I’m not going to make any friends with this essay; I already know that. Emotions run high on the abortion issue and I’m going to say things that people on both sides of the debate are likely to find intolerable. But someone‘s gotta say it, so it might as well be me.

First off: I’m pro-choice. Sorry, that ain’t gonna change. I’ve heard every pro-life argument repeated countless times and none of them have changed my views yet, and are unlikely to do so in the future. But I definitely understand the pro-life position, and I acknowledge that many people are pro-life on solidly grounded moral principles. I have no beef with that, and I have no interest in trying to convince anyone to change their minds.

Recently, Sharron Angle, Nevada’s Republican nominee for Senate, was savagely criticized by the Harry Reid campaign (her Democratic opponent) and by liberals in general when she reaffirmed her belief that even rape victims who become pregnant should carry their babies to term and not have abortions:

Interviewer: What do you say then to a young girl, I am going to place it as he said it, when a young girl is raped by her father, let’s say, and she is pregnant. How do you explain this to her in terms of wanting her to go through the process of having the baby?

Angle: I think that two wrongs don’t make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade. Well one girl in particular moved in with the adoptive parents of her child, and they both were adopted. Both of them grew up, one graduated from high school, the other had parents that loved her and she also graduated from high school. And I’ll tell you the little girl who was born from that very poor situation came to me when she was 13 and said ‘I know what you did thank you for saving my life.’ So it is meaningful to me to err on the side of life.

Now, the Reid campaign and left-leaning bloggers went ballistic upon hearing this, either intentionally misconstruing Angle’s statement to imply that she is in favor of rape, or at a minimum denouncing her position as cruel and fundamentally immoral.

But, despite being pro-choice myself, I had the opposite reaction. Angle’s unwavering philosophical consistency was a rare treat to behold in this nation of fickle politicians. Because Angle’s hardline stance is to my mind the only valid pro-life stance.

We’re All Lying

I think both sides of the abortion debate are lying and have been lying since the argument first arose. Anyone who wants to forbid abortion “except in cases of rape or incest” is, frankly, full of crap. And here’s why:

If you truly are “pro-life” in that you believe abortion is murder because the unborn child is a full-fledged human being, then you wouldn’t so casually allow the child to be murdered simply based on its parent’s misbehavior.

Most people who are anti-abortion adopt the label “pro-life” based on the shared notion that the zygote/embryo/fetus, no matter what its stage of development, is an undiminished human being with full human rights. And that’s a principled position which I can respect — if you stick to it consistently. But if you start making expedient exceptions, then your dishonesty has been revealed. Because if you really and truly believed that an embryo was a full human being, then you wouldn’t allow it to be murdered simply because its father was a bad man.

Say, for example, a man goes out and robs a store. Do the police then go to that man’s house and throw his son in jail as punishment for the father’s crime? Of course not. Not only would that be unconstitutional, it would be illogical as well. Well, what if a man goes out and rapes someone, and gets sentenced to life in prison. Do we as a society then go to the man’s family and also throw his children in jail for life? Again, that would seem insane.

Why then, if we are to accept the supposition that unborn children have full human rights, would we sentence a (pre-born) baby to death (abortion) simply because the baby’s father is a rapist? How does that make any more sense than the scenarios I described above?

Allowing a rape-and-incest exception to any abortion ban essentially means we are willing to punish the children for the sins of the father. And that’s not the way our society works.

Hidden Rationale?

That is, unless there was a hidden rationale behind the abortion ban which had nothing to do with the belief that embryos are children. If the “pro-life” stance was sometimes nothing but a ruse, a false front to disguise the real reason for being anti-abortion, that would explain why some “pro-lifers” are willing to murder unborn babies under certain circumstances.

And I have always believed that the hidden rationale is obvious: It’s all about sex.

Many politicians and regular folks feel (accurately, in my opinion) that allowing unfettered legal access to abortion will encourage promiscuity among young people. That if we intentionally make sex consequence-free, then more casual sex will happen, and more sex will lead to more babies out of wedlock, which will lead to any number of well-documented social ills. And furthermore, many feel, pre-marital and extra-marital sex is fundamentally immoral, in that it is explicitly forbidden by the three main monotheistic religions and by many other faiths as well.

But in our postmodern world, it’s no longer acceptable to publicly say you’re anti-sex for either social or moral reasons. No one is willing to stand up and declare, “Sex outside of marriage is bad for the soul and bad for society, so we should discourage sexual activity by ensuring that it has dire consequences; thus, we should ban abortion, as a way to scare kids away from casual sex.” But I have a strong feeling that that is what many people really and truly would say if they were telling the truth. Instead, some people in the anti-abortion camp wrap themselves in the “pro-life” mantle as a way of disguising their real opinions with the façade of a more acceptable contemporary moral philosophy (i.e. that abortion should be banned because even embryos are full human beings).

Now, if you’re pro-life and you’re reading this and your blood is starting to boil, simmer down for just a minute: I’m not necessarily talking about you, personally. I’m talking about those politicians and opinion-makers and anyone else who has taken the politically expedient (but morally indefensible) position of wanting to ban abortion except in those cases where the father is a bad man. Because if that’s your position, then you’re not really pro-life. You’re just anti-sex.

(Not that I disagree with the anti-sex position: It has some merit on its own. What it is I can’t stand is people lying about their real motivations.)

Liberals are Lying Too

Don’t think I’m just on a conservative-bashing campaign: far from it. When it comes to lying about motivations, the liberals are just as guilty, if not more so.

The pro-choice camp (of which I am a reluctant member) also promulgates all sorts of dubious and dishonest purported reasons for their position, going on and on about “freedom of choice” and “women’s empowerment” and so forth. A few people may actually believe all that, but I suspect most don’t. Yet their reason for lying is the same as the pro-life reason: because the truth is too politically embarrassing.

Once again, it comes down to sex. Most liberals want abortion to be legal so as to encourage promiscuity and casual sex. There, I’ve said it. The reasons for this are manyfold, but include: They themselves want to have consequence-free sex; they think that a sex-soaked society is a happy society; and (few are aware of this, but it’s actually a significant behind-the-scenes reason) more extra-marital sex hopefully leads to the disintegration of the nuclear family which is a necessary precursor to the glorious Marxist revolution (at least according to many communist philosophers).

Both the pro-life and pro-choice camps secretly agree that the real reason to ban or allow abortion is that doing so would decrease or increase the amount of sex going on. Where they disagree is whether or not more sex is a bad thing (the anti-abortion position) or a good thing (the pro-abortion position).

The Refreshing Honesty of Sharron Angle

Now that I’ve pissed everyone off, let’s return to the subject of this essay: Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada.

Angle is the only major politician in recent memory to not only unabashedly tell the truth about her motivations, but also to take a consistent and morally defensible position on the abortion debate. And although I disagree with her position, I deeply admire the fact that she is stating it honestly and openly. Because what I (and many Americans) want in a politician above all else is honesty — and moral consistency. And even though I don’t live in Nevada and so can’t vote for Angle or Reid, I’d much rather vote for an honest and moral politician with whom I disagree than for a dishonest and amoral politician who tells me lies I want to hear.

