Not A Person


We’ll pretend that you didn’t just commit to proving a negative. I mean, sure, go ahead, if you want to.

We’ll assume, for the sake of argument, that you are interested in the truth or falsity of your claim, too.

The legal definition of “person”, prior to Roe vs. Wade, had a spotty track record.  It must be said, immediately, that the spottiness of that track record seems to be wholly immured in the denial of personhood, or in the reducement thereof, to groups deemed to be somehow inferior.  For instance, the imposition of the three-fifths compromise by the Constitutional Convention, the treatment of Native American tribes in the United States, the treatment of Jews in Europe, and the underlying cultural ethos which gave rise to the Bataan Death March.  Essentially, it must be understood that modifications to the value of human life, and especially to their dignity, are almost uniformly downward.

As I’m sure you’ve noticed – and as I am sure you are about to protest – the en vogue conception of “person” is a purely legal matter. There is a difference, you might say, or might have read (I’ll wait, if you’re googling right now), between a “natural” and “juridical” person. Yeah, we know. We also know that the pro-death crowd has their definition of “natural person”, and we have ours.  We also know that it is often the pro-death crowd’s contention that a “Personhood amendment” will only create juridical persons.  In that assertion, however, they go from merely begging the question to taking the helm of a leading, multi-national corporation of professional beggars – and all the kickbacks to and from the Beggars Union that this implies.

What I’m trying to say is that by making that assertion – they assume, without argument, their own definition of “natural person;” and on that basis, an ipse dixit, are insisting that a personhood amendment can only create juridical persons – and put the onus on their opponent to prove otherwise.  Unfortunately for that sort of argumentation, there is, actually, a burden of proof for both sides of the argument.  Which means, of course, that they have to demonstrate why their particular and peculiar limitations to the definition of “natural person” that they present are, in fact, necessary.

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