In comments on a post over at Cameron's blog that references some of the writings of Australian-born ethicist Peter Singer, there is a good discussion that ensues on the issue human innocence. While I agree with Cameron the issue of innocence has become central to many discussions concerning abortion, I also agree with Democracy Lover, at least to the extent that the issue is for the most part irrelevant. Innocent people die and are killed all the time. By what measure or rule can we say that a infant, as opposed to a toddler, a teen, or an adult, is of superior moral worth? Singer, for all his faults, at least wrestles with this question. I do not agree with his conclusions, but as Democracy Lover says, at least he deals with the issue.
I am at a point in my reflections right now that I no longer believe that a word like "innocence" has any meaning or value, because, for the most part, most human beings are a complex mix of naive innocence and compromised morality. Whether we wish to admit it or not, all of us are both morally upright as well as having a vicious streak. The whole issue, it seems to me, when laced with superlatives such as "innocence", becomes more confused, and such terms add far more heat than light.
That is why I agree and disagree with both Cameron and Democracy Lover here.