March 03, 2005

brief moral dilemma

Is it immature and narrow-minded to remove somebody from your friends list just because they're conservative and pro-life?

Oh, it is? Well, too bad. I already did it.

I've had a lot of conversations with a lot of different kinds of people in my life; and one thing I've found is that talking to somebody who's diametrically opposedto your views, or nearly so, is a frustrating, hypertension-inducing and ultimately fruitless way to re-evaluate your own opinions. I've had much more profound and lasting changes of heart from listening to people whose opinions are somewhat congruent to mine than from listening to people who are diametrically opposed. And there are probably a couple issues on which I've gradually shifted from one position to the opposite position.

But if you think an embryo is a person, you can't talk to me, because I can't understand any reason for thinking something like that that doesn't involve a] profound stupidity or b] a religious belief that you somehow, out of supreme arrogance, think it right to push onto people who don't share that belief. Or it could be a combination of the two, where you're actually so brainwashed as to confuse your religious beliefs with facts. I don't know if the fetus has a soul. It might, so does that give somebody else the right to say "no abortion, just in case fetuses have souls"? Well, shit, who knows if plants have souls? Let's outlaw broccoli now, because broccoli's fucking alive, until you pick it, and you can't prove it doesn't have a soul. If we can use that logic on humans, why not on other living things? Why not on the animals we experiment on? Why not on the trees we cut down? They don't have souls? How do you know? [I'm not saying they do or don't, mind you, only that you jolly well can't prove it anymore than you can prove we do. It's up to you to believe or disbelieve it.]

And if you can tell people they shouldn't have abortions because of a possible, unprovable soul that some people believe in and some don't, then I should be able to have a law passed saying that you can't walk on the sidewalk in front of my apartment because it disturbs the, I don't know, sidewalk faeries or something. Why the fuck not? There are people that believe in faeries. You can't be certain of whether sidewalk faeries exist or not, can you? Sure, lots of people will insist they don't, but lots of people insist there's no such thing as a soul either, so that's no basis for claiming their nonexistence as fact. There aren't any laws I'm aware of that make provisions for the protection of faeries or ghosts or any of the numerous other beings whose existence is in question. So what do believers in sidewalk faeries do? They simply don't walk on the areas of the sidewalk where they think the sidewalk faeries live. Don't like abortion? Well, you can say you don't like it, and you can choose not to have one if the opportunity to make that choice arises. I don't consider that an extremist position at all. I consider it quite moderate, and the only reasons it's associated with leftists instead of moderates are a] it's a popular issue with feminists, who are quite often on the left; and b] the true opposite of anti-abortion would be pro-abortion, i.e. the position that people have mandated abortions. No matter what some of the more rabid pro-lifers claim, the pro-choice platform has never been in favour of mandating abortion for anybody. However, you don't hear from many true pro-abortion types, and when you do, they're often classified as Communists in the same vein as the Chinese. So the only really visible opposition to the position on the far end of the spectrum is the moderate view, which makes the moderate view look closer to the far opposite end of the spectrum, because people will put a mental line about halfway between the two most visible positions on the spectrum and call it the center whether it objectively is or not.

I'm very sure I'm not making sense, and I'm too tired to care. It's like this: I talk to enough conservatives at work. I don't need more of them on my time off. Maybe some moderates would be nice. If I wanted somebody to agree with me all the time, I'd never talk to anybody but myself [and then I still wouldn't get a consensus half the time]. But neither am I obligated to listen to opinions that I've already listened to, considered and rejected for what I consider good reasons, and nor am I obligated to listen to every opinion on the planet. [Further illustration of this concept can be found here and here.] I have enough acid reflux, thank you.

I'm going to bed. Ta.

same bitch time, same bitch channel...

Posted by Frida Peeple at March 3, 2005 12:14 PM
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