(Ben Shapiro – National Review) “Marcus takes solace in her immorality by citing that of others — “I am not alone. More than two-thirds of American women choose abortion in such circumstances.” But immoral behavior isn’t made moral by its commonness. Slavery was once common. That did not make it any more justifiable.”
In 1961, Stanley Milgram of Yale University came up with an idea for an experiment. The purpose: to determine how many law-abiding, civilized people would torture their fellows simply in order to follow basic orders. …
Here’s how the experiment worked. Milgram chose pairs of participants; one would randomly be chosen to become a “learner,” the other a “teacher.” Milgram set up the “random” drawing so that volunteers always became teachers, and learners were actors working for Milgram. Learners were taken into a room and hooked up to electrodes supposedly buzzing with electricity. Teachers were brought into a room containing a switch that could shift that electric level from 15 volts all the way up to 450 volts. Teachers were then informed by researchers that it was their job to shock learners for making errors in a word game. The researchers would remain in the room and push the teachers to shock the learners, telling them to continue.
According to Milgram’s experiment, two in three teachers shocked the learners all the way up to 450 volts, even as the actors begged for mercy; all of the teachers shocked the learners up to 300 volts. Milgram concluded, “Stark authority was pitted against the subjects’ strongest moral imperatives against hurting others, and, with the subjects’ ears ringing with the screams of the victims, authority won more often than not.”
How much farther would the teachers have gone if they’d had a personal investment in pulling the switch?
Such questions come to mind after reading Ruth Marcus’s astonishing piece defending the abortion of babies with Down syndrome in the pages of the Washington Post. Marcus champions her own moral autonomy as a would-be agent of death: “I can say without hesitation that, tragic as it would have felt and ghastly as a second-trimester abortion would have been, I would have terminated those pregnancies had the testing come back positive. I would have grieved the loss and moved on.”