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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:43 am 
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One of the fascinating things about the public discourse on abortion is that pro-life advocates have significant political power despite having a view that is on the fringe among experts in the subject. But the focus for those who are pro-choice centers heavily on bodily property rights arguments as a basis for their politics. It's almost invariably brought up as the counterpoint to pro-life by your average liberal pro-choice person in America. These are relatively weak arguments. The reason pro-life reasoning isn't taking super seriously in applied ethics is because it's hard to argue for fetal personhood, at least in early fetal development. If that was granted, it'd be a much more contested area of thought.


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:01 am 
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The Party of Anti-Science is at it again

Alabama is one signature away from enacting a near-total ban on abortions after the state Senate passed a controversial bill that makes performing the procedure a felony offense.

Under the Human Life Protection Act, doctors who perform an abortion at any stage of pregnancy could face a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The only exception in the legislation is in cases where the life of the pregnant woman is at risk....

The Human Life Protection Act notes that Alabama has never repealed a state law criminalizing abortion, but because of the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, that law is unenforceable.

State Rep. Terri Collins (R), who sponsored the new legislation, has been outspoken about her intent to change that.

“This bill is very simple,” she told The Washington Post. “It’s not about birth control or the morning after the pill. It’s about not allowing abortion once the woman is pregnant. The entire bill was designed to overturn [Roe v. Wade] and allow states to decide what is best for them.”

Eric Johnston, who drafted the legislation as president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, said he was confident the governor would sign the bill. It is his hope that the law will be challenged, he said, and will eventually be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

He applauded the legislature for not adding any exceptions to the bill.

“It is a traumatic event, and I don’t want to diminish how serious it is,” he said, referring to rape and incest. “But if we are arguing personhood then it does not matter how a child is conceived.”

Reproductive rights groups immediately protested the bill’s passage, calling the measure blatantly unconstitutional. It is believed to be the strictest abortion restriction in the country.

“In passing this atrocious bill, Alabama’s state legislators have shown their complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the needs of their constituents,” said Katherine Ragsdale, CEO of the National Abortion Federation, in a statement. “Anti-choice politicians have once again demonstrated that they would rather advance their extreme personal agenda than ensure the safety and well-being of their constituents.”

Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said the state should expect a lawsuit if the bill is signed into law.

“Alabama’s bill is the anti-abortion opposition’s true agenda on full display — ban abortion, punish women, jail doctors, and shame people seeking care,” Kolbi-Molinas said. “We will not stand by while politicians endanger the lives of women and doctors for political gain.”

Allison Coleman, 31, a sexual assault survivor from Birmingham, Alabama, watched the debate on the abortion ban in an overflow room at the statehouse. Her name was brought up by Democrats an example of the type of victim who would be denied an abortion under the new legislation.

Coleman told HuffPost that she was inspired by the passion of the Alabama Democrats, but “horrified and alienated by the heartlessness of the right.”

Alabama has only three abortion clinics left in the state.


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:05 am 
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Alabama may have just given the Democratic candidate for President a huge gift.

Who in their right mind actually believes our society will tolerate this insanity?

Tolerating a moron in office is one thing, but the prospect of being imprisoned because you get pregnant and miscarry is a whole new ball game that ____ with just about everyone's life in some way.

71% of Americans and 52% of Republicans support the Roe vs Wade decision.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first- ... gh-n893806


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:42 am 
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EAllusion wrote:
The reason pro-life reasoning isn't taking super seriously in applied ethics is because it's hard to argue for fetal personhood, at least in early fetal development. If that was granted, it'd be a much more contested area of thought.


Years ago, a very interesting discussion of the 'dependent personhood rights issue' was given in this article:

From Philosophy & Public Affairs, Vol. 1, no. 1 (Fall 1971).

(Reprinted in "Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics," 5th ed., ed. Ronald Munson (Belmont; Wadsworth 1996). pp 69-80.)