I might take a different stance on Angle if I considered abortion a “litmus test” topic that exclusively determined my support for a politician; but in truth I place abortion way down on my list of priorities, and it is not really a salient crisis-issue in 21st century America. As things now stand, Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and is unlikely to change anytime soon. Furthermore, despite my being pro-choice, I actually don’t really like the legal reasoning behind Roe v. Wade, and still think that states (and not the federal government) should have the right to determine what local standards are concerning abortion. I don’t like an overreaching federal government stepping in and either banning or forcibly unbanning state abortion laws. If that means (as it would mean) a patchwork of abortion laws that vary state by state — so be it. My feelings about states’ rights inherent in the Constitution are much stronger than my feelings about the legality of a particular medical procedure. I’m one of those few people who know the difference between having an opinion and wanting my opinion forced on others against their will. Thus, I wouldn’t particularly mind if Angle won the race and as Senator eventually voted to approve a Supreme Court nominee who later voted to overturn Roe v. Wade.

So, even though my pro-choice stance differs from that of Sharron Angle, my admiration for her honesty and moral clarity on the topic trumps my personal opinions about abortion. And that’s why this pro-choice voter likes Sharron Angle even more after her controversial comments about impregnated rape victims carrying their babies to term.

60 Responses to “Why Sharron Angle’s rape/abortion position makes pro-choice me respect her more

  1. 1Leovinus on Jul 15, 2010 at 10:06 am:

    Just put this on my facebook page. Well done Zombie!

  2. 2jables on Jul 15, 2010 at 10:14 am:

    zombie, no one has stated what I believe more clearly than you have in this post. Ever. Moral consistency in the abortion debate is hard to come by, and it often comes down to sex, not babies. Thank you so very much for your honesty and clear writing! Keep up the good work!

  3. 3Charles on Jul 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm:

    Excellent commentary, but I believe the Catholic Church’s position antedates yours.

  4. 4Izzy on Jul 15, 2010 at 1:38 pm:

    Interestingly, you have stated my position exactly. I’m not p*ssed off, because I’ve never understood the “rape and incest” exception. I’ve always felt that the unborn (??preborn??) child is innocent of any evil the parents did, and should not be punished. I accept an exception of “for the life of the mother”, using the principal (stated in Talmudic theory) that if the unborn child is “threatening” the mother, the mother can “fight back”.

    I’ve been willing to go along with the pro-life crowd because I also agree with their second hidden purpose. Which I believe to be, as you stated, to confine sex to marriage, since that ensures stable families, which, in turn, helps to stabilize society.

  5. 5Eric on Jul 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm:

    Sharron’s stance on abortion is the same as mine. I have always been completely pro-life even in instances of rape or incest. And I am completely pro-life for the very reasons you state Zombie. It is a logical fallacy to be semi pro-life. Either all the way or not at all. If I am to make a stand against abortion because I believe God gives us life, who am I to take life away from a child just because the father is a rapist (incest or otherwise)?

    I completely agree with your logic though.

    Oh and I won’t bother replying to any flaming or counterarguments from other posters. This is the first time I’ve ever commented on one of your posts.

  6. 6Xpltivdletd on Jul 15, 2010 at 2:50 pm:

    Not that your stock was ever low, it just went up again! Well-reasoned and well-written!

  7. 7Lynne Michele Leavell on Jul 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm:

    My opinion on pro-life/pro-choice – to abort or not abort – is this –
    I am a retired registered nurse. I have been in the health care field, in one capacity or another, for 50 years. I have seen the results of a pregnancy resulting from incest. Without going into the details, there is a very simple procedure that is available, and has been for 30 years, at least. It is called amniocentesis. If a pregnancy is a result of incest and there is conflict of abortion vs no abortion, have the test done. If it shows the genetic defects/diseases that can result from incest reproduction, then a decision can be made rationally and scientifically. It is not fair to bring a living being into the world that has to be institutionalized, if it lives that long, and be maintained in horrendous suffering, not to mention the horrendous expense burden placed on the government. There is no quality of life. Isn’t that the real bottom line?

  8. 8Pat B. on Jul 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm:

    Great post Zombie! I disagree with you on the person-hood of an embryo but I admire your clear thinking and moral consistency.

    Zombie for President 2012!

  9. 9Nemo on Jul 15, 2010 at 5:35 pm:

    “If you truly are “pro-life” in that you believe abortion is murder because the unborn child is a full-fledged human being, then you wouldn’t so casually allow the child to be murdered simply based on its parent’s misbehavior.”

    Sorry, but this is BS.

    Let’s try an analogy. Suppose someone — a relative of yours, say — needs a kidney in order to live. And your own kidneys are the only ones that are compatible.

    Should the state compel you to give up a kidney? After all, it won’t kill you; you can live with one kidney. And somebody else’s life is on the line.

    Nevertheless, I would argue that no, the state should have no such power.

    Now suppose your relative’s condition was the direct and predictable consequence of your own actions. (Say you poisoned them or beat them severely or something.) Now I would argue the state should, in fact, compel you to give up a kidney to save your relative’s life.

    Your “misbehavior” makes all the difference in the world, because it was your misbehavior that caused the predicament.

    Now, see if you can figure out the analogy…

  10. 10WaltzingMtilda on Jul 15, 2010 at 6:42 pm:

    After having been pro-choice for most of my adult life, I became pro-life about 5 years ago, though was still on the fence about the rape/incest thing. About 3 years ago I started using the term “pro-abortion” when describing the “pro-choice” crowd, on the grounds that it is in fact what they are. They are for a medical procedure, called abortion, that removes the embryo/fetus from the uterus. And just about a year ago I came around to Angle’s point of view…if you are anti-abortion, than you should (in theory, I guess) be anti-abortion even in the case of rape/incest. This has made for some, shall we say, “spirited” discussion with my husband, who is still pro-abortion.

    Great post, and a great point…her honesty is refreshing and much needed. Hope she doesn’t waver.

    And Nemo? Sorry to sound thick, but I truly don’t get the analogy. : )

  11. 11Nemo on Jul 15, 2010 at 7:06 pm:

    OK, I shall spell it out.

    If the foetus is a person — and the question of abortion depends heavily on when this becomes true, but let’s ignore that for a moment — then it is a person wholly dependent on somebody else (the mother) for survival. Indeed the foetus depends on a significant commitment of resources from the mother. Perhaps not the equivalent of a kidney, exactly, but I would say that is the right ballpark.

    The issue of abortion hinges on two equally relevant questions: 1) When does the foetus become a person? 2) If Person A requires significant resources from Person B to remain alive, when should the state compel Person B to provide those resources?

    My point is very simple: It is logically quite defensible to say that (2) depends on whether Person B is responsible for Person A’s circumstances. Indeed it is my own position. :-)

    Put another way: If someone is totally dependent on me for their survival, can I cut them off? Does it not matter, at least a little bit, whether my actions were the direct cause of their dependency?

  12. 12WaltzingMtilda on Jul 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm:

    Umm…working my way through this. If you choose a course of action that makes you responsible (consensual sex) you are obligated to see it through? But if you are raped and a pregnancy results you don’t have the obligation. I think I get what you’re saying.

    On the subject of person-hood though…most kids even after being born are totally dependent on their caregivers for a pretty long time.

  13. 13Nemo on Jul 15, 2010 at 9:52 pm:

    WaltzingMtilda: On the subject of person-hood though…most kids even after being born are totally dependent on their caregivers for a pretty long time.

    Quote

    Yes, exactly! Which is why we have legal concepts like “child support”. We are each responsible for the consequences of our own actions, particularly as they affect other people (like our kids).

    The question of when the foetus is a “person” matters. But your actions also matter. Clearly it is just to hold you responsible for your voluntary actions. But involuntary actions? At the very least, it is a lot less clear.

    As an aside… If I had my way, the father would be required to share in the sacrifice equally. Unfortunately, that is harder to arrange in practice, which I actually believe is the #1 reason the entire issue is so contentious. But anyway, I favor any policies that bring us closer to that ideal of shared burden.

