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I’ve added some more pro-life links to my side-bar. They’re nontraditional in nature. I’m sure they’ll raise a few eyebrows. 🙂
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Tags: abortion, pro-life
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And, as I’ve said before, you can’t meaningfully ask “When does (human) life begin?” unless you have satisfactorily defined both “human” and “life,” and within the span of gestation there is not a broad enough consensus on those definitions to move forward. Unfortunately, while scientific knowledge is excellent for quantifying the constituent elements of life and of the human person, the concepts of “human” and “life” remain abstract, subjective, culturally conditioned, and not quantifiable.
But abortion, or even “pro-life” ideology, can’t be taken as a single issue. These things are embedded in a much larger, more complicated social fabric. So a libertarian, a pagan, a vegan, a Catholic, or a Protestant might find abortion unacceptable, but none of them can agree on the greater social context in which that unacceptability is nested, so we don’t have a common context in which abortion is universally understood as unacceptable.
In other words, the libertarian might argue that libertarianism does not accept abortion, the vegan might argue that veganism does not accept abortion, the Catholic might argue that Catholicism does not accept abortion, but at the same time there are plenty of libertarians, vegans, Catholics and others who do find abortion acceptable, because the overall cultural context in which those various points of view are competing does not actually include the tenet that abortion is unacceptable. I.e., while diverse people oppose abortion, their opposition does not seem to come from the ground of human existence, but from the grounds of diverse ideologies.
So although a person from any given ideological group may believe that his or her views necessitate a particular position on the issue of abortion, and that may be a perfectly valid conclusion to draw, the fact remains that we live in an ideologically diverse society, and we like it that way. Libertarians, pagans, vegans, Catholics, Protestants, etc., do not want to be told what to think by people from any other ideological perspective, so each perspective simultaneously gives up its claim to be the underlying ideological core of our culture and engages in a battle to become the underlying ideological core of our culture, with the tacit understanding between all competing groups that if any of them ever succeeds, it will be the harbinger of our social, cultural, and civilizational failure.
What is our underlying context? So far as I can tell, it is that we eschew underlying contexts. That bare, Zen-like paradox is what keeps us going.
Does it matter that diverse people oppose abortion? Sure. In a society driven by popular opinion, having more people in agreement increases the potential of their effecting a policy change. But it’s important also to note that diverse people do not oppose abortion, too. In my opinion, that indicates a fundamentally controversial issue, and not just a surface-level ideological power struggle. Which means that whenever one side has the upper hand in policy making, the other side will be scheming a regime change.
A better approach might be to put aside the ideological attachments with abortion, pro or con, and examine the basic social context in which we live to ask ourselves why abortion is a fundamental controversy to begin with, and whether that can be changed.
(If you’re wondering what I mean by “fundamental controversy,” consider some of our fundamental non-controversies. For example, no one seriously questions that all people should be able to think, worship, and speak freely. We may disagree about definitions for the terms, or the degree to which those freedoms are protected, but we do not question their basic existence. Perhaps even deeper, no one questions the right of property, or that theft requires some kind of reparation. The abortion issue does not have the same kind of rootedness; it is questionable from all sides.)
gwas that mallory crawford of earth mother enterprises? if so, she, along with serrin foster of fems4life, definately inspired me to see pro-life in a whole different light: a VERY good light. 🙂
gbm3 said: I wrote after listening to a hippie who was prolife
so i asked him if the pro life hippie who spoke was mallory crawford. she is the only hippie i can think of who came and spoke at pro life saturdays or meetings. this may have been before you got involved.
It was Mallory Crawford.
It’s simpler than you think; It goes back to the discussion we had earlier (at which I’m still looking):
When does life begin (or end in the other discussion)?
“Cultural context” has nothing to do with the conclusion to the above question.
The conclusion does have to do with knowledge which is often attached differently to various cultures (Ex: US vs. Kenya): knowledge of DNA, ultrasounds, and their own human offspring (whatever that may be).
It’ll be there next time I publish. 🙂
Let’s take these example groups:
1. Vegans think animals are to be preserved. All humans are at least an animal.
Humans should be preserved.
2. Many pagans think all is sacred. All that is sacred is to be preserved. Every human is part of all.
3. Libertarians believe all humans are to be left to their own (They define human life scientifically; philosophical definitions of the human person are essentially irrelevant). Zygotes are human.
Zygotes are to be left alone.
There are some in these groups that deviate. I think they do it for their convenience.
(Have a good weekend. To one and to all human.)
My eyebrows are not raised. I never understood how a libertarian, pagan, or vegan could find abortion acceptable.
I remember writing an article for the opinions section (not “perspectives” section) of The Pitt News back in the late ’90’s on it (“The Liberal Pro-life Perspective”, I believe). I wrote after listening to a hippie who was prolife: abortion is not progressive, inclusive, nor does it give due human rights (US Declaration of Independence).
Unless you are a Vegan, and most people aren’t, then assenting to the Vegan proposition without ceasing your consumption of foods derived from animals and your use of medicines or other materials derived from animals makes you a hypocrite.
Unless you treat everything as sacred, not just the stuff you feel like treating sacred today (e.g., embryos, etc.), then assenting to the Pagan proposition makes you a hypocrite.
Your Libertarian example is a non sequitur. You say Libertarians “define life scientifically,” but then simply assert “Zygotes are human.” Except “life” is not the same as “human,” and both the humanity and the “life” of zygotes could be debated, even by scientists, who, by definition, operate “scientifically.”
Was what who? Where’d that name come from?
What I was doing was laying out some thoughts about why these *specific* groups believe the way they do in regard to abortion (if they are not “a hypocrite” to their beliefs).
Further, the Libertarian example was not fully explained in a drawn out manner since http://l4l.org/ explains it. You may want to specifically read: http://l4l.org/library/mythfact.html (if you’re interested).
Would you like to add Pharmacists for Life International? 🙂
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