Three-Month Pregnancies -- Coming Soon?

The assisted reproduction industry already encourages us to commodify women. So why should customers have to wait 9 months for their products to be delivered? Watch this moving (and thought-provoking) short film about a possible future for surrogate motherhood.


Mortals cannot see it, Kim.
Ben W., I've been waiting to read your beautifully crafted response...
Jason, I just wanted to let you know that I had a beautifully-crafted and full response.. but then the power went out. Maybe I'll rewrite it later..
Ah, young Grasshopper...
The most important philosophical concept for a libertarian to master is sphere sovereignty. Just because something ought/ought not to be done doesn't mean the government needs to shove in and play its customarily ham-handed role.

People OUGHT to work hard in school, donate generously to charity, and trust in Jesus. But it simply does not follow that the government ought to mandate these activities.

As CWC reminds us every so often, the root cause of our social problems is our own worldview, not the state.
Ok, now we are clear about the definition. But now the issue is fussy.
"Unsafe jobs" for instance-you mean sailors? Likewise "child labor"-does that mean frontier farm boys?

That is one problem with using the law. You have to define it in such a way as to make it exact and in some issues, when they are made exact they sound absurd.

On the other hand in parts of the world there are some jobs that suspiciously resemble serfdom.

And of course there is the difference between mercy and justice. If a city is starving and a trader sails in with a load of grain, he can(assuming he is not planning on coming back)ask almost any price he wants. It is his grain after all. However that is not what he should do.

And so I take your ambiguity and leave you with ambiguity.
Well, I tried to pick issues that were relatively consistent in the degree and manner of "exploitation" - mostly, people sacrificing their future, or being subject to particularly bad conditions, for gain. Particularly so if they're in a hard spot and don't have many other options.

Here's the definition I'm grabbing from

"exploit, 2. -vb, to take advantage of (a person, situation, etc), esp unethically or unjustly for one's own ends"

But feel free to offer up your own definition. The point is - are these things (child labor, unsafe jobs, "eggsploitation") unethical? And if so, what do you do about it?
It might be helpful if the term "exploitation" is defined, Ben.
Hmm. Oddly, I watched this and saw it in political terms.

You clearly have some unhealthy, sad things happening, where a woman needs to act as a surrogate mother to earn money, even though it may make her sterile. But this is her choice, no? It's a free country, right?

Now.. in some countries, the government might regulate this kind of thing, making such a procedure illegal until it was pretty safe. But that means more government involvement in health care, drug regulation, etc., which many conservatives are against. But what other way is there to stop such exploitation?

..It's an age-old debate: a complete free-market vs partial government control. The same arguments have been recycled over and over and over again. Here, pick an issue:
- "sweatshop" labor
- unsafe/unhealthy industrial practices (like many mining or chemical operations in developing countries)
- child labor

..And apply the arguments:

Libertarian view: Yes, it may seem on the surface like we're exploiting these people, but no one is forcing them to take these jobs. And they're better off than they would be without us - how would they buy food, if they couldn't earn money this way?

Progressive view: Any kind of exploitation is wrong. We should use the government to restrict or reform these kinds of labor, and support training and education programs so that people have more employment choices.

PS. (ok, I'm presenting this as black-and-white; simplifying the arguments into two bitesize versions.. if anyone brings up the obvious counterarguments, I'll discuss further. But don't feel left out - if I thought they were good counterarguments, I'd bring them up myself =)).
Wow. That was troubling.

BreakPoint Blog