  14. 14WaltzingMtilda on Jul 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm:

    LOL, you’re never gonna have your way on that one. It’s not set up that way. We are hasing all the wombs. But it’s sweet of you to want to.

    I for one am not contentious about having to give up beer and cigarettes for 10 months. Well, I might be a little mad about it but there is no changing that aspect. Show me a man who quits both when his girl is pregnant and I will totally have his next baby.

    As to the person thing…I am all about when sperm meets egg. It’s a love story!

    And? Bless your hippie heart! XOXO

  15. 15Starless on Jul 16, 2010 at 4:12 am:

    It’s always very interesting to watch arguments over the rape/incest exception. Inevitably, the evidence in those arguments is complex and convoluted (when life begins, dependence, free will, two-headed babies, etc) but the kernel of the matter is how you answer the question of how disposable you think life is. If you are going to argue that life is precious and abortions should be banned, you can’t be both intellectually honest and add exceptions to that preciousness at the same time. Either you agree that life is disposable or you don’t–incrementalism on this issue is dishonest. At a legal/political level, it’s as dishonest as being anti-abortion and pro-death penalty at the same time.

    (The flip side, of course, is that you can’t be “pro-choice” and then say that all life is precious or deny that abortion kills babies.)

  16. 16Pat B. on Jul 16, 2010 at 8:35 am:

    Nemo, dude lemme splain it to you. Your analogy fails because forcibly taking someones kidney is an intrinsically evil action. It is simply wrong, a violation of someones rights. No such immoral act is required to bring a pregnancy to term. The abortion debate really comes down to a question of personhood. Any traditional understanding of personhood would lead one to conclude that an embryo is a human person. It is a genetically unique, (not getting into the semantics of identical twins) human individual that should have the rights of a born human being. I believe that it requires a convoluted modernistic view of human life and its value to be pro-choice. I still respect some pro-choicers like Zombie, but I strongly disagree with them on this issue.

  17. 17Starless on Jul 16, 2010 at 10:20 am:

    Pat B.: Any traditional understanding of personhood would lead one to conclude that an embryo is a human person. It is a genetically unique…human individual that should have the rights of a born human being.

    I think of it this way when I hear the “it’s just a bunch of cells in my body” argument: unlike other combinations of cells, this particular combination will become a person as long as there is no outside intervention to prevent it from becoming one. (At what point does the combination of two gametes become a “person”? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think that’s a quibble.)

  18. 18CattusMagnus on Jul 16, 2010 at 10:59 am:

    Zombie for President 2012!

    If we could only be so fortunate!

  19. 19zombie on Jul 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm:

    I didn’t discuss in the essay my personal stance on abortion (aside from the generic “reluctantly pro-choice”) because the specifics of my opinion are irrelevant to the issue. And I won’t waste everyone’s time mapping out the details of the extent and rationale of my pro-choice opinion.

    However, that being said, there is one aspect I have been pondering of late. And that is what I’ll call the “Lifeboat Earth” theory:

    Imagine you’re floating on an endless ocean in a lifeboat that can only hold ten people maximum — any more and it will sink.

    Now, if you only have five people in the boat and you encounter a drowning man trying to keep his head above water, obviously you’d pull him in and save his life.

    If you had nine people, you’d still pull him in.

    But what if there were already ten people in the boat? If you don’t pull in the drowning man, he will die. But if you do pull in the drowning man, then the boat will sink and you’ll all die.

    So — what do you do? The self-evident solution, as awful as it may seem, is to not pull him in.

    But what if you look around the boat and your fellow survivors include a mass-murdering psychopath and someone else who is in the final stages of a bubonic plague infection, while the drowning man yells with one of his few remaining breaths, “I’m a professional boatwright and can build us a bigger boat with driftwood we scavenge from the waves! Glub!”

    What do you do then? The sensible thing would be to push either the mass-murdering psychopath or the dying bubonic plague sufferer overboard, and pull the boatwright in.

    Now, the point of this fantasy dilemma is to highlight two facts: First, that the human-carrying capacity of Earth is not infinite, and second, considering that it is not infinite, we as a species eventually have to do morally repugnant “triage” on deciding who gets to be alive on Earth.

    That maximum-load moment hasn’t happened yet. But if human are allowed to reproduce freely, we would reach it soon enough in historical terms, as the average human woman can have at least 10 babies during her childbearing years, and modern medical science can keep most of those babies alive.

    One solution — the one favored by the Chinese government and monsters like Obama’s current Science Czar John Holdren — is to FORCIBLY compel people to have fewer babies. To me, that is completely unacceptable, and is the worst kind of totalitarianism.

    Yet if everyone had huge Mormon-sized familes or followed the Vatican’s recommendation of no abortion and no birth control, the globe’s population would rapidly climb and we’d soon reach maximum capacity and be faced with the Lifeboat Earth dilemma.

    So — how to we solve this moral conundrum?

    Well, the one solution is to allow for voluntary use of birth control and abortion, and let each woman decide how many babies (if any) she wants to have. And as we have seen over the last 50 years, with these options available, the population levels off and stays at a reasonable size.

    But the pro-lifers will say: You didn’t address our moral objection to murdering unborn human beings!

    Well, that’s why I brought up the part about the bubonic plague sufferer and the drowning boatwright.

    If we don’t slow population growth now, eventually we will have to make hideous massive-scale decisions of who gets to live and die, as Lifeboat Earth start capsizing from being overstuffed. Alternately, we can let nature takes it course and watch as a Malthusian mass die-off wipes out the weak. Not acceptable, either scenario — billions will necessarily die either at our hands or due to natural causes.

    So, since some category of society is going to have to die one way or the other, we are compelled to make, either now or in the future, horrible decisions based on the comparative value of different human lives, something which seems unconscionable but which we can’t avoid.

    So, as grotesque as it may seem, an inherent rationale for the pro-choice side is to acknowledge that embryos are humans but still to say: Better to kill these humans while they have no cognition, no memory, no feelings, no acheivements, no experience, than be forced at some later date to kill an even greater number of humans who are fully grown and whose deaths will probably seem even more horrifying because they will have acquired personalities and life experiences, etc.

    In other words, as in the lifeboat dilemma, we are making a decision that one kind of human life is more valued than another.

    I fully realize that this is an ugly thing to admit, but like I said, I value honesty in people’s opinions, and not sidestepping the bald truth.

    Each human life has infinite value, but we are forced into weighing these infinities and assessing their comparative worth, something which seems impossible but which we have to do all the time.

    Which human life has more value:
    Albert Einstein, or Adolf Hitler?
    An American soldier fighting for freedom, or a terrorist intent on enslaving the world?
    A convicted serial killer sentenced to death for his crimes, or an innocent child trying to survive lukemia?
    A drowning boatwright who can build a ship from driftwood to save others, or a near-death bubonic plague sufferer taking up space and infecting others?
    An adult human being with a moral code, feelings, love, and intellectual and physical achievements, or a zygote the size of a peanut that has not yet developed a nervous system or brain?

    Yes, in a utopian fantasy, we would not have to make these nauseating and grotesque decisions, judging one thing of infinite value (a human life) as being less worthy than another thing of infinite value. But we don’t live in utopia, we live in a harsh harsh world, and if we don’t resolve this dilemma now, we will have to resolve it in a much uglier way in the future.

    Yes, I concede that it is possible that humans may eventually master interstellar travel and be able to colonize other worlds (bases on Mars, the Moon, and a few other places in our solar system only delay the problem for a few years by absorbing a few million people at most — we’d have to go to other solar systems to find new Earths). Possible, but not likely, especially considering the logistics of transporting massive numbers of people across vast distances. So I don’t think that’s going to be a deus ex machina solution any time in the foreseeable future.

