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21 Responses

  1. Sara
    Sara July 31, 2006 at 1:59 pm |

    I don’t have a lot of respect for people who value consistency over the health and wellbeing of fellow human beings, myself.

  2. Blue
    Blue July 31, 2006 at 6:57 pm |

    What you see as consistency, I see as a more absolute misogyny.

  3. Kiri
    Kiri July 31, 2006 at 9:43 pm |

    I disagree zuzu, I think it is possible to stand somewhere in that middle-ground and not be a misogynist or ‘slut-shamer’. For whatever reason, I find it difficult to draw a line in the sand and call a fetus or embryo or whatever on one side ‘human’ and on the other not. So in general I would have an aversion to abortion just becasue of that, but I don’t feel the need to impress these values on others, so I would probably vote against this had I to choose.
    The main reason why I would oppose it would simply be because some people aren’t as lucky as me, and they would feel that in their circumstances they must abort, and I don’t feel that I have sovereign access to the moral high ground so I could deny them that. The cases of incest or rape are here particularly relevant.
    So whilst I would oppose a ban, I can understand those who would, without these exemption clauses.

  4. F-Words
    F-Words July 31, 2006 at 11:13 pm |

    Partial credit

    Adhering to a coherent ethical framework isnt necessarily impressive on its own.

  5. Blue
    Blue August 1, 2006 at 12:07 am |

    I don’t live in South Dakota, but I do live in rural Minnesota in a county and district that almost always elect Republicans at all levels of government. From the conservative people around me (who I believe are culturally quite similar to SD) I find the ones who have what appears to be an ethical framework and “at least have some principles” are often blindly following the edicts of their churches. These are the people who don’t believe in evolution because their church says they shouldn’t.

    The people whose principles appear less consistent, I find, have at least puzzled some things out a bit for themselves. They’re a product of this conservative environment in that they cannot imagine not giving a pregnant relative any help they needed raising a child, but have decided that a woman who has been the victim of violence may be best helped by ridding herself of the fetus. In other words, they have a sort of ethic of care instead of an ethic of autonomy. Deeply flawed, I grant you, but not as inconsistent, imo, as you think.

  6. Blue
    Blue August 1, 2006 at 12:12 am |

    I should have clarified above that the “ones who have what appears to be an ethical framework” refers to the people Zuzu is saying are consistently against murder.I like to think there are some liberals around here with different ethical frameworks that are also consistent.

  7. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta August 1, 2006 at 10:04 am |

    I should also add that I look askance at anyone who sticks to their guns on “abortion is murder” but is pro-death-penalty.

    This is really a tired refrain. People who hold these two positions simultaneously do not accept that the death penalty is murder. It is not especially hard to grasp.

  8. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke August 1, 2006 at 10:21 am |

    If it favors the right’s point of view, it’s nuance and practicality.

    If it favors the left’s point of view, it’s hypocrisy.

  9. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta August 1, 2006 at 10:24 am |

    Life is sacred is a new argument, and it is not the same as saying “abortion is murder, and murder is wrong.” I too would look askance at someone who says that life is sacred, but then fires up the ol’ electric chair. Largely because saying things are “sacred” as a way of determining policy is just silly.

    And I can’t really speak for them, but I’d hazard a guess that they don’t really care whether or not you accept their beliefs on the matter, so long as abortions stop happening and executions keep happening.

  10. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta August 1, 2006 at 10:25 am |

    If it favors the lefts’s point of view, it’s nuance and practicality.

    If it favors the right’s point of view, it’s hypocrisy.

    There, Chris. I fixed it for ya.

  11. Chris Clarke
    Chris Clarke August 1, 2006 at 10:32 am |

    God, Shankar, I guess you told me. How clever.

  12. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta August 1, 2006 at 10:45 am |

    Oh, please, enlighten me on the difference here.

    “Life is sacred” is an extremely broad and all-encompassing statement, which indeed covers the death penalty, abortion, assisted suicide, as well as medicare, smoking bans, war, and basically everything a society might face, ever. “Abortion is murder” is a specific statement about a specific act. If you hold the first belief, then you will hold the second. But just because you hold the second belief does not mean you hold the first.

    If you argue that abortion is murder, then you have to hold that a fetus is a person — because you can only murder a person.

    Yes.

    Which means that killing a fully-formed adult is also murder.

    No. A fully-formed adult might have done something to, not to put to fine a point on it, deserve being killed. Like coming at you with a knife with the intent to kill you, or recording the song “Toxic.”

  13. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta August 1, 2006 at 10:45 am |

    God, Shankar, I guess you told me. How clever.

    Thanks! You too!

  14. Thomas
    Thomas August 1, 2006 at 10:59 am |

    Shankar, if “murder” is the unjustified killing of another person, it does not follwo that abortion is murder. One may believe (and I do) that the right to control the use of one’s internal organs is so strong a right that one is justified in excluding others from it even unto their death — just as one might believe that one may deprive another of one’s personal property or of shelter in one’s home, even if it will cause the death of another.

  15. Thomas
    Thomas August 1, 2006 at 11:05 am |

    On reviewing the thread, Shankar, it appears you are holding the proposition that abortion is murder at arm’s length. If that is so, then my comment #18 is not really responsive to anything you have said.

  16. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta August 1, 2006 at 11:11 am |

    …just as one might believe that one may deprive another of one’s personal property or of shelter in one’s home, even if it will cause the death of another.

    I’m not sure how solid this analogy is. What if, say, you invited a person into your home, knowing that, once they arrived, if you put them out, they’d die, and then you did so. A case could be made that you’ve committed murder, or at least, acted with depraved indifference to human life. But “Abortion is Depraved Indifference to Human Life” doesn’t fit very well on placards.

    But I’m not arguing that abortion is murder–I don’t believe that it is. All I am arguing is that believing that abortion is murder and supporting the death penality are not mutually exclusive positions.

  17. Thomas
    Thomas August 1, 2006 at 11:35 am |

    What if, say, you invited a person into your home

    An analogy to deliberate conception. What if you left your house, taking reasonable but not perfect precautions to prevent access by unauthorized persons (as we all do — I bet my sliding basement door is no more effective at preventing unauthorized entry than properly used condoms are at preventing unwanted conception), but someone entered anyway, and by the time their presence was discovered, could not be ejected without their death?

    The argument for ejecting such an intruder from one’s body is a fortiori to the argument for ejecting the intruder from one’s home, as I think we would almost all conclude that one’s interest in controlling the use of our dwelling is lower than one’s interest in controlling the use of one’s physical being.

    I raise this argument because many folks on both sides seem to assume without further analysis that fetal personhood is the whole of the argument. Though I also reject fetal personhood, I think that’s hardly the end of the argument.

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