It produces an argument that says, in effect 'OK, I think there are huge difficulties about defining any point at which a fertilised ovum has to be treated as a human being, with all the rights that implies. But, for the sake of discussion, let's concede that it is a human being, with all the rights that implies, right from the start. What then?

The relevant portion runs:

Quote:
Most opposition to abortion relies on the premise that the fetus is a human being, a person, from the moment of conception. The premise is argued for, but, as I think, not well. Take, for example, the most common argument. We are asked to notice that the development of a human being from conception through birth into childhood is continuous; then it is said that to draw a line, to choose a point in this development and say "before this point the thing is not a person, after this point it is a person" is to make an arbitrary choice, a choice for which in the nature of things no good reason can be given. It is concluded that the fetus is. or anyway that we had better say it is, a person from the moment of conception. But this conclusion does not follow. Similar things might be said about the development of an acorn into an oak trees, and it does not follow that acorns are oak trees, or that we had better say they are. Arguments of this form are sometimes called "slippery slope arguments"--the phrase is perhaps self-explanatory--and it is dismaying that opponents of abortion rely on them so heavily and uncritically.

I am inclined to agree, however, that the prospects for "drawing a line" in the development of the fetus look dim. I am inclined to think also that we shall probably have to agree that the fetus has already become a human person well before birth. Indeed, it comes as a surprise when one first learns how early in its life it begins to acquire human characteristics. By the tenth week, for example, it already has a face, arms and less, fingers and toes; it has internal organs, and brain activity is detectable. On the other hand, I think that the premise is false, that the fetus is not a person from the moment of conception. A newly fertilized ovum, a newly implanted clump of cells, is no more a person than an acorn is an oak tree. But I shall not discuss any of this. For it seems to me to be of great interest to ask what happens if, for the sake of argument, we allow the premise. How, precisely, are we supposed to get from there to the conclusion that abortion is morally impermissible? Opponents of abortion commonly spend most of their time establishing that the fetus is a person, and hardly anytime explaining the step from there to the impermissibility of abortion. Perhaps they think the step too simple and obvious to require much comment. Or perhaps instead they are simply being economical in argument. Many of those who defend abortion rely on the premise that the fetus is not a person, but only a bit of tissue that will become a person at birth; and why pay out more arguments than you have to? Whatever the explanation, I suggest that the step they take is neither easy nor obvious, that it calls for closer examination than it is commonly given, and that when we do give it this closer examination we shall feel inclined to reject it.

I propose, then, that we grant that the fetus is a person from the moment of conception. How does the argument go from here? Something like this, I take it. Every person has a right to life. So the fetus has a right to life. No doubt the mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body; everyone would grant that. But surely a person's right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mother's right to decide what happens in and to her body, and so outweighs it. So the fetus may not be killed; an abortion may not be performed.

It sounds plausible. But now let me ask you to imagine this. You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist's circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. The director of the hospital now tells you, "Look, we're sorry the Society of Music Lovers did this to you--we would never have permitted it if we had known. But still, they did it, and the violinist is now plugged into you. To unplug you would be to kill him. But never mind, it's only for nine months. By then he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you." Is it morally incumbent on you to accede to this situation? No doubt it would be very nice of you if you did, a great kindness. But do you have to accede to it? What if it were not nine months, but nine years? Or longer still? What if the director of the hospital says. "Tough luck. I agree. but now you've got to stay in bed, with the violinist plugged into you, for the rest of your life. Because remember this. All persons have a right to life, and violinists are persons. Granted you have a right to decide what happens in and to your body, but a person's right to life outweighs your right to decide what happens in and to your body. So you cannot ever be unplugged from him." I imagine you would regard this as outrageous, which suggests that something really is wrong with that plausible-sounding argument I mentioned a moment ago.

