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Allegedly, Honore Balzac changed his name to Honore de Balzac because he got paid by the word.
I only kinda skimmed the last bunch, so I'm not really sure what's under contention, but the interplay of artistic genius and hackdom has provided a wondrous array of fabulous results in the world of literature, as every fan of sci-fi and fantasy novels should know.
[Takes out red pencil and strikes out all the "if"s and replaces them with "of"s and "off"s]
Perusing this thread reminded me of an anecdote from a Bertrand Russell essay in Why I Am Not a Christian that, alas, I couldn't find.
Jist of it was: there was a debate in South Africa between the Flat Earth Society and a ship's capitain whose only argument about the shape of the earth was that he had sailed around it.
The Flat Earth Society speaker kicked his ass.
Yeah, I agree, that's pretty silly.
Well, moral philosophy means about as much to me as Andre Malraux's nail-clippings, but here's what I got:
There is no intrinsic value on human life. Oh, we like to pretend that there is, but then we place embargos on Iraq that result in the death of, oh, let's say a hundred thousand children. Or Obama goes on the teevee and cries about two dozen dead American children in Connecticut and then carries out the killings of hundreds of children in Somalia, Yemen, etc., ad nauseam.
To borrow a concept from my friend/nemesis, Al, the only value there is to human life is that which we put on it. So, yes, drawing the line between "inside the mother"/"outside the mother" is scientifically and "morally" arbitrary.
It seems to me if we have to draw the line arbitrarily, than we should draw it where it does the least harm. Forcing women to bear children that they don't want and all of the ramifications that that entails both for the life of the mother, the unwanted child, society, etc., seems to be a much greater "evil" than the, admitted, violence done to the fetus which, indeed, is human life.
But, as I've said before, I stopped reading philosophy when I was a teenager. Hell is--other posters!
Given the number of people named Christian out there, I always thought I'd like to name my (hypothetical) daughter Pagan. "Pagan Atheista Dice." It just rolls of the tongue, doesn't it?
May I suggest "Pagana?"
Btw, my hetero life partner wants to name his hypothetical daughter "Jezebel." I told him that was a very bad idea, but he said "It sounds pretty."
Also, Walk in Jerusalem