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As Charles Camosy observes, he and I agree more than we disagree. He believes with no less conviction than I do that deliberately killing infant children is profoundly morally wrong and a grave violation of human rights.1 So where do we disagree?
I think that killing infant children, or promoting the moral permissibility of doing so, is moral madness, and that we should say so, rather than treating infanticide as just one more legitimate, albeit in the end morally mistaken view. We owe this to potential victims of the potential mainstreaming of support for infanticide.
Professor Camosy suggests that my view, or its public expression, is uncharitable towards advocates of infanticide and ‘at variance with a Christian …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
↵i Professor Camosy assumes that I would discriminate in academic hiring against someone making a contemporary defense of chattel slavery, however brilliantly, given that our social order no longer obscures its great evil. Actually, I would not. Indeed, I have supported the appointment of people who believe that there is no such thing as moral right and wrong, and that therefore nothing, including slavery, is truly wrong, however much people today happen to dislike it. I believe that respect for academic freedom, at least in the context of colleges and universities that do not publicly proclaim their affiliation with a particular religious or other comprehensive view, forbids viewpoint discrimination. What matters as far as scholarship is concerned in hiring and promotion in these institutions is its quality. Whether a person defends or opposes abortion, infanticide, slavery or what have you, should not be taken into account. What matters is how well he or she makes the intellectual case for his or her position.