In this case, of course, you were kidnapped, you didn't volunteer for the operation that plugged the violinist into your kidneys. Can those who oppose abortion on the ground I mentioned make an exception for a pregnancy due to rape? Certainly. They can say that persons have a right to life only if they didn't come into existence because of rape; or they can say that all persons have a right to life, but that some have less of a right to life than others, in particular, that those who came into existence because of rape have less. But these statements have a rather unpleasant sound. Surely the question of whether you have a right to life at all, or how much of it you have, shouldn't turn on the question of whether or not you are a product of a rape. And in fact the people who oppose abortion on the ground I mentioned do not make this distinction, and hence do not make an exception in case of rape.

Nor do they make an exception for a case in which the mother has to spend the nine months of her pregnancy in bed. They would agree that would be a great pity, and hard on the mother; but all the same, all persons have a right to life, the fetus is a person, and so on. I suspect, in fact, that they would not make an exception for a case in which, miraculously enough, the pregnancy went on for nine years, or even the rest of the mother's life.

Some won't even make an exception for a case in which continuation of the pregnancy is likely to shorten the mother's life, they regard abortion as impermissible even to save the mother's life. Such cases are nowadays very rare, and many opponents of abortion do not accept this extreme view. All the same, it is a good place to begin: a number of points of interest come out in respect to it.



So - what rights would the hooked-up sick violinist have over your body, given the circumstances presupposed in this thought experiment?

And how do the rights of a hooked-up fetus over your body differ from those of the violinist? Are they greater, or less? Why?

[Edited for typos]

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Last edited by Chap on Wed May 15, 2019 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 6:55 am 
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A fertilized egg has only a 27% chance of being born. That means 73% chance it will die.

If it is truly a "baby" then miscarriages effectively kill babies. There are also things that increase the risks of miscarriages such as obesity, alcohol, tobacco, etc. But I don't see Christians anywhere calling fat women who have miscarriages murderers. And I know plenty who drink and smoke.


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 8:42 am 
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I am familiar with the violinist argument Chap. It’s a famous paper. I have discussed it here. The thing is, that isn’t the only thing published in the history of ethics on abortion and there are some compelling replies to it that weaken its force. You are on much weaker ground once you concede fetal personhood.


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:14 am 
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EAllusion what in your view is the strongest arguments for legalized abortion or against fetal personhood?


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 9:36 am 
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EAllusion wrote:
I am familiar with the violinist argument ... there are some compelling replies to it that weaken its force


So why not outline two of the best replies for the benefit of board readers?

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:04 am 
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Chap wrote:
EAllusion wrote:
I am familiar with the violinist argument ... there are some compelling replies to it that weaken its force


So why not outline two of the best replies for the benefit of board readers?
EAllusion can obviously expand/respond but he has offered up some examples before. The most recent one I could find: viewtopic.php?p=1167078#p1167078

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:41 am 
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Xenophon wrote:
EAllusion can obviously expand/respond but he has offered up some examples before. The most recent one I could find: viewtopic.php?p=1167078#p1167078


Thanks, but after considering the three 'cabin analogies' given in that post:

1. It might be thought right for you to break into a well-stocked cabin and eat the supplies therein in order to avoid dying of cold and want.

2. It might be thought to be a moral obligation for you to lodge and feed in your well-stocked cabin a stranger who would otherwise die of cold and want.

3. Same as 2. except the person is injured and tiny and has to be carried around on your back all the time.

- I certainly don't find a close parallel with the sick violinist who has been hooked up to your body in order to survive, and even less can I find a close parallel with the experience of a woman who (possibly against her will) finds that her body has begun to be a support system for an increasingly demanding and growing organism, which in all likelihood she will have to continue to care for after it leaves her body.

Indeed, I'd say that that the intimacy and hugely intrusive and demanding nature of that experience is very hard, even well-nigh impossible to parallel with any other experience. And it's one that no man will ever have ...

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:52 am 
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It seems to me the majority of people for making abortion illegal are people who can't have babies, or were already culturally coerced to have theirs.

If we were to poll only the women still capable of having babies, we'd likely see overwhelming support for safe, legal abortion facilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:35 pm 
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Perfume on my Mind wrote:
It seems to me the majority of people for making abortion illegal are people who can't have babies, or were already culturally coerced to have theirs.

