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But that this parent should have so little regard for the child, as to unmercifully dump it where it might die slowly and painfully, or be picked up by someone to be reared into slavery or prostitution (as sometimes happened), suggests a level of cruelty beyond our modern imagination.

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He wrote: "There must be a law that no imperfect or maimed child shall be brought up.

And to avoid an excess in population, some children must be exposed.

We all want to live with a certain minimal amount of human dignity.

We all want certain protection in the law against oppression by tyrants who might consider certain segments of society expendable simply because they are too weak or too poor to protect themselves.

Most notably, in the Athenian Agora, a well was uncovered containing the remains of 175 babies thrown there to drown.

Lest we assume that was the practice of the poor and ignorant, one of the most influential thinkers in Western intellectual history – none other than Aristotle – argued in his Politics that killing children was essential to the functioning of society.As obvious and important as this concept seems to us today, it was not so obvious or important in the world of antiquity.To begin with, Greeks and Romans – as well as virtually every ancient culture we know of – practiced infanticide.An excerpt from Rabbi Ken Spiro's recently published book, "World Perfect." While developing an idea for a lecture program, I conducted a series of surveys over a period of two years, asking people to list the fundamental values and principles which they felt we needed to uphold in order to make our world as perfect as is humanly possible. Overwhelmingly, my respondents – predominantly Westerners, from the United States, Canada, South America, England, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc – came up with remarkably similar answers, which could be grouped into these six categories: The respondents to my survey came from all walks of life, yet regardless of their backgrounds, they were in agreement. Where did the values and principles of the modern world come from?Indeed, they, and I venture to say most human beings the world over, deeply believe that a perfect world must include these universal values. Are these six basic ideas intrinsic to human nature? The answer I found will surprise, perhaps even shock, the reader.25-26) reports: "Infanticide during antiquity has usually been played down despite literally hundreds of clear references by ancient writers that it was an accepted, everyday occurrence.

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