    So, in order to avoid a John Holdren/Communist China totalitarian solution of compulsory abortion or mass sterilization, we can try to minimize the pain by allowing voluntary “birth control” of all kinds, including abortion. And I say this even conceding the pro-life view that killing embryos is murder. Since human reproduction outpaces the ecosystem’s ability to sustain it, mass human death is unavoidable. All we can do is choose who gets killed.

    Do we allow evil ideologies or governments to kill billions of good people to make room for more of their minions? Not so good.

    Do we allow massive starvation and sickness to exterminate billions of innocent people in a Malthusian natural human die-off? Not so good either.

    Do we allow mothers to voluntarily commit infanticide of some of their own pre-born brainless proto-babies? Eh, not that great either, but probably better than the other options.

    Now, I’m all for minimizing the number of population-control abortions by doing everything we can to prevent pregnancies in the first place — birth control, abstinence, etc. Problem is, the two solutions — birth control and abstinence — undermine each other. The more you hand out birth control and give birth control education to teens, the more you are educating them how to and giving them permission to have sex. But if you then clamp down on the sex-encouraging birth control education, you are opening the door to too many unplanned pregnancies as ignorant teens knock each other up anyway. They may be having less sex if we don’t encourage it, but that lesser amount of sex may lead to more pregnancies since each sex act is less likely to involve birth control.

    And that’s a different dilemma for a different debate, but one that constantly lurks in the background of the abortion debate.

    So anyway, in conclusion: Yes, control of potential over-population is indeed a factor to consider in assessing the moral consistency of the pro-choice position.

    [I almost said "Thanks for letting me rant," but then I realized this is my blog, so I can rant all I want!]

  20. 20Starless on Jul 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm:

    Ah, but Great Undead One, the “carrying capacity” argument may very well be a false dilemma. The one thing carrying capacity advocates always leave out is technology. Not just the “colonize Mars” idea but things like Norman Borlaug’s dwarf wheat. We can’t plan for technological breakthroughs, OTOH, I think assuming the worst-case scenario assumes too much.

    As far as Malthus goes, China has always been a pretty reliable adherent to his theories. Prior to the 20th century, there’s been a fairly reliable 50 year cycle of die-off from either disease or war. Personally, I’m still waiting for the shoe to drop on that one.

  21. 21Tarkmanian on Jul 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm:

    You truly are a Great Thinker (capital G and T), Zombie. Seriously. I see more insight and brilliance in your off-the-cuff comment #19 than most professional bio-ethicists spew in a lifetime. Though I am pro-life, for the first time ever I can actually understand and even agree with a pro-abortion view. You explained it in such a way that you reached my core values. Every other pro-abortion argument avoids addressing the basic point of the pro-life argument, that abortion is murder. They just sidestep the issue and change the subject, because they know it’s a losing debate for them. But you are honest enough to accept the core pro-life argument and yet explain a different view. Never before have I ever seen anyone brave enough to acknowledge the validity of the pro-life argument but still come back with a compelling counter-argument.

    Now you actually have me reassessing my no-exception pro-life stance, something I never thought possible! It’s not a particularly good feeling, doubting my convictions, I’ll be honest. Yet I find you the most persuasive philosopher I’ve ever encountered.

  22. 22zombie on Jul 16, 2010 at 2:08 pm:

    Starless: Ah, but Great Undead One, the “carrying capacity” argument may very well be a false dilemma. The one thing carrying capacity advocates always leave out is technology. Not just the “colonize Mars” idea but things like Norman Borlaug’s dwarf wheat. We can’t plan for technological breakthroughs, OTOH, I think assuming the worst-case scenario assumes too much.

    I don’t see how technology or dwarf wheat or Mars colonies changes the equation at all. Maybe they will push back the point of overpopulation by some period of time, but they don’t eliminate it. That was the whole point of Malthus’ original speculation: That if you stave off the crisis by feeding the teeming masses, that will only encourage them to breed more and more, leading to an even bigger crisis some years hence!

    Say that we develop dwarf wheat, we colonize Mars, the Moon, the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, we prolong the human lifespan to 150 years, we develop edible algae and on and on and on, miracle technologies left and right, feeding our ever-swelling population. And then? Eventually, no matter what, we will run out of resources — there is only so much biomatter on the Earth. On that point, the over-population scare-mongers did have a valid point: Whether it be in 100 years or 200 years or 1,000 years or 5,000 years or more, if population growth is unchecked, then one day we must necessarily run out of resources, and not be able to support the number of humans with the amount of organic molecules available in our solar system. There is an upper limit. And the larger the population grows to reach this crisis shortage, the larger the die-off will be when the inevitable happens.

    If we want avoid this inevitable crisis of mass human death in a non-totalitarian way, it’s probably best to seek the least nightmarish of the nightmarish options available to us — i.e. try to diminuate the number of humans coming into this life in the first place.

  23. 23zombie on Jul 16, 2010 at 2:19 pm:

    Pat B.: Zombie for President 2012!

    Tarkmanian: Yet I find you the most persuasive philosopher I’ve ever encountered.

    You people have me blushing!

  24. 24Pat. B. on Jul 16, 2010 at 2:30 pm:

    This has turned into a debate on absolute morality. If murder is absolutely wrong in all circumstances then you cannot murder people for the sake of population control any more than you can for any other reason. I would rather die of starvation in a famine caused by overpopulation than condone the killing of innocents to prevent that famine. However if murder is only subjectively wrong, then I suppose we can kill people when ever it is convenient for us. Please understand that I am not equating killing with murder. There are obviously situations where killing someone would not constitute an act of murder. Assuming (as I do,) that abortion is murder, the idea that abortion should be allowed to control the population is very wrong. This really comes down to the person-hood argument. By talking about the abstract notion of population control, Zombie is engaging in the same type of obfuscations that he (rightly) accuses others of in his essay. Either abortion is murder or it is not. Stick to that argument.

  25. 25Starless on Jul 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm:

    zombie: On that point, the over-population scare-mongers did have a valid point: Whether it be in 100 years or 200 years or 1,000 years or 5,000 years or more, if population growth is unchecked, then one day we must necessarily run out of resources, and not be able to support the number of humans with the amount of organic molecules available in our solar system.

    They have significantly downplayed the mass of resources within the solar system. For that matter, the resources within the asteroid population alone. The fundamental problem I have with “carrying capacity” advocates is that their arguments are basically ideological and to that end they ignore–like AGW advocates–data which is inconvenient to them. Maybe we will eventually run out of resources, but they have no way of proving that. Like AGW, they can make a prediction based on their models, but that’s all it is–a prediction based on their models. Their solutions are inevitably Malthusian in their proportions much as AGW advocate solutions are draconian. I for one am not interested in instituting policy regarding who lives and who dies based on someone’s computer model.

    Population growth is always checked in one way or another–always–without the need for policy to help it along. As you pointed out, it’s a tough world out there and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  26. 26Scott on Jul 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm:

    Hey Zombie: Thanks for articulating what I feel. I am a “pro-choice” uber conservative. My reasons for supporting the adult human’s ability to abort their fetus is a mixture of being a brain dead left of centerist back about 25 years ago when schtupping was my reason for being, and always erring on the side of freedom. Isn’t it a better thing to allow people choices in their lives (obviously within reason) than to obligate them to one course of action or another? But I understand the pro-life side of the coin not only because I have two children of my own now, but also because of a case some 20 years ago where two young college co-eds literally murdered their just-born child and threw him/her (I don’t recall which) into a dumpster. That case profoundly changed my view on life, and made me realize why people must have consequences for their actions…in this case sex…and be compelled to be logical and humane. In the case of the coeds, it would have been far more ethical for them to have aborted that child in the early stages of development. Instead this horror show turned into a murder trial and conviction…rightfully so…and these people will forever be damaged.