If we were to poll only the women still capable of having babies, we'd likely see overwhelming support for safe, legal abortion facilities.


One recent poll suggests that there is not in fact a great deal of difference between men and women on this issue:

Nearly six-in-ten Americans say abortion should be legal in all or most cases

Quote:
Among the public overall, there are no significant gender differences in views of whether abortion should be legal: 57% of men and 60% of women say it should be legal in most or all cases. Within both parties, the views of men and women are largely aligned: 78% of Democratic women and 73% of Democratic men say abortion should be legal in all or most cases; similarly, 42% of Republican men and 34% of Republican women say the same.


But of course that does not really answer your point, which was specifically about the views of women of child-bearing age.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:08 pm 
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Perfume on my Mind wrote:
If we were to poll only the women still capable of having babies, we'd likely see overwhelming support for safe, legal abortion facilities.

I think you are probably right there. I think that if women of child bearing age were acknowledged as the final, definitive arbiters in the debate over Roe V. Wade, the debate would probably already be decisively settled in its favor, once and for all. Why should men (especially elderly men) have more say than women in matters concerning their own bodies, particularly reproductive health issues? As pointed in one of my posts above, strong anti-abortion policies are bad for all women--even those who are themselves anti-abortion.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:46 pm 
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Perfume on my Mind wrote:
It seems to me the majority of people for making abortion illegal are people who can't have babies, or were already culturally coerced to have theirs.

If we were to poll only the women still capable of having babies, we'd likely see overwhelming support for safe, legal abortion facilities.

Yeah! and why can't a murder trial only have a jury composed of murderers? People trying to keep burglary illegal have never bothered to steal stuff...or they don't have stuff to steal anyway...

Bet if i imagine something as beimg true it would probably be true...yeah.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:53 pm 
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Gunnar wrote:
I think that if women of child bearing age were acknowledged as the final, definitive arbiters in the debate over Roe V. Wade, the debate would probably already be decisively settled in its favor, once and for all.


subgenius wrote:
Yeah! and why can't a murder trial only have a jury composed of murderers?


Umm, being a woman of child-bearing age is not yet a federal crime, so your parallel seems to me a little inexact.

Of course, you follow Trump's tweets and I don't, so maybe I am out of date on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 2:14 pm 
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I think if we're going to accept that abortion is tantamount to murder, then we must also acknowledge that letting children starve is tantamount to murder.

Therefore, if you are against SNAP/public assistance for children (including all the unwanted children because abortion is murder), you're a goddamn murderer.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 3:52 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 5:45 pm 
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Chap wrote:
Gunnar wrote:
I think that if women of child bearing age were acknowledged as the final, definitive arbiters in the debate over Roe V. Wade, the debate would probably already be decisively settled in its favor, once and for all.


subgenius wrote:
Yeah! and why can't a murder trial only have a jury composed of murderers?


Umm, being a woman of child-bearing age is not yet a federal crime, so your parallel seems to me a little inexact.

Of course, you follow Trump's tweets and I don't, so maybe I am out of date on this one.

Yeah, how about that, Subby; is being a woman of child-bearing age a federal crime now? Why do you hate women so much?

Let me ask you another question. How would you react if your own wife was suspected of or arrested for fetal homicide merely because she had a miscarriage? Unlikely, you say? Probably, so far, but there are already documented cases of that having happened. It seems that there really are extreme anti-abortionist officials who seem ready or even eager to view any case of miscarriage with suspicion, despite the fact that miscarriage is in the range of 8 to 20 percent. And this does not even count the cases of spontaneous miscarriages and abortions that occur before the woman even knows she is pregnant.
Quote:
Miscarriage in early pregnancy is common. Studies show that about 8 to 20 percent of women who know they are pregnant have a miscarriage some time before 20 weeks of pregnancy; 80 percent of these occur in the first 12 weeks [1]. But the actual rate of miscarriage is even higher since many women have very early miscarriages without ever realizing that they are pregnant. One study that followed women's hormone levels every day to detect very early pregnancy found a total miscarriage rate of 31 percent [2].


