Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"Don't like abortion? Don't have one."

When people make this argument, are they trying to say that abortion is only about what you or I like, not about something objective, or are they saying they believe that pro-life people are just wrong, and abortion is completely okay, so we should just mind our own business?

If it's the latter, then they should assert that argument. "Morality depends on your preferences" amounts to mob rule, not a principle of justice.

If pro-choice types were more bewildered at our opposition than upset, if they really were surprised by how seriously we were taking something they viewed as merely an incidental detail of lifestyle, then I would be willing to consider the former, but rarely is "don't do it if you don't like it" the most personal argument made for abortion.

I'm male, so I can't make a choice either way. Do I thus deserve no opinion? If not, aren't we back on "The Minutemen are not a legitimate voice in the debate on immigration," which falsely presumes that debate--even dialog--is just people agreeing with each other?

Let's apply this template to something more obvious:

"Don't like murder? Don't commit it."

Less compelling, isn't it? Maybe the tactic is robust enough for teaching your toddler the Golden Rule, but it's the beginning of conscience, not the end of it.

We could even turn it around. "Like murder? Commit it" clearly doesn't work, but it doesn't violate the original rationale. "Don't like it if I commit murder? I'm not murdering you, so mind your own business..." and we're right back where we started.

No reasonable person would argue that murder is right, so the last argument they come up with is "Buzz off, I'm not listening?" Pretty bottom-of-the-barrel logic. Hopefully yesterday's elections and the future ramifications thereof will just be a dead cat bounce, as far as early-life issues are concerned.

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