Episode 126 – 9th March 2012

This week we find out what Cardinal Keith O’Brien has been saying, start the fight-back against the anti-choice brigade and speak to the first female Professor of Surgery because it’s Women’s History Month. And more!


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Cardinal Keith (2:24) by Dave Cross
Bloomsbury Pro-Choice Alliance (8:44) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Kerry from BPCA)
After-Birth Abortion (14:36) by Adam Jacobs
Averil Mansfield Interview (24:10) by Georgia Gale Grant
Irish Blasphemy Law (32:08) by James O’Malley (ft Prof David Nash)
Atheist Photobook (44:26) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Chris Johnson)
Ayn Rand Ranniversary (52:52) by Paul Day
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

9 thoughts on “Episode 126 – 9th March 2012

  1. Really liked the reports by Dave Cross and Adam Jacobs this week. Keep up the good work, guys!

    I think Adam managed to pin down what I was struggling with in that Medical Ethics article. The arguments comparing tests of morality for late-term abortions and newborns are limited but sound – the real problem is the implied equivalence for all abortions. All they’ve actually shown is that there is no compelling argument to draw a hard line at “birth”.

    It’s probably also the case that there’s no compelling argument drawing the line at “26 weeks” or “26 weeks and four days” or even the current “24 weeks”. That doesn’t actually provide a counter argument to drawing the line somewhere, particularly if, as Adam suggests, the line doesn’t have to be applied in the same way to all cases.

  2. I enjoyed most of the latest episode very much, and I agree with Drew that Adam’s report was great! But what on Earth was the point of that Ayn Rand tirade? Was it a joke?

    I mean, I’m not a fan of hers myself (though I’ve read her books), but frankly, it was like listening to an ex-Nazi defacing a portrait of Hitler while sneering at him for being an artist, having a stupid moustache and, oh yes, being a bit racist too. I’d have preferred a critique of the actual ideas, rather than someone burning an effigy of their author.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but I found that item rather out of character in the context of what is normally a considered and intellectually honest podcast.

  3. I enjoyed the Ayn Rand rant. It might be because I was also a fan for a little while, but then realized her ideas for what they were. And they fit perfectly with the gardening supplies I was picking up while listening to the rant: compost and fertilizer.

  4. Mike, as I said in the podcast, I’ve critiqued Rand’s idiocy previously on The Pod Delusion. It didn’t seem right to recap it. You may be right about the ex-Nazi thing because I truly did buy into it in my late-teens before I woke up.

    Also, what’s bad about trashing Hilter? ;-)

    Personally, I don’t see anything intellectually dishonest about my piece. Over the top, sure, but I’m a comic and that’s what I do, witness an FB page I created called “Stop Hyperbole This Very Instant Or We Will All Die ”

    And, thanks, Chris! :-)

  5. Aw, thanks for the kind words, Drew & Mike, much appreciated!

    And yes, Drew, I totally agree with your analysis about drawing lines. And in addition to that, there’s probably an equally difficult line to draw about what level of disability is a good enough justification for an abortion after whatever time you draw the line or even infanticide. If I’d had a bit more time in the piece, I’d have talked about the situation in the Netherlands, where infanticide is actually legal under some very tightly controlled circumstances. It was made legal in 2005, and I think there have been about 20 or so babies who have been euthanised since then. As far as I know, they have all been really very severely disabled, and not expected to live for very long.

    That’s a very far cry from something like Down’s syndrome, where those affected can live for many decades and enjoy a reasonably good quality of life. And yet we do seem to accept 3rd-trimester abortions for Down’s syndrome.

    It’s really all very tricky.

  6. OK, my apologies Paul. It seems I missed the fact that this was intended as tongue in cheek humour. Out of character for me, to be honest, to grasp wrong ends of sticks, but it was probably because I’m fairly new to the podcast and haven’t quite absorbed the culture of it yet.
    I don’t disagree with everything Rand wrote by any means, and I’ll be interested to go and find your original piece and find out what you had to say.

  7. Reading Ayn Rand changed my life!… I developed chronic backache from carrying Atlas Shrugged to and from the library :-)

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