    On the whole “there are just so many resources” thing, I really don’t think man kind will reach the tipping point, ever. Throughout history we have found ways to purge ourselves of massive numbers of people through war, and what isn’t destroyed that way is destroyed through disease or natural disaster. Somehow I believe there is a natural order of things, and nature will find a way to cut homo sapiens down to reasonable numbers. Consider that in a time when the United States was still tens of millions strong, 50,000 of our citizens perished in 3 days at Gettysburg. That was just one battle in one war before there were Nuclear bombs. That is all I have to say about that…

  27. 27zombie on Jul 16, 2010 at 6:06 pm:

    #26 Scott: Throughout history we have found ways to purge ourselves of massive numbers of people through war, and what isn’t destroyed that way is destroyed through disease or natural disaster. Somehow I believe there is a natural order of things, and nature will find a way to cut homo sapiens down to reasonable numbers. Consider that in a time when the United States was still tens of millions strong, 50,000 of our citizens perished in 3 days at Gettysburg. That was just one battle in one war before there were Nuclear bombs.

    You’re arguing in favor of a Malthusian outcome as if it was a good thing: “Ah, we don’t have to worry about overpopulation and a massive die-off, because we’ll probably all get decimated in a bloody war or a global famine before it gets that bad! So everything will work out just fine. See?” Dude, that’s the exact thing we’re trying to avoid. A hideous war or miserable famine or agonizing epidemic is the very nightmarish scenario which Malthus said has happened throughout history and which will continue to happen if we don’t put the brakes on population. It’s highly unlikely that in the case of overpopulation we’d set up some Logan’s Run-esque fascistic system whereby people are selected at random to be “humanely” exterminated by the government. Instead, the human population will decrease in the ugliest ways imaginable: Genocide, starvation, epidemics, war.

    Yes, as you say, “nature will find a way to cut homo sapiens down to reasonable numbers.” Indeed. But why subject billions of people to a hideous death, when it could be avoided if we never had overpopulation in the first place?

    My argument was: One way or the other, billions of people have to not live, if we are to keep the planet at a reasonable population level. The question is, which is preferable: billions of conscious adults getting exterminated in your preferred Malthusian holocaust, or billions of pre-conscious embryos getting exterminated in my preferred abortion holocaust? You can’t get out of the dilemma by saying that war or starvation will foreclude any overpopulation problem, because war and starvation are the very outcomes we’re trying to make sure never happen. To counter your argument, I could just as easily say, “We won’t have to worry about women killing all their unborn babies, because they’ll just abort them all ahead of time and we’ll never have to face that problem!” You’re characterizing the worst-case scenario as some kind of pre-emptive solution.

    I should point out that, of course, this is all entirely a “what if?” fantasy in which abortion is indeed banned worldwide and birth control discouraged. Because as things now stand, global populations are thankfully leveling off, mostly because of increased access to birth control (and abortion) around the world.

    #25 Starless on the other hand says the crisis point of overpopulation will never occur because innovation and exploration will always ensure sufficient space and resources for the human population, no matter how big it gets. Me, I’m not so convinced.

    #24 Pat. B. says “Zombie is engaging in the same type of obfuscations that he (rightly) accuses others of in his essay. Either abortion is murder or it is not. Stick to that argument.” OK, I’ll stick to that argument. Remember that at the very beginning of the essay, I state that I am pro-choice. That remains true, despite my admiration for the moral consistency of hardline pro-lifers. So, since I don’t consider first-trimester abortions to be murder, I personally don’t have a problem with tolerating voluntary individually-chosen early-stage abortion as a component of society-wide population control.

    Also, I should point out, that I only spoke of population control as an interesting ancillary rationale for keeping abortion legal. Population control is not my primary reason for being in the pro-life camp, nor even a secondary reason. Rather, I simply see it as an accidentally fortuitous outcome of keeping abortion legal.

  28. 28Pat B. on Jul 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm:

    zombie:
    OK, I’ll stick to that argument. Remember that at the very beginning of the essay, I state that I am pro-choice. That remains true, despite my admiration for the moral consistency of hardline pro-lifers. So, since I don’t consider first-trimester abortions to be murder, I personally don’t have a problem with tolerating voluntary individually-chosen early-stage abortion as a component of society-wide population control.Also, I should point out, that I only spoke of population control as an interesting ancillary rationale for keeping abortion legal. Population control is not my primary reason for being in the pro-choice camp, nor even a secondary reason. Rather, I simply see it as an accidentally fortuitous outcome of keeping abortion legal.

    While we disagree, I acknowledge the moral consistency of your position. I was a bit concerned that you were condoning an action that you thought might be wrong in the name of population control. Although I believe the discussion of the “accidentally fortuitous outcome” can confuse the issue, I see that that was not you intent. Anyway, from a practical standpoint, the Zombie platform should be embraced by pro-lifers. Pro-lifers and pro-choice constitutionalists ought to cooperate on overturning the lousy Roe v Wade decision and returning the power to the states.

  29. 29Scott on Jul 16, 2010 at 6:52 pm:

    Whoa, Zombie, I am not advocating wide-spread holocaust. In fact, I’d definitely say I am totally against that. I am just saying that it seems inevitable…with people like the dictators in Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Cuba out there conspiring with walking egos like Vladamir Putin, Nuclear weapons will be in the hands of complete madmen (if they aren’t already…one can argue that Putin is a madman equivalent to those other dictators) soon. How reasonable is it for us to believe we can deter nuclear holocaust from happening when at least one of those fools wants to wipe Israel off of the map?

    I am not advocating that we wipe out huge swaths of our population with war or disease or natural disasters…I just believe it is likely a foregone conclusion given our human history. It is beset with horrific acts of brutality. Abortion seems minor comparitavely speaking…so again, this supports my theory (and your belief) that abortion, although ghastly, is a superior alternative to “adult” population control (war etc). But will controlling the population through abortion quench our insatiable appetite for domination of others? Simple answer: no. This is why I believe war will be the answer (not that it IS the answer). Hope that clarifies.

  30. 30WaltzingMtilda on Jul 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm:

    @ Zombie: I realize this is not real deep or anything, but: What. The. Fuck.

  31. 31Starless on Jul 17, 2010 at 7:59 am:

    zombie: #25 Starless on the other hand says the crisis point of overpopulation will never occur because innovation and exploration will always ensure sufficient space and resources for the human population, no matter how big it gets. Me, I’m not so convinced.

    I don’t think I said that. What I was saying is that the idea of carrying capacity as put forth by advocates is incomplete and flawed. More often than not, what needs to happen for their very dire predictions to come true is for history to remain static and human innovation to end. For example, if we had remained hunter/gatherers, the carrying capacity of the planet would be significantly lower than six billion people. But we developed agriculture and that changed the equation.

    The trouble with calculating carrying capacity is that human innovation isn’t quantifiable so it is barely even considered and that to my mind makes carrying capacity an unreliable metric. It can be a cautionary guide much as the concept of “tipping point” can, but just like tipping point, it’s merely an estimate–a guess. Unfortunately, people who make predictions based on carrying capacity and tipping point estimates always end up advocating the same things: stop breeding and stop consuming. In fact, hold your breath and wait for the world to end you bunch of parasites.

    I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know if we’ll tap the resources of the solar system but it’s not beyond our present capability. And even if Malthus is right (personally, I think he was far too pessimistic) we’re not talking about hundreds or even thousands of years of excess capacity, but tens or hundreds of thousands, and possibly even millions, of years.

    zombie: Population control is not my primary reason for being in the pro-life camp, nor even a secondary reason.

    I got the impression that it was a pretty important reason.

  32. 32daniel noe on Jul 17, 2010 at 11:53 am:

    Just a few more tidbits to get you all discussing this for months to come:

    @nemo: It makes a big difference if the user of the kidney stole it from another in an unnatural way as opposed to a fetus simply growing and exchanging dissolved molecules across the placenta, just as it makes a difference whether your lunch was human or antelope. There is a “natural order” to things. This means that killing animals is morally acceptable as that is part of our nature. It also means that “parasitizing” our mothers is morally acceptable, since that is part of our nature too.

    @starless: It is easy for one to be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. In one case, the fetus is just being what it was meant to do. In the other, the criminal was violating morality (the natural order) and must be punished.

    @Zombie: I would rather take my chances with starvation and die naturally, than artificially shorten my (or anyone else’s) life. Facing death is a part of life. That’s what makes it worth living.

    BTW, I am not pro-death penalty and I generally consider myself pro-life, though I recognize the argument that the enforcement of any anti-abortion law may not be practical.

    Overall, a great post. Right on. I never understood the rape & incest exceptions either.

  33. 33zombie on Jul 17, 2010 at 1:31 pm:

    Starless: I got the impression that it was a pretty important reason.

    Sigh. That impression was wrong. As I said above, “I won’t waste everyone’s time mapping out the details of the extent and rationale of my pro-choice opinion.” By that I was trying to say, “My pro-choice reasons are kinda boring and I’ve already mentioned them before in other posts so I won’t repeat them here — but here’s a side issue that’s occurred to me of late.”

    Anyway, to clear up any misapprehensions, here’s the short version of my pro-choice stance:

    Primary reason:
    I remain unconvinced that a zygote or embryo has any cognizance of any kind, and thus I can’t make the leap to the affirmative belief that it is a full-fledged human being. To me, the two critical issues are awareness and viability. So, starting in the fifth month, a fetus crosses into the viability phase and into the awareness phase. A case could be made for significant brain activity a month or two earlier, though it’s far from clear if that brain activity involves cognition in any way. Because of this — my personal assessment of the situation — I can’t agree that an embryo is a human, and thus can’t say that killing it constitutes murder. Proviso: I’m not pretending to be a doctor or a scientist. That’s just my opinion.

    Late-term abortions (fifth month or later) I definitely would count as murder. Anything between the third month and the fifth month is the grey zone where I couldn’t say either way for sure. But from conception up through the first two or three months — sorry, not yet a human being, in my assessment.

    Secondary reason:
    I think the government way overreached with Roe v. Wade, and the principle upon which it rested pre-supposes the conclusion (i.e. that any pre-born fetus is not a human). I think there should not be a federal position on abortion — either unconditionally banning it (as some pro-lifers would like to see) nor aggressively unbanning it (as Roe v. Wade did). I think the Feds should back out and let each state decide what its local standards are. And that means giving each state the “choice” to decide what its citizens want.

    Every state already has its own laws concerning murder; why should laws concerning abortion be any different or be subject to more stringent federal oversight? They shouldn’t. If a state wants to ban all abortion in all instances — that is that state’s right to do, as clearly spelled out in the Constitution. And if a state wants to allow abortion with no restrictions, that also is that state’s right. Choice. That’s why I’m pro-choice.

    Semi-joking Tertiary reason:
    If some groups — liberals, to be precise — want to abort themselves to ideological extinction, then I’m not going to stand in their way. As things now stand, abortion is legal, but still optional. Thus, people can choose to abort or not. Religious people tend to vote conservative and also tend to believe abortion is murder and thus abort less, and thus have larger familes. Liberals on the other hand tend to be pro-abortion and also tend to abort more and have smaller familes. End result is a demographic tendency for liberal ideas to fade away as the number of adherent shrinks with every passing generation. Since pro-life positions (which I disagree with) tend to be linked with other conservative positions (some of which I do agree with), the conservative proportion of the population will tend to increase in a society that allows abortion, since only the pro-abortion people will abort their babies, and thus kill future liberal voters.

    Totally not-important lowest-level reason, mostly just an observation:
    The “Lifeboat Earth” theory I discussed above.

    Hope that clears things up. (Sorry to bore everyone.)

  34. 34pixel9 on Jul 17, 2010 at 1:42 pm:

    Zombie: I am in total agreement with you. Angle’s position on rape & incest exceptions for abortion is the only correct one a true pro-lifer can have. Her sin is her honesty about it. However I think you are wrong about the reasons for people to be pro-choice. I don’t think it is pro- promiscuity but hard-headed reality. Women have about 35 years of fertility and during about half this time she is not thinking about marriage at all. 35 years without a mistake. Hah, we don’t live in a sex-segregated, burqua wearing society (not yet) so our modern society needs birth control and abortion to function as it does now.

  35. 35Dianna on Jul 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm:

    zombie: [I almost said "Thanks for letting me rant," but then I realized this is my blog, so I can rant all I want!]

    Quote

    Interesting rant.

    My other response is the one I’ve had for years: The only real solution is to take reproduction out of the human body. You don’t have to tell me, by the way, that this opens the door to some really totalitarian control issues, too. I meditate on them frequently.

  36. 36Starless on Jul 18, 2010 at 5:08 am:

    daniel noe: @starless: It is easy for one to be anti-abortion and pro-death penalty. In one case, the fetus is just being what it was meant to do. In the other, the criminal was violating morality (the natural order) and must be punished.

    That’s an overly-complicated rationale for a fundamental type of statism–i.e. that there is a case for any
    situation where the state can have any say about who lives and who doesn’t. I don’t care who makes up the bureaucracy–that bureaucracy is incapable of making a morally defensible decision about my “right” to life.

    zombie: but here’s a side issue that’s occurred to me of late

    “Side issue”–that’s fair.

    zombie: Primary reason

    Not to repeat myself, but to repeat myself, this seems like an overly-complicated rationale. To be clear, though, I’m not judging your position nor am I trying to change your mind, but I do think that those sorts of arguments give lip-service to the “human life is precious” fallacy. IOW, “I know that what I’m advocating is terrible because human life is, or is considered, precious so here’s a list of reasonable-sounding things to back it up”. As I alluded to before, it seems plain to me that once gametes get together, you’re going to end up with a person, therefore talk about viability and awareness is an argument over details. To me, this is a fundamental dishonesty in the greater pro-choice movement–an unwillingness to admit that the behavior they’re advocating results in the end of an individual’s life. That they have decided that certain lives are disposable.

    If humanity and history has proven anything, it’s proven that life is not precious and that humans are indeed disposable. Even to their own parents. I’d rather see a little more honesty about that in the discussion.

    zombie: Secondary reason

    This is a more defensible reason to me. I think we need to ask the question: does the Constitution, the basic laws of our land, say anything whatsoever about the federal gov’t having the right to make any laws about how we deal with procreation?

  37. 37J on Jul 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm:

    you are probably right about some pro-life people people just being anti-sex when probing a bit farther, but saying that pro-lifers who make exceptions in certain cases are inconsistent is not really true. your premise is that all pro-lifers see a fetus as a full-fledged human being equal to every other, and this is false. many pro-lifers, probably even most, do not consider the fetus to be equal to the mother. if pregnancy would harm the mother, virtually everybody agrees the mother has to come first, and in these days of mental health awareness some people include psychological trauma under the umbrella of harming the mother, and some others don’t.

  38. 38Steele on Jul 19, 2010 at 7:42 am:

    Hey Zombie, your analysis of the pro-life/pro-choice debate is probably very accurate. However, there is a reasonable argument to make for abortion being illegal except for rape and incest. It just isn’t pinned on the immutable sacredness of life – so, technically, it isn’t a “pro-life” stance. Of course pro-life isn’t really about life and pro-choice isn’t really about choice. Those are just politically correct rebrandings of anti-abortion and pro-abortion, with the intent to control the argument through language.

    On to the explanation. An abortion ban with the exceptions of rape and incest can be explained by a combination of personal responsibility and property rights. First, the ban can be founded on the idea that becoming pregnant is a choice. As long as birth control and morning after pills, etc. are available and effective, there’s no reasonable excuse for an unwanted pregnancy as a result of consensual sex. Any single contraceptive product is 99.999% effective. If two products are used, the chances of both failing are almost impossible. Follow that up with a morning after pill, and there’s zero chance. So, if pregnancy would be an intolerable outcome of consensual sex, it can be avoided by either the ultra-paranoid birth control regimen above or simply not having (vaginal) sex.

    The exception for rape and incest comes in because the sex is not consensual. At the risk of sounding too clinical, the rapist or molester violently places his genetic material in the victim. That’s a massive violation of the victim’s rights. If a pregnancy results, the victim should not be required by law to continue to have her body used/violated by the rapist/molester for the next nine months.

    All that said, I don’t think there should be a ban on abortion. Abortions are generally evil, irresponsible, and barbaric… in my opinion. However, only about 50-60% of the us population agrees. Until the other 40-50% comes around, a ban would be wrong in the American system. Most of our laws that deal with life and death – for crimes like murder, rape and armed robbery – are agreed upon by 99%+ of the population. As much as I dislike elective abortions, until 99%+ of Americans realize it’s wrong, I have to err on the side of individual liberty.

  39. 39daniel noe on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:21 am:

    @Starless: I never meant to use my (perhaps poorly worded) rationale as a means to give the state unlimited power. I simply meant that in the case of some crimes (murder, for example) the death penalty can be justified, whereas in the case of pregnancy, the “crimes” of the fetus are not enough to justify the death penalty.

    BTW: Personally, I do not like the death penalty as it exists today, but neither am I a pacifist, and those killed in shootouts with the police or military (or even homeowners) can be considered to have been killed in a justified way if they were a danger to others.

  40. 40curious_fritz on Jul 22, 2010 at 3:22 am:

    I’m afraid, I think an important point is missed in this debate: the reason, why people think about exceptions in cases of rape when it comes to abortion is not only that “the childs dad is a bad man”. It is also, that it is seen as unbearable for a woman to be pregnant with and give birth to a child in consequence of being raped. In addition to the fact, that it has to do with sex, the crime of rape is seen as so evil as it is because it involves a person being robbed of her/his autonomy, the control over her/his body, the free will to decide what to do with her/his body. short: it involves a person being robbed of her/his dignity. forcing a raped women to give birth to the child of their rapist can be considered as continuing this situation. I don’t understand, why this aspect has not came up yet in the discussion. merely talking about “bad fathers” is not getting to the center of the problem, i’m afraid.

    excuse my english,

    greetings from germany,

    fritz

  41. 41GaltsGirl on Jul 22, 2010 at 7:16 am:

    BRAVO!!!!! I, too, am pro-choice, but absolutely applaud Angle’s devotion to her stance and willingness to stand behind it in the face of a camp like Reid’s . Good for you, too, for being willing to state your viewpoint and admiration with zero rhetoric!

  42. 42Christie on Jul 23, 2010 at 6:45 am:

    My position on abortion has nothing to do with the amount of sex people have. I could care less how much or how little sex is going on. If you are an unfortunate victim of rape or incest, there is a simple solution: Plan B, which is not the same as an abortion since it can only be taken within 72 hours after sex to prevent conception. The majority of abortions are out of convenience, it shouldn’t be treated as birth control. Many women do regret having an abortion, from either the emotional and/or physical pain and there is a risk of not being able to conceive in the future. Women who support abortion say “Its my body, my choice”, yet its not because the unborn baby has its own set of DNA. In the case of a high risk pregnancy that could kill her and the baby, then an abortion would most likely be necessary, which could be performed in a hospital instead of a planned parenthood abortion clinic. The other alternatives are of course keeping the baby or adoption. I’m pro-life, against the death penalty, anti-war, and I’m honest about it.

  43. 43TGGP on Jul 24, 2010 at 9:39 am:

    I never got the rape exception either, and the often conjunction “or life of the mother” just makes the contrast more explicit.

    I’m not pro-life (I suppose it’s murder, but murder can be acceptable). I think we should be more open to the idea of punishing family members. Take suicidal terrorists: once they’ve completed their mission, there’s nothing we can do to them personally. But what if they knew their family-members would be killed? Fortunately, most of their family is not part of “our society” so we can outsource that kind of enforcement to our allied governments which do not have such scruples. Of course, we could avoid most such problems by not meddling in places that are none of our business, but it helps to have a plan B.

    Evidence that it’s not about sex: euthanasia. Pro-lifers made Schiavo a cause celebre and pro-choicers were appalled.

  44. 44DangerousNate on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm:

    Well said! Again, you hit the nail on the head!

    It’s exactly (or almost exactly) as you said.

  45. 45Walknot on Jul 26, 2010 at 5:56 am:

    So if the Pro-life people believe the baby is “alive” at conception, they are hypocrites for conceding the rape/incest provision? What about those who are pro-choice who do not believe the baby is alive at conception but at birth, should they be called hypocrites if they don’t concede to a mothers “right” to kill her 5 year old?

    I wish it was as easy as you describe it, but unfortunately, A moral position is not defined solely by its extremes. I doubt you believe that any religious person who doesn’t follow their religious doctrine by the book is not truly a believer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think you are probably close to “spot on” with your conclusion, however, I don’t see the rational for it from your premises. My only debate I have with your conclusion is that I don’t believe it has been “hidden” as you claim but rather refocused as a public relations move to highlight the worst of the “social ills”, that being murder.

  46. 46Jaynie59 on Jul 31, 2010 at 12:35 pm:

    I’m pro-abortion. That means I am for legal abortion. In my opinion, it’s nothing more than a privacy issue, and the private medical decisions of strangers is nobody else’s business. That’s it. Whenever I argue with a pro-lifer, the first thing I try to do is get them to admit abortion should be legal in the case of rape and incest. It’s very easy to do and once I do I’ve won the argument. Here’s why:

    If you allow abortion in the case of rape and incest you have just conceded the two main arguments for keeping abortion legal: choice and medical problems. A life is a life, and there is no difference between the choice to get pregnant and the choice to stay pregnant. You can’t grant it in one instance and not the other when the result of both is a dead baby. With incest not only are you letting choice into the equation, but you are also conceding that the killing of a baby can be based on the quality of its life to determine whether you think it can be killed. The bottom line in both cases is that any pro-lifer who makes an exception for rape or incest is a hypocrite.

    So I agree with you, but I don’t think you had to jump through so many hoops to get there. I do disagree with your “sex” theory, though. For most pro-lifers it’s religion and with others it’s just plain old sexism. I have no doubt at all that if it were men who got pregnant there would be McBortion’s on every street corner.

  47. 47fop on Aug 11, 2010 at 4:33 am:

    Is the person who wrote this essay Jewish?

