Friday, 30 March 2012

One is never enough

Am I missing something, in which case I'll take it kindly if you'll put me right?

I'm getting sick of campaigners saying stuff like "just one woman's death during an abortion is one too many" or "just one child put at risk of passive smoking is one too many" or "just one fox that dies a lingering death [death, you will find, has a tendency to linger] at the hands of a pack of hounds is one too many".

It's not just that dogs don't have hands and one can never be too many of anything if there was none of it in the first place. It's also a poor argument for banning the thing they don't like. Emotive yes, but poor. You might as well say that, since some women also die in childbirth, that's a good case for ending the human race. (There are far better ones than that.) More prosaically, at least one cyclist dies on British roads every year after falling off. Should we therefore ban bikes?

It gives liberals, one of whom I am desperately trying to remain, a bad name.

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