My own wife had at least one miscarriage in the early years of our marriage. I'm glad we were not living in a state like Tennessee at the time.
Quote:
It does not really matter whether a woman is pro- or anti-abortion. In states like Tennessee, with its freshly passed anti-abortion amendment, you can be arrested for having a miscarriage.

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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:19 pm 
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A lady friend of mine shared this on Facebook...

The abortion stuff makes me want to share all kinds of inappropriate things all over social media. Because, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? Ectopic pregnancy? Heartbeat? My stories are from the other side of abortion, about being a person desperately wanting a viable pregnancy, exceedingly grateful for the heartbeat on the screen, and then finding it gone. And then requiring surgery. Because what is left behind is not a heartbeat anymore. And the viable babies? When one was 22 weeks along (arms and legs and a little face), I got the call that there was a 1/10 chance that he would be born unable to breathe, swallow, live, after he was born. I was so lucky--I got (expensive and definitive) testing THE NEXT DAY, and found out that the little one would be our Luke, who is now 12 years old. But those five days, while we waited for those test results? If things had gone differently, I don't know what we'd have done. I wanted to die myself rather than have to manage that kind of news, that kind of medical nightmare. But to have the police involved in the most painful chapter of my life? I just don't know how that can work. I don't know how people can make the leap, thinking that women are so insane and inept that we are out there committing mass murder, that as a gender, we're serial killers. Baby killers. I don't get it.
So here's my inappropriate share. I'll probably delete it in 20 minutes when I get my ____ together.


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:41 pm 
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Abortion law is too extreme even for Pat Robertson?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/pat-r ... SU5Gc_GCnU


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 Post subject: Re: Anti-Abortion Insanity
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 10:41 pm 
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EAllusion wrote:
Gunnar adopted the classic pro-choice rhetorical move of saying, "You're not really pro-life unless you adopt these other positions I think of as pro-life too." He did this eliding over ways in which pro-life advocates might make distinctions between the merits of those positions. But pro-life is misleading in the sense that lots of things can be considered pro-life or not that have strictly nothing to do with abortion. And the term implies that if you favor life, then you agree with them. That is exactly true of pro-choice as well. A person who rejects the pro-choice point of view isn't "anti-choice" in a general sense anymore than someone who rejects the legalization of usury is "anti-choice." They're just "anti-choice" in that one specific example. Just like "pro-life" is meant to piggy back on the positive connotation of the word "life" people have for it, "pro-choice" is meant to piggy back on the positive connotation the word "choice" has. In both cases, it's fairly misleading, but since everyone over the age 12 understands what positions those labels describe, it's not a big deal.

I think you tend to overthink things sometimes. I don't deny that there are pro-lifers who have little or no problem with granting government assistance to impoverished, handicapped and catastrophically ill people (including the babies that they would force mothers to carry to term and their mothers). Not all who object to abortion are die hard, extremely hard right conservatives in everything else. But I don't think there is much controversy about the fact that many, perhaps even most, conservative anti-abortion extremists seem also fundamentally opposed to government assistance to the desperately needy, who may have difficulty getting back on their feet and becoming self-sufficient again without such assistance. Many of them are also adamantly opposed to contraceptive measures that would minimize the demand for abortion, and would outlaw them, if they could get away with doing so. I don't think it is at all unreasonable to conclude that it is hypocrisy for such anti-abortionists to characterize themselves as "pro-life."

ETA: Perhaps part of your point is that by calling themselves pro-life advocates, anti-abortion activists are incorrectly and unjustly implying that pro-choicers are somehow anti-life, and that by calling themselves pro-choice advocates, those who approve of woman's right to choose are incorrectly and unjustly implying that pro-lifers are somehow anti-choice. If that is what you really meant, I think I may be able to go along with that. :smile:

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Last edited by Gunnar on Wed May 15, 2019 11:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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