  48. 48ChrisBH on Aug 12, 2010 at 7:23 am:

    When we discuss freedom and laws, a principle is often mentioned that goes something like this “You are free to act as you choose so long as your actions do not impede the freedom of another person” (e.g. – hitting someone, killing someone, stealing from someone etc…).

    The exceptions of rape and incest fall in this category – the unborn have a right to life, but when the unborn are conceived involuntarily, their life is impeding the freedom of their mother. It’s a draw as to the “freedom” question, and the mother would be justified in ending the life of the child. If the mother chooses to show mercy and abdicate her freedom for the sake of the child, so much the better. For many of those who view these matters through the lens of Christian conviction, the choice to abort would be justified, but lacking in mercy. The mother would have obeyed the letter of the law, but would be showing Christ-like charity in allowing the child to grow. The decision of whether to keep the child or give the child to adoptive parents would be a whole other issue.

    If the child is conceived voluntarily, the mother would be impeding on the freedom of the child by aborting them. Such an act would be unjust as well as unmerciful.

    If the principles of justice and mercy, as well as freedom to act and freedom to not be acted upon are viewed as self-existent and timeless principles, the exceptions of rape and incest make sense.

  49. 49barbara burr on Aug 14, 2010 at 3:08 am:

    i have to wonder why this “thing” sharron angle is so comfortable about incest. she leaves me to believe she not only was involved in incest in her family but seems to be so comfortable you have to think she was willing. what else could it be ? the question is was she involved with men in her family ? she is a freak she even wants the government to monitor girls and women in child bearing years and once they are certain of a pregnancy to make sure it does not end and go into their homes often to make sure they are still pregnant . and even if your dying you can not be aborted you must die with the baby. way i look at it this freak should be aborted off the planet.i hope lightening strikes the cur ——- she wants gay parents to not only not be able to adopt but to take their children away from them they have already adopted . so the world would be better off with out freaks like her . i was just thinking there are gay men dying of aides even as i write this. in my book they ought to think about the power they have to save others of the gay community from creatures like this woman. just because she is insane does not make her less dangerous. freaks like her are springing up every where.just never forget that moses was a child molester who had thousands of male children and thousands of their mothers kiiled by running them through with swords and over 32,000 little girls raped. oh yes the mighty moses go to the bible nuymbers chapter 31 read for yourself.she knows this and knows men will vote for her so they can safely rape their daughters and any girl and she will protect them she is a rapist best friend. no doubt it turns her on.

  50. 50barbara on Aug 15, 2010 at 11:15 pm:

    i really believe that we need a war between the sharron angles of the world all of them and those who want to be free. a civil war again ? yes because we can’t let this witch and others like her tell us what to do based on what they believe. we all came ito the world the same way and we were raised to believe certain things but those freaks like sharron angle want you to live the way they do and i say go to hell your kind .tea partys are we where you can find the worst of the worst. big tea parties in the south . we whipped the south once we can do it again. i am old so i have to watch from the side lines and besides this is a war for men to save the country. but i have seen the horror those freaks have done and it needs to be stopped. you can’t use logic with them to me a war is the only way to stop them all. men dying of aids and men who are hard workers but now must die for lack of medical care or men who have lost children from lack of medical care or over seas brought on by the republicans i hape i really do they start a war.

  51. 51barbara on Aug 17, 2010 at 1:11 am:

    well , well seems to me this getting to you ? it got to me her reference about trying to incite violence against our goverment . she wants to cause someone to hurt our president and thats what she is trying to incite. just because some old bag can talk religion don’t make her a lady or fit for public office more like for a mental institution . i believe she just knows too much about incest and supports it . no little girl would be safe outside their own home and often in it. this creature sharron angle would if she had her way so no little girl could go to the malls to skate to do anything that would put them in danger and just doing anything in public would really put them in danger. there are sex offenders all over the place . i don’t want this old bags world. god help us if this creature wins . anyone wants to talk to me just leave a message and i will give one of my phone numbers to you. if you love your country you will run from this woman.

  52. 52DannyLoHH on Aug 25, 2010 at 12:38 am:

    I am pro-abortion because I am pro-life. It might seems like an oxymoron but it is not. Here is why:

    Abortion is illegal and a taboo thing to do in Philippines. It is because abortion is illegal, scores of women died every year. Making abortion illegal will not stop desperate women from aborting their pregnancies. It only forces them to seek abortion through illegal channel, which is often unsafe. On the contrary, if abortion is legalized, pro-lifer will have a chance to provide aid to these women and to pursuit them to choose adoption rather than abortion. That is why I am pro-abortion (i.e. making abortion legal) so that I could advocate for an abortion clinic that provide counseling services to these women, so that there is a chance that I could save the fetus. If abortion is illegal, when a woman decided to abort, her only option is through some back alley clinic and the consequences could be death. In that case, not only I am denied of a chance to save the baby, I couldn’t save the mother too.

    So, my stand of pro-choice is not on a moral ground. But on a practical pro-life stand.

  53. 53barbara on Sep 2, 2010 at 11:33 pm:

    do any of realize that women and girls are not going to be safe even in their homes from rape year after year thanks to sharron angle and other sickos like her.

  54. 54barbara on Sep 7, 2010 at 10:12 pm:

    you know sharron angle has to have been into incest and likes it and you have to wonder about her family just what goes on behind closed doors. she is a pimp for child molesters and she is in a word holding down little girls to be raped. you need to know that i think why republican church people seem to want social security to end and i know why they are not worried. they are going to be selling those rape babies into adoption and will make a lot of money. if you think church women will not help hold girls down just like angle to be bred like cattle by their husbands and sons you’d be wrong. in fact most rapes are by church men -married church men -look it up. any people who live by the bible will do such things. remember numbers chapter 31 in the bible moses the chld molester. remember those church freaks put moses up by god if the truth gets out they are finished and by the way i do believe in god i just know he never talked to moses. moses was a liar read for yourselves. sharron angle knows this and uses it for her benifit. please read that chapter and try to get it into news papers before it is too late.

  55. 55شات كتابي on Sep 27, 2010 at 10:11 am:

    i really believe that we need a war between the sharron angles of the world all of them and those who want to be free. a civil war again ? yes because we can’t let this witch and others like her tell us what to do based on what they believe. we .

  56. 56barbara on Oct 15, 2010 at 12:42 am:

    hy is it this woman has no problem with people dying from lack of medical care and that includes children then screams against abortion. also have you ever heard another woman use the term JUICE like she does ? you do know that is the term male relatives usually fathers use to refer to sex with the female relative and the term the female uses when she is not only comfortable with it but likes the incest relationship. juice is used as in daddy or uncle can i have some juie or the male saying i have your juice for you. meaning having sex and climaxing . i know it makes me wonder about this woman.like why does she use that term so much ? you know the worst people men or women politics use religion to lure the simple minded into supporting them .

  57. 57J on Oct 19, 2010 at 5:04 pm:

    I agree with Zombie once again. I just want to say that another reason to support abortion hasn’t been covered which is that abortions will happen regardless of the law so its best if they are a legal and safe option, performed only by professional doctors in a sterile environment.

  58. 58sassy lady on Oct 30, 2010 at 12:44 am:

    if this nut job wins god help america. you do know the tea partiers are trying to over throw out government, this old bag sharron angle intends to do just that.

  59. 59sassy lady on Nov 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm:

    let us hope that crazy sharron angle will fade into the wood work but i don’t suppose that will happen but decent women you don’t what that woman she has something seriously wrong in her head. look in her eyes it is like looking into the eyes of insanity.

  60. 60Elmer Karlinsky on Sep 10, 2014 at 9:13 am:

    Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting. ~Anonymous