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View Diary: Extreme Religion Stops a Thinking Brain - and Kills Women and Teenage Girls (263 comments)

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  •  You managed to both miss the point and make it. (1+ / 0-)
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    I'd love to debate this in depth because I think this points to the very root of the sickness that afflicts the world that is imposed upon us. Unfortunately, I have to get some sleep now.

    I'll just have to leave you with this; Arguing that "thats' the way it is" is circular and inevitably leads to an ever-worsening situation such as what we have now. The laws are not "ours", neither do they impose a consensus, moral or otherwise. The laws protect and sustain a power structure that few would choose to sustain if they were given the choice and they are made and imposed by the minority that are the beneficiaries of that structure.

    And no one is hurt by abortion, quite the contrary, everyone is hurt by its prohibition or restriction. To bring a new person into the world and to raise it is a profound decision that must be deliberate.

    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

    by Greyhound on Wed May 11, 2011 at 07:37:24 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  you're off to bed; I am just waking up :) (0+ / 0-)

      "That's the way it is" is neither circular nor an argument; it's an observation that's delivered with a connotation of ineluctability.  It's also not an observation I made, since there's nothing ineluctable about morals or government.

      Indeed, I think that the fact that you refer to arguments when my comments contain observations shows that there has been a misunderstanding, so let me be clear, with some observation.

      Laws impose morals, and always have.  For instance, why do we have laws that ban the sale of tainted meat?  Not because tainted meat is unsafe, but because it's immoral to sell tainted meat.  Why is it immoral to sell tainted meat? Because it's unsafe, it causes harm, and requires deception--- these are moral values.

      That is: The existence of unsafe meat? fine.  Selling unsafe meat? Not fine.  So we ban the latter.  In doing so, we impose our morals upon butchers and grocers:  Even if you find it morally acceptable to sell bad meat, we (society) say you can't.  The 'market' not only fails to stop you but encourages you by rewarding your immorality with profits. So the government steps in, by passing a law.

      Note that it's not inherently immoral to sell tainted meat.  A moral consensus emerged that selling unsafe products is wrong, but it wasn't always there, and it didn't have to.  Some other consensus could have emerged, for instance, that anyone should be able to sell anything.  Morals are not fixed, and they change whether we try to stop them or not.  

      All that was observation, not argument.  What comes next is argument:

      By legalizing abortion, we say as a society that we approve of women having their fetuses killed if they choose.  When I say 'approve' that doesn't mean we like it.  But our other option is forcing women to give birth--- the most dangerous and painful event of most women's lives.  So given those choices, we prefer allowing abortion.

      Likewise, if a situation warrants you can even kill actual people.  For instance, look at self-defense laws.  It's wrong to kill someone.  But it's also wrong not to protect yourself.  So when you have to choose one or the other, which is worse?  The moral consensus holds that second is worse.  So we allow the first.  

      The nice thing about democracy is that it tries (though does not always succeed) to match government-imposed morals to those already held by society, thereby essentially minimizing the imposition.  If you don't fit the important rules, the ones that merit laws, you get punished--- fines, property seizures, exclusion from society (prison or exile), or death.  

      Problems occur when the powerful few have different morals than the unpowerful many; I think that's why Wall St keeps getting let off the hook.  Problems also occur when undemocratic system flaws, like low turnout, or our First-Past-the-Post elections, lead to representatives whose morals don't match those of the majority of people.  

      That's how we end up with anti-abortion wackos in power, who then proceed to impose their morals through the law, oblivious to the fact that the world has changed around them.  Like I say at the end of my last comment, sometimes (alas) the only way for people to be turned off by conservatism is to have to live out its consequences.  

      •  I hope botht that you read this, since its been (0+ / 0-)

        several days since your reply, and that I can clear up any misunderstanding arising from my use of the word argument.

        I use the word in the sense of a debate or formula, not as a synonym for 'fight'.

         Every position in every debate is made up of arguments but not necessarily of conflict.

        This appears to me to be the basis for much of your opposition to my reply.

        As for the rest, I will simply say that there seems to be some confusion in your definitions of morality, and once again, I don't have the time to address them in depth. Selling tainted meat has nothing to do with morality. Just as laws have nothing to do with morality, but instead deal with legalities.

        The basis of your position rests, among other false premises, upon the inaccurate notion that abortion "kills a fetus". A Fetus is not a life and one cannot kill that which does not live. A fetus may have the potential to develop into a life, but until that potential is realized it is not a life, and that is the point of my original reply.

        "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

        by Greyhound on Sat May 14, 2011 at